The Handbook
The Handbook

May is a glorious month in the UK. Two bank holidays and the heady scent of summer approaching
are solid reasons to be joyful. This year, we’ve even been thrown a royal wedding for good measure.
And for days when the sun does not have his hat on and is most definitely not coming out to play,
there is an abundance of cultural goodies going on in the capital too – from fashion to espionage,
Monet to the much beloved Abba.

Welcome to our guide of theatre, art and exhibitions that London is generously bestowing upon us
this May.

ABBA: Super Troupers Exhibition

The Best of ABBA

How did Britain survive the grim 1970s? With Abba, of course! This one-of- a-kind exhibition takes you on an irresistible pop journey exploring the music, lyrics and lives of Sweden’s best export. Jarvis Cocker is the voice of the narrator, you’ll get to see some of Abba’s dazzling costumes up close and, to get you in the mood prior to visiting, you can even take the online quiz to find out which Abba song best describes your personality. Amazing.
Throughout May – Sunday 29th July 

Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX

The Prudes

Sexual Experiment

Controversial writer and director Anthony Neilson is back with The Prudes, which follows one couple’s desperate attempts to save their relationship through sexual experimentation. Expect lines like: “They say you should look older than your genitals.”
Throughout May – Saturday 2nd June 

Where: Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS

The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Monet & Architecture

Not Just Water-Lilies

It’s not just about the water-lilies; this ground-breaking exhibition takes a look at the plethora of buildings Monet painted throughout his career. Stopping off in Paris, London and Venice, see 19th century architecture though the eyes of the master
of Impressionism.
Throughout May – Saturday 28th July 

Where: The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

The Writer

Challenging the Idea of TheatreAlmeida Theatre, Almeida St, London N1 1TA

Female expression, power and sex are all under the microscope in Ella Hickson’s new offering about a writer, played by Romola Garaj, who challenges the patriarchal world around her. Artistic director Rupert Goold said the new play is: “A hugely ambitious, deeply political play that consistency challenges what theatre can and should be.”
Until Saturday 26th May 

Where: Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, N1 1TA

Tiny blowing a bubble, Seattle, 1983

Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins

20 Stories, 20 Lens

A street kid named ‘Tiny’ living in Seattle, a eunuch living in a cemetery in New Delhi, Soviet hippies presiding in opium filled wastelands – this timely collection gives us 20 stories told through the lens of 20 different photographers of communities and individuals living on the fringes of society.
Until Sunday 27th May 

Where: Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, 1 Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS

Special Forces: In the Shadows

Lift the Lid on the Special Forces

Ever wondered what kind of hard-core dedication is needed to be in the Special Forces?
Top secret missions, extreme training and life-threatening operations – this exhibition lifts the lid on the Special Forces.
Throughout May – Sunday 18th November 

Where: National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HT

Fashioned from Nature

Fashion Meets Nature

Heralded as ‘The first UK exhibition to explore the complex relationship between fashion and nature from 1600 to the present day’, this beautiful collection showcases the inspiration and source of striking fashion pieces.
Throughout May – Sunday 27th January 2019 

Where: V& A Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL

Chapter 10 Group Exhibition: Meet The Big Painting Challenge Artists

The Big Painting Challenge

Were you hooked on the BBC show The Big Painting Challenge? If so, this exhibition is
just the ticket for you. You’ll get to see work from the ten artists from the series, one of the artists will be on hand to give you a tour and it’s being held at the cool, creative hub that is LIBRARY.
Wednesday 9th and Saturday 12th May 

Where: LIBRARY London, 112 Saint Martin's Lane, WC2N 4BD

Describe the Night

What is Fact and What is Fiction?

Plays are all too often described as being ‘relevant’ but perhaps none more so than this
darkly comic tale of Russian conspiracy theories, lies and espionage. What is fact and what is fiction? Prepare to be gripped by the UK premiere of Pulitzer Prize finalist
Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night.
Throughout May – Saturday 9th June

Where: Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, NW3 3EU