Laura Linney

After a previous sell-out run, three-time Academy Award and four-time Tony nominee Laura Linney is returning to The Bridge Theatre in My Name is Lucy Barton. The 26 performances begin on 23 January and end on 16 February 2019. Based on Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout’s best-selling short novel the play is a haunting dramatic monologue.

Unsteady after an operation, Lucy Barton wakes to find her mother sitting at the foot of her bed. She hasn’t seen her in years, and her visit brings back to Lucy her desperate rural childhood and her escape to New York. As she begins to find herself as a writer, she is still gripped by the urgent complexities of family life.

My Name is Lucy Barton - Bridge Theatre

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett is making her National Theatre debut in When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other (Twelve Variations on Samuel Richardson’s Pamela) from 16 January 2019. She’s performing alongside Stephen Dillane who is returning to the National Theatre for the first time since The Coast of Utopia in 2002.

Using Richardson’s novel as a provocation, six characters act out a dangerous game of sexual domination and resistance. Martin Crimp’s play breaks through the surface of contemporary debate to explore the messy, often violent nature, of desire and the fluid, complicated roles that men and women play.

When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other - National Theatre

Aspects of Love

Aspects of Love is transferring to the Southwark Playhouse for a limited season from 7 January to 9 February 2019.

2019 marks 30 years since the original production of Aspects of Love first opened, premiering at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1989. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black and Charles Hart and based on the novel by David Garnett, the musical is set in France in 1947 and features the iconic songs Love Changes Everything, Seeing Is Believing and First Man You Remember.

While English student Alex Dillingham is travelling through France before his call-up, he falls in love with the alluring actress Rose Vibert. Rose joins Alex at his uncle’s villa. As the pair embark on a passionate affair, the unexpected arrival of Uncle George changes their lives forever. From the cobbled streets of Paris to the mountains of the Pyrenees, Aspects of Love is a heartbreaking love story spanning twenty years.

Aspects of Love - Southwark Playhouse

Gary Numan

On 16 January 2019, at the Royal Festival Hall, hear from electro pioneer Gary Numan in Conversation as he reviews his monumental career.

Numan’s influence has been recognised by an array of the world’s greatest artists – from Prince to Lady Gaga, Jack White to Kanye West, and The Foo Fighters to Nine Inch Nails. Many of these world-class musicians have collaborated with Numan and covered or sampled tracks from his vast back catalogue.

Gary Numan

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory opens at Tate Modern on 23 January 2019. This is the first major exhibition of Pierre Bonnard’s work since the show at Tate 20 years ago. It includes major works from public and private collections around the world and celebrates the achievements of this innovative and much-loved French painter, as well as reasserting his position as one of the greatest colourists of the early twentieth century.

This exhibition allows new generations to discover Bonnard’s unconventional use of colour while surprising those who think they already know him. The exhibition concentrates on Bonnard’s work from 1912, when colour became a dominant concern, until his death in 1947.

Pierre Bonnard - Window Open on the Seine (Vernon) 1911-12

Pierre Bonnard – Window Open on the Seine (Vernon) 1911-12

Royal Academy

“He has been here and fired a gun” is a special display in the Collection Gallery at the Royal Academy.

The Royal Academy is reuniting works by two of the RA Schools’ most illustrious graduates, J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) and John Constable (1776-1837), in a re-telling of one of the most legendary events in the history of the Summer Exhibition.

On the eve of the Summer Exhibition 1832, Academicians gathered for Varnishing Day, an opportunity to make last minute revisions to their artworks. When Turner saw his cool-toned seascape Helvoetsluys hung next to Constable’s scarlet-flecked Thames scene The Opening of Waterloo, Turner allegedly added a small dab of red paint to his canvas, which he then converted into an image of a buoy floating in the sea. His intention, seemingly, was to suggest by the nonchalant addition of this one pictorial detail that Constable’s painting, traversed by swathes of scarlet paint, was unnaturally ruddy in character. This is a judgement that later critics and even film-makers (such as Mike Leigh in Mr Turner, 2014), have tended to support. By reuniting both pictures in the newly inaugurated Collection Gallery, the RA invites visitors to make up their own minds regarding the relationship between the two rivals.

The Collection Gallery is free to visit, and the Turner and Constable paintings are on display from 12 January to 31 March 2019.

Royal Academy

Collection Gallery, Royal Academy

London Art Fair

If these art exhibitions inspire you, why not consider buying something for your own personal collection? London Art Fair returns to the Business Design Centre from 16 to 20 January 2019 to open the international art calendar. The annual Fair connects both seasoned and aspiring collectors with the best galleries from around the world, providing them with a unique opportunity to discover exceptional modern and contemporary art, from prints and editions to major works by internationally renowned artists.

It brings together more than 100 exhibiting galleries to showcase museum-quality contemporary artworks from the early 20th century to today’s leading artists. There are also a number of curated spaces such as Photo50, the Fair’s annual exhibition of contemporary photography, and Art Projects showcasing the freshest contemporary art from across the globe.

Andy Warhol, Ingrid Bergman with Hat, 1983, Courtesy of Gormleys Fine Art (1)

Andy Warhol, Ingrid Bergman with Hat, 1983, Courtesy of Gormleys Fine Art

English National Ballet

Following performances of Manon and Swan Lake on tour, English National Ballet is presenting both productions at the London Coliseum in January 2019.

Beloved for its superb dancing, beautiful sets and Tchaikovsky’s glorious music, played live by English National Ballet Philharmonic, Derek Deane’s Swan Lake is a thrill for the dedicated fan or first-time ballet-goer.

From 3 to 13 January 2019, be captivated by the romance of Prince Siegfried’s love for the Swan Queen Odette, and the drama of their battle against the evil sorcerer Rothbart; and fall for the magnificent sight of ballerinas in white tutus moving in unison: one of ballet’s most iconic images.

Then from 16 to 20 January 2019, get swept up in the romantic tragedy of Manon – a breathtaking journey of love, decadence and passion. In a world where extravagant riches and abject poverty exist side by side, young and naïve Manon is caught in-between. She falls in love with a penniless student but is lured into becoming the mistress of a rich gentleman. English National Ballet’s production of Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet features compelling characters, gasp-inducing love duets and larger than life scenes, all set to a haunting score by Jules Massenet, played live by English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Act II during English National Ballet's dress rehearsal of Swan Lake at the Coliseum Theatre. Photo: Arnaud Stephenson.

Act II during English National Ballet’s dress rehearsal of Swan Lake at the Coliseum Theatre. Photo: Arnaud Stephenson.

Even More

If you would like even more ideas for this month, do have a look at last month’s recommendations as many are still valid for January too.


Barbican OpenFest: Art 50 takes place on Saturday 23 February 2019. It’s a day of free activities showcasing works created as part of Art 50, a collaboration between Sky Arts, the Barbican, Sage Gateshead and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts. It includes music, theatre and dance, spoken word, films, workshops and visual art displays.

Tears for Fears had to postpone their sold out UK & Ireland arena tour in 2018 so the band are now stopping at The O2 on Wednesday 6 February 2019.

Home, I’m Darling is moving from the National Theatre to the West End. It’s on at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 26 January until 13 April 2019.

Cutty Sark, one of the world’s most famous ships, the last surviving tea clipper and the fastest and greatest of her time is marking its 150th anniversary in 2019. To celebrate this landmark occasion, Cutty Sark will be hosting a range of special events throughout the year, including concerts, theatre and poetry performances relating to her impressive career, her Victorian maritime heritage and historic connections to China, Australia and the rest of the world. The Cutty Sark 150 celebrations start in February 2019.

And the London Classic Car Show is on at ExCeL London from 14 to 17 February 2019. The Grand Avenue is a spectacular roadway through the centre of the venue where you can see your favourite cars in action. It’s a great event for car memorabilia and to see displays of the most prestigious vintage cars.


Do check out the latest offers as London Bridge Hotel has weekend rates from as low as £99. And when you can’t be at the hotel, you can try making the Quarter Bar’s cocktails with these recipes.

Laura Porter writes and contributes to many other publications while maintaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on Twitter as @AboutLondon, on Instagram as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as AboutLondonLaura.

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