London: A New Season in the Arts 2013

Tate Modern London by Nanagyei on Flickr.jpg

The new year heralds a new season in the arts so those heading to London soon are in for a treat. We’ve picked out the ten events, festivals and seasons we’re most looking forward to over the first six months of the year…

Visual arts

  • Lichtenstein: A Retrospective This major spring retrospective at Tate Modern from 21 February – 27 May features more than 100 paintings and other works by comic strip-inspired Pop Art genius Roy Lichtenstein.
  • The David Bowie is exhibition at the V&A from 23 March – 28 July showcases around 300 items from his enormous 60,000+ private archive, including original costumes – 1972 Ziggy Stardust bodysuits among them – sleeve artwork, handwritten lyrics, set designs and some of Bowie’s own instruments.


  • A new production of MacBeth set in a dystopian Scotland plays at the Trafalgar Studios from 9 February – 27 April. James McAvoy stars in the title role, better known for his roles in films like Atonement, X-Men and The Last King of Scotland.
  • Huge US hit satirical musical The Book of Mormon arrives on our shores soon, opening at the Prince of Wales Theatre on 25 February. The show, by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, tells the story of two American Mormon missionaries and their attempt to convert the natives on a trip to Uganda.


  • Inspired by Alex Ross’s seminal book The Rest is Noise – Listening to the Twentieth Century, the Southbank Centre plays host to an ambitious year-long season exploring 20th-century classical music through the prism of historical, cultural and political events. Find out more at The Rest is Noise website.

  • Presenting a who’s who of Latin music, La Linea: The London Latin Music Festival takes place at the Barbican, Brixton Academy, Union Chapel and other London venues from 12-20 April. Featured artists include the most popular group in Cuba, Havana D’Primera, and Latin hip-hop star Mala Rodriguez.


  • Back to cheer us up, LOCO London Comedy Film Festival returns to BFI Southbank and other London venues from 24-27 January – supposedly the most miserable week of the year. This year’s festival opens with A Liar’s Autobiography, the 3D animated biography of Monty Python star Graham Chapman.
  • The second Sundance London film festival returns to The O2 from 25-28 April, featuring UK and international premieres of selected independent films fresh from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Utah, along with panels, events and live music.


  • Tango Fire – Flames of Desire is the latest hit production from fiery Argentinian dance company Tango Fire, playing at Sadler’s Wells from 30 January – 24 February. The show traces a path through the history of tango from its Buenos Aires roots to celebrated contemporary dance form.
  • Starring a cast of international guest stars and the entire company of the English National Ballet, Swan Lake in-the-round is magnificently staged in the centre of the Royal Albert Hall from 12-23 June.
Swan Lake in-the-round © 2013 English National Ballet.jpg
Swan Lake in-the-round © 2013 English National Ballet

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Header photo © Nanagyei

About Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the co-editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.
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