The Best Things to Do This March

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Durban July races, South Africa, 2005© Martin Parr / Magnum Photos / Rocket Gallery

Herald the arrival of spring with our guide to the best things to see, do, watch and eat this month


Only Human at the National Portrait Gallery, London: March 7 – May 27, 2019
Martin Parr, one of Britain’s best known and regarded photographers will present a new exhibition in London this spring, supported by Gucci. Collating several of his most memorable photographs on the theme of Britishness, Only Human also showcases a series of newer work taken amid post-referendum anxieties in the United Kingdom. The focus remains on people, though – captured with his signature combination of wit and intimacy.

Gender Bending Fashion at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: March 21 – August 25, 2019
A forthcoming exhibition in Boston looks at a long history of fashion designers pushing against defined gender boundaries in their work. Gender Bending Fashion spans 100 years of haute couture and ready-to-wear designs that have disrupted the traditional notions of womens- and menswear, illustrated via paintings, photographs, and videos as well as garments themselves. From the boyish look favoured by women of the 1920s to a wider social acceptance of varied gender identities, the exhibition spotlights how historical and contemporary fashion – designers such as Rei Kawakubo and Jean Paul Gaultier feature – has defied expectation time and time again.

Jenny Holzer: Thing Indescribable at the Guggenheim Bilbao: March 22 – September 9, 2019
The Guggenheim’s Bilbao outpost will present Jenny Holzer’s largest exhibition to date this spring, showcasing her politically motivated work that addresses – among a rang of issues – the global refugee crisis, violence against women, and systemic abuses of power. The artist’s medium, whether embedded on a painting, a plaque or a T-shirt, is invariably language. Starting in the 70s with a series of posters around New York City, and continuing through her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, Holzer addresses the fundamental themes of human existence including power, violence, love and belief. Her art speaks to an ever-changing public with its own fearless language.

The Courtauld Collection: A Vision for Impressionism at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris: until June 17, 2019
This month the remarkable collection of Samuel Courtauld, British philanthropist and art collector, will be showcased at Paris’ Fondation Louis Vuitton. The exhibition brings together more than 100 works from the late 19th century to the early 20th century by French painters including Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, many of which haven’t been shown in the French city for more than 60 years. The significant exhibition also sheds light on Courtauld’s pioneering role in shaping public taste for Impressionism in the United Kingdom.

Carmignac Photojournalism Award at the Saatchi Gallery, London: March 15 – May 5, 2019
Work by Yuri Kozyrev and Kadir van Lohuizen was chosen for the ninth edition of the Carmignac Photojournalism Award for 2019, a prize which funds the creation of investigative photographic stories concerning human rights and environmental issues the world over. Both photographers have documented the irreversible impact climate change has had on the entire Arctic territory, and the photographs in this new exhibition, Arctic: New Frontier, capture the rapid changes occurring in the region as a result of increasing world temperatures and environmental upheavals taking place globally. In work that documents the impact of these changes on the lives of the region’s inhabitants, the exhibition spans over 50 photographs and six videos to provide a unique insight into the imminent threat of climate change to our world. 

The Outsiders: Best of and Beyond at IMMAGIS Fine Art Photography, Munich: March 14 – April 20, 2019
Greg Gorman has been photographer to Hollywood stars for a number of decades, and the most recognisable figures of recent years have stepped in front of his lens: Leonardo DiCaprio, Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson, Sophia Loren, David Bowie and Grace Jones are just some of his subjects. Gorman’s striking portraiture will be on show this month in Berlin, alongside an extensive collection of his nude photography, sensual studies of both the male and female form, often in his signature black and white.

The Body Observed: Magnum Photos at the Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia, Norwich: March 23 – June 30, 2019
The Body Observed, a major new photography exhibition organised by Magnum Photos, will include over 130 works from the 1930s to the present. Magnum Photos was founded in 1947 and is perhaps the world’s best-known photo agency, whose members include several of the world’s leading photographers, and The Body Observed will collect a number of works around the theme of the human body – exploring identity, sexuality and ritual in an evocative exhibition – by the likes of Eve Arnold, Herbert List and Susan Meiselas. 

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: March 3 – May 27, 2019
Virginia-native Sally Mann is the subject of a new Houston exhibition, which will trace her 40-year career for the first time. Mann’s intimate film photography, especially in the earlier years of her career, has seen her family become her subjects (a choice that courted controversy in the 1990s), as well as the captivating landscapes and history of her home state. A Thousand Crossings brings together 120 of Mann’s black and white images, spanning themes of family, landscapes, battlefield, legacy and mortality, and forming an unmissable look at one of contemporary photography’s most prolific and significant characters.

Water Damage: Arielle Chiara & Alix Vernet at Soft Opening, London: March 1 – 31, 2019
At Soft Opening’s new Herald Street space, two artists are exhibiting sculptures that interrogate traditional notions of indoor and outdoor spaces. Arielle Chiara and Alix Vernet, both based in Los Angeles, have created wall hangings and sculptures respectively, with Chiara’s work centring on found materials like silk and crystals, and Vernet presenting three small buildings, rooted in the idea of constructions made for children’s play. The notion of decay is prevalent, as water marks appear on Vernet’s miniature pieces of architecture and Chiara’s satin ribbons appear to wilt with the passing of time; Water Damage is an exciting opportunity to see work by two talented LA artists in London.

The Best of Film

The Oscars may be over for another year but this month is positively brimming with captivating new releases to delight film fans of every genre. Maggie Gyllenhaal mesmerises in Sara Colangelo’s The Kindergarten Teacher, the morally challenging tale of a creatively starved educator and aspiring poet who forms an obsession with a gifted student in her care. Acclaimed Israeli drama Foxtrot, by Sam Maoz, is an audacious, Surrealism-tinged study of grief through the eyes of a mother and father whose son dies in combat. Don’t miss Sauvage, the accomplished debut feature from French filmmaker Camille Vidal-Naquet, following passionate male sex worker Leo (Félix Maritaud) as he navigates both the mundanities and dangers of life on the streets. Then there’s Ray & Liz from photographer and filmmaker Richard Billingham, a cinematic triptych detailing his chaotic childhood in a council flat on the outskirts of Birmingham to startling, darkly funny effect. Meanwhile much-censored Iranian director Jafar Panahi draws on his own, very different experiences in his meditative new road movie 3 Faces, which sees a famous Iranian actress set off into the depths of northwestern Iran in search of an oppressed young girl who’s begged for her help in a video posted online.

March is a month of many anticipated returns. There’s Us, Jordan Peele’s follow up to Get Out starring Lupita Nyong’o, which sees a happy family forced to fight for their lives when a group of sinister doppelgängers descend upon their new home. Elsewhere, Patricia Clarkson stars as an off-kilter cop on the hunt for the killer of a renowned astrophysicist in Out of Blue, the metaphysical new thriller from British director Carol Morley, while artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel casts a pitch perfect Willem Dafoe as his one-eared protagonist in At Eternity’s Gate, examining the fated final years of Vincent van Gogh. Last but not least, this month’s must-see documentaries include Children of the Snow Land, the poignant story of a group of children from the High Himalayas of Nepal, who are sent to boarding school in Kathmandu, unable to see or speak to their families for the decade that follows due to the remote location of their villages. And be sure to catch Minding the Gap, Bing Liu’s Oscar-nominated portrait of friendship, following three young men from Rockford, Illinois – united since childhood by their love of skateboarding and similarly volatile family lives – as the strains of adult life put their bond to the test.

The Best of Food and Drink

Gloria, Shoreditch: open now
A slice of 1970s Capri has arrived in Shoreditch with the opening of Gloria, an Italian trattoria with interiors reminiscent of a beach-side restaurant. Set over two floors – the upstairs a sunny and plant-filled space with wicker chairs and marble floors, and downstairs an open kitchen, patterned carpets and velvet – and serving delectable pizzas, pastas and Italian cocktails all week.

Sawyer & Gray Lates, Islington: open now
Islington favourite Prawn on the Lawn is expanding for a new pop-up in next-door cafe Sawyer & Gray. Focusing on cocktails, wine, bar snacks and oysters (a speciality of Prawn on the Lawn), Sawyer & Gray Lates will offer small plates – think freshly shucked oysters or buttermilk fried chicken with pickled ginger – in the intimate space on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

OOM Supper Club, Stockton: March 13, 2019
For an evening of delicious plant-based food and captivating art by Raphaële Anfré, head to OOM Supper Club’s latest venture at Deptford haunt Stockton. The communal supper club will be a menu of modern Jamaican courses – from sweet potato croquettes to ‘deconstructed’ carrot cake – with the space decorated with Anfré’s vivacious work.


Momonì at Fenwick Bond Street: until June 9, 2019
Momonì’s colourful Spring/Summer 2019 collection has arrived at Fenwick Bond Street, London, in a new pop-up space. The brainchild of Italian duo Alessandro and Michela Biasotto, Momonì’s latest offering – on display in a dedicated window until March 13 – juxtaposes relaxed tailoring and shirting with 60s-inspired beachwear, prairie dresses, and graphic prints which evoke underwater scenes. Among the accessories: heeled and platform sandals, belt bags and floral-printed totes, ready for the turn of spring.

Great Performances

There are plenty of reasons to take a trip to the theatre this month. We’re particularly excited about the new production of Harold Pinter’s seminal drama Betrayal, arriving at the Harold Pinter Theatre this month and starring Tom Hiddleston in the story of a seven-year extramarital affair, poetically rendered in reverse chronological order. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Barney Norris’ newest offering Downstate opens at the National Theatre this month: an unflinching study of four convicted sex offenders, living together in Illinois, and the ramifications of a visit paid to them by one of their former victims. Don’t miss Cillian Murphy’s feted performance in Grief is the Thing With the Feathers, a piercing meditation on love and loss, adapted for the stage by Enda Walsh from Max Porter’s award-winning novel and coming to the Barbican on March 25. Meanwhile for fans of Black Mirror, there’s Anne Washburn’s homage to much-loved TV series The Twilight Zone – transferring to the West End from the Almeida next week, and intertwining several episodes from the original show to surprising, sinister and spellbinding effect.

For opera lovers, there’s the world premiere of Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel, the latest offering from celebrated British composer Iain Bell. Presenting a new angle on a well-worn tale, it follows a group of working-class women “drawn together in their determination to survive the murderous terror that stalks London’s Whitechapel in 1888”. Dance aficionados, meanwhile, will delight in Ballet Black: Triple Bill, heading to the Barbican from March 14–17 and promising the London-based company’s usual blend of whimsical storytelling and powerful choreography, played out in three performances. While for those looking to supplement their dose of Valentine’s Day romance, look no further than Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Opera House, a new revival of Kenneth MacMillan’s masterful 20th-century ballet after Shakespeare’s tangled tragedy.