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Home NewsWhat’s on in London – May 2016

What’s on in London – May 2016

Nature plays a prominent role in London-based events this May and with two public holidays in the month, it will be a good time to stretch those muscles and take in the air. Flower shows, pet exhibitions and outdoor theatres encourage us to engage a whole range of senses and can be enjoyed by people of all generations and from all walks of life.

London Craft Week – Various Venues

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It may be true that the value of anything is limited only by what people are ready to pay for it, but some items demand high price tags owing to the sheer skill involved in their creation. London Craft Week focuses on the processes, materials and abilities that go into the creation of luxury goods and it aims to educate and inspire in equal measure.Taking place across multiple venues, the event celebrates bespoke craftsmanship in its many forms. Jewellers, ceramic artists, watchmakers and silversmiths will open the doors of their workshops in order to demonstrate the undeniable artistry that goes into making their high-end products.www.londoncraftweek.com

National Pet Show – ExCel Centre

Britain is a nation of animal lovers and the amount of money that gets spent on pets is staggering. The National Pet Show is a great showcase for all the latest products, techniques and tips that are indispensable for ensuringthat animals are happily integrated into the home. It’s a distinctly family event with dog acrobatics, crazy cat videos and plenty of practical advice from “Supervet” Professor Noel Fitzpatrick.Aside from the usual dog/cat focus, there is plenty of exposure for the more exotic pet choices that seem to be gaining in popularity. Reptiles, birds of prey and a vast variety of tropical fish are all on display, along with advice on how to care and create environments for them.www.thenationalpetshow.com

RHS Chelsea Flower Show – Royal Hospital Chelsea

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A blue riband event that attracts royalty and celebrity in equal measure, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one of the best ways to wave goodbye to winter. With the nation celebrating the 90th birthday of HM the Queen, the show will demonstrate its appreciation with a massive floral arch which will take its place among many of the event’s highlights.A Pullman coach will provide a 60 ft long frame for a stunning garden display and an ‘acoustic garden’ designed by classical percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie is guaranteed to charm and delight. International entries from Japan, Australia and Cambodia will lend exotic variety to the event which operates under three broad garden categories: show, artisan and fresh.www.rhs.org.uk

Running Wild – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

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Based on the novel of the same name by celebrated children’s author, Michael Morpurgo, Running Wild tells the story of a family torn apart by natural disaster. A boy whose lifetime dream of riding an elephant takes him on holiday to Indonesia where he is separated from his mother by a terrifying tsunami. As the tidal wave sweeps him inland, he has to rely on Oona, the elephant that he has recently befriended, in order to survive the jungle and find his mum.Staged in the atmospheric surroundings of this picturesque theatre, the production utilises the outdoor settings to maximum effect with sound effects ricocheting around the bowl-like seating. The same inventive puppetry that brought the War Horse production to life is utilised in portraying Oona as an imposing, yet gracefully gentle, presence.www.openairtheatre.com

Museums at Night – Various Venues

An event that attempts to shed the image of museums as stuffy and unapproachable is always welcome in London. From the 11th to the 14th of May, a number of them will open until late in the evening which will enable visitors to view exhibits in fresh and exciting ways. Many of the venues will be in areas outside central London and will therefore be easier to get to after hours.Keats House in Hampstead, the RAF Museum near Beaufort Park and the Arts Depot in Finchley are all notable participants. Atmospheric lighting, mood music and special tours will feature as the focus will be on interactivity and learning. Museums at Night provides the perfect alternative to rowdy sleepovers or crowded amusement parks – beleaguered parents rejoice!

Aladdin – Prince Edward Theatre

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A Middle Eastern fable of the perils of greed and power was transformed by Disney into a tale about the healing power of young love. In the process, the genie who granted Aladdin his three wishes was transformed into a comedy sidekick and it ushered the Disney organisation into the modern era of A list voice overs.It will be interesting to see how this musical adaptation deals with the character which was basically a series of Robin Williams’ skits in a live action setting. Whoever plays Genie is in for a busy night. Expect the production to beef up the musical content with some big budget numbers that continue the themes of self-discovery and self-empowerment that proved so irresistible in Frozen.www.aladdinthemusical.co.uk

Channel 4’s Comedy Gala – O2 Centre

Staged in support of the Great Ormond Street charity, this annual event gathers the best and brightest stand-up acts under one massive roof in order to raise money for the hugely important children’s hospital. Some names will be more well-known than others but as they take to the stage audiences will probably recognise the faces from the slew of panel shows that are so popular on Channel 4.Alan Carr, Michael McIntyre and Russell Kane are all scheduled to appear so there will be a broad palette of comedy on offer. Carr’s camp innuendos, McIntyre’s quick-fire brilliance and Kane’s matey observations are all familiar to their TV audiences but lesser known talents like Shappi Khorsandi are set to add variety to the mix.www.theo2.co.uk

Bryan Adams – O2 Centre 

It’s been quite some time since Adams has had a hit the size of ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’ but he’s not been content to sit on his royalties. Unusually for such a straight-ahead rocker, the Canadian has proved to be quite the Renaissance man, forging an alternative career as a commercial photographer with strings of exhibitions and published work to his name. One-off gigs and the odd festival date seemed to suit him quite well until last year.With the release of a new album of fresh songs, Adams has got a band together for a tour and fans will be eager to hear his new material. Of course he won’t be able to leave the building without playing that aforementioned tune but one suspects that the loudest cheers will be for “Summer Of 69”, that iconic tale of growing up, splitting up and learning the guitar.

FA Cup Final – Wembley Stadium 

This year’s FA Cup final features one of the less fashionable Premiership outfits taking on one of the planet’s most famous clubs. Crystal Palace will play Manchester United and neutral fans will probably be hoping that the unfancied South Londoners pull off a shock win over Wayne Rooney and his colleagues.The form book definitely favours United who are still in the hunt for a European place while Palace are stuck at the wrong end of the table. That being the case, there’s nothing like this historic knock out competition for upsetting the status quo and Palace fans will be galvanised by the fact that Wembley’s London location will make it a virtual home tie for them. The Women’s FA Cup is a more straightforward London affair with Chelsea taking on Arsenal.www.wembleystadium.com

The Jungle Book – Cinemas Londonwide 

Anyone who questions the use of CGI in films will have trouble finding a case to prove in this intelligent and inventive remake of the Disney classic by Jon Favereau. Expertly voiced by a cast of Hollywood A-listers, the animal recreations are fabulously lifelike and it’s hard to believe that the child actor who plays Mowgli is the only living thing on screen.The story charts Mowgli’s journey from being raised by wolves to being adopted and assisted by a panther and bear as he tries to discover his ‘true self’. It’s a recurring theme in Disney plots but The Jungle Book handles it better than most because of its unsentimental attitude towards the animal kingdom. Each creature wants to exploit Mowgli to its own end and is perhaps a mirror image of how human desire to harness nature can sometimes come unstuck.www.viewlondon.com
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Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents.  With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 19 prominently located branches and 8 international offices.

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