London 2012 is not just about running fast and jumping high, there’s also a Cultural Olympiad with nearly 3 months of events across the country.
Plays, literature, comedy, fashion, music, film, food and of course those excellent London museums will also be getting involved.
From February until September 9th, the British Museum will be displaying the medals for 2012 with an exhibition about their making.
In terms of art, all the big public galleries are showing work by the major British artists during this Olympic summer, so at the Tate Modern, you’ll see work by the controversial Damien Hirst who cuts sheep in half, puts sharks in tanks and has a room of live butterflies. At the National Portrait Gallery, there are paintings by leading portrait painter, Lucien Freud, who died last year. At the new Turner Contemporary by the beach in Margate, you’ll see Tracey Emin’s latest offering, plus there is specially commissioned public art in east London around the main Olympic sites.
There is a special Shakespeare season on, with his plays being presented across the country and also by many different nationalities in various languages. This is Shakespeare as the world sees and loves him.
Tim Minchin, one the most successful comedians working in London these days, will be at the Eden Project in Cornwall on June 23rd, which is a great way to see one of Britain’s most interesting attractions and to have a laugh. Hackney Empire, a venue for British Comedy and Performance for 68 years is also celebrating British comic talent with various different nights, including a focus of TV divas.
And of course in music there’s a huge array of events from classical at the South Bank Center, to the creation of new work in a one-bedroom installation above the Thames River at Queen Elizabeth Hall, to a huge international children’s opera upriver at Kingston upon Thames and then moving around the country. There’s also the British Para-orchestra, Damon Albarn’s new opera and the BBC Proms held at The Royal Albert Hall. In addition, you can’t forget the huge program of urban music and international composers and orchestras.
Don’t miss Big Dance when school-children attempt a world record in a Schools Pledge dance at Greenwich, or Breathe the Beat and learn hip hop from Salah.
As the world comes together to compete in sports, countries will come together to celebrate in culture. Wherever you are during these British Olympics, there will be plenty to see and do.
Read more about the London Olympics.