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Your guide to January

Avoid the post-turkey slump & add these events to your calendar, pronto

All Christmas-ed out? Rather than sinking into a post-turkey sofa slump, why not pack up some stuffing sandwiches and brave the cold for these crackers? These are our favourite events taking place in the UK this month, which we’ll be plotting into our new, shiny 2018 calendars immediately. Guaranteed to get you through dry January without a yawn.

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Hamlet at The Lowry

Manchester,  26 January – 3 February

Following a critically-acclaimed run in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Company presents Hamlet at The Lowry this January. In this contemporary take on the classic, rising star Paapa Essiedu plays the title role for what promises to be a riveting evening. It’s a feast for the eyes too.

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Lumiere London 2018

London, 18 – 21 January

The UK’s biggest (and brightest) light festival, Lumiere London will be returning this winter to illuminate the city for a second time. From glowing fish gliding above the streets to a sea of luminous umbrellas, London will be reimagined into a dazzling nocturnal exhibition. It’s free to attend and will span both the north and south of the river (so everyone’s invited), with over 40 artists involved in creating all the magical scenes. You’ll want to pack your camera for this one.

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Tove Jansson Exhibition

Dulwich, 25 October – 28 January

For a touch of nostalgia, head down to Dulwich Picture Gallery for the Tove Jansson exhibition, featuring some characters you may find familiar. Illustrator, artists and novelist, Jansson is famed for creating the Moomin family we all know and love, but she’s not only celebrated for Snufkin and Little My. This exhibition showcases an array of her wider work, from graphic illustrations to paintings, which are rarely seen outside of her hometown in Finland.

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Burns Night Celebration

Edinburgh, 19 – 28 January

For real Scottish fare (and a jig or two), head to Ghillie Dhu in Edinburgh for a Burns Night spectacular. You’ll be treated to the full experience, including an arrival dram, bagpipers and of course, haggis. You’ll start with a Robert Burns reading, followed by a four course meal, accompanied by live Scottish folk music. Time to dig out your best tartan.

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Basquiat: Boom for Real

Barbican, 21 September — 28 January

If you heard all the hype but thought you’d missed the boat because of a busy Christmas, do not fear. Basquiat: Boom for Real will be at the Barbican up until the 28th of January. It’s the first large-scale exhibition in the UK showcasing the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, so it really is a must-see (we insist.) A vibrant exhibition, it combines original paintings, drawings and objects, together with rare film footage and photos of Basquiat himself. Prepare to be spellbound.

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Elgar’s Enigma

Liverpool, 18 January

Unwind after all the hustle and bustle of December and be transported by Elgar’s Enigma. Playing out at The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the concert will be conducted by the great Vasily Petrenko with the brilliant Julian Rachlin as violinist. Attendees will be taken on a musical journey, with a set list to include Brahms’ Violin Concerto and Elgar’s Enigma Variations. And if you can’t make it, do not fear. You can still catch Petrenko and Rachlin on the 21st of January for Elgar’s Serenade. Just what we need after a busy Christmas.