If you’re looking to get your fix of art and culture events, then you’re in luck because November is packed with must-see plays and artistic presentations. Check our roundup of highlights…
Mules by Winsome Pinnock
Tower Theatre Stoke Newington | 10 to 20 November 2021
Written by Winsome Pinnock, an award-winning writer for stage, radio, film and television, Mules is set in 1996. It’s a ‘no holds barred’ tale of disparate (and at times, desperate) young women who get caught up in the international drug trade as “mules” (drug couriers), whether as a means of escaping poverty or as a way to acquire wealth and power in a world where they are excluded. Set across multiple locations, from a market in Kingston, Jamaica to plush London hotels, Mules is a powerful indictment on society’s attitude to those who have been marginalised.
The play stars Trudi Dane as ‘Bridie’; Vanessa Tedi Wilson as ‘Allie’; Oyinka Yusuff as ‘Lyla’; Tyan Jones as ’Lou’; Lucy Moss as ‘Sammie / Bad Girl 1’; Nancy P Touzé as ‘Olu / Bad Girl 2 ‘; Stephanie Irvine as ‘Rose / Pepper’; and Saria Babiker as ‘Rog / Piglet’.
Mules is suitable for ages 13+ and tickets are £12 in advance or £14 at the door. Book tickets here
5 more minutes by Joy Labinjo
Brixton Underground station | 11 November 2021 for 12 months
Don’t miss the opportunity to catch 5 more minutes by artist Joy Labinjo at Brixton Underground station.
Art on the Underground invites artists to create projects for London’s Underground and for her commission, Joy Labinjo depicts the interior of an imagined hair salon, a familiar destination for the artist throughout her life. The scene represents how the salon might look on a Saturday morning, with women and children of different generations gathered and interacting together, including recognisable and nostalgic details from the salon’s interior.
The composition of the painting, brought to life using a vivid palette of colours, originates from the Labinjo’s lived experience, using images from memory and family albums, as well as online and historical sources.
At its core, the commission is a celebration of Black female culture.
Photo credit: Joy Labinjo, 5 more minutes, 2021. Brixton Underground station. Commissioned by Art on the Underground. Courtesy the artist and Tiwani Contemporary. Photo: Angus Mill, 2021
Kehinde Wiley’s Portrait of Melissa Thompson (2020)
The V&A | Until 2024
Fans of Kehinde Wiley, who famously depicted President Barack Obama in a stunning painting, can catch his Portrait of Melissa Thompson, 2020 at the V&A.
The two-metre oil painting was made as part of Kehinde Wiley’s series The Yellow Wallpaper, first exhibited at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow in 2020. The portrait goes on display as part of a series of initiatives marking the 125th anniversary of William Morris’s death this October, as William Morris’s Wild Tulip design inspired the painting.
Wiley’s portrait depicts Melissa Thompson, a young woman he met at Ridley Road Market in Dalston, east London. Speaking about being featured in the painting, Melissa said: “I never thought I would end up in a museum! His work is so unique and powerful, it was a really lifechanging thing for me. I love this portrait – it captures a moment in time. Seeing it on the wall at the V&A feels really special – I can now see parts of my own culture and east London represented in a museum.”
Portrait of Melissa Thompson, 2020 is on display in the William Morris Room (125) in the V&A South Kensington’s British Galleries until 2024, when it will move to its permanent home at V&A East Museum in 2025.
Juliet & Romeo
Intermission Youth Theatre | 10 November 2021 to 4 December 2021
Intermission Youth Theatre, which has been reimagining Shakespeare plays since 2008, presents one of the most famous love stories ever written with the support of Sir Mark Rylance and a host of Hollywood heavyweights.
Set in present-day London where the streets are tense with the global pandemic and the BLM movement, Juliet & Romeo interweaves 400-year-old verse with urban dialogue to give new relevance to the popular Shakespeare play.
Rylance and a host of Hollywood stars including Whoopi Goldberg, Daniel Kaluuya and David Oyelowo held masterclasses with Intermission’s cohort of young actors who were cast in Juliet & Romeo. The exclusive online sessions with the stars were held during the pandemic and gave the young actors invaluable insights, hope and advice on how best to navigate the industry as young artists from diverse backgrounds.
Juliet & Romeo will have a four-week run from 10 November to 4 December. Each show is followed by a talkback session with the cast.
Venue: Chelsea Theatre, 7, World’s End Place, London SW10 0DR
Tickets: £20, Conc. £13, Under-12 £7
ART X LAGOS 2021
Online | 4 to 21 November 2021
West Africa’s premier art fair returns. ART X Live! ART X Lagos staged a triumphant return to the Federal Palace in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria with the first in-person art fair to take place anywhere on the African continent since the pandemic struck in 2020.
Made up of a rich programme of curated and interactive projects, talks and events the physical fair closed on Sunday 7 November, but art connoisseurs can enjoy the online edition which continues via ARTXLAGOS.COM until 21 November.
For its sixth edition – and its largest fair to-date – ART X Lagos brings together 30 leading international galleries from 15 countries around the world to present work both online and in-person: together, they will showcase 110 artists from over 30 countries, from Angola to Zimbabwe, Morocco to Martinique, and Egypt to South Africa.
International audiences can view works online from 4-21 November 2021 on ARTXLAGOS.COM