Booking now – what’s hot in Islington for spring 2019
With outstanding venues, an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars and so many theatres per square mile that you could be in the West End, Islington has all the ingredients for an amazing night out.
While your calendar might be overloaded with Christmas dos, it’s worth thinking ahead – 2019 is just around the corner and January can be a lean month if you have nothing planned. Read on for a selection of the hottest tickets in Islington during the first few months of the New Year …
Renowned theatre, The Almeida, kicks off 2019 with actor Simon Russell Beale in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of King Richard II. And if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be snowed in with Donald Trump, Shipwrecked explores this very scenario. The play receives its world premiere at the Almeida in February.
Like its Edinburgh fringe namesake, the Pleasance, Islington has been producing exciting theatre and comedy for more than 20 years. Among the new dramas for 2019 are savage tale, In Lipstick and transgender coming-of-age drama Call me Vicky.
The Pleasance presents its Work in Progress season, until February, where some of the best British comedy acts try out new material. Highlights include Adam Riches – “one of the best character comedians in the country,” according to the Independent and TV and radio regular, Vikki Stone. Or pay a visit to the darkly funny Geins Family Giftshop. To make it even better, you can book any three Work in Progress shows for just £12.
Stunning venue Park Theatre opened five years ago in what was once a derelict building beside Finsbury Park. Its new season includes a wickedly funny take on the mid-life crisis, My Dad’s Gap Year. And Rosenbaum’s Rescue is a moving tale about friendship, set sixty years after thousands of Jews fled the Nazi occupation of Denmark.
Islington is well-known for its pub theatres – the King’s Head, the Old Red Lion and the Hen and Chickens Theatre Bar, to name a few. Their varied programmes aren’t just about drama – there’s music and comedy too … and opera. The King’s Head presents a vivid and powerful new take on Bizet’s masterpiece, Carmen in February.
Think dance, and the name Sadler’s Wells is bound to spring to mind – after all, the theatre has been based in Islington since the 17th century. Its diverse programme includes everything from tango to contemporary dance and from ballet to hip hop, featuring companies from around the world.
Highlights for 2019 include a revival of Mathew Bourne’s award-winning reimagining of Swan Lake with a male cast. You can sample the best in physical theatre at the London International Mime Festival in February, and March brings the acclaimed Mark Morris Dance Group with a piece inspired by the Beatles’ album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
For families, Little Angel Theatre is a lovely day out, packed with puppetry magic. New Year shows include The Singing Mermaid, based on the book by Julia Donaldson and the tale of The Selfish Giant, inspired by an Oscar Wilde story. Both shows are aimed at children aged three to eight.
Islington has plenty of live music venues. The Islington Assembly Rooms attracts diverse talent from the legendary to the mainstream (Ed Sheeran appeared at the venue in November). Respected grime star Ghetts plays two nights in January. And if you want something to get you dancing, look out for La Bomba de Tiempo. This energetic 12-piece percussion group from Argentina takes to the stage in March.
Union Chapel was named one of the 50 most iconic places in London by Time Out earlier this year. Among the music and comedy acts performing in 2019, catch frank and fearless songstress Kathryn Joseph and or avant garde music collective The Residents, on their 50th anniversary tour.
For a really memorable night out, Islington has a wealth of great places to eat or grab a drink before or after your show.
Read our guide to living in Islington to find out more, and if you’re interested in relocating to the area, please get in touch