Why not make March in the capital a month of historical enlightenment? There is nothing quite like the Vikings to rouse and fascinate the imaginations of children and adults alike. On March 6, 2014, the British Museum will open its doors to a Viking display unseen for thirty years.
The Vikings had a long-standing relationship with Great Britain and Ireland and became an integral part of our history. They fought us, ruled us, plundered and pillaged us. Remains of Viking settlements can be found all over the British Isles and all in all this barbaric bunch spent nearly as much time in the UK as the Romans did.
The Vikings first came to Britain in 789 and announced their arrival in typical savage fashion by destroying the abbey at Lindisfarne on the north east coast of England. Scholarly monks were murdered by the pagan hoards – A brand new terror had arrived to Britain and it would take strong men to stand up to them. One such man was King Alfred who beat the Vikings off and at least managed to take control of half of England.
In 1066 Harold Goodwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, fought the Vikings at Stamford Bridge. What became known as the ‘Battle of Stamford Bridge’ saw the King defeat the Vikings, a fight which marked the end of the Viking Age.
Jewellery has fascinated and enthralled civilisations for centuries and possesses a timeless longevity other items rarely own. While in ancient cultures jewellery was as much an adornment as men as women, in modern society jewels are considered to be more of a woman’s pleasure.
Focusing on jewellery which decorates the bodies of men rather than women is the Tomfoolery Exhibition, a black and white photography display at the Museum of London and is part of the museum’s jewellery season.
The exhibition includes numerable portraits evidential of the long standing relationship between men and jewellery, including photographs of the contemporary man and his love affair with jewellery by the acclaimed photographer, Ross Trevail.. Men wearing gold chains and signet rings take pride position at the exhibition, as do men with severe body piercing type jewellery.
The centrepiece of this unique exhibition is the ‘Cheapside Hoard’, extraordinary and priceless treasures of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The hoard gained its name as it was found buried in a cellar on Cheapside in the City of London in 1912. Workmen levered up part of a cellar floor revealing a box containing 400 pieces of magnificent jewellery.
Fancy a bit of live comedy in London this March? Then look no further than the controversial comic Russell Brand, who will appear at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane on March 2, 2014. Intriguingly titled ‘The Messiah Complex’, Brand’s tongue-in-cheek show is about people who suffer from a psychological disorder in which they think they are God.
Did Jesus of Nazareth suffer from the Messiah complex? What about Adolf Hitler or Gandhi? What made the well-known figures of history tick for better or for worse?
Russell Brand takes an amusing look at the people who he thinks may well be suffering or have suffered from the Messiah Complex. As is usual with Brand, a fair portion of the show dedicated to sex.
Like many controversial television personalities, you either seem to love Russell Brand or loathe him (the former category comprising mostly of women). Despite having some negative press, Brand’s Messiah Complex has had good reviews. In its review of the show at the Hammersmith Apollo in October last year, Timeout described the performance as being: “As thought provoking as it is entertaining.”
If you’re looking for a night of sensational music, poetry and words performed by a legendary artist then you’ll be interested to hear that the ‘Queen of Punk’ will appear at London’s Cadogan Hall for an evening of poetry and music.
For 35 years Patti Smith has thrilled us with her primal rock and roll and her hard-hitting yet beguiling prose. For one night only Patti will be performing in London alongside her son, Jackson Smith and her long-term collaborator,Tony Shanahan. She will take questions from the audience, so you have a question you’d like to ask the highly influential American singer, now is your chance.
It was with her début album ‘Horses’ in 1975 that Patti began to gain notoriety, becoming an influential component of the New York punk rock movement. ‘Easter’ was another prestigious album for Patti, which featured the classic hit “Because the Night”.
This legendary track was co-written with Bruce Springsteen. In the eighties Patti married and had her first child, Jackson, who will appear with her at the Cadogan Hall this coming February. Jackson married the White Stripes’ drummer, Meg White in 2009.
Patti has known a great deal of sadness in her life. Her husband Fred (Sonic) Smith, the former MC5 guitarist, died of a heart attack in 1994 and just a month later, her brother Todd died unexpectedly, also of a heart attack. She was persuaded in her darkest hours to get back on the road again by the likes of Michael Stipe of REM and the American poet Allen Ginsberg, who is a good friend of Patti’s.
Being one of the most culturally and artistically dynamic cities in the world barely a day goes by in London when some fascinating art event doesn’t take place. If 2014 comes with aspirations to indulge your artistic senses then why not start the year as you mean to go on by attending the following three fabulous art events in London.
The EY Exhibition – Paul Klee: Making Visible, Tate Modern
You have until 9 March 2014 to catch this long-running Paul Klee exhibition and if you are a fan of the Swiss artist, you won’t want to miss out. This is the first time the Tate Modern has presented a retrospective of the work of Paul Klee. Klee is widely considered to be one of the most influential figures in the development of abstraction and one of the forefathers of European modernity.
Bringing together an inspiring collection of Klee’s drawings, watercolours and paintings from around the world, this is the first time this extraordinary artist’s work has been presented in such a comprehensive exhibition.
For more information and to buy tickets for the Paul Klee exhibition visit the Tate Modern website.
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery
Until 9 February 2014 a congregation of some of the world’s most admired photographic portrait images will be on display at the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. This powerfully emotive event is held at the National Portrait Gallery, which has been committed to worshipping this form of art since 1856.