Things to do in London: July edition
Stay savvy with what's on in London this month: riotous music, eye-wateringly bright art and the best summer festivals
12 – 17 July
A decent Promposal: The BBC proms
from 15 July
It's the biggest and the best-loved classical music event, opening with Elgar, through 91 concerts, to the final flourish of the last night (more Elgar here). Even the glorious space of the Royal Albert Hall can't contain the joyous celebration this year, which sees performances all over London. There's a Prom at a multi-storey carpark in Peckham which could steal the show. Also: a Bowie tribute concert, Shakespearean celebrations and romping opera from Rossini. There's bound to be something that'll make your heart sing.
My art will go on: David Hockney, 82 Portraits and 1 Still-Life, Royal Academy
2 July -
A triumphant return to the Royal Academy for 78-year old Hockney, this time with engaging portraits of his friends painted in the same chair, standing out against bright blue backgrounds. Last time Hockney came to the Royal Academy (2012) so did nearly 300,000 visitors. This year he hopes to make a bigger splash with a popular combination of celebrated artistry and celebrity sitters, including (pictured) Barry Humphries shedding his Dame Edna Everage persona.
Down the rabbit hole: Beatrix Potter’s London, V&A
28 July – August
Illustrations and artworks from one of our best-loved children's writers, Beatrix Potter. From Flopsy, to Mopsy, to Cotton Tail, the sketches of her characters look exquisite and the exhibition is bound to jog many a childhood memory. Born in Kensington, London, Beatrix Potter regularly visited her local galleries and museums - including the V&A. What more fitting location to pay tribute to the artists' relationship with London as we celebrate 150 years since her birth?
Flower Power: Georgia O’Keeffe, Tate Modern
6 July –
American artist Georgia O'Keeffe mapped the landscape of natural forms, whether the petals of a sensual flower, or the plateaus of a New Mexico desert. Expect colour, colour, colour from the beloved artist and trail-blazing feminist. This large-scale exhibition is the first extensive display of O’Keeffe’s art for 20 years- and a great chance to visit the new Tate extension.
Bright Eyes: Colour and Vision, Natural History Museum
15 July –
Did you know that dog's can't see red? The colours that exist and the fact we can see them are two evolutionary mysteries, whose histories are tightly bound together. Our complex sense of sight is packaged as a very colourful and accessible exhibition for kids and adults, with lots of interaction. And it's all colour-coordinated!
Balletic Chemistry: Natalia Osipova & Sergei Polunin, World premiere, Sadler's Wells
29 June – 3 July
The two current ballet superstars, Natalia Osipova and Sergei Polunin, bring their real life romance to the London stage for the first time. Both extravagantly gifted, they've also acquired a bit of a reputation for unreliability, so a chance to see them dance together may prove to be a bit of a rarity. Catch them if you can at Sadler's Wells.
Fiendish Film: The Neon Demon, Cinemas nationwide
8 July –
We’ve been fans of Nicolas Wending Refn since Drive, his high-octane thrill ride through the world of the getaway driver. Now the Danish director turns his attention to the offices and catwalks of high fashion, as encountered by a young model newly arrived in LA (Elle Fanning.) The trailer is a window into a saturated, luminescent otherworld where wild ambition gives way to horror and chaos. We can’t wait for the real thing.
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Peruvian Shake-up: Chicama, Chelsea
This Peruvian seafood restaurant is the baby sister of the beautiful Marylebone-based Pachamama, which serves the best of Peru from pisco to quinoa to hungry Londoners. Like the sound of crispy confit seabass rolls? Then you'll love Chicama's focus on fresh fish, inspired by the coastline of Peru. There will be no meat on the menu at all. Instead, citric cocktails and cerviche will share the limelight.