We only have 28 days in February this year, and there is a lot to do in London in the next week, so let’s get right into it:
Through 16 April Kick it all off with a classic at a priceless venue: Othello, at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse inside Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. You’re seeing plays by candlelight next to the Thames – try and beat that for a first date.
You might have had the progressive highschool teacher that chose to teach Othello over Hamlet, or the lazy one that let your class watch the Mekhi Phifer/Julia Stiles movie O, but either way, this story is one of Bill’s best. Fear and jealousy can destroy the most intelligent of minds, rot the best of relationships, and aren’t the best personality traits in a fearless leader. Ellen McDougall’s production makes a 400 year old play relevant to the world we live in today. www.shakespearesglobe.com
Sat/Sun Feb 25/26 Electronic music master Bonobo returns with his sixth album, the mostly chilled, moody Migration and is playing a series of UK dates in support. The DJ formerly known as Simon Green is a UK favourite and loves playing the Brixton Academy, so expect enthusiastic crowds at both shows. Migration is by turns lush, melancholy, a little bit jazzy and a little bit fun – just like a good weekend. www.academymusicgroup.com/o2academybrixton/
For She Was the People’s Princess
through Summer 17 What would Britain be without Princess Diana? (Pretty fine, as it turns out, getting along just nicely, thanks.) But if you need your royalty itch scratched, and you love shoulder pads and cotton chintz, get yourself over to Kensington Palace for Diana: Her Fashion Story. Not sure the famous wedding dress will be there but lots of expensive gowns and some very complimentary Mario Testino photography will. The early days of this exhibit are already sold out, so book ahead and prepare to line up with a lot of weepy tourists and my cousin Julian. www.hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace/
Gin & Jazz at Bloom
Fri 24 Feb Gin & Jazz at Bloom Kitchen & Bar has just launched, and they want to lure you in
with amazing cocktails (there is life beyond tonic and lime) and grownup jazz. The Zena James Trio play tonight in the newly refurbished lounge, and should draw a mellow post-dining crowd from the swanky Belgo next door. The lovely James’ energy is infectious and she dips into a bit of R&B as well. Bloom, Crowne Plaza, 1 Kings Cross Rd London WC1X 9HX www.zenajames.com
Through March 5 Someone alert Tabetha from Salon Takeover, it is time for a celebration of scissors. The Cut Festival goes deeper (ouch) than just snipping and styling. They are kicking it old-skool all across East London with surgery, bloodletting and leeches. Well, just talk about those practices; unless the open bars get out of hand, you won’t see too much blood. This is an age-old profession and the barbershop a cultural mainstay, so check out the website for details. www.cutfestival.com/
Sun Feb 26 The Andrew Ridgely to Nirvana’s George Michael – no wait, that was Soundgarden, okay, reset, the Michelle Williams to Soundgarden’s Kelly Rowland to Nirvana’s Beyonce, Teenage Fanclub, whoever they are, should have been bigger. Another fan of silly comparisons Liam Gallagher once called them the second best band out there, after Oasis, of course. This was the 90s, but TF, or the Fannies as some call them, are still here, and you should go mosh with them. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 0844 477 2000 www.o2shepherdsbushempire.co.uk
Through March 12 Say it with me – “Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her father forty whacks…” or was it her mother that got forty? Either way, the axe this time around is a guitar, Lizzie is in a band, and this is a goth-rock riotgrrl musical. Can’t wait! www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk/
The Salesman, For Free!
Sun Feb 26 The Oscars are awarded in the wee hours, London time, but that gives you all day Sunday to get in a last minute viewing of a nominated film. And even better, this open-air screening is free. The City of London is welcoming all, or as many as can fit amongst the plinthes, to a screening of the Oscar-nominated (Best Foreign Language Film) The Salesman by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi in Trafalgar Square, with crowds allowed in at 3pm and the film starting, after a speech by Mayor Sadiq Khan, after 4pm. Free music as well, after the movie. Watch the sunset with a performance by Orchestra of Syrian Musicians. We suggest you get there early for the best seat on the lions. #LondonIsOpen www.london.gov.uk
A former ABC National, Dallas and Atlanta radio personality, Martina O'Boyle is now making movies and covering culture in London, Dublin, and as far in Europe as the cheapie flights will take her, for Pop Culture Beast.