Each year the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern has a new site-specific commission. This year’s Hyundai Commission is by Danish collective Superflex and opens on 3 October 2017.
Known for their interests in unifying urban spaces, and commenting on society with authenticity through art, Superflex challenges the traditional confines and expectations of art and the exhibition space.
Best known for playfully subversive installations and films, Superflex like to offer perspectives on the social and cultural concerns of our age such as migration, alternative energy and the power of global capital.
Also at Tate Modern, at the Level 5 Tate Exchange, you can join a ceramics factory production line. From 28 September to 8 October (Thursday to Sunday only), artist Clare Twomey will set you to work creating mould or cast jugs, teapots and flowers for Factory: The Seen and Unseen.
Witness for the Prosecution
This looks like it should be amazing. Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution is on in a unique courtroom setting inside County Hall on the South Bank (next to the London Eye). This is the first major London production of a play written by Agatha Christie to open since the 1960s.
The casting looks fantastic too with Catherine Steadman (Downton Abbey, Oppenheimer) as Romaine, Jack McMullen (Little Boy Blue, Waterloo Road, Brotherhood) is Leonard Vole, David Yelland (The Crown, Foyle’s War) is Sir Wilfrid Robarts and Roger Ringrose (Broadchurch, Mr Selfridge) is Mr Mayhew.
Leonard Vole is accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. Will he survive the shocking witness testimony? Will he be able to convince the jury of his innocence and escape the hangman’s noose?
All tickets during the preview period (6 October – 23 October) have £10 off. For the main run (to 11 March 2018), there are 100 tickets available for every performance at £25 or under. Because of the seating layout, audiences will be in the thick of the action – even in the Jury Box.
The Curve gallery at the Barbican Centre has a new commission by John Akomfrah called Purple on display from 6 October. This is his most ambitious project to date and is free to see. Purple is an immersive, six-channel video installation which charts the incremental shifts in climate change across the planet and its effects on human communities, biodiversity and the wilderness.
As the follow up to Vertigo Sea (2015), Akomfrah’s standout work at the 56th Venice Biennale, Purple forms the second chapter in a planned quartet of films addressing the aesthetics and politics of matter. Akomfrah has combined hundreds of hours of archival footage with newly shot film and a hypnotic sound score to produce the video installation.
Another reason to visit the Barbican Centre this month is to see the Michael Clark Company. The Olivier Award-nominated to a simple, rock ‘n’ roll . . . song is on 18 – 28 October in the Barbican Theatre.
This extended version of his latest show comprises a triple bill of arresting choreography. At first, a coolly refined reflection on Erik Satie and his influence on Clark’s mentors past and present. Next, commanding choreography to the punk rock of Patti Smith’s landmark album, Horses. Then, an iridescent tribute to David Bowie that is both haunting and rebellious.
Saint George and the Dragon
Making his National Theatre debut, Rory Mullarkey has created a new folk tale for an uneasy nation. Previewing from 4 October in the Olivier Theatre is Saint George and the Dragon.
John Heffernan plays Saint George; the cast also includes Paul Brennen, Richard Goulding, Tamzin Griffin, Conor Neaves, Amaka Okafor, Daniel Ryan and Grace Saif.
Into the story walks George: wandering knight, freedom fighter, enemy of tyrants the world over. One epic battle later and a nation is born. As the village grows into a town, and the town into a city, the myth of Saint George, which once brought a people together, threatens to divide them.
£15 tickets are available for every performance.
National Theatre Posters
In the Wolfson Gallery at the National Theatre from 4 October, there’s a National Theatre Posters exhibition. Curated by design critic and writer Rick Poynor, the display explores the evolution of poster design at the NT.
From 1963 to the present day, each Art Director led the theatre’s graphic design studio in creating images for posters, programmes and digital artwork. The exhibition includes original posters, interviews with past and current Art or Creative Directors and traces the changes in process, design and function over the past 50 years.
The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of related events including a curator tour on 27 October at 12-1pm.
Tower of London
Join an immersive and interactive, theatrical experience in the evening at the Tower of London with The People’s Revolt. Set in the near future, events mirror those of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 led by revolutionary Wat Tyler, when protests turned to violent revolt over taxes, austerity and unstable leadership.
The lines between history and reality blur as you find yourself at the centre of a critical moment in this nation’s past. You get to live the build-up through digital storytelling then storm the Tower and decide the fate of the nation.
Or come for a Halloween special of the ‘Drawn at the Tower’ art series. Women and Witchcraft is on 30 October, at 6.30-9pm. All artistic abilities are welcome to use drawing to explore stories from the Tower’s 1,000 year history.
Explore the dark arts through the themes of women, politics and religion, in this rare chance to spend an evening inside the walls of the Medieval Palace. Under the watchful eye of guest artist Matt Valentine, visitors will be inspired by 16th century woodcut illustrations depicting witch rituals as they sketch dramatic soundscapes, nude and costumed models.
If you would like even more ideas for this month, have a look at the Things to Do in London in October 2017 from Kensington House Hotel, our sister hotel.
2017 marks the centenary of the October Revolution, which heralded a wave of innovation and design in Russia. In the years that followed 1917, as Russia became the Soviet Union, these early experiments and diverse practices formed a new visual culture for a nation that covered one sixth of the Earth. Red Star Over Russia at Tate Modern from 8 November explores how Russian and Soviet artists created a unique visual identity over five decades, from the first revolution of 1905 to the death of Stalin in 1953.
Network at the Lyttleton Theatre is Lee Hall’s new adaptation of the Oscar-winning film by Paddy Chayefsky. The cast includes Tony award winner Bryan Cranston (All the Way, Breaking Bad and Trumbo for which he was nominated for both an Oscar and a BAFTA) in the role of Howard Beale. Network depicts a dystopian media landscape where opinion trumps fact.
Enjoy a Twilight Tour of the Tower of London on selected Sundays from 3 November to 1 April. Join the Tower’s Yeoman Warders as they lead exclusive tours of the Tower after dark. Take in world famous sights, such as Traitor’s Gate, the scaffold site and the Bloody Tower, and be appalled and amazed by tales of prisoners and past residents, of royal gossip and of the secrets kept within the ancient walls.
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<