Here’s our pick of art-related events which might be worth taking a look at in December.



National Portrait Gallery – Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

This exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery showcases selected works from this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. The prize attracted 5340 submissions from contemporary photographers around the world, from amateurs to professionals. The sixty new portraits on display, including those from the four prize winners, range from commissioned portraits to spontaneously captured moments of friends and explore “a range of themes, styles and approaches to the contemporary photographic portrait”.

Runs until 17 February 2013. Tickets: £2


Institute of Contemporary Art – Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2012

Bloomberg New Contemporaries is an organisation that supports emerging artists graduating from British Art Schools. This annual exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art showcases “defining works by the most promising artists” from a total of over 1200 submissions.

Runs until 13 January 2013. Free.


Royal College of Art – The Perfect Place to Grow: 175 Years of the Royal College of Art.

This exhibition offers an insight into the world’s oldest art school, featuring work by the RCA faculty and alumni, including those from Sir James Dyson and Tracey Emin, among others. Through its four themes – ‘Art for Industry’, ‘Public Purpose’, ‘Personal Expression’ and ‘Political Expression’ – the exhibition explores “the evolution of the renowned institution, since its founding to the present day” and assesses the “impact of new thinking” on the art industry and education.

Runs until 3 January. Free.



The Young VicThe Changeling

The Changeling moves to the Young Vic Main House for only four weeks following its sell-out run. Described as a “darkly comic tale of sex, love and panic’ the play tells the story of Beatrice-Joanna who hires “the repellent” De Flores to murder the man her father plans for her to marry. Once the crime is committed, Beatrice realises that De Flores wants to claim something more precious than money or jewels as his reward.

Runs until 22 December. Tickets: £10 – £30


Duke of York’s TheatreConstellations

First performed at the Royal Court Theatre, Nick Payne’s Constellations – winner of the Evening Standards ‘Best New Play’ award – has transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre. Starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall, the play tells the story of one relationship and its infinite possibilities, exploring the idea that “everything you’ve ever and never done” can exist in a different reality. Blending “the everyday and the ethereal, the actual and the imaginable” the play explores free will, fate and friendship.

Runs until 5 January 2013. Tickets: £20 – £49.50


White Bear TheatrePride and Prejudice: The Panto

The festive season isn’t complete without a pantomime and this year, the By Jove Theatre Company brings a “twist on the usual formula” with Pride and Prejudice: The Panto. The classic and well-known Jane Austen tale of “passions, scandal and wet shirts” is transformed and brought to life in pantomime.

14 December – 16 December. Tickets: £11; £9



Charles Dickens Museum

The Charles Dickens Museum reopens this week after undergoing a £3.1m redevelopment in honour of Dickens’ bicentenary this year. 48 Doughty Street, where the museum is housed, was Dickens’ residence from 1837 until 1839 with many of his most famous novels written there. Rooms are decorated as they would have been in Dickens’ time with manuscripts, letters and portraits on display. The redevelopment has resulted in new rooms which hope to develop our understanding of Dickens’ time and works.

Tickets: £4; £6; £8


The British Library – On the Road: Jack Kerouac’s Manuscript Scroll

For the first time, Jack Kerouac’s 120 foot long scroll on which he wrote On the Road is on display in London. Kerouac typed the manuscript on tracing paper, taping the pages together to avoid the need to replace paper and interrupt his work.

Runs until 27 December. Free.


Southbank Centre – Designers/Makers Christmas Market

This Christmas market showcases the work of UK designers and craft practitioners, offering the chance to pick up gifts such as jewellery, homeware and print. Alongside the market, workshops are on offer such as “Creative Conversations” with Oh Comely magazine – a mentoring session “on all things creative, with feedback and opinions from people at the top of their profession” – and print your own Christmas cards using a vintage Risograph press with Shake the Dust & Victory Press.

14– 16 December. Free. Some workshops require booking.

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