6 Fresh Events to Check Out in England this Spring - Summer
Some of the best events happening in England this season
"Beneatha’s Place, written and directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, challenges today’s culture wars about colonial history and reckoning with the past."
24 May 2023
From highly anticipated plays to dance festivals, there are so many events going on in England this season it could be hard to choose. We have chosen six with options for tickets on the cheaper side for arts lovers on a budget. From the Bush Theatre to the National Theatre in London, and HOME in Manchester, from May to August 2023, enjoy these fresh events this Spring-Summer!
1) A Playlist for the Revolution - Bush Theatre, London, 23 June – 5 August 2023
A wedding in Hong Kong, 2019. Two worlds collide. A spark ignites. Jonathan is a buttoned-up classical pianist, and he’s pretty sure his life will look just like his father’s: a good job, a family, firmly settled in Hong Kong. Chloe is about to start university in England, and she’s ready to be the “Asian Elle Woods”. Empowered by the music of BTS, M.I.A and Beyonce (of course), she has big plans to make her mark. Through months of sharing messages, music reccs, and late-night confessions, the two get swept up in the promise of how someone unexpected can change your world. What they don’t realise is that the world around them is about to change forever. A rom-com right up until it can’t be, A Playlist for the Revolution, written by AJ Yi and directed by Emily Ling Williams, is a tender and surprising story of young love fighting to survive, set against the backdrop of the largest demonstrations in Hong Kong’s history. An explosive and deeply moving play, with a cast including Brandon Grace, Mei Mei Macleod, and Zak Shukor.
More information on www.bushtheatre.co.uk
2) Home Spring Exhibitions, HOME MCR. Org, Manchester, Until 4 June 2023
Home, the charity bringing the best film, theatre and art to Manchester and inspiring the next generation, is hosting three exhibitions featuring works that span film, photography, painting, installation and sculpture, until Sunday 4th June. Natural Interaction, by artist Nick Jordan, explores the interdependencies between social and ecological healthcare or wellbeing, through new films, prints, photographs, painting and sculptural works. Painting, An Unending, by artist Parham Ghalamdar, draws on traditions of Persian and Western art, graffiti, internet and digital culture. This is his largest institutional exhibition to date. Is there anybody there?, by artist filmmaker Chris Paul Daniels features 70 different films from the North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University, sourced by Daniels, who edited them together to create a monumental study of cultural traditions, procession and ceremony.
More information on www.homemcr.org
3) Flamenco Festival, Sadler’s Wells, London, 5 July – 15 July 2023
The Flamenco Festival returns to Sadler’s Wells for a fortnight this summer, opening with Olivier Award-winning dancer and choreographer Sara Baras, who performs across the first week. The second week’s acts in Sadler’s Wells Theatre and the Lilian Baylis Studio showcase modern works that explore flamenco and gender, contemporary pieces by leading female choreographers, as well as traditional productions and guitar performances by acclaimed musicians – all looking at the Romani roots of flamenco culture. A series of six more intimate dance and music pieces in the Lilian Baylis Studio compliment the Sadler’s Wells Theatre programme in the Festival’s second week. These are staggered in time to enable audiences to attend events in both venues.
More information on www.sadlerswells.com
4) Summer Mixed Programme of One-Act Ballets, Royal Opera House, London, 9 June – 17 June 2023
This June, The Royal Ballet presents a dazzling summer programme of one-act ballets featuring works by the Company’s associated choreographers past and present, Kenneth MacMillan, Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon. Wayne McGregor, Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, premieres his latest (untitled) work for the Company with costume designs by Burberry. This will be McGregor’s 20th work for The Royal Ballet and follows his outstanding revival of Woolf Works in March 2023. The mixed programme also includes the first revival of the critically acclaimed Corybantic Games by Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet. Corybantic Games received its premiere in 2018 and features set design by Jean-Marc Puissant, costumes by fashion designer Erdem Moralıoğlu and lighting design by Peter Mumford. The programme concludes with Kenneth MacMillan’s Anastasia Act III, inspired by the true story of Anna Anderson who believed she was the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov. This painful tale of memory and the elusiveness of identity is told through MacMillan’s experimental choreography, providing a rich interpretative opportunity for the Company. The Royal Ballet’s Principal dancers Natalia Osipova and Laura Morera share the lead role of Anastasia across the run with Morera making her final performance on the Royal Opera House main stage on 17th June after a career spanning 27 years.
More information on www.roh.org.uk
5) Beneatha’s Place, The Young Vic Theatre, London, 27 June – 5 August 2023
1959. The first wave of independence is sweeping across Africa and Beneatha has left the prejudice of 1950s America for a brighter future with her Nigerian husband in Lagos. But on the day they move into their new house in the white suburbs, it doesn't take long for cracks to appear, changing the course of the rest of their lives. Present day. Now a renowned Dean whose colleagues are questioning the role of African American studies for future generations, Beneatha returns to the same house in search of answers. Inspired by the ground-breaking civil rights drama A Raisin in the Sun, Beneatha’s Place was written and directed by Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah, and challenges today’s culture wars about colonial history and reckoning with the past. Cherrelle Skeete stars as Beneatha, with Zackary Momoh, Sebastian Armesto, Jumoké Fashola, Tom Godwin and Nia Gwynne completing the cast.
More information on www.youngvic.org
6) Dancing at Lughnasa, National Theatre, London, Until 27 May 2023
The National Theatre is still showing this award-winning drama from the writer of Translations Harvest time in County Donegal, 1936. Outside the village of Ballybeg, the five Mundy sisters battle poverty to raise seven-year-old Michael and care for their brother, ‘Uncle’ Jack. During the Festival of Lughnasa, Pagan and Christian meet and collide. The sisters fight each other, love each other, dance, yearn and survive. Brian Friel’s Olivier Award-winning play is an astonishing evocation of a family’s world on the brink of change. Josie Rourke directs this striking revival, with a cast including Siobhán McSweeney (Derry Girls), Ardal O’Hanlon (Father Ted) and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Translations).
More information on www.nationaltheatre.org.uk
Image credit: Sadler's Wells, La Leona, Paco Villalta