What's new in London in April
Settle into spring with brighter days and April showers, as well as the fantastic events taking place across the city including the Vaisakhi Festival and 2020 Virgin Money Marathon. Explore the latest exhibitions in London from the Art of Banksy to British Royal Portraits this season.
For more information on what's new in London, go to Visit London.
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RHS Spring Launch and Orchid Show
RHS Horticultural Halls, 7 – 8 April 2020
In this new season, the RHS London Spring Launch and Orchid Show is celebrating colourful and scented early-flowering plants alongside exotic orchids from around the world with displays and exhibits focused on resourcefulness, sustainability and our relationship with plants. Learn about different aspects of gardening in urban environments; from houseplants to balcony gardening and growing your own fruit and veg.
St George's Day 2020
Trafalgar Square, 23 – 24 April 2020
The Mayor of London invites Londoners and visitors alike to join in celebrating the nation's patron saint, with live music, food and free fun for all ages in one of London's most iconic locations. Trafalgar Square will turn red and white in honour of England's national day.
Trafalgar Square, 25 April
This spring, in celebration of the Sikh and Punjabi tradition, the Vaisakhi festival returns to showcase their many traditions. There'll be fun activities for all including a chance to wear a turban, an art exhibition and Gatka, Sikh Martial Arts.
2020 Virgin Money London Marathon
Across London, 26 April 2020
This year, the world-famous London marathon will reach another landmark moment in its extraordinary history – The 40th Race. From the legendary hand-in-hand finish of joint winners Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen in the very first London Marathon to countless world records; from crazy costumes to the incredible and inspiring examples of spirit and courage, The 40th Race will celebrate them all.
Southbank, April – September 2020
The Underbelly festival returns this year to deliver a series of live entertainment, alfresco eating and drinking at the Southbank. Stretching throughout the summer, the festival returns in 2020 with stages full of affordable circus, theatre, cabaret, comedy, music and children's shows on the south bank of the Thames.
Hockey: HIF Pro League in London
Various venues, April – June 2020
The ground-breaking global hockey competition returns in 2020, bringing together the world's best men's and women's teams and renewing some fierce rivalries as nations battle it out ahead of Tokyo 2020.
Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers
Design Museum, 1 April – 26 July 2020
This year, the Design Museum's latest exhibition showcases how people, art, design, technology and photography have developed the electronical music landscape. Step into the visual world of The Chemical Brothers for one of their legendary live shows, as visuals and lights create a new three-dimensional experience.
Tudors to Windsor's: British Royal Portraits
National Maritime Museum, 3 April – 31 August 2020
Tudors to Windsor's will feature over 150 works from some of the most important artists ever to have worked in Britain, from court painter Sir Peter Lely to photographers Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz and contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol. The artworks will span five royal dynasties: the Tudors, Stuarts, Georgians, Victorians and Windsor's.
Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery
Museum of London Docklands, 3 April – 1 November 2020
This spring, the Museum of London Docklands' major exhibition will showcase the largest ever Bronze Age hoard, recently unearthed in Havering. As part of the exhibition, 453 bronze objects will be on display including, axe heads, spearheads, fragments of swords and knives alongside some other unusual objects rarely found in the UK.
National Gallery, 4 April – 26 July 2020
In this first major exhibition of Artemisia's work in the UK, see her best-known paintings including two versions of her iconic and viscerally violent 'Judith beheading Holofernes'; as well as her self portraits, heroines from history and the Bible, and recently discovered personal letters, seen in the UK for the first time.
Tantra: enlightenment to revolution
British Museum, 23 April – 26 July 2020
The British Museum's major exhibition for spring 2020 is devoted to the Tantras, sacred Indian texts from the 6th century that shaped the meditational and devotional practices of Tantric Hinduism and Buddhism. The exhibition will explore the rebellious spirit of Tantra and how it has challenged political, sexual and gender norms around the world. It is the first major exhibition ever held in the UK on the history of Tantra.
The Art of Banksy
South Kensington venue TBC, 23 April 2020 – ongoing through summer season
A touring exhibition featuring works by famous painter, graﬃti artist and social activist, Banksy, is set to open in London this April. The exhibition will hold the world's largest collection of privately-owned Banksy art including iconic works such as 'Girl and Balloon' for the general public. On display will be prints, canvasses, screen prints, sculptures, unique works and limited editions from 1997 to 2008, the period in which Banksy's most recognisable works were created.
Bags: Inside Out
V&A, 25 April 2020 – 31 January 2021
This spring, the V&A will open Bags: Inside Out, the UK's most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the ultimate accessory. From designer handbags to despatch boxes, vanity cases to military rucksacks, the exhibition will explore the world's longstanding fascination with the bag. Margaret Thatcher's iconic handbag, Winston Churchill's despatch box and a World War II gas mask bag belonging to Queen Mary will all make an appearance.
Entertainment & Theatre
Old Vic Theatre, 6 April – 19 May 2020
Matthew Warchus directs Eileen Atkins and Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet in his London stage debut this spring in Amy Herzog's Pulitzer prize nominated play 4000 Miles. At the beginning of the summer 21-year-old Leo sets out from the West Coast cycling across America. After weeks of radio silence, no one is more surprised than his 91-year-old grandmother, Vera, when Leo turns up on her Manhattan doorstep in the middle of the night. His life just starting, hers nearly ended, in a faded Greenwich Village apartment their griefs collide.
National Theatre, 7 April – 6 June 2020
Moira Buffini's, Manor features Diana and Ted played by Nancy Carroll and Ben Daniels in this thrilling new witty play. As a violent storm sweeps the coast, Diana Stuckley and her daughter are struggling to keep the roof on their run-down manor house, when neighbours and strangers begin to appear on their doorstep, seeking shelter from the floods. Stranded together, this explosive mix of people must survive the weather, and each other.
Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare's Globe, 14 April – 12 July 2020
This spring, Shakespeare's classic, Romeo and Juliet returns to showcase the tragedy of two, young star-crossed lovers from two feuding families and their famous love story.
Love Classical 2020
Royal Albert Hall, 17 April – 3 May 2020
Love Classical returns to the Royal Albert Hall in 2020. Hear some of today's finest artists perform much loved repertoire in the heart of classical music. Join Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel for an incredible evening of music, hear pieces by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Saint-Saens performed by UK's most brilliant rising stars celebrate timeless choral classics with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Expect a night to remember in their spectacular auditorium.
Duke of York's Theatre, 20 April – 11 July 2020
On an ordinary day, a young woman fights for her life. A priest arrives to save her soul. Her doctor refuses him entry. An exploration of medical ethics and many other issues, from identity politics to media witch hunts, The Doctor is directed by Robert Icke and starts Juliet Stevenson.
Hairspray the Musical
London Coliseum, 23 April – 19 July 2020
Baltimore, 1962, Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with big hair and big dreams. Can she make it on the local TV dance show, win the heart of teen heartthrob Link Larkin and bring everyone together – whatever their colour, size or hairdo? Michael Ball reprises his Oliver Award-winning role as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray the Musical.
Food & Drink
The London Coffee Festival
Spitalfields, 2 April – 5 April 2020
The largest festival of its kind in the UK, the London Coffee Festival will be celebrating London's vibrant coffee culture featuring gourmet coffee, speciality tea, artisan food, demonstrations from world-class baristas, live music and a comprehensive 'lab' seminar programme that will educate even the keenest of coffee lovers.
Fitzrovia, 7 April
This spring, Akoko, the new west African restaurant opens, dedicated to serving traditional dishes from across West Africa, with an emphasis on their sustainably grown ingredients from African and British suppliers. While their interior showcases the natural beauty and earthiness of West Africa, Akoko offers a memorable experience of exotic flavours of Africa.
The Vintage Festival
Old Billingsgate, 17 – 18 April 2020
The Vintage Festival will deliver a spectacular array of tastes from around the globe in 380 wines, along with artisan food, fun events and special tasting features – not to mention the opportunity to discuss your favourite wines with the experts behind them.
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