17 December, 2021
Hamlet is arguably the world's most famous play, but Shakespeare's timeless tragedy has never been performed in the intimate space of the Sam Wanamaker Theatre until now. Its candlelit, wood-lined interior recreates the kind of Jacobean theatre Shakespeare would have known himself, and the original Globe Theatre stood only a few streets away, so the setting could hardly be more authentic. Intriguingly, the cast is being kept a secret in advance of the play's opening on 21 January.
Few operas are as funny and ultimately moving as Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, and this revival of David McVicar's sumptuous staging at the Royal Opera House is a perfect post-Christmas pick-me-up. Directed by Antonio Pappano, with a young and largely Italian cast, it follows an eventful day in the life of an 1830s chateau, featuring a predatory Count and a Countess who has her heart stolen by a cross-dressing pageboy. From 6 to 27 January.
The Courtauld Gallery contains one of London's greatest art collections, with masterpieces by Monet, Gauguin and Van Gogh as well as wonderful works from 18th-century England and Renaissance Italy, all displayed in the palatial rooms of Somerset House. Recently reopened after a three year, £57 million refurbishment, the revamped galleries look better than ever, with extra exhibition space, an extended shop and café, and they are still quieter than the National Gallery or Tate.
Housed in a beautiful row of 18th-century almshouses in trendy Hoxton, the Museum of the Home offers an opportunity to experience what few visitors to London ever see: the interiors of ordinary homes, from 1600 to the present day. Previously known as the Geffrye Museum and closed for the last three years, this fascinating collection has been completely rethought and renovated, and gives a fascinating insight into how Londoners lived in the past - and how they live today.