Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre opens and Miss Saigon smashes box office record
LONDON, 6-5-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Two bank holidays in May make this month a great time of year to be in London and LondonTown has highlighted over 80 must-see events and for visitors travelling to the city who want to stay overnight there’s a wide range of London hotels to suit all budgets and requirements to choose from.
On the London stage, the magical Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre opens its 2014 season mid-way through May with Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, Kathleen Turner returns to the London stage in Bakersfield Mist. Other theatre highlights include Richard Eyre’s The Pajama Game, NHS drama This May Hurt a Bit, and The Testament of Mary starring Fiona Shaw. If that wasn’t enough, Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize winning novels Bring Up the Bodies and Wolf Hall are brought to the Aldwych Theatre by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Cameron Mackintosh’s Miss Saigon, which has broken the record for West End box office sales with more than £4.4m worth of tickets sold in one day for 25th anniversary run, makes a welcome return to the West End on 3rd May after an absence of a decade, appearing at the Prince Edward Theatre.
There’s live music from the Arctic Monkeys who play two outdoor gigs in Finsbury Park on Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th May 2014, while Miley Cyrus (Tuesday 6th May 2014), Katy Perry (27th to 31st May 2014), Little Mix (Sunday 25th May 2014), and Barry Manilow (Monday 26th May 2014) all play at London’s O2 Arena in May.
Playing it for laughs, the London Sketchfest is back for a second year and kicks off with a special opening show from Pappy’s. The Udderbelly Festival continues with comedy and new circus show A Simple Space; and next door the London Wonderground spiegeltent pitches up on the South Bank from 7th May returning with Limbo, a huge hit here last year, and the Grammy nominated godfathers of alternative cabaret, The Tiger Lillies.
Mammoths and the secret lives of Mummies are revealed at two of London’s top museums, the Natural History Museum and the British Museum. The London Transport Museum is one of the many London museums opening their doors late between Thursday 15th May and Saturday 17th May 2014 and putting on special events for Museums at Night.
There’s more in the way of modern art with the Sony World Photography Awards at Somerset House (1st to 18th May 2014), a free display of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe at Tate Modern, and an exhibition showing the influence of art historian Kenneth Clark at Tate Britain.
Whether an avid gardener of not, The Chelsea Flower Show (20th to 24th May 2014) will inspire its 157,000 visitors with staggering displays and fragrant blooms. Well timed to coincide with the famous London flower show, Alan Titchmarsh curates ‘A History of Gardening’ in 100 objects at the Garden Museum from 19th May.
London’s Victoria & Albert Museum continues its fashion focus with Wedding Dress, featuring dresses by Galliano, Lacroix, Westwood, Vera Wang and those worn by Dita Von Teese and Gwen Stafani. The Design Museum looks at the work of Argentinian-born, London-based designer Daniel Weil, focusing on his own projects and a special new series of eight clocks, opens 14th May. And there’s more cutting edge design at Clerkenwell Design Week (20th, 21st & 22nd May) with installations, displays, and talks by industry heavyweights like Ron Arad and designer of the 2012 Olympic Stadium Sir Peter Cook.
In opera, Frank McGuinness creates a compelling re-telling of Thebans (from 3rd May) for the English National Opera who also present Cosi fan tutte (from 16th May) directed by Improbable’s Phelim McDermott. Puccini’s Tosca and Poulenc’s Dialogue des Carmelites come to the Royal Opera House where The Royal Ballet perform a mixed bill including the world premiere of Alastair Marriott’s latest work. Also in dance, Scottish Ballet brings Romeo & Juliet to Sadler’s Wells where Breakin’ Convention followed by Flash Mob means every kind of dance is covered.
The annual Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival on Sunday 11th May 2014 and the month-long Notting Hill Mayfest are typically British ways to celebrate May, while outdoor events like Vaisakhi in Trafalgar Square and the Canalway Cavalcade (3rd, 4th and 5th May 2014) in Little Venice are fun, free ways to spend the early May bank holiday.
For more information on these and other great events beginning in London in May 2014, go to LondonTown.com where a wide choice of London hotels to suit all budgets is given as well as information on restaurants, attractions and all the latest London happenings.
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