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The arts and culture everyone will be talking about in London this month

From literature-meets-improv to busting Bollywood moves, and a Hollywood blockbuster to an exploration of gender and identity in art, James Gill picks this month’s cultural highlights
The arts and culture everyone will be talking about in London this month
March 13, 2017   |    James Gill

FOR A HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YOU


LONDON WELLBEING FESTIVAL
If you’re looking to open your mind, recharge your batteries or continue your voyage of self-discovery, the London Wellbeing Festival is a must.

Set across four days at Olympia, the festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary, with a rich mix of the biggest, best and brightest minds around, including a workshop with self-help king Paul McKenna.

Like any vibrant festival worth its salt, there are multiple stages offering a range of live displays, workshops, stalls and activities. The workshops cover diverse topics such as relationships, feng shui, NLP, meditation, yoga and more, while classes range from the energetic (acroyoga, anyone?) to the metaphysical (Be Water My Friend). And, when you need some time to let it all soak in, try the relaxing treatments and massages at the Wellbeing Spa.
28 April to 1 May, Mind Body Spirit

ART


BEHIND THE MASK, ANOTHER MASK

Two artists born nearly 70 years apart – yet the parallels between Claude Cahun and Gillian Wearing are striking, as you’ll see at the National Portrait Gallery. From different nationalities and backgrounds, each used photography to explore identity through self-portraits. This is part of the Gallery’s I Am Me, a season dedicated to art and gender roles.
Until 29 May, National Portrait Gallery

HEALTH


DANCE INTO THE ALCHEMY

Recently, our columnist Nihal Arthanayake urged us to learn more about other cultures to bring Britons closer together. Do it the fun way with Dance Into Alchemy courses, incorporating Odissi, Bollywood and Kathak dance – classic styles synonymous with Indian and South Asian cinema. If you’re new to such expressive moves, this course will push you out of your comfort zone.
Various dates, Southbank Centre

FILM


GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2

Sometimes you just want to be entertained. Yes, worthy drama will always have a place in our hearts, but thanks to director James Gunn, the Guardians are the perfect excuse to order nachos, pop on 3D glasses and be blown away. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and the gang return for more space heroics – this time, helping Pratt’s Peter Quill learn more about his parentage.
From 28 April

Read more: Why Zoe Saldana is one of Hollywood’s most fearless souls

IMPROV


AUSTENTATIOUS

Do you enjoy both the works of Jane Austen and improvised comedy? If so, you might want to sit down because we’re about to blow your mind: Austentatious is a theatre improv troupe that devise Austen plays based purely on audience suggestion. Their talented members are having breakout solo success: Rachel Parris, Joseph Morpurgo and Cariad Lloyd often feature on TV.
16 April, Leicester Square Theatre

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