Culture

The best things to do in London this week

What to do, see, eat and drink in the capital

London is packed to the rafters with fantastic exhibitions, talks, plays and events. Here’s everything you need to know about the best things to do in London this week, including the chance to win a Maurice Lacroix watch, and a new dedicated manga exhibition at the British Museum.

Hackett London celebrate 150 years of polo

Ever since Lieutenant Joseph Sherer first witnessed a game of ‘pulu’ in Manipur in 1859, polo has been integral to the British Army’s heritage. This week Hackett London is staging an exhibition at Christie’s celebrating the 150 year history of polo in the British Army, featuring a series of specially commissioned photos created by Uli Weber, as well as images by people like the official British Army Polo Team photographer Sam Churchill, and Abi Hancock. And not only are the images available to view at Christie’s this week, but they’re also available to buy, with all proceeds going to the UK Armed Forces Polo Association charity.

Exhibition available to view at Christie’s, The Duke Street Gallery, 8 King’s Street, London SW1Y 6QT

Manga at the British Museum

This week, the British Museum’s largest exhibition of manga ever held outside Japan is opening. A craft that started with the 19th-century artist Katsushika Hokusai’s drawings of people, animals and nature, manga is now a multi-million-pound industry that stretches around the globe. The exhibition explores the history, art and culture of manga – which means ‘pictures run riot’ – from its origins as traditional brush art, to the present day.  There’s a rendering of the oldest surviving manga bookshop in Tokyo, you can be ‘manga-fied’  in a photo booth, and see the  work of artists like Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy and Princess Knight) and Fujio Akatsuka (Eel Dog).

From 23 May to 26 August 2019, Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, britishmuseum.org

Food: Bigger Than The Plate at the V&A

The V&A’s latest in-depth exhibition explores what we’ll be eating in 50 years’ time. From edible plastic and insect sausages, to farming by AI, it examines the technology that’ll shape our dinners in the decades to come, as well as investigating the cultural and community shifts of mindset that will have to happen to make sure we all have a more sustainable and fair food future. You can even sample part of the exhibition itself in the V&A’s cafe, where oyster mushrooms are being grown from used coffee beans, and served up on the menu.

Until 20 October 2019, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL, vam.ac.uk

Maurice Lacroix’s #TimeCode game

What would you do to win a Maurice Lacroix watch? This week all you’ll have to do is get out and explore the city. The watch brand’s new #TimeCode game is simple: collect as many time credits as you can by searching all the hidden corners of your city, as well as the hidden-in-plain-sight places too (like 439938877, say). All you need to do is stay tuned to the dedicated website, and between five and 10 different time codes will appear at a different location every day for eight days – clues will also appear on the brand’s social media feeds, too. You then just need to hunt them down and activate them on your smartphone. The winner will be the person who has collected the most time codes by the end of the game, and will receive one of the first models from a new limited edition collection of Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer watches, custom-designed for the occasion. On your marks…

Play at timecode.mauricelacroix.com

Zero waste Sunday lunches for Great Ormond Street Hospital

Chef Atul Kochhar is passionate about two things: helping Great Ormond Street Hospital, and reducing food waste. He’s combined these two goals with a series of three-course, zero-waste Sunday lunches that kick off on 26 May, with all proceeds going to the children’s hospital. Dishes will revolve around off-cuts from Kanishka, Kochhar’s celebrated Mayfair restaurant, which are recreated into delicious dishes that have all of the chef’s signature flair with flavours, without the waste.

£25 per person, starts 26 May, Kanishka, 17-19 Maddox Street, London W1S 2QH, eventbrite.co.uk

Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School at the Mosaic Rooms

Mohamed Melehi is one of Morocco’s foremost modernist painters. This week marks the start of a two month-long exhibition of his work at the Mosaic Rooms, in which some of his key works of painting, photography and graphic design from the 1950s-80s are displayed. As a cornerstone of postcolonial Moroccan – and wider Maghreb – art, Melehi’s pieces are shown alongside some previously unseen archive material from the radical Casablanca Art School, which combined the teachings of Bauhaus with the abstraction of traditional Islamic designs to make highly politicised art. A fascinating glimpse into an art world that doesn’t usually get much air time in the Western world.

Until 22 June at Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, Kensington, London SW5 0SW, mosaicrooms.org

All My Sons

Not one but four big names headline Jeremy Herrin’s production of All My Sons at the Old Vic. Starring two-time Oscar winner Sally Field, Bill Pullman, Jenna Coleman and Colin Morgan, it’s party of London’s on-going Arthur Miller season. With a spate of four and five star reviews, it’s well worth adding to your must-see list. If you want a deeper dive, then take a look at our Colin Morgan interview.

Until 8 June, The Cut, Lambeth, London SE1 8NB, oldvictheatre.com

Pissarro at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Head down to leafy Dulwich this week to catch a glimpse of Camille Pissarro’s painting of Dulwich College. Founded in 1619 by actor Edward Alleyn, the school’s New College, which was completed by architect Charles Barry Junior in 1870, was painted by the French impressionist a year later. On loan from the Fondation Bemberg, Toulouse, the exhibition is its first return to Dulwich since it was painted, to mark the 400 year anniversary of the school.

Until 4 August, Gallery Road, Dulwich, London SE21 7AD, dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

H&M Home on Regent Street

H&M Home’s first ever standalone store has just opened on Regent Street – and with a gargantuan 700 square metres of floor space over two storeys, its sheer size is as bold as the designs it sells. As well as the usual cushions, candles and throws, the concept shop also sells furniture (we suggest you take a look at the co-ordinating rattan chairs and occasional tables) and has an in-store organic cafe (in collaboration with It’s Pleat), florist and exhibition space in partnership with Christie’s. Considering this new store plays neighbour to Cos, Arket and Weekday, only an Ikea could make Regent Street even more Swedish right now. 

208 Regent Street, London W1B 5BD, hm.com

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition at the Design Museum

It’s been touring for 15 years, but Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition has finally landed in the city the visionary director called home. The exhibition explores his unique creative process as filmmaker, as well as giving visitors insight into how he created such genre-defining films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining and A Clockwork Orange. Want to prep before your visit? We went behind the scenes with curator Adrienne Groen to discover more about his life and work.

Until 15 September, designmuseum.org

William Eggleston: at the David Zwirner gallery

If that isn’t enough the assuage your thirst for classic cars, then Willam Eggleston’s 2 ¼ collection of photographs certainly will. Eggleston, who pioneered the use of colour photography as an art form, took the images – which are largely of cars – using 2.25-inch square negatives (hence the name), in 1977 in California and the American South. The resulting images are vibrant and sun-lit, but yet imbued with poignancy – they provide a snapshot into a distinct American landscape and character that, while still remaining strong, was being challenged by wider cultural changes.

Until 1 June, 24 Grafton St, Mayfair, London W1S 4EZ, davidzwirner.com

In and Out of Warhol’s Orbit: Photographs by Nat Finkelstein at Proud Central

Nat Finkelstein spent three years photographing the revolving cast of models, musicians and hangers-on who populated Andy Warhol’s Factory in the Sixties. The series, In and Out of Warhol’s Orbit, now showing at Proud Central, provides a fascinating snapshot into life in the Factory, and showcases Warhol at both work and play – the centre of the world that everyone wanted to be a part of.

Until 26 May, 2 John Adam Street, Charing Cross, London WC2N 6BP, proudonline.co.uk

Chihuly: Reflections On Nature at Kew Gardens

Kew is great at all times of year, but never more so than in the spring. Head down this week to soak up both the new season blooms, and some awe-inspiring glass sculptures from artist Dale Chihuly. You’ll recognise his work from previous installations at places like the V&A, where his large sculpture of twisting glass tendrils dominates the entrance hall. His large-scale amorphous creations in vivid primary colours will be dotted throughout Kew’s extensive gardens until the autumn. 

Until 27 October, Kew Gardens, Richmond TW9 3AB, kew.org

Underbelly Festival

Back for its 11th year, the extensive Underbelly Festival is returning to the Southbank for five months of comedy, cabaret, concerts and live podcast recordings. There’s something on the bill for everyone, but The Jackal’s picks are a first look at Stephen K. Amos’s new stand-up show Bouquets and Brickbats, and The Thinking Drinkers’s intoxicating bar-hop through history.

Until 29 September 2019, underbellyfestival.com

Toast at The Other Palace Theatre

Based on everyone’s favourite literary chef, Nigel Slater’s, autobiography, Toast, this new play tells the story of his childhood in suburban England through the tastes and smells he grew up with. Fresh off a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the play’s a must-watch for even the most casual foodie. Even better, the audience will be invited to try tastes from Slater’s childhood throughout the play.

Until 3 August 2019, The Other Palace Theatre, 12 Palace St, Westminster, SW1E 5JA lwtheatres.co.uk

Renaissance Nudes at the Royal Academy

In their 1989 screenprint Do Women Have to be Naked to Get into the Met. Museum? Guerrilla Girls pointed out that 85 per cent of the nudes in that illustrious US gallery were female. Thirty years on, the Royal Academy of Arts is hitting gender parity, when it comes to nudity on canvas at least, with their Renaissance Nudes exhibition. A truly egalitarian celebration of the human form as captured in art in Europe between 1400 and 1530, this exhibition tracks the classical influence on Western art in this period, and offers an insight into a visual tradition that became central to the European aesthetic.

Until 2 June, Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 0BD, royalacademy.org.uk