Friday Arts Diary

Our cultural picks for the week ahead.


Chocolate Festival, Southbank Centre Square (behind Royal Festival Hall), London SE18XX, 22nd-24th April 2013.

Now in its tenth year, the outdoor spaces of the Southbank Centre will be conched, tempered and moulded to comprise an elegantly packaged exhibition of all things chocolate. The festival features stalls from renowned chocolatiers such as: ChocoMe who will help you create your own chocolate bar, and Martin Christy of Seventy% and Chocanory, who will hold free tutored chocolate tastings. Rachel’s Kitchen will demonstrate how to make chocolate tortellini and if you want a chocolate inspired meal, you can head to Café On, who will be serving Southern Chocolate Chilli. A perfect opportunity to purchase some treats in time for Easter on 30th March. Workshops are taking place throughout the weekend and opening times are: Friday and Saturday 11am to 8pm, Sunday 11am to 6pm.


Charles Atlas, The Tanks at Tate Modern,  20th-26th March 2013.

Charles Atlas has been exploring the artistic properties of video since the 1970s, with a strong focus on merging dance, performance and the visual arts. In a week-long project at the Tanks, he will be collaborating with choreographers Cecilia Bengolea and Francois Chaignaud, performance artist Johanna Constantine and sound artist Helm in a series of open rehearsals and ticketed performances featuring live video mixing, projections and music. Viewers can drop into rehearsals at any time to view the performances in progress. Along with performances, a brand new version of Atlas’ seminal film, MC9 will be shown. The nine channel video installation highlights footage captured from collaborations with choreographer Merce Cunningham from 1971-2010.


Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration, White Cube, Bermondsey. Running until 20th April 2013.

A touring exhibition of over 150 works by artist Chuck Close will be exhibited at Bermondsey’s White Cube. Known for his meticulous large scale paintings, this exhibition surveys an equally painstaking portion of his oeuvre: his prints. Close makes pictures of faces - usually of friends and family - deriving from an initial photograph of the sitter at close quarters to the camera lens, greatly reducing the depth of field. This unique focal variation makes the face seem unfamiliar, despite their representation in extreme close-up. With a vast array of aquatints, mezzotints, etchings, copperplate engravings, lino cuts, wood-cuts and works on pulp-paper, the exhibition spans Close’s 40 year fascination with printmaking.


The Thrill of Love, Theatre St. James, 27th March- 4th May 2013.

James Dacre and Amanda Whittington’s latest creative project takes a second look at the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain after her conviction of murdering her unfaithful lover. Whilst at work in a nightclub, where drinks and other “services” are on offer, Ruth meets a wealthy womanising racing driver, David, of whom she grows more than fond. The play surveys the events that drove her to murder, questioning why their relationship ended so, why she pleaded guilty with no defence or sense of remorse, and whether she is trying to protect someone…

Reduced preview tickets start at £15.


America, Southbank Centre, 23rd – 24th March 2013.

In the early 20th century, the USA began to dominate the globe economically and culturally; idyllically dubbed The Land of Opportunities. America explores how the country became a force to be reckoned with in: jazz, fashion, art, finance, and politics. A weekend of musical performances, talks and conversations have been lined up to reflect the variety of fields in which Americans excelled, and how the changing American population (especially its new found status as a destination for European immigrants) defined its voice through culture.

Events run from 10.30am - 10.10pm. You can read the full schedule of events and their timings here.

This weekend sees the 10th edition of London's Chocolate Festival at the Southbank. Photo: Getty Images.