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The Coveryard | Richard Hubert Smith

This Week 14th - 20th December

14 December 2015 Ryan Ormonde

There are pretty much two choices this week: lock yourself away or embrace the season. You could go out of your way to find events that steer well clear of Christmas, but why be so London about it? You may as well wear a terrible jumper, put something silly on your head and step into Christmas.

Winter Tales at Southbank Centre

There are at least three versions of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker in London this month but less well known is the ‘Story of a Nutcracker’ by Dumas (itself an adaptation of a story by E.T.A. Hoffman) upon which the famous ballet is based. Its award winning English translator Sarah Ardizzone chairs Winter Tales on Wednesday, an evening of snowy stories in the Royal Festival Hall. Her writer guests include New York Times bestselling novelist, Rosamund Lupton; travel writer and author of Cold Earth and Frozen Ship, Sarah Moss; and Captain Scott’s biographer, Bryan Lintott: all of them straining their eyes to read by candlelight for your festive pleasure.

Winter Tales is part of Winter at Southbank Centre with NatWest. For more information and to book tickets, see website.


The Coveryard: Karolaoke

‘From Let it Snow to Let it Go,’ proclaims the press release for Karolaoke, which in case you missed the wordplay is a Christmas carol version of everyone’s favourite Japanese drinking game, karaoke. As well as forays into Frozen and the Rat Pack, organisers The Coveryard have commissioned a few ‘anti-carols’ from four young composers in a nod to the ‘Bah, Humbug!’ brigade. The Coveryard is situated at the classier end of the karaoke spectrum (if there is such a thing) and singing will be accompanied by a 12-piece chamber orchestra. Karolaoke runs for three nights from Tuesday, upstairs at Palm2 in Hackney.

To book tickets, see website.


Battersea Arts Centre Children’s Christmas

There is no shortage of young theatre-going families living in the Battersea area, so it might be difficult to get tickets for Battersea Arts Centre’s children’s events. Those who can should be rewarded with something a bit different however. Mr Mountford's Kaleidoscopic Christmas opens this Thursday, inviting children aged 6-9 on a quest to find a giant kaleidoscope somewhere within the old Town Hall that houses the BAC, before being shown how to make a smaller one to take home. Younger siblings can follow an angelic garland in Town Hall Cherubs, running at the same time.

To check availability, see website.


Cecil Sharp House: Belshazzars Feast

A Christmas themed show at folk venue Cecil Sharp House this Saturday promises an unusual and amusing departure from the norms of both folk music and Christmas music. Paul Hutchinson of Hoover the Dog teams up with Paul Sartin, who plays for Bellowhead and Faustus, for Belshazzars’ Feast, their name borrowed from the God-interrupted Biblical shindig from where we derive the figure of speech (and recent Bond Theme) ‘the writing’s on the wall’. The two beardy Pauls throw a lot of disparate influences into the folksy, figgy pudding, from classical to Elvis, jazz to music hall, stirred up with their trademark wry patter.

For more information and to book tickets, see website.


Barbican: Never mind the Baubles

The Barbican Centre are having their Christmas cake and eating it this year, with their oh-so-Christmassy market selling stylish gifts in the foyer spaces while Never Mind the Baubles gets bums on seats in the cinema. A series of punk films deliberately programmed to stick two fingers up to the festive season, the season include hilarious 70s rock classic Rock 'n' Roll High School on Thursday. Meanwhile, there is still time to stock up on decorations and tasteful design at Barbican’s market before the stalls are taken down at the end of the weekend. And as a reward for all your festive spirit, why not catch Hated - GG Allin and the Murder Junkies tonight, a documentary about hell-raising punk rocker GG Allin, whose real name was Jesus Christ.

For more information and to book tickets, see website.


 

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