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The Hayward Gallery has re-opened after two years of closure for a refurbishment. Except on the top floor, which now has those conical skylights in place that Henry Moore recommended be put in at the beginning. Now they are in at last, and we have the beneficence of natural light streaming down – which is a welcome addition.
Kathy Burke directs this second major production in the year long celebration of Oscar Wilde's work that Dominic Dromgoole and his new company Classic Spring are bringing to the West End. Like their version of A Woman of No Importance, which kicked off the season, this revival helps to rejuvenate the play by some sparky casting and by pouring real feeling into the creaky melodramatic conventions from which Wilde, in his first West End foray, was unable to free himself. If Lady Windermere's Fan is not as good a play, it similarly demonstrates the author's shrewd empathy for the position of women and for the sacrifices and accommodations forced on them by polite society.
Was there really much in common between that consummate, wax-moustachioed showman Salvador Dali and the cerebral, secretive Marcel Duchamp, founding father of conceptual art, and inventor of the idea of the ready-made? Things will be a little easier next year, when the Royal Academy finally expands into the space once occupied by the old Museum of Mankind on its 250th birthday.
English National Ballet's Romeo and Juliet is full of things that don't fit. Rudolf Nureyev's production has bright ideas that don't find satisfying theatrical shape, while this revival has been squeezed onto the ballet-unfriendly stage of the Royal Festival Hall. The revival marks the 40th anniversary of Nureyev's 1977 staging.
Just as the Park Theatre is presenting the posthumous premiere of Kevin Elyot's play Twilight Song, the King's Head offers us the first London revival of the dramatist's debut piece, originally seen at the Bush in 1982. Adam Spreadbury-Maher's production headlines the theatre's 2017 Queer Season.
This huge show is both a visual presentation and a densely worked, heavily documented argument. It is the story of the emergence of the black art of America during the fraught, politically contested era of 1963 and on. It takes in movements, key historical moments across the nation – the death of Martin Luther King (his soaring voice greets us as we walk into the first room), the Watts riots in Los Angeles, the emergence of the Black Panthers – and it shows us the art which emerged as a direct consequence of the struggle to create a black voice, a black identity.
London’s Victoria and Albert museum has played host to some of the greatest fashion exhibitions of the past decade; from 2013’s David Bowie (which sold 311,956 tickets), The Hollywood Costume show in 2012 (251,738 tickets) and, of course, Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty expo that raked in half a million visitors.
“Wow, that’s brilliant,” exclaims a tourist, cooing over my boyfriend’s easel, as we stand side-by-side painting the view outside’s Mayfair’s Connaught hotel. Who knew that a five-star art course would be the activity that pushed my previously happy relationship to the brink? In contrast, Terence, my beloved, spent his teens mooning moodily about an art room, and has been known to whip out a sketch pad while on hols.
Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) is terrifying. It’s a coup for English National Ballet to acquire this production, another sign of artistic director Tamara Rojo’s ambitions for the company. Created in 1975 for Bausch’s own dancers, this Sacre has been danced by only one other ballet company, the Paris Opéra.