The Sybarite Guide to Spending December in London
Enjoy the festive season in the capital with these must-see exhibitions and performances. Here are our top picks of what to do in London in December.
The English National Ballet Christmas season has included The Nutcracker since 1950. Set in a world of frosty Edwardian elegance designed by Peter Farmer, this captivating production takes audiences on an enchanting journey with Clara, her Nutcracker doll, and the magician Drosselmeyer. From December 13, 2017 to January 6, 2018, the English National Ballet’s dancers will bring to life Tchaikovsky’s eternally popular score.
Easily the biggest hit theatre show of our age – and the winner of 11 gongs at the 2016 Tonys – Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’ is an exuberant, multi-racial hip hop account of the life and times of American founding father Alexander Hamilton. If that sounds a bit obscure to British audiences: well, yeah, but Hamilton had been largely forgotten in the US until Miranda’s musical put him back in the spotlight (and reportedly saved him from getting bumped from the ten-dollar-note.
Enter the world of the iconic Swedish foursome in this immersive exhibition charting ABBA’s music, lyrics, creative process and influence. Part of the Southbank Centre’s Nordic Matters season, the exhibition brings together objects from private archives and ABBA The Museum in Stockholm, including previously unseen archive material, original costumes, handwritten notes and sketches, personal photographs, music and instruments, album artwork, photography and film. All the spangly Scandi pop is set against the backdrop of 1970s Britain, examining how ABBA infiltrated the popular consciousness during a financial crisis, a wave of strikes and a three-day working week. Mamma Mia!
Have some (legal) fun in a former carpark at Skylight, a rooftop playground in Tobacco Dock. After a summer of petanque courts, lawn bowls and croquet lawns, Skylight is going festive for the winter season. From November 2, the Wapping rooftop will be home to London’s first rooftop ice rink. Visitors will also be able to try their hand at ice hockey shooting, or sample street food, fondue and festive tipples with a blanket and a view of the city skyline
There are few creative relationships that have the capacity to dazzle countless generations of readers like that between a children’s writer and illustrator. This was the certainly the case with AA Milne, the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, and EH Shephard. The V&A will be drawing extensively from its own collection of drawings, letters, photographs and manuscripts to tell the story of the tremendous success of Hundred Acre Wood’s world-famous resident.