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There’s plenty to help you beat any lingering post-festive blues this weekend, with an eclectic line-up of festivals and the chance to buy discounted tickets to some of London’s top West End theatre shows. And it’s not every day a new playhouse puts on its premiere show.
Get in quick for cut-price theatre
It’s not just London’s shops that are ripe for a bargain this time of the year; the January sales extend to the stage with Get into London Theatre. Featuring cut-price entry to shows across the city, from hit West End musicals to lesser-known works, the scheme lets you discover the likes of War Horse or the smooth moves of Dirty Dancing’s Johnny Castle for less. Booking is now open with tickets available from as little as £10. Ends 13 Feb.
Silver screen shorts
The first major film festival of the year in the capital, the London Short Film Festival boasts an array of short films from some of the country’s best emerging talents. Grab your popcorn and snuggle up in the warmth at one of London’s independent cinemas to see the latest flick, or make the most of other events such as live music, talks and discussions. Now in its 11th year, the festival also includes a number of free events for those who are suffering the ravages of the January sales. 10-19 Jan.
Ice, ice baby…
Many of us will curse the bitter mid-winter, but some delight in it. Ice carvers are one such set who have battled the mercury to perfect their craft. See their sparkling creations for free at the London Ice Sculpting Festival at Canary Wharf this weekend, as teams of carvers take on each other to be crowned champions. 10-12 Jan.
Shhh! It’s time for mime
Marvel at mime artists in a series of productions in the London International Mime Festival this weekend. Become enchanted by French company Compagnie Non Nova, who make ordinary plastic bags come to life in ballet moves one moment and embody demons in the eye of a storm the next at the Platform Theatre. Compatriots Compagnie MPTA transcends video, dance and circus acts in their captivating production, A Bas Bruit, in the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre. While across the river in the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, Swedish mime master Jakop Ahlbom brings the silent movie to the stage. 8 Jan-1 Feb.
The Duchess raises the curtain
First performed by Shakespeare’s King’s Men in the original Blackfriars theatre, the Duchess of Malfi is now playing a part in maintaining Shakespearian influence as the curtain-raiser for the much anticipated Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the new indoor venue at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. This atmospheric, candlelit space provides the perfect backdrop to the macabre Jacobean tragedy full of resentment and revenge. Visitors to the 350-seater auditorium can get close to the action in the pit, evoking a similar experience to that of the Blackfriars playhouse in the celebrated bard’s time. 9 Jan-16 Feb.