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Billy Budd

The ENO’s modern production of Benjamin Britten’s 1951 opera – a metaphysical battle betwen good and evil aboard a British battleship – sees the re-teamng of the award-winning director-conductor patnership of David Alden and Edward Gardner, who won plaudits aplenty for their 2009 Peter Grimes. The original was commissioned for the 1951 Festival of Britain, so it is only fitting to see it back on the stage in this year of national celebration.

£22+ | June 18, 23, 27 & 30, July 3, 5, 8.
London Colliseum, West End, WC2N 4ES
Tube | Charing Cross |

The Trojan War and Peace

With the backdrop of City Hall, the Steam Industry Theatre brings a unique, dazzling, spectacular adaptation of Greek bod Aeschylus’s Oresteia trilogy, a piece of work more than 1000 years old. The first part, The Trojan Horse, is kid-friendly, but the following Agamemnon and Orestes are decidedly more adult in theme and performance. Best of all, it’s outdoors – and free!

Free | July 5-Aug 5
The Scoop, Central London, SE1 2BD 
Tube | London Bridge |

Matthew Bourne’s Play Without Words

”Dancing is all about your emotion, it’s not how you move, it’s how you feel,” explains Suzoko, a contemporary and classically trained dancer involved in Big Dance, the week-long nationwide spectactular. With hundreds of events across the country, you’re spoilt for choice. One of our picks has to be this ‘sexy, chic and thrillingly original’ dance drama, in which a wealthy 1960s Chelsea couple’s lives are thrown into disarray by the arrival of their new manservant, Prentice, in a tale of power, sexual domination and desire.

£12+ July 12-Aug 5
Sadlers Wells, Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4TN
Tube | Angel |


The Dark Side of Love

From Brazilian director Renato Rocha, this atmospheric show looks at Shakespeare’s tragedies, beause the Bard never had a particularly hopeful take on love. It combines scenes from Othello, Romeo And Juliet and Hamlet, and is performed by a cast of London teenagers. 

£10+ | June 26-July 8
The Roundhouse, NW1 8EH
Tube | Chalk Farm


Spitalfields Summer Fest

London’s creative hotbed just got a whole lot more creative – and cooler – with this cultured festival of dance, music and performance. Highlights include: Spire, a performance looking at the organ’s development through the digital to analogue ages; cellist, Matthew Barley (above); and Heath Quartet, featuring ‘the most exciting young players on the international chamber music scene.’

£5+ | Until June 23 | E1 6AA
Tube | Shoreditch High Street


Image: Alys Tomlinson


A classic act: Your guide to London's best classical concerts this summer
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