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Money and Medals: mapping the UK’s numismatic collections - British Museum

MONEY and Medals: mapping the UK’s numismatic collections is the first of two British Museum exhibitions in Room 69a to be sponsored by Spink.

On display from March 22 to September 30, 2018, Money and Medals: mapping the UK’s numismatic collections celebrates the achievements of the Money and Medals Network, one of many subject specialist networks that provide help and advice to UK museums.

Run by the British Museum, the Money and Medals Network promotes numismatics – the study of coins, medals, banknotes and associated objects – and enables the sharing of knowledge in this field. This exhibition will demonstrate the geographical spread of this work through of the display of objects from six participating institutions, many of which have never been loaned before.

A framed set of replica Greek coins, dating to the late 19th century, has been specially loaned from the Science Museum for the display.

In the past, the British Museum shared numismatic knowledge with other museums, in what could be seen as an early numismatic network, by making and distributing replicas of coins from its own collection. The examples chosen were considered by the Museum to be particularly fine examples of coins from different periods, and their distribution enabled other institutions to share the Museum’s collection.

The British Museum shares numismatic knowledge in different ways today, through projects like the Money and Medals Network.

Over 150 museums, country houses, libraries and universities from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are members of the Money and Medals Network. The objects in this exhibition represent the range of diverse collections that are available for visitors to UK museums to enjoy, including unusual objects such as badges, toy money and money boxes.

Exciting loans from the Magic Circle Museum will be displayed, including a Magic Money Machine which seemingly transforms a roll of blank paper into banknotes, and a boxed set of coin tricks which must be displayed closed to ensure that no secrets are revealed. The use of money in the performance of magic continues to fascinate today, demonstrating that while numismatic objects may be small, they are certainly not boring.

Representing the UK’s military museums, the exhibition will also include objects belonging to Henry Hook VC, from the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh, which have never been loaned to another museum before.

After winning the Victoria Cross for gallantry at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, Hook was helped to a position in the British Museum, dusting the books in its library collection, by a letter of recommendation written in 1881 by his former commanding officer Lord Chelmsford. This will be displayed alongside letters from John Chard and John Williams VC as well as Hook’s set of medal miniatures.

These objects illustrate Hook’s story and his connection to the British Museum, while offering a rare opportunity to see autographed letters from three important figures in the Anglo-Zulu War, which was fought between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom in 1879.

Representing Network activity in Northern Ireland are loan objects from Armagh Robinson Library, an institution founded in 1771 by Archbishop Richard Robinson. Robinson collected coins and medals and a selection of his Roman coins and replica medals of Louis XIV will be included in the display. A varied range of numismatic objects borrowed from Inverness Museum and Art Gallery will also feature in the exhibition, representing local history collections and the Network’s presence in Scotland.

Another example of the Network’s success will be told through objects from Knowsley Hall. A collection of mostly Roman coins was discovered at this Merseyside country house in 2013. This display will include a selection of coins and tokens from Knowsley and a copy of the Money and Medals newsletter that featured a request for help from local numismatists that led to the collection being fully identified and catalogued.

Money and medals: mapping the UK’s numismatic collections, sponsored by Spink, seeks to raise awareness of the work of this subject specialist network, which aims to make numismatics more accessible to museum staff and the public alike. The selection of objects on display reveals the wealth of collections held in UK museums and other public institutions.

Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, said: “The British Museum is delighted to be hosting this display, marking the beginning of a partnership with Spink. It is thanks to their generosity that we are able to bring this display to life”.

Olivier Stocker, Chairman and CEO of Spink, said: “After celebrating our 350th year of continuous business in London, we wanted to lay the foundations for our next century in Numismatics, a cornerstone of our operations globally, and this partnership with the British Museum is a natural fit towards that future. The first two exhibitions are fascinating and we cannot wait to welcome our friends and clients to the British Museum for some inspiration with the guidance of the curators from our august neighbour. It is an honour and privilege to be associated with the best museum in the world”.

Henry Flynn, exhibition curator at the British Museum, said: “The Money and Medals Network has been actively helping museums with numismatic collections since its creation in 2008. Activity has spread from England to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so it is now a truly national network. This exhibition celebrates this work as well as championing the subject of numismatics through the display of loan objects from six fantastically diverse collections. Numismatic objects may be small, but they can be used to tell big stories which is something this exhibition aims to demonstrate.”

Image: Obverse: Bronze medal depicting portrait bust of Archbishop Richard Robinson by John Kirk (1724 – 1776) after Isaac Gosset (1713 – 1799). © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Admission: Free.

Opening Times: Saturday to Thursday from 10am to 5.30pm, Friday from 10am to 8.30pm.

The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG


Trailer Park Boys announce September UK dates (2018)

Trailer Park Boys

Preview by Jack Foley

TRAILER Park Boys are Canada’s most beloved miscreants from a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada.

They have been making audiences laugh for the past 18 years with their madcap antics and hilarious adventures on screen.

Robb Wells (Ricky), John Paul Tremblay (Julian) and Mike Smith (Bubbles) have created loyal and loveable characters for their television series and their message has spread globally. For nearly two decades, The Boys have garnered plenty of positive press and gained a hardcore following of fans.

Now, Trailer Park Boys’ Ricky, Julian, Bubbles and Randy are coming to the UK in September with a new riotous live show that brings all the action and humour from the TV series to an army of audiences across the country.

What’s supposed to be an intimate evening with the Trailer Park Boys quickly goes off the rails when, after escaping arrest for ‘a simple misunderstanding’, the boys realize they have limited time to party before the cops inevitably track them down.

Under pressure to pack as much partying as possible into the evening, expect the boys to be at their drunkest, highest and greasiest for a hilarious night you’ll never forget!

Visiting Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall, London’s O2 Academy Brixton and Manchester’s Albert Hall, they will be creating humorous havoc in ways only they know how.

Tickets go on pre-sale on February 21 and general sale on February 23.

The dates are (all September 2018)

16 – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
17 – Nottingham Concert Hall
18 – London O2 Brixton Academy
20 – Manchester Albert Hall

The Asahi Shimbun display: A revolutionary legacy: Haiti and Toussaint Louverture

Jacob Lawrence

Exhibition preview

THE ASAHI Shimbun display at the British Museum, A revolutionary legacy: Haiti and Toussaint Louverture, explores the legacy of the world’s first slave revolution, the Haitian Revolution, which led to the abolition of slavery and the formation of Haiti as an independent republic in 1804.

This display includes a selection of objects commemorating the man who emerged in the 1790s as the Revolution’s foremost leader: Toussaint Louverture. At the centre of the display will be a new acquisition of an imposing screenprint showing Louverture in military uniform, by the African American artist Jacob Lawrence.

Specially acquired for this display, Lawrence’s boldly-coloured image of Louverture is the first work by the artist to enter the British Museum’s collection. Artists like Lawrence emerged from the Harlem Renaissance movement in the 1930s which saw the rise of African American culture.

The history of Haiti was a touchstone in the struggle for equal rights and anti-racism. Against what he described as the ‘economic slavery’ of African Americans, Lawrence chose to honour Louverture as a powerful leader and the Haitian Revolution as an inspiring story of lasting significance.

Equally important as an example of continuing injustice for Lawrence’s contemporaries was the US occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934. Paired with Lawrence’s print is a Haitian Vodou boula drum (early 1900s), on display for the first time since entering the British Museum’s collection in 1930. Vodou is a diasporic religion with deep roots in West Africa. It played an important role in the Haitian Revolution by uniting diverse groups.

During the US occupation, sacred objects like this drum – which during ceremonies would have been whipped with two sticks in a continuous high-pitched rhythm to serve the spirits – were systematically suppressed. However, like Lawrence’s image of Louverture, for which the occupation formed an important context, it remains a poignant symbol of cultural resistance.

Vodou is also central to the work of Haitian-born artist and anthropologist, Gina Ulysse (b. 1966), whose poetic mixing of Vodou chant with words of anti-imperial protest can be heard in the display.

Ulysse has been specially commissioned to respond to the display and will perform at the British Museum on March 16. Her voice brings alive the urgency of the Revolution’s message and adds a contemporary layer to the responses across time presented here, including the work of the 18th century English poet William Blake, who celebrated slave revolution.

Standing alongside Blake’s poetry are heroic representations of Louverture made in London and Edinburgh in 1802.

Also on display is a newly-acquired Haitian banknote commemorating the bicentenary of Independence (2004). The banknote depicts Sanité Bélair, a woman who rose to become a lieutenant in Louverture’s army – a forceful reminder of the crucial role played in the Revolution by women, who acted as resistance fighters alongside men.

A Senegalese coin commemorating the abolition of slavery and bearing the profile image of Louverture will also be on display, together with the cover of C. L. R. James’s influential account of the Revolution, Black Jacobins. Written the year Lawrence first created his image of Louverture (1938), and reissued in 1963 during the Civil Rights movement, the message of James’s book, like that of the Revolution itself, has never been more relevant.

Bringing a variety of objects together for the first time, this display highlights the reach of the Haitian Revolution across both time and space. The words on the walls spoken or written by Louverture and other prominent figures highlight that the struggles first begun in Haiti are still crucial in our world today.

Image: Jacob Lawrence.

Dates: Thursday, February 22 to Monday, April 22, 2018.

Opening Times: Saturday to Thursday, 10am to 5.30pm; Friday, 10am to 8.30pm.

The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG


RA Lates: Night at the Palace

Event preview

ON MARCH 3, 2018, the Royal Academy of Arts will become King Charles I’s Whitehall Palace re-imagined for an immersive art night to coincide with the major exhibition Charles I: King and Collector, which reunites one of the most extraordinary and influential art collections ever assembled for the first time since the 17th century.

Night at the Palace invites guests to a spectacular court festival. Visitors will be able to partake in a classical club night combining baroque, hip-hop and contemporary-classical music, visit the King’s private apartments for political gossip, experience an experiential theatrical production and dance until late to live music by the Ceilidh Liberation Front.

Dress code: Courtly Decadence (think historical opulence with a contemporary twist, don feathered collars, extravagant ruffs, lace trims, jacquard capes, neck frills and plenty of gold).


‘The Celestial Triumph’; a reimagined Court Masque

‘The Celestial Triumph’ takes inspiration from Court Masques, extravagant performances for the King and his circle that combined poetry, music, dance, theatre and painting. Audiences are invited to experience live music and ritual dances through a tale of malignant spirits who threaten to disturb the King’s peaceful rule. Interactive performances, produced by Wilson & Hart, take place in a vibrant stage set installation by art collective Abby and Alice, inspired by the glittering and lavish sets of architect and masque designer Inigo Jones.

Banqueting House

Guests are invited to dine in a banqueting hall while listening to dinner speeches about political gossip and royal scandal, including Professor Jason Peacey on revolutionary politics and print culture during the English Civil War.

Ceremonial Hall

The RA’s grand entranceway will play host to Baroque Remix, a classical club night with composer and DJ Benjamin Tassie combining baroque, hip-hop and contemporary-classical music, with live lute player accompaniment.

Revelling Rooms

The finale of Court Masques were known as the ‘revels’, with wild and energetic social dances held late into the night. Guests to the RA’s revelling room can dance to live music and sip wine and cocktails accompanied by live performances by Ceilidh Liberation Front who will lead through 17th century English country dance steps.

Great Hall

Guests are invited to sketch in a life drawing class in a Paper Theatre, hosted by Art Macabre. Models pose under a Palladian arch in masque costumes.

Queen’s Chambers

Create your own Henrietta Maria inspired ruff and bejewelled courtly accessories at this drop in activity produced by artist Neelam Rehman.


Visit the RA’s marketplace for street food, wine, themed cocktails from The Ginistry, Libation Station, Christabel’s Champage Bar, craft beer and Gosnell’s pop up mead bar.

Tickets: £35-75. Includes entry to Charles I: King and Collector (7.30pm – 10.30pm) and access to the curated programme. To book, visit

VIP offer

£75 VIP offer includes:

• A complimentary glass of champagne on arrival.
• Private access to a secret VIP lounge bar with exquisite baroque harp performances by Aileen Henry.
• Exclusive after-hours private curator’s tour of Charles I: King and Collector.

Time: 7pm – 11.45pm.

Ocean Liners: Speed & Style - V&A

Exhibition preview

UNTIL June 10, 2018, the V&A is re-imagining the golden age of ocean travel with the major new exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed & Style, sponsored by Viking Cruises.

Co-organised by the V&A in London and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, it is the first ever exhibition to explore the design and cultural impact of the ocean liner on an international scale.

It explores all aspects of ship design from ground-breaking engineering, architecture and interiors to the fashion and lifestyle aboard.

Ocean Liners: Speed & Style showcases over 250 objects, including paintings, sculpture, and ship models, alongside objects from shipyards, wall panels, furniture, fashion, textiles, photographs, posters and film. It displays objects never-before-seen in Europe, and reunites objects not seen together since on-board these spectacular vessels, which revolutionised ocean travel from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century.

Highlights include a precious Cartier tiara recovered from the sinking Lusitania in 1915, as well as a panel fragment from the Titanic’s first class lounge, returning to the UK for the first time since its doomed maiden voyage in 1912.

Others include a stunning interior panel from the Smoking Room of the French liner, Normandie, created by leading Art Deco lacquer artist Jean Dunand, and Stanley Spencer’s painting ‘The Riveters’ from the 1941 series Shipbuilding on the Clyde. The Duke of Windsor’s sumptuous 1940s Goyard luggage is also on display in Europe for the first time since leaving the Windsor Estate.

As the largest machines of their age, ocean liners became powerful symbols of progress and 20th century modernity. The exhibition also features ground-breaking works by Modernist artists, designers and architects inspired by liners, including Le Corbusier, Albert Gleizes, Charles Demuth and Eileen Gray.

Beginning with Brunel’s steamship, the Great Eastern of 1859, the exhibition traces the design stories behind some of the world’s most luxurious liners, from the Beaux-Arts interiors of Kronprinz Wilhelm, Titanic and its sister ship, Olympic, to the floating Art Deco palaces of Queen Mary and Normandie, and the streamlined Modernism of SS United States and QE2.

It throws light on the famous passengers and the great couturiers who looked to ocean travel to promote their designs. On display is the Christian Dior suit worn by Marlene Dietrich as she arrived in New York aboard the Queen Mary in 1950, and a striking Lucien Lelong couture gown worn for the maiden voyage of Normandie in 1935.

The exhibition also showcases one of the most important flapper dresses in the V&A’s collection – Jeanne Lanvin’s ‘Salambo’ dress – a version of which was displayed at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925. The dress belonged to Emilie Grigsby, a renowned wealthy American beauty, who regularly travelled between the UK and New York aboard the Aquitania, Olympic and Lusitania throughout the 1910s and 1920s.

Ghislaine Wood, exhibition curator, said: “The great age of ocean liners has long passed but no form of transport has been so romantic or so remarkable. Three years in the making, this exhibition will show how liners have shaped the modern world in many ways.”

Ocean Liners: Speed & Style reveals the largely forgotten history of leading artists and designers who contributed to their design, such as William De Morgan, Richard Riemerschmid, Jean Dunand, Edward Bawden and Edward Ardizzone. It also highlights the political shifts and the international rivalry that developed over 100 years, as liners became floating showcases of national ingenuity.

The exhibition considers the sociology of ships and shifting class structures on-board, as well as the democratisation of travel and development of leisure activities in the 20th century. It also investigates the shrewd promotional strategies used by shipping companies to reposition the on-board experience, as emigration gave way to aspirational travel.

The ocean liner has been appropriated into pop-culture, literature and films, including Ronald Neame’s dystopian The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and James Cameron’s Titanic (1997), which remains one of the most successful films ever made. This, and the phenomenon of the modern cruise liner
is also be explored, demonstrating how nostalgia for the great ‘floating palaces’ of the past can still be felt today.

The exhibition is accompanied by a new V&A publication and a series of related events, courses and creative workshops.

Admission: £18 (concessions available). V&A Members go free. Advance booking is advised – this can be done in person at the V&A, online at, or by calling 0800 912 6961 (booking fee applies).

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 2RL

Spring Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair 2018

Event preview

AN ORNAMENTAL Menagerie is the themed Foyer stand inspiring visitors to the Spring Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, which runs from April 17 to April 22, 2018.

The display directs a spotlight on designs, objects and works of art, taken from around the Fair, featuring creatures great and small, familiar and exotic.

Furniture decorated with carvings such as classical lions’ paws or chinoiserie Ho Ho birds; formal and folk art favouring beloved pets and domesticated beasts; decorated textiles; nostalgic toys; lamps in the form of carved or cast birds and animals – the kingdom of fauna provides truly endless possibilities, and past designers and artists have taken them all to heart.

All items offered in the Foyer display come from exhibitors and are for sale.

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair runs three times a year in Battersea Park with more than 150 exhibitors from the UK and Europe. These specialist dealers offer a rich panoply of unusual period design, objects and 20th century classics mixed with fine and decorative antiques in a beguiling blend of splendour and surprise.

Works of art from the ancient to the contemporary, including sculpture, paintings, prints and photography, are an important element of the Fair, as befits their role in a polished interior scheme.

Of the three Decorative Fairs each year the Spring edition is the best hunting ground for garden-related decoration in metal, wood or stone, grand or practical, such as planters, urns and troughs, statuary, gates, benches, outdoor tables and re-purposed objets such as industrial metal window frames glazed with mirror. The latter make a pleasingly effective addition to smaller gardens where they create the illusion of greater space.

What makes the Decorative Fair such a delight and sets it apart from all other fairs is the creativity and inspiration of the stand displays, the relaxed and cheerful atmosphere and a thrilling element of the unexpected; you never know what you might find around each corner. From period shop signs and advertising accessories to taxidermy, objets trouvés and fossils, exhibitors have an eye for the distinctly unusual! Decoration has never been such fun.

The Fair is easily accessed from Chelsea, Sloane Square and Knightsbridge using the frequent courtesy shuttle service to the Fair from outside the Sloane Square Hotel. Delicious food at Megan’s Kitchen, a brasserie and bar, is available all day (don’t miss the teatime cakes or the reviving Bloody Marys), whilst on-site packing and shipping facilities make life easy for international and UK buyers.

Well-behaved dogs (on leads) are welcomed, so take a walk in Battersea Park and bring your dog when you shop!

Admission: £10 at the door (catalogue gives re-admission throughout the week), or register at to join the mailing list for free tickets.

Opening Times: Tuesday, 12pm – 8pm; Wednesday and Thursday, 11am – 8pm; Friday and Saturday, 11am – 7pm; Sunday, 11am – 6pm.

Battersea Evolution (The Marquee), Battersea Park, London

Strictly Come Dancing - The Professionals UK Tour

Event preview

STRICTLY Come Dancing – The Professionals is returning to venues across the country from May 2019 for a 35 date UK tour. Kicking off at The Lowry Theatre in Salford on May 3, the tour will then dance its way around the country culminating at the Sunderland Empire on June 2.

Tickets for this dance spectacular will go on sale on Thursday, February 15 at 10am.

Direct from BBC One’s award-winning prime time TV show Strictly Come Dancing, this glamorous production will bring together some of our much-loved Strictly Professional dancers as they take to the stage to dazzle with their dance prowess.

Audiences will enjoy the incredible talent of these world-class dancers as they perform exquisitely choreographed Ballroom and Latin routines with all the sequins, sparkle and stunning production values we have come to know and love!

Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals UK Tour Dates

3/5/19 – Salford Lowry, 7.30pm

4/5/19 – Salford Lowry, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

5/5/19 – Bournemouth International Centre, 7.30pm

7/5/19 – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, 7.30pm

8/5/19 – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, 7.30pm

9/5/19 – Llandudno Cymru, 7.30pm

10/5/19 – Edinburgh Playhouse, 7.30pm

11/5/19 – Edinburgh Playhouse, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

12/5/19 – Aberdeen ECC, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

15/5/19 – Blackpool Opera House, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

16/5/19 – Birmingham Symphony Hall, 7.30pm

17/5/19 – Birmingham Symphony Hall, 7.30pm

18/5/19 – Hammersmith Apollo, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

19/5/19 – Hull Venue, 7.30pm

21/5/19 – Portsmouth Guildhall, 7.30pm

22/5/19 – Plymouth Pavilions, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

23/5/19 – Plymouth Pavilions, 7.30pm

24/5/19 – Brighton Centre, 7.30pm

25/5/19 – Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

26/5/19 – Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, 7.30pm

28/5/19 – Liverpool Empire, 7.30pm

29/5/19 – Leeds Arena, 7.30pm

30/5/19 – Sheffield City Hall 7.30pm

31/5/19 – Sheffield City Hall, 7.30pm

01/6/19 – Sunderland Empire, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

02/6/19 – Sunderland Empire, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Official Website

Kem Cetinay, Alex Beresford and Ray Quinn join the Dancing on Ice UK tour

Event preview

MORE contestants from the hit ITV series will be joining skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean on the 2018 Dancing on Ice UK tour.

Kem Cetinay, Alex Beresford and two-time Dancing on Ice champion Ray Quinn will join the celebrity line-up for the live ice spectacular which starts next month, alongside TV series favourites Jake Quickenden, Cheryl Baker, Max Evans and Guest Judge, Denise Van Outen. More celebrities will be announced soon.

Switching the sunny island of Majorca for arenas across the country, Love Island winner Kem Cetinay said: “The last year has been absolutely crazy and learning to skate has been one of the biggest challenges of my life that I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do. I’m so happy to be continuing my Dancing on Ice adventure on the live tour. It’s going to be amazing travelling around and meeting everyone who’s been enjoying the show and voting for me – I can’t wait!”

Good Morning Britain weatherman Alex Beresford will be skating on the very substance he warns viewers about most days. He said: “I’m usually letting the British people know the bad news about the weather in their city, so I’m really looking forward to being able to travel around the country and hopefully give them something to smile about for a change! Skating for the huge arena audiences is going to be an incredible experience – bring it on!”

Returning to the Dancing on Ice tour is two-time champion Ray Quinn. Winner of the 2009 ITV series and the ‘All Star’ series in 2014, Quinn said: “This year’s show has been fantastic to watch, with some great talent emerging. But the competitive side in me can’t wait to get back on the road, back on the ice and hopefully back at the top of the leaderboard!”

The Dancing on Ice UK tour will open at The SSE Arena, Wembley on March 23 for the first of 27 shows. It will then visit some of the biggest entertainment venues across the UK, including Sheffield’s FlyDSA Arena, Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena, Manchester Arena, the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and a Torvill & Dean homecoming at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena. The tour culminates at the Arena Birmingham on April 15.

Read more about the Dancing on Ice UK Tour.

Desire Jewellery and Silversmithing Fair returns to London

Work by Alyson Green

Event preview

THE stunning Desire Jewellery & Silversmithing Fair will be staged in London from March 2 to March 4, 2018, and this year will be held at Kensington Town Hall (Events and Conference Centre) whilst its previous venue of Chelsea Old Town Hall is being refurbished.

This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Desire offers visitors a fabulous choice of individual jewellers and silversmiths who have been selected for their superb and innovative craftsmanship and have a genuine passion for the work they create. Visitors can see and purchase from an exciting range from both emerging British talent as well as more established designer makers.

Exhibitors include jewellers working in gold, silver, platinum, palladium, aluminium, bronze, copper, titanium, cellulose acetate and glass and incorporating gemstones, seaglass, buttons, pearls, glass, enamelwork, silk threads and beads into their work.

Anyone celebrating a special occasion – maybe a birthday or anniversary – may also like to speak to many of the makers about commissioning bespoke pieces of jewellery or silverware. Several visitors in the past have commissioned engagement or wedding rings at the event and, by working with the designer maker, have been able to have input into the design and come up with something that means so much more and is completely individual.

Many of the makers will also be happy to speak about remodelling old jewellery to give it a more contemporary feel.

Whether you are looking to treat yourself, purchase a unique gift for someone special or commission something for a special occasion, make a date to visit Desire in Kensington.

Admission: £6.

Opening Times: Daily from 10am to 5pm.

Venue: Kensington Conference & Events Centre, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX.

Carlos Acosta to celebrate 30 years in dance at the Royal Albert Hall (2018)

Carlos Acosta

Preview by Jack Foley

FOLLOWING on from his retirement from classical ballet in 2016, and to celebrate 30 years as a professional dancer, internationally renowned Carlos Acosta will return to the London stage this autumn to perform a mixed bill at the Royal Albert Hall from October 2 to 5, 2018.

The full programme for this strictly limited engagement will be announced in due course.

Cuban dancer Acosta was a Principal Guest Artist of The Royal Ballet 2003–16. He has danced with many of the leading ballet companies in the world. He joined The Royal Ballet in 1998 and became a Principal Guest Artist in 2003.

His many roles for the Company included Siegfried (Swan Lake), Albrecht (Giselle), The Prince (The Nutcracker), Des Grieux (Manon), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty), Basilio (Don Quixote) and Apollo.

He has staged Don Quixote and created the new work Carmen for the Company. In the 2017/18 Season he returns as Principal Guest Répétiteur for The Royal Ballet.

Acosta was born in Havana and trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba, going on to dance with the English National Ballet, the National Ballet of Cuba and the Houston Ballet.

The culture and history of his home country have been important influences throughout his career, and in 2003 his show, Tocororo – A Cuban Tale, loosely based on his childhood, broke box office records at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

His 2007 autobiography No Way Home was a UK bestseller, and he published his first novel, Pig’s Foot, in 2013.

His film appearances include in Day of the Flowers and Our Kind of Traitor. Since leaving The Royal Ballet he has founded the dance company Acosta Danza in Cuba and established his own dance school in Havana which opened its doors to its first students in September 2017.

Acosta has received many awards throughout his career, including an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in 2007, a Prix Benois de la Danse in 2008 and an Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2014 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. In 2014 he was appointed a CBE for services to ballet.