The fifty best things to do in London this Spring

David Smyth, Fiona Mountford, Bruce Dessau, Ben Luke, Lyndsey Winship, Phoebe Luckhurst, Samuel fishwick, ELLEN E JONES
Spring fling: there's plenty of fun to be had this spring, from (L-R) catching an Emeli Sandé concert to watching John Boyega at the Woyzeck to wandering around the Queer British Art exhibition, which features work from David Hockney: Rohan Kelly/Newspix/REX/Yageo Foundation


C2C: Country to Country

Mar 10-12, O2 complex, SE10, (0844 824 4824,

This giant country music hoedown gets ever bigger, with events in Glasgow and Dublin as well. This year Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire and the Zac Brown Band top an extensive bill.

Emeli Sandé

Mar 21, O2 Academy Brixton, SW9, (0844 477 2000, o2academy

Having just been crowned Best British Female at the Brits for the second time, Sandé plays what is a pretty small venue for her. She’ll be back at the O2 on October 18.

Teenage Cancer Trust

Mar 27-Apr 2, Albert Hall, SW7, (0845 401 5045,

Roger Daltrey’s charity series has its 100th show this year. The Who will play Tommy twice, Ed Sheeran will be there and so will Paul Weller, the Pet Shop Boys and Johnny Marr.

Bruno Mars

Apr 18-22, O2 Arena, SE10, (0844 824 4824,

The snappy showman brings Uptown Funk and the upbeat sounds of his new album, 24K Magic, to the O2 for four nights.

Immense frame: Rag ’N’ Bone Man (Redferns)

Rag ’N’ Bone Man

Apr 19-20, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, W12, (0844 477 2000,

The big-selling new British artist attempts to fit his immense frame on to the Empire stage, with much larger shows surely still to be announced.

Bob Dylan

Apr 28-30, Palladium, W1, (0870 895 5505,; May 9, SSE Arena, Wembley, (0844 815 0815,

A month after he releases his third album on the trot of cover versions, this one a 30-track triple, Dylan brings his Never Ending Tour to a plush theatre thrice and an arena once.

Ed Sheeran

May 1-3, O2 Arena, SE10, (0844 824 4824,

If his Brit Awards performance was anything to go by, this may be the first chance to see the staunchly solo Sheeran play arena gigs with a full backing band. His third album already looks certain to be the year’s biggest seller.


May 2-4, O2 Academy Brixton, SW9 (0844 477 2000,

Sheeran’s duetting partner at the Brits is also shaping up for a massive year, having just sent his ambitious debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer, soaring up the charts.

Depeche Mode

Jun 3, London Stadium, E20, (0844 844 0444,

The veteran rockers make what is surprisingly their first UK stadium appearance since a lesser event at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in 1993.

Phil Collins

Jun 4-9, Albert Hall, SW7, (0845 401 5045,

The long-absent Eighties giant is back from retirement. He plays five nights here with his teenage son Nick on drums.

Feelgood factor: Adam Hills


Eddie Izzard

Mar 17 & 18, Soho Theatre, W1 (020 7478 0100,

Multilingual Izzard is doing three versions of his latest show Force Majeure each night — in English, German and French. Take your pick or splash out on the whole trilogy.

Josie Long

Mar 20, Duchess Theatre, WC2, (0330 333 4810,

Passionate stand-up Long merges the political and the personal in Something Better, taking stock of her life and the world around her and wondering what she can do to improve things.

Adam Hills

Mar 25 & 26, Leicester Square Theatre, WC2 (020 7734 2222,

The Australian co-host of Channel 4’s The Last Leg brings the feelgood factor to the stage in Clown Heart, suggesting that life would be much more fun if everyone had a touch of clown in them.

David Baddiel

Mar 28-Jun 3, Playhouse Theatre, WC2, (0844 871 7631,

A final run for the acclaimed My Family: Not the Sitcom, in which the candid comic talks about dementia and death. Not obvious subjects for humour, but this is both funny and moving.

Rob Beckett

Apr 1, Eventim Apollo, W6, (020 8563 3800,

Mix John Bishop’s teeth and Micky Flanagan’s everybloke persona and you’ve got Beckett — albeit a much younger version. The cheeky, chatty rising star comes of age with his biggest gig yet on April Fool’s Day in Hammersmith.

Fresh look: Queer British Art


Michelangelo & Sebastiano

Mar 15-Jun 25, National Gallery, WC2, (0800 912 6958,

A celebrated genius and his criminally underrated friend and collaborator. Sebastiano’s works, if you don’t know them, will take your breath away.

Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends

Mar 23-Jun 18, National Portrait Gallery, WC2, (020 7306 0055,

Hodgkin is not, as some think, a purely abstract artist. He says he makes “representational pictures of emotional situations”, all in alluring, richly coloured paint.

BMW Tate Live Exhibition

Mar 24-Apr 2, Tate Modern, SE1, (020 7887 8888,

Global artists stage 10 days and six nights of performance art in Tate Modern’s subterranean tanks and on its south terrace.

Queer British Art

Apr 5-Oct 1, Tate Britain, SW1, (020 7887 8888,

Fifty years on from the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales, a look at queer art in the 100 years before then, featuring Sargent and Hockney, among others.

Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic

Apr 26-Aug 28, National Gallery, WC2, (0800 912 6958,

Ofili has always had big ambitions and this is his first foray into the grand tradition of tapestry. Expect bold Trinidadian colour, myth and enchantment.

Something special: Fabric are inviting Blueprint to celebrate Easter (Sarah Ginn)



Apr 13, 77a Charterhouse Street, EC1, (020 7336 8898,

Fabric rarely invites outsiders in so when it does you know it will be special. On April 13, The Hydra brings Blueprint to the cavernous Room 1 to celebrate the Easter bank holiday.

Mr Scruff: All Night Long

March 18, 4-5 Elephant Road, SE17, (020 7703 4760,

The hyperactive Mr Scruff is popping up at Corsica Studios all night.

Tropical Disco

Apr 8, Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, E9, (020 3111 0570,

A night which promises to celebrate the immense talent and music that came out of the Caribbean, South America and Africa during the late Seventies and early Eighties.

Warm Up

May 20, Autumn Yard, E3, (0844 414 2464,

Warm Up returns to Block in Hackney, presenting headliners Guy J and dreamy German electro outfit Einmusik.


Apr 16, Tobacco Dock, E1 (020 7680 4001,

Make yours a bank holiday bender at Sidexside at Tobacco Dock: Jamie Jones, Guy Gerber and Leon Vynehall will each host a different room of Tobacco Dock for an all-day party that kicks off at midday.

Scarily funny and just plain scary: Get Out


Beauty and the Beast

Released Mar 17

The decision to cast Ewan McGregor as a French candlestick is questionable, but the enchanting power of live action Disney is not. Children (of all ages) should enjoy this update on the classic fairytale.

Get Out

Released Mar 17

Londoner Daniel Kaluuya has the starring role as a young black man whose trip to meet his white girlfriend’s parents soon turns sinister. This satire on US race relations is both scarily funny and just plain scary.

Free Fire

Released Mar 31

What is Ben Wheatley, British cinema’s most exciting talent, up to? This Seventies-set shoot-’em-up, that’s what, starring Oscar-winner Brie Larson, Wheatley-regular Michael Smiley and SS-GB’s Sam Riley.

The Handmaiden

Released Apr 14

Have you read Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith? Seen Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy? Either way you’ll understand why this 1930s Korea-set adaptation is so exciting.

Lady Macbeth

Released Apr 28

Your chance to see Florence Pugh’s Evening Standard British Film Award-winning performance is almost here. She breathes new life into the British costume drama as a young wife with murderous intentions.

Exploring conspiracy theories: the Rosie Kay Dance Company has teamed up with film-maker Adam Curtis


English National Ballet

Mar 23-Apr 1, Sadler’s Wells, EC1, (020 7863 8000,

A triple bill of 20th-century classics from the ENB, including Pina Bausch’s mighty Rite of Spring, an earthy, primal, vital and rarely seen work.


Apr 11-12, Sadler’s Wells, EC1, (020 7863 8000,

Brilliantly disorientating dance/theatre by much-lauded Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite and actor Jonathon Young. A shattering depiction of trauma and grief. One of last year’s dance highlights, back for two nights only.

MK Ultra

Apr 20, Laban, SE8 (020 8463 0100,

Award-winning Birmingham choreographer Rosie Kay collaborates with film-maker Adam Curtis on a new piece exploring conspiracy theories about drug-fuelled mind control and pop-star puppets of the illuminati.

Material Men Redux

Apr 28-29, The Place, WC1, (020 7121 1100,

An expanded version of choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh’s 2015 piece Material Men, a duet between two dancers of the Indian diaspora with starkly different dance styles — classical Indian and hip hop.

Symphonic Dances quadruple bill

May 18-31, Royal Opera House, WC2, (020 7304 4000,

A brand new one-act ballet by Liam Scarlett set to Rachmaninoff alongside a reworking of Christopher Wheeldon’s Strapless and pieces by William Forsythe and George Balanchine.

Damn fine coffee: Twin Peaks returns (Courtesy of SHOWTIME)


Better Call Saul

Netflix, Mar 27

This prequel has already proved itself both equal to and distinct from the show that spawned it. Now semi-respectable lawyer, Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) takes a few more steps towards his Saul Goodman-shaped corruption.

American Gods

Amazon Prime, May 1

This adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Hugo award-winning novel also marks the return of Deadwood’s Ian McShane to a leading TV role. He plays the mysterious Mr Wednesday.

Twin Peaks

Sky Atlantic, May 21

We won’t dare believe it until we see it with our own eyes. Still, the return of David Lynch’s cult, campy murder mystery is due at the end of May. Damn fine coffees all round.


Channel 4, Spring TBC

London’s techprenuer boom gets a fond skewering in this new series. The cast, in particular, should please comedy connoisseurs: Uncle’s Nick Helm, Babylon’s Jonny Sweet and Yonderland’s Jim Howick.

Top of the Lake: China Girl

BBC Two, Spring TBC

Detective Robin Griffin has caught a case on Sydney’s Bondi Beach. That means a move from New Zealand to Australia for Jane Campion’s eerie crime drama, as well as new cast members Nicole Kidman and Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie.

Stand-out sandwiches: Mark Ogus (left) and Owen Barratt (right) at Monty's Deli



From Monday, 74 Charlotte Street, W1, (

Best known from MasterChef, former Le Gavroche chef Monica Galetti and her sommelier husband David open in Fitzrovia.

The Cheese Bar

From Mar 23, Unit 93 and 94 Camden Market, NW1, (

Much-loved music festival staple The Cheese Truck gets permanent digs in Camden Market.

Claude Bosi at Bibendum

Late March, 81 Fulham Road, SW3, (

Doing his bit for Anglo-European relations, French chef Claude Bosi opens an “unashamedly fine dining” British restaurant at South Kensington’s iconic Michelin building.

Monty’s Deli

From April 11, 227-229 Hoxton Street, N1, (

Monty’s Deli and its stand-out sandwich menu come to Hoxton, bringing “Jewish soul food to a bricks-and-mortar site”.


Late Apr, 14-15 Henrietta Street, WC2, (

The latest hotel destination restaurant to hit London — Michelin-starred Ollie Dabbous teams up with the Experimental Group (the gang behind Experimental Cocktail Club and Joyeux Bordel).

Desire and consequences: Obsession


Angels in America

Apr 11-Aug 19, National, SE1, (020 7452 3000,

Tony Kushner’s mighty two-part American “gay fantasia on national themes” with a cast of everyone’s dreams, including Andrew Garfield and Denise Gough. Expect the year’s standout theatrical event.

The Ferryman

Apr 24-May 20, Royal Court, SW1, (020 7565 5000,

So great is the excitement surrounding this new play from Jez Butterworth, writer of the all-conquering Jerusalem, that a West End transfer has already been announced. Oscar-winner Sam Mendes, no less, directs.

The Goat

Mar 24-Jun 24, Theatre Royal Haymarket, SW1 (020 7930 8800,

How’s this for casting? Damian Lewis and the magnificent Sophie Okonedo go head-to-head in Ian Rickson’s revival of Edward Albee’s late classic about what might constitute forbidden love.


Apr 19-May 20, Barbican Theatre, EC2, (020 7638 8891,

Jude Law stars for critics’ darling director Ivo van Hove in this adaptation of the classic Italian neorealist film about uncontrolled desire and its consequences.


May 13-Jun 24, Old Vic, SE1, (0844 871 7628,

Star Wars hotshot John Boyega headlines Büchner’s elusive masterpiece, in a daring Cold War reimagining by Harry Potter playwriting wizard Jack Thorne.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes