After all the hustle and bustle of Christmas and the New Year, it’s good to do something for yourself in January and a trip to London could be just the tonic. Even though the festivities are over, the capital continues to have a lively schedule of events, meaning there’s never a dull moment. Book yourself into a serviced apartment and enjoy one, two or even all five of these festivals, shows and openings in the coming month.
OVO by Cirque du Soleil – Royal Albert Hall – from January 7th
It’s hard not to be mesmerised by the incredible display that is always put on by Cirque du Soleil and the troupe’s latest show, OVO, is no exception. Centring around a love story between a ladybird and a fly, the entire insect world is turned upside down – some quite literally – when the fly comes accompanied by a mysterious egg. It’s a wonderful exploration of the smaller critters that inhabit the earth and there’s plenty of colourful fun for all the family.
OVO tickets cost £20 and up.
The Birthday Party – Harold Pinter Theatre – from January 9th
Among the most hotly anticipated plays to open this January is The Birthday Party. Not only is the Harold Pinter piece always a hit with audiences, but this latest incarnation of the play comes with an awe-inspiring all-star cast. Zoe Wanamaker, Stephen Mangan and Toby Jones really make the roles their own, resulting in a rendition you won’t forget in a hurry. The plot revolves around two strangers turning up to what would otherwise have been a fairly mundane party, with all sorts of twists and turns along the way.
Tickets for The Birthday Party start at £20.
Winter Lights Festival – Canary Wharf – January 16th to 27th
The financial hub that is Canary Wharf will be taking on a different personality this month, when the Winter Lights Festival begins. No fewer than 30 light installations will convert the area into a stunning outdoor arts space, showcasing work from some of the most visionary creators across the globe. From making your own graffiti with light to a recreation of the Northern Lights, expect to be amazed by the exhibits on show.
Entry to the festival is free and the installations will be lit between 5pm and 10pm each day.
Burns Night – across London – January 25th
One of the most wonderful celebrations in January is Burns Night, which is marked on January 25th, when the legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns was born. If you don’t happen to be in Scotland for the occasion, then London is as good a place as any to mark the event, with plenty of parties and suppers being hosted in the capital. A good Burns Night includes a traditional dinner of cock-a-leekie soup; haggis, neeps and tatties; and cranachan, as well as a piper and typical address to the haggis. Bread Street Kitchen, Plum + Spilt Milk and Basement Galley are all putting on a show for Burns Night.
Each venue has its own fee for its Burns Night offering.
Rhythm and Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain – Two Temple Place – from January 27th
If you’re a music lover, you won’t want to miss a new exhibition opening this month that celebrates 100 years of jazz in Britain. In the years after World War I, there was a huge culture shift and much of it was down to jazz and everything that it represented. From recordings, movies and instruments to cartoons, paintings and ceramics, Rhythm and Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain looks at all the different elements. It’s also housed inside a stunning neo-gothic mansion that isn’t usually open to the public, offering up another reason to visit.
The exhibition is a free event.