Twelfth Night Celebrations
Twelfth Night is an annual traditional celebration of the new year held at Bankside, close to the Shakespeare’s Globe and Tate Modern. It’s a mix of ancient seasonal customs and contemporary festivity. It’s a wonderful free event and well worth seeing.
The Holly Man arrives on The Thames and then there’s Wassailing and a Mummers Play at Bankside Pier. Cakes are given out and a King Bean and Queen Pea are found before a procession goes to the historic George Inn to continue the entertainment.
It’s all happening on Sunday 8 January 2017 and the fun starts at 1.45pm. The event happens whatever the weather.
Siobhan Davies Dance
London-based investigative arts organisation Siobhan Davies Dance premiere an ambitious new installation at The Curve, Barbican Centre, comprised of multiple pieces by choreographers, visual artists, scientists and designers. material / rearranged / to / be is on from 20 to 28 January 2017 and explores our bodies’ capacity to communicate.
The installation includes live performance, film projection and objects that are presented as an ever-changing arrangement. Each of the works draws upon the library and practices of the art historian Aby Warburg, who collected diverse images of gestures from different times and places and positioned them side-by-side to reveal previously-hidden relationships.
2017 London International Mime Festival
The 40th anniversary London International Mime Festival is on from 9 January to 4 February 2017. It’s a once a year chance to see the very best and newest contemporary visual theatre that embraces cutting edge circus-theatre, mask, physical theatre, object theatre and puppetry.
Over 34 days, 17 invited companies give 120 performances of productions that are almost all UK or London premieres, at the Barbican, Southbank Centre, Central Saint Martin’s Platform Theatre, Jacksons Lane, The Peacock, Soho Theatre, and, for the first time, Shoreditch Town Hall. Artists from Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Finland and New Zealand, are joining some of Britain’s fast emerging talents, as well as established names.
The Festival line-up is complemented by workshops, films and artists’ talks.
I’m never been shy about admitting I love The Moomins. So it’s no surprise I want to recommend the Adventures in Moominland at Southbank Centre. On until 23 April 2017, this isn’t an exhibition for small children but is more for the older readers and adults.
There are seven immersive and interactive worlds that explore the inspiration behind Tove Jansson’s much-loved stories. These worlds explore the influence of the Nordic landscape within the Moomin books, from the dense forests of Moominvalley to a canvas tent on the water’s edge in Finland – a recreation of Tove’s art studio and her island of Klovharu.
On until 22 January 2017 at Southbank Centre, BUMP Rollerdisco is part of the Winter Festival. It’s rollerskating fun for all the family, with weekend DJs and special rollerskating performances too.
Also on until 22 January at Southbank Centre, No Fit State Circus: Bianco is a dramatic live contemporary circus performance. The audience are on their feet throughout the show and have to move around as the show takes place above, behind and all around them, with a constantly evolving narrative set to a pounding soundtrack performed by a live band. It’s as immersive as can be without you being the actual performers.
Every year the London Eye has to stop for its annual maintenance closure so be aware you can’t go on the Eye from 9 to 24 January 2017. The ticket office remains open though so you can book to return after those dates. There is usually some sort of special offer on the re-opening day but nothing has been confirmed.
Every autumn and winter, Yeoman Warders lead exclusive after-hours visits of the Tower of London for Twilight Tours. These outdoor tours take in some of the gruesome sights and spooky stories which make the Tower of London world famous. It’s a tranquil time to be there but spooky too as you hear tales of prisoners and past residents, of royal gossip and of the secrets kept within these ancient walls.
Tours take place on Sundays on: 8, 15, 22, 29 January 2017, and are at 7-8.30pm.
Guildhall Art Gallery
The Heritage Gallery at the Guildhall Art Gallery has a changing display of nearly 1,000 years of The City of London’s history.
A Great Fire of London display is on until 12 January 2017, including eyewitness accounts from 1666 and other significant fires in London’s past.
Then from 14 January to 27 April 2017 a new display features the 1067 William Charter which celebrates its 950th birthday.
While here you can also visit the Roman Amphitheatre in the basement and the Guildhall Art Gallery itself with artworks dating from 1670 to the present, including 17th-century portraits, Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces and a range of paintings documenting London’s dramatic history.
If you would like even more ideas for this month have a look at the Things to Do in London in January 2017 from Kensington House Hotel, our sister hotel.
The new Charterhouse museum should be opening by the end of January 2017. It’ll be exciting to see as the Charterhouse is opening its doors to the public for the first time since its foundation in 1348.
The next exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum on Bermondsey Street is Josef Frank Patterns-Furniture-Painting. It opens on 28 January 2017 and is the first-ever UK exhibition of his textiles.
And a different type of Twelfth Night is on at the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre from 15 February 2017. Simon Godwin (Man and Superman, The Beaux’ Stratagem) directs this joyous new production with Tamsin Greig as a transformed Malvolia.
Do check out the latest offers as London Bridge Hotel has weekend rates from as low as £99. You can sign up for special offer alerts here. And when you can’t be at the hotel, you can try making the Quarter Bar’s cocktails with these recipes.
Laura Porter writes AboutLondonLaura.com and contributes to many other publications while maintaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.