London Zoo reopened on Monday 12 April 2021

Photographs (c) ZSL London Zoo

The ZSL London Zoo reopened on Monday 12 April, three months after it closed to the public for the third national lockdown.

Photographs (c) ZSL London Zoo

Eager visitors who secured one of the limited sold-out tickets to the reopening formed a socially-distanced queue to enter the iconic 36-acre park, before safely following one of three carefully mapped out nature routes laid out across the site and enjoying the spring sunshine.

Photographs (c) ZSL London Zoo

The Zoo is limiting visitors to ensure social distancing and are accepting pre-booked tickets only. A one-way system is in place, with three prescribed routes ensuring guests remain socially-distanced while exploring. Catering outlets are takeaway only, and all payments will be contactless. Indoor exhibits, including the Reptile House and Rainforest Life will remain closed for now.

Photographs (c) ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo Social Distancing Measures

All visitors must book tickets in advance 

Contactless entry 

Limited visitors per day, split into morning and afternoon slots 

Takeaway food only available 

2m distancing markers in place around the zoo 

Three one-way trails to keep visitors flowing in the same direction 

Handwashing facilities and sanitiser available throughout the zoo 

Outdoor benches and tables meticulously cleaned throughout the day 

Animal talks have been suspended to avoid gathering crowds 

Indoor and walkthrough exhibits such as the Reptile House will not yet be accessible to the public. 

For more information or book tickets, visit the London Zoo website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
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Royal Academy Revised Exhibition Programme 2021

The Royal Academy intends to reopen on Tuesday 18 May 2021, pending government confirmation that ‘Step 3’ of the roadmap will proceed as planned.

Following the national lockdown and temporary closure of the Royal Academy due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the exhibition programme for the remainder of 2021 has changed. Upon reopening, the Royal Academy the following programme will take place:

Exhibition Programme 2021

Tracey Emin/Edvard Munch: The Loneliness of the Soul
The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries
From reopening until 30 May 2021

Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict
The Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries
22 May – 19 September 2021

David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020
Main Galleries (Galleries 2, 3, Central Hall and Lecture Room)
23 May – 1 August 2021

The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries
8 August – 26 September 2021

Summer Exhibition 2021
Main Galleries
22 September 2021 – 2 January 2022

Late Constable
The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries
30 October 2021 – 13 February 2022

RA Schools Show 2021
RA Schools Studios and Weston Studio
17 June – 4 July 2021

EXHIBITION POSTPONEMENTS

Francis Bacon: Man and Beast
Main Galleries
Postponed until 29 January – 17 April 2022

Milton Avery
The Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries
Postponed until 16 July – 16 October 2022

Herzog & de Meuron
The Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries
Postponed. New dates to be announced in due course.

Marina Abramović
Main Galleries
Postponed until 2023. New dates to be announced in due course.

Jock McFadyen RA: Tourist without a Guidebook
The Weston Rooms
Postponed until 2022. New dates to be announced in due course.

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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The Making of Rodin at Tate Modern from 29 April to 31 October 2021

 

Tate Modern will present a major new exhibition of Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). It will show how he broke the rules of classical sculpture to create a dramatically different image of the human body, illustrating the uncertainties of the modern age. Featuring over 200 works, many of which have never been shown outside France, The Making of Rodin will offer unique insight into Rodin’s ways of thinking and making. In a unique collaboration with the Musée Rodin, Tate visitors will be able to both appreciate the originality of iconic works such as The Thinker 1881 and The Three Shades 1886 as well as make fresh discoveries that reveal how the artist transformed modern sculpture.

Although Rodin is best known for his bronze and marble sculptures, he personally only worked as a modeller, capturing movement, emotion, light and volume in pliable materials such as clay which were then cast in plaster. The Making of Rodin is the first show to focus in-depth on Rodin’s use of plaster, taking inspiration from the artist’s landmark self-organised exhibition at the Pavillon de l’Alma in 1900. It was here that Rodin made the unconventional decision to display his life’s work almost entirely in plaster, emphasising the crucial role the medium played in his career. Many of the star exhibits of 1900 such as the monumental casts of Balzac 1898 or La Meditation 1896 will be shown at Tate Modern in a rare reunion.

The exhibition will also evoke the atmosphere of the Pavillon de l’Alma, which in turn had riffed on an imaginary vision of the artist’s studio. Rather than show a workshop populated by models, carvers, casters, photographers and founders who turned Rodin’s creations and vision into traditional commercial sculptures, it foregrounded modelling and the notion of the ‘artist’s hand’ as the central drivers for Rodin’s work. A stockpile of plaster body parts on loan from the Musée Rodin will reveal how he continually experimented with fragmentation, repetition and joining existing parts in unconventional ways. Individually crafted heads, hands, arms, legs and feet allowed him to dismantle and reassemble his works time and again in countless combinations and poses. The exhibition will explore how these experiments went on to influence some of the artist’s best-known sculptures, including the newly restored plaster for The Burghers of Calais 1889 displayed as Rodin had originally intended.

The complex dynamics of Rodin’s work with different models will be considered from the perspective of some of the extraordinary women with whom he worked, including his onetime studio assistant and collaborator Camille Claudel. Rodin strongly responded to the individual character and physicality of his models. This is especially evident in his numerous portraits of the actress Ohta Hisa (1868-1945). Busts depicting Rodin’s friend and correspondent, the German aristocrat Helene Von Nostitz née Hindenburg (1878–1944), also illustrate how he embraced visible traces of his work’s creation, believing the ‘process’ to be as significant as the finished form.

Archival images, many of which Rodin chose to display alongside his plaster works at the Pavillon de l’Alma, will show how he used photography to explore combinations of forms and analyse his sculptures from multiple viewpoints. These will be joined by a series of the artist’s watercolour drawings in which he further experimented and re-worked bodily forms.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
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February 2021 Online Events at the Charles Dickens Museum

Although the museum is still closed, the Charles Dickens Museum has a couple of events for Dickens lovers in February. They feature
Happy Birthday Mr Dickens! – a special birthday celebration this Sunday with Miriam Margolyes and Lucinda Dickens Hawksley and Say Cheese! – a family exploration of Dickens’s photographs and portraits.

Photograph by Prudence Upton

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR DICKENS!

This Sunday, 7 February, actress Miriam Margolyes and writer and great-great-great granddaughter of Charles Dickens, Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, will celebrate Dickens’s birthday along with the Charles Dickens Museum. The duo will throw a birthday party – via Zoom – looking at Dickens’s novels and letters and discovering how he celebrated his birthday. Miriam will also perform some of her favourite moments from her critically acclaimed show, Dickens’s Women.

EVENT INFORMATION
Happy Birthday Mr Dickens! takes place on Sunday 7 February at 7pm GMT and is joinable from all over the world. To book, please visit here 

This is a live event. Zoom is required to take part. A link to the Zoom session will be emailed to registrants the day before the event. 

Lucinda Dickens Hawksley is an author, art historian, travel writer, public speaker and great-great-great granddaughter of Charles Dickens.

Oxford born, Miriam Margolyes is a veteran of stage and screen. Winner of the BAFTA Best Supporting Actress award in 1993 for The Age of Innocence, Best Supporting Actress at the 1989 LA Critics Circle Awards for her role in Little Dorrit and a Sony Radio Award for Best Actress in 1993 for Oliver Twist. Miriam is also a Dickens enthusiast and long-time patron and supporter of the Charles Dickens Museum.

SAY CHEESE!

A new online family session for young people aged between 11 and 14. If you think that our obsession with capturing endless images of ourselves is a modern- day phenomenon then think again! Join the Museum’s Education Team to find out more about Dickens’s preoccupation with
appearance. Investigate the Museum’s portraits and photographs, look closely at some of Dickens’ most visual character descriptions and have a go at making your very own self-portrait.

EVENT INFORMATION
Sessions run from 11am-12pm from Monday 15th February to Friday 19th February.
Tickets £5 (includes session and art pack).
To book, please visit here
Please note that an adult to be in the room throughout the session and we are not able to take bookings from adults not accompanying a young person. Zoom is required to take part. A link to the Zoom session will be emailed in advance. 

The Charles Dickens Museum is at the Bloomsbury townhouse into which Dickens moved with his young family in 1837. 48 Doughty Street, Dickens’s only surviving London house, is where Dickens wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, completed The Pickwick Papers and began Barnaby Rudge.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint at the British Museum from 22 April to 22 August 2021

The British Museum will present the first ever major UK exhibition on the life, death and legacy of Thomas Becket, whose brutal murder inside Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 was one of the defining acts of the Middle Ages in England.

Alabaster panel showing the murder of Thomas Becket. England, around 1425-50. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The exhibition entitled Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint will chart over 500 years of history, from Thomas Becket’s remarkable rise from ordinary beginnings to one of the most powerful figures in England, through to his enduring but divisive legacy in the centuries after his death. The story will be told through an array of over 100 objects brought together for the first time, including rare loans from across the UK and Europe.

Henri de Flemalle, Reliquary statue of Thomas Becket. Liège, about 1666. © The British Jesuit Province.

The exhibition marks 850 years since the former Archbishop of Canterbury was killed on 29 December 1170 in his own cathedral. The murder was possibly on the orders of his bitter rival and former friend King Henry II. News of Becket’s gruesome death sent shockwaves across Europe and is considered one of the most scandalous acts of sacrilege in English history. Within days, miracles were being attributed to Becket, many connected to the healing power of his spilt blood, which lead to his canonisation as a saint by the Pope. His martyrdom had a profound impact on the power dynamics between Church and State for hundreds of years, culminating in King Henry VIII ordering the obliteration of Becket’s legacy in 1538, calling him a traitor to the crown. Becket’s role as a key figure in major moments of European history will be traced throughout the show.

The Miracle Windows on the Southern side of Trinity Chapel at Canterbury Cathedral. Photo by DAVID ILIFF.

The exhibition’s centrepiece will be the extraordinary loan of an entire medieval stained-glass window from Canterbury Cathedral. It is one of the surviving famed Miracle Windows which were made in the early 1200s to surround Becket’s now-lost shrine in the Cathedral’s Trinity Chapel. This is the first time one of these windows has ever been lent, and the first time the glass has ever left the Cathedral, since their creation 800 years ago.

The Miracle Windows, of which 7 survive from an original series of 12, tell several of the evocative stories of miracles attributed to Becket in the three years following his death. They demonstrate his remarkable transformation from a London-born merchant’s son into the renowned miracle worker known as St Thomas of Canterbury, who is still revered by Christians today. The windows are the only known depictions of Becket’s miracle stories in any media.

Miracle window, Canterbury Cathedral, early 1200s. © The Chapter, Canterbury Cathedral.

The window coming to the British Museum, the fifth in the 12-part series, is a masterclass in medieval artistry and measures over six meters in height. The miracle stories it depicts include the healing of eyesight and the replacement of lost genitals, with the latter being the earliest known depiction of castration in medieval art. New research, recently carried out due to its removal for study prior to the exhibition, has revealed that some of the panels have been in the wrong order for centuries. They were probably mixed up during a hasty rearrangement in the 1660s and the errors were discovered after close inspection of individual pieces under a microscope. When the window is shown at the British Museum, it will be rearranged in the correct narrative order, and this will be the first time in over 350 years that visitors will be able to view these panels as they were made to be seen. It will also be the very first time the window can be seen up-close at eye-level.

Alabaster panel from an altarpiece showing Becket’s consecration as archbishop. England, first half of the 15th century. Private Collection. © Nicholas and Jane Ferguson.

Becket’s story will also be brought to life through an array of objects including precious reliquaries, jewellery, pilgrims’ badges and sculpture from the British Museum collection. Spectacular loans include objects which may have been owned by Becket himself, such as manuscripts from Trinity College and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge that he is thought to have commissioned or was given. There will also be a single surviving wax impression made from Becket’s personal seal matrix lent by the National Archives providing a tantalising glimpse of his personality. An illustrated manuscript containing John of Salisbury’s Life of St Thomas Becket from the British Library, will show visitors one of the earliest known representations of the murder.

For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Bow Street Police Museum due to open 2021

Photograph by Cristian Barnett

In early 2021, one of London’s first police stations will become the country’s newest independent museum. Bow Street Police Museum will sit inside no. 28 Bow Street, home of Bow Street Police Station and Magistrates’ Court for over a century. The ground floor cells and offices will become galleries, telling the story of the Bow Street Runners, the country’s first organised force, and the Metropolitan Police officers who walked the streets of Covent Garden in their footsteps.

Bow Street Police Museum is due to open in early 2021. It will sit within the new NoMad London Hotel, which will occupy the entire newly-restored building. The Museum will operate as an independent charity supported initially by the owners of the building, the Sydell Group, but eventually becoming self-sufficient.

Photograph by Cristian Barnett

The Museum will be filled with stories of investigations, arrests and justice being served, from 18th century crime fighting to the moment the police station closed its doors in 1992, followed by the court in 2006. Along the way, it will explore Bow Street’s unique role in police, law and social history and the workings of the first Metropolitan Police station. And as well as telling the stories of the historic, sometimes infamous, trials heard at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, the Museum will also instigate discussions about many aspects of police history, modern policing and social justice.

Photograph by Cristian Barnett

Among the collections to be displayed will be the original dock from Court no. 2; early equipment used by the Bow Street Runners on patrol, including an original cutlass, a specially-made replica Runners uniform (featuring blue double-breasted coat, blue trousers, black felt hat, black boots and the red waistcoat that earned early officers the nickname ‘robin red breasts’); a beautiful reproduction of a collection of sketches by court artist William Hartley; and personal effects from former officers, including beat books, truncheons and items from their time on duty at Bow Street. Visitors will also be invited to spend time in ‘the tank’, the large cell that was often the destination
for men arrested for drunken behaviour in public.

Photograph by Cristian Barnett

In 1881, a new police station and courthouse opened in Covent Garden. For the next century and beyond, the building was a hive of activity and Metropolitan Police officers patrolled the streets, dealing with everything that came their way. People came in and out of the main station door all day and night, and officers took calls from the public, sent colleagues to incidents, interviewed suspects,
completed paperwork and oversaw prisoners.

People arrested by police officers at Bow Street were held overnight and tried at the Magistrates’ Court next door. The Court held a unique status that enabled it to deal with extradition proceedings, terrorist offences and cases related to the Official Secrets Act. This brought a string of notable cases to Bow Street, including IRA terrorist cases and the extradition cases against the former dictator of
Chile, General Augusto Pinochet. The Museum will share the tales of many of those who found themselves up before Bow Street’s judges, including the Kray Twins, Dr Crippen, Oscar Wilde and suffragettes Sylvia and Christabel Pankhurst and Mrs Drummond.

The Museum will also trace the life and times of Covent Garden, exploring how the market, theatreland, shops, bars, restaurants intertwined with Bow Street. Given their location, officers devoted much of their time to working closely with the hundreds of traders that filled Covent Garden’s fruit, vegetable and flower market, and sharing the time of day – and a cup of tea if they were in luck – with locals.

VISITOR INFORMATION

Venue: Bow Street Police Museum, 28 Bow Street, London WC2E 7AW
Admission: Entrance: £6.00; Concessions: £4.50 / £3.00; Children under 12 and carers: free
Opening: For the first six months we will operate three days a week Fri- Sun, 11.00 – 16.30

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review: Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace at The Queen’s Gallery from 4 December 2020 to January 2022

The Queen’s Gallery in London presents a new exhibition that includes a series of stunning paintings recognised as among the highlights of the Royal Collection, the exhibition includes works by Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Van Dyck and Canaletto. The exhibition entitled Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace brings together 65 of the most treasured paintings that usually hang in the Picture Gallery, one of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace.

The exhibition gives visitors a unique opportunity to view these world-renowned paintings in a modern gallery setting, away from the interiors of Buckingham Palace, allowing visitors the chance to enjoy each painting close up.

The exhibition is organised by school, with groupings of Italian, Dutch and Flemish paintings. In the Dutch room there are a series of works created in the Low Countries between 1630 and 1680, during the Dutch Golden Age, includes Johannes Vermeer’s ‘The Music Lesson’, early 1660s; Gerrit Dou’s The Grocer’s Shop, 1672; A Woman at her Toilet, 1663, by Jan Steen; and Pieter de Hooch’s Cardplayers in a Sunlit Room, 1658. These depictions of everyday life are considered some of the finest works of the period with their remarkable detail and use of light and space

Artists from the Low Countries also produced works from the more traditional branches of art, such as narrative paintings, portraits and landscapes. The exhibition includes In Milkmaids with Cattle in a Landscape, c.1617–18, Sir Peter Paul Rubens, while working in Rubens’ studio in 1618–19, the young Sir Anthony van Dyck produced Christ Healing the Paralytic.

Some of the highlights of the exhibition are portraits by Dutch artists including Rembrandt van Rijn and Frans Hals. Frans Hals’ Portrait of a Man, 1630, conveys a dynamic sense of movement, Rembrandt uses all his skills on his ‘The Shipbuilder and his Wife’, 1633 and Portrait of Agatha Bas, 1641.

The exhibition includes paintings created in Italy over a period of 200 years, landscapes range from Gaspard Dughet’s Seascape with Jonah and the Whale, c.1654, to Claude Lorrain’s Harbour Scene at Sunset, 1643. A series of work by Canaletto transports the viewer to the beauty of Venice.

Other Italian works include the more classical approaches of Guido Reni’s Cleopatra with the Asp, 1628, Parmigianino’s Pallas Athene, 1535, Titian’s Madonna and Child in a Landscape with Tobias and the Angel, c.1537, and Cristofano Allori’s Judith with the Head of Holofernes, 1613.

This fascinating exhibition been made possible by the removal of the paintings from the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace during the overhaul of the Palace’s essential services. It is perhaps a once in a lifetime chance of really getting close to some of the most remarkable paintings in the Royal Collection. The collection is quite eclectic which provides plenty of interest and the Dutch and Flemish paintings in particular offer a great insight into a period of great economic growth in the Low Countries.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or book tickets, visit the Royal Collection website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Tracey Emin / Edvard Munch: The Loneliness of the Soul at the Royal Academy from 7 December 2020 to 28 February 2021

The Royal Academy of Arts will present a landmark exhibition bringing together for the first time the work of acclaimed British artist Tracey Emin RA (b.1963) and the Norwegian Expressionist Edvard Munch (1863-1944), two internationally renowned artists born 100 years apart. Long fascinated and inspired by Edvard Munch’s work, Tracey Emin will choose a selection of his masterpieces to accompany her own works.

The exhibition will feature around 25 works by Emin, including paintings, some of which will be on display for the first time, as well neons and sculpture. These have been chosen by Emin to sit alongside a carefully considered selection of 19 oil paintings and watercolours by Munch, drawn from the collection and archives of the Munch Museet in Oslo, Norway. The exhibition will interweave the works of both artists across all three galleries, demonstrating that Emin and Munch, though separated by time and history, they explore the same emotional landscape.

In her formative years as an artist, Emin was drawn to the expressionism of paintings by both Edvard Munch and Egon Schiele, their concerns in exploring the complex human condition and tortured psyche. In particular, Munch’s confrontation and exploration of emotions in his work had an enduring appeal to Emin, who saw him as ‘a friend in art’, and as early as 1982 was directly referencing the artist in her work.

The Loneliness of the Soul will focus on themes of grief, loss and longing. Emin has focused on a group of Munch’s works which explore his complex relationship with the female sex. Early tragic events including the death of his mother when he was only five years old, followed a few years later by his beloved sister, and then a series of doomed love affairs, all contributed to this uneasy connection. The works on display highlight his fascination with the depiction of women, their emotional states and the process of ageing.

This selection will include well-known works such as The Death of Marat, 1907. Referencing the subject of Jacques-Louis David’s famous painting of 1793 which bears the same title, Munch may have been considering his legacy in addition to exploring traditional complex attitudes towards women. The revolutionary Marat was murdered by Charlotte Corday, who feared he would incite a civil war in France. History presents Marat as a hero and Corday as a traitor. The subject and history’s reading of it had resonance for Munch who had just undergone a painful breakup with a woman he had been engaged to for a number of years, a trauma that was to haunt him throughout his life, and of which many expressions can be detected in his work.

This sense of personal disclosure and an intimate exploration of the body as a battleground is equally recognisable in works by Emin, for example in the deeply expressionistic It – didnt stop – I didnt stop, 2019. Like Munch, Emin is also unafraid to examine the impact of events in her own life through her work. Paintings such as You were here like the ground underneath my feet and Because you left, both 2016, , explore the complex emotions regarding loss and longing. Indeed, Emin’s paintings have long been a compellingly powerful expression of her inner life and psychological state.

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Christmas at Charles Dickens Museum 2020

One of the highlights of Christmas in London is a visit the Charles Dickens Museum at no. 48 Doughty Street, Dickens’s only surviving London house. The Museum carries on the traditional Dickensian Christmas with holly and ivy decking the halls, beautiful Victorian decorations throughout the house and a whole host of other festive surprises.

One hundred and seventy-seven years ago, in November 1843, Charles Dickens was writing A Christmas Carol, a book that changed Christmas. Since 1843, the book has never been out of print and remains firmly fixed as an important ingredient of Christmas.

With pandemic restrictions in place, the Christmas celebrations at the Charles Dickens Museum this year will be very different with limited access to no. 48 Doughty Street and a special set of online events celebrating Dickens and Christmas.

48 Doughty Street is the London residence where Dickens wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, completed The Pickwick Papers and began Barnaby Rudge. As well as the historic rooms and the collections that feature throughout, the current exhibition Technicolour Dickens: The Living Image of Charles Dickens brings visitors closer than ever before to the real Charles Dickens. It reveals Dickens as he actually was, explores the enduring power of his image and culminates in a new, vivid suite of colour photographic portraits.

From Thursday 3 December, it is hoped that visitors to the Museum will follow in Dickens’s footsteps as they savour the sights, sounds and scents of the rooms where he lived and worked.

As the house is dressed for Christmas, the Museum will also display a number of previously unseen items from its collection, which both underline Dickens’s love of the season and also act as a progress report on the writing of A Christmas Carol.

SPECIAL EVENTS FOR CHRISTMAS 2020

Lucinda Hawksley on Dickens and Christmas

Join Lucinda Dickens Hawksley and discover what Christmas was really like in the 19th century. Find out how Charles Dickens and his own family celebrated Christmas, and how Dickens’s stories helped to influence the way we celebrate today. Using the research for her book, Dickens and Christmas, Lucinda will talk about the ways in which the festive season changed during her great-great-great-grandfather’s lifetime – from 1812-1870 – and how his Christmas writing captured the public imagination, and began a renewed fervour for all things Christmas.

Date: Sunday 13th December; 5.30pm; £8; Via Zoom.

Christmas Housemaid Tour

Step back in time to Christmas 1838; Dickens and his young family are out enjoying the festivities and during their absence, the housemaid is up to no good…While they are attending a Christmas Ball at the home of Ms Burdett-Coutts, their housemaid takes a break from her many duties and invites you to step through the original door of 48 Doughty Street and discover the secrets of the esteemed young writer and his growing family. Follow in the footsteps of the celebrated young author as you enjoy an exclusive tour of Dickens’s ‘house in town’ filled with festive greenery and authentic Victorian fayre.

Date: Tuesday 15th December 7pm and Sunday 19th December 11am & 4pm; £12; Via Zoom followed by live Q&A.

Dominic Gerrard’s A Christmas Carol

Experience this celebrated production of A Christmas Carol online from inside Dickens’ London home. Filmed this year by candlelight, this beautiful, haunting, adaptation will follow Scrooge through the very rooms where Dickens lived and wrote. Featuring puppetry and a Christmas soundscape, this magical, site-specific performance will transport you through a shifting scenery of decorated spaces, as Scrooge travels with the ghosts that have been sent to reclaim him. According to Dickens’s great-great-great-granddaughter, Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, ‘It’s the perfect way to begin your Christmas’.

Dates: Thursday 17th December 7pm, Sunday 20th December 2pm and Thursday 31st December 7pm; £15; Via Zoom Includes Pre-recorded performance and live Q&A

A Dickens Family Christmas

A family Zoom call with a difference. Join the extended Dickens family as they share memories from generations past and discuss all the vital ingredients of a Dickens family Christmas. We’ll learn which Victorian traditions have stood the test of time and the modern traditions that have been adopted by the family. The event includes a bonus as the family shows how to blend the perfect Smoking Bishop.

Date: Tuesday 22nd December; 7.30pm; £15; Via Zoom Live

Unabridged A Christmas Carol by Dominic Gerrard

Join us on Zoom for a special live reading of Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol. No cuts and no revisions! Every beat of Scrooge’s Christmas will be told as Dickens first conceived it, in the winter of 1843. Read in real time, by acclaimed actor Dominic Gerrard, this story will haunt your house pleasantly as you sit by the fire; wrap presents; or make your last-minute Christmas preparations! Book early for this rare chance to experience the full magic and power of Dickens’ words and their bright, cheerful influence on all of us.

Date: Wednesday 23rd December; 3-7pm; Pay What You Can – Tickets from £10; Via Zoom live

MUSEUM INFORMATION

The Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX
Opening hours: 10am to 5pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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The Royal Opera House 2020 festive highlights for live audiences

The Royal Opera House has announced a packed schedule of Christmas treats that includes festive highlights from both The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera.

The Royal Ballet’s much-loved production of The Nutcracker returns to the ROH stage, in a COVID-safe restaging of Peter Wright’s celebrated two-act production. Opening on Friday 11 December and running until Sunday 3 January there will be 17 magical performances, with tickets available to purchase from Tuesday 1 December. Enjoy the much-loved elements of this cherished classic, from the magical growing Christmas tree, to the enchanting Dance of the Snowflakes and spectacular duet with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince in the Kingdom of Sweets.

New for The Royal Ballet’s 2020 production is a battle scene between the Nutcracker, the Mouse King and their armies, choreographed by Will Tuckett. Combined with Tchaikovsky’s score, performed live by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, and charming designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman, this classic ballet is not to be missed.

Leading up to this festive treat, The Royal Ballet invites audiences to watch the dancers in a special filmed Insight of The Nutcracker in Rehearsal via the Royal Opera House YouTube channel on Tuesday 1 December at 7pm GMT. This streamed event is part of the Royal Opera House digital Insights programme.

In addition, The Royal Opera presents four performances of a sparkling Christmas Concert on 18, 19 and 20 December. The festive staging will include extracts from fairy-tale opera favourites including Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella) and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, as well as rousing tunes from Royal Opera repertory classics including Puccini’s La bohème, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols to bring out the full seasonal spirit.

Soloists Jennifer Davis, Hanna Hipp, Jeremy White and Roderick Williams perform, as well as Stephanie Wake-Edwards and Dominic Sedgwick, with the combined forces of the Royal Opera Chorus, Jette Parker Young Artists and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in this wonderful Yuletide celebration.

Christmas at a glance:

The Royal Opera: Christmas Concert

18, 19, 20 December 7pm GMT

20 December 3pm

Livestream Friday 18 December 7pm GMT, £10

Tickets: £4 to £75

The Royal Ballet, The Nutcracker

11, 12, 13, 19, 21, 22, 23, 29, 30, 31 December, 1, 2, 3 January 2pm GMT

15, 16, 17 December 7pm GMT

24 December 12pm GMT

Casting to be announced in due course.

Tickets: £5 – £100

Royal Opera House Insight – The Nutcracker in Rehearsal

Streamed event.

Tuesday 1 December 7pm GMT

Free to watch online via http://www.youtube.com/royaloperahouse

For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

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