Damien Hirst at Tate Modern

April 5 – September 9

Damien Hirst’s first major UK retrospective is sure to be one of the biggest international exhibitions of the year. We could hardly think of a gallery more fitting to Hirst’s uncompromising style than Tate Modern, who never fail to make a success of these high profile events. And yes, ‘The Impossibility of Death in the mind of Someone Living’ (the formaldehyde shark) will be there. 

Tickets: £14
Bankside, London SE1 9TG, Bankside Power Station

Tube: Southwark/Blackfriars

New Kids On The Block and The Backstreet Boys

April 28

It comes to something when bands that were around in the 90s can be labelled “nostalgia,” but if you can ignore the overhanging spectre of your own fleeting mortality, then we reckon NKOTB and The Backstreet Boys’ show at the O2 will be bags of fun. Is Backstreet’s back alright? We look forward to finding out.

Tickets: Here
The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX
Tube: North Greenwich 

World Shakespeare festival

April 12 – Jun 9

The jewel in the crown of the Cultural Olympiad, the World Shakespeare Festival, lead by The Royal Shakespeare Company, with see 37 different theatre companies, from 37 different countries, perform 37 of Shakespeare’s plays, in 37 languages, all over London. 

More information here
Across London 

Cake International

April 27 – 29

Cake is indisputably amazing, so what could be cooler than a conference all about cake? That’s right: absolutely nothing. The Cake International show comes to the Excel centre in April and will feature over 100 exhibitors, competitions and (we hope) lots of free samples.

Tickets: £12
ExCeL Centre, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1XL

Tube: Custom House (DLR) 

Tate oil tanks

April 2 – 30 December

The Tate will open the first of its scheduled renovations, albeit temporarily, in April. The Tate oil tanks will serve as performance venues and will stage lectures, films and live art. 

More information here
Bankside, London SE1 9TG, Bankside Power Station
Tube: Southwark/Blackfriars

London Marathon

April 22

It’s too late to run in the 2012 London marathon, so why not just pop along to watch. The 32nd running of the race is free to attend and gives Londoners the chance to see some of the world’s best long distance runners compete. Over 80% of the particpants are doing it for charity, so any encouragement is greatly appreciated.

Tickets: Free
Across London, finishes on the Mall. 


April 14 – May 28

Irish dreamboat Cillian Murphy’s one-man tour-de-force performance in Enda Walsh’s day-in-the-life of a troubled man in an Irish village has found huge success in New York and comes to the National Theatre in April.

Tickets: Here
National Theatre, Lyttelton, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX
Tube: Waterloo/Southwark/Covent Garden