What’s on in London for February 2013

london-aboveWinter has certainly taken its grip on the country with snow all over the UK, however in central London, all though it is very cold most of the snow is cleared so getting around is no problem and there are still lots events both indoors and outdoors to enjoy. This month also sees the first Soccer final for 2013 at Wembley. Listed below are our top ten, as usual we have tried to select events to suite every one. So enjoy the month and a very happy Valentines Day for the 14th to every one.

No 1.     Feb 1st “The View from the Shard”, Joiner St, London, SE1

Opening  day the View from the Shard is a two-level deck (the first enclosed, the second partially open to the elements) on floors 68 to 72 of the Shard, offering Londoners and visitors with a good head for heights panoramic, 360-degree views across the capital and beyond (up to 64 kilometres, or 40 miles in old money, on a clear day) from 244 metres (800 feet) up; almost twice the height of any other viewing point in London. Visitors travel in high-speed lifts that take just 30 seconds to reach the ‘View’, which also features multimedia displays and installations. The experience includes tongue-in-cheek illustrations of famous Londoners past and present, including Margaret Thatcher and Karl Marx on a tandem and Vidal Sassoon and Vivienne Westwood giving Charles Ist a makeover. At ground floor level there are video screens and display panels showing digital maps of London and film footage of city life. In a decidedly upmarket twist on elevator muzak, a soaring anthem recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Joyful Company of Singers provides the soundtrack to the ascent. In the viewing galleries, digital ‘Tell:scopes’ with large touchscreens enable visitors to explore the city around them in real time, identifying famous landmarks and places of interest, as well as offering annotated alternative day and night-time views of the capital.

No 2.  Feb 1-Oct 5   “Let It Be” Savoy Theatre, The Strand, London, WC2

This show celebrating the music of the Fab Four has had some distinctly mixed reviews – perhaps reflecting the fact that it’s much closer to a tribute concert than a traditional biopic musical, à la ‘Buddy’ and ‘Jersey Boys’; or a show in which a popular group’s songs are shoehorned into a contrived storyline, à la ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Mamma Mia!’. But fans of The Beatles have still been flocking along.

No. 3.   Feb 2-Jul   “A Chorus Line” 13 London Palladium, Argyll St, W1

Now this is what you call a musical. With the recent success of ‘Crazy for You’, ‘Carousel’, ‘Top Hat’ and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, classic Broadway musicals are experiencing a real West End resurgence at the moment. And here’s something very special: a full on revival of Michael Bennett’s seminal 1975 production of the late Marvin Hamlisch’s backstage musical about dancers auditioning for… a musical. The revival is directed by Dob Avian, Bennett’s long-term collaborator and co-choreographer.

No.4. February 10th  “Chinese New Year 2013, the Year of the Snake”,

London’s Chinese New Year celebrations are the largest outside Asia. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people descend on the West End to wish each other “Kung Hei Fat Choi” (or Happy New Year). The Chinese New Year festivities begin in the morning with a parade through the West End to Trafalgar Square, where there’s an opening celebration with stage performances and special guests. A second stage on Shaftesbury Avenue hosts performances from local community groups and schools. Over the years the stage has seen fashion shows, plays and even Chinese hip-hop artists. Chinatown is at the centre of the New Year party. Food and craft stalls line the streets and a lion dance snakes through the crowds, stopping at restaurants to wish the owners good luck for the coming year.

No.5.  February 12th  “Better Bankside Pancake Day Race 2013”

Borough Market, Southwark St, London, SE1. For the annual Better Bankside Pancake Day Race, teams of four drawn from local businesses are encouraged to donate a minimum of £20 to the charity Paintings in Hospitals, which lends original works of art to UK healthcare facilities (teams can enter up until Friday February 8). The rules state: ‘Each pancake must be visibly flipped, whereby the whole pancake flips in the air,’ and competitors should be aware that ‘Marshals will advise on validity of flip by shouting your team number and the word “again” if the flip is not valid or pancake falls on the ground. Marshals cannot be argued with’ The winner is the first team past the post with more than a third of the pancake in the pan still whole. Watch the action unfold inside Borough Market, where some of the traders will be on hand with foodie treats, plus music to add to the festivities. You can get into the spirit with pancakes sold by Baxters, and the nearby Southwark Cathedral refectory usually has a special menu, too. The cathedral also presents the winners’ trophy, and as many of the teams compete with each other throughout the year in other events such as boules and quizzes, things can get quite competitive on Pancake Day.

No.6.   February 13th “Salif Keita” Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Rd, South Bank, London, SE1

The man who put Mali on the world music map with the album ‘Soro’ meshes rock, funk and jazz with the deepest West African griot traditions, mixing joyous, hi-life guitars with the finest male voice in Africa. NB: This show has been rescheduled from Nov 9; original tickets remain valid.

No.7.  February 15th  – June 15th   “The Audience “ Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1       

Following her Oscar-winning performance as Elizabeth II in 2007’s film ‘The Queen’, Helen Mirren now looks to be joining the ranks of Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench as a go-to actor for royal roles. She’s popping the crown on once again for ‘The Audience’, and enacting the imagined, weekly meetings her Maj has with the Prime Minister. For her return to the stage, Mirren is playing it safe and reuniting with Peter Morgan (the screenplay writer behind ‘The Queen’) whose new play not only conjures conversations with David Cameron, but PMs from the last 60 years of the Queen’s reign. ‘Billy Elliot’ director Stephen Daldry, fresh from overseeing the Olympic ceremonies, is directing the action. Among the rest of the cast are Haydn Gwynne, stepping into Meryl Streep’s venerable shoes as Margaret Thatcher; Robert Hardy as Churchill; Paul Ritter as John Major; Michael Elwyn as Anthony Eden; and Nathaniel Parker as Gordon Brown.

N0. 8 .   February  22nd – 24th  “One Direction” The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10

Proof that good things come to those who come third, British /Irish pretty boys and soon to be recovering alcoholics/sex addicts.

No.9.   February 23rd “ Six Nations International England vs France Rugby “  Twickenham Stadium.

See England face France in a rugby tournament that promises to be full of passion and drama.      Last season’s corresponding fixture saw England beat France in a nail-bitingly close test match at Stade de France. The two teams have played against each other 96 times, with England winning 52 matches, France winning 37 and seven draws.

No.10.   February  24th  “The Capital One Cup Trophy League Cup Final” at Wembley Stadium, Swansea v Bradord City.

The game Kicks off at 4:00 PM. For the first time in the competitions history a League two team, Bradford City, will take their place as finalists in the 2013 final. This will be a big game for both clubs and with 90,000 fans cheering this will be a very special match.


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply