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The Royal Shakespeare Company’s musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book Matilda has won a string of awards – including seven Oliviers – and has hit all the right notes with the critics too.
Matilda is an unloved, but very gifted child with an extraordinary imagination, truly awful parents only interested in watching telly and a ghastly bullying headmistress who swings the girls by their pigtails. When she discovers she has special powers she decides it’s time she gets her own back.
The Treasures Gallery is a new space in the Natural History Museum that will display 22 of the most valuable and extraordinary specimens from the museum’s vast collection. Each item has been picked for the story it has to tell and its value to fields of botany, mineralogy, palaeontology or zoology.
The treasures to go on show in the permanent new gallery include the Archaeopteryx lithographica fossil with both bird and reptile features discovered two years after Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published, a first edition of which is also on display, and the 200-million year old ammonite that led ‘the father of geology’ William Smith to discover that rocks are layered through time.
The Rest is Noise is a year long festival of 20th century classical music at the Southbank Centre, aiming to tell the story of the last century’s music from Strauss to John Adams, inspired by Alex Ross’s book The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century.
The series charts the history of the century alongside its music, showing how revolutions, wars, social change and technology all had an affect on classical music.
Art from the Americas is taking London by storm this year, with exhibitions of some great artists from the 19th century to the present day.
From 19th century landscape artist Frederic Church (America’s Turner) at the National Gallery, which is showing 25 of his oil sketches; a major retrospective of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein at the Tate Modern (both starting in February); to early 20th century realist artist George Bellows of the Ashcan School, at the Royal Academy (from March). Also at the Royal Academy (from July) an exhibition of Mexican art between 1910-1940; and later in the year Dulwich Picture Gallery is showing views of Thames by19th century artist James McNeill Whistler (from October).
The Imperial War Museum partially reopens in July 2013 with a new children’s exhibition, Horrible Histories: Spies based on the popular book by Terry Deary.
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