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What's on in London this June 2017 near Kensington, London

As June brings us into summer, this month in London is bright and beautiful with fashion, art, music and lights.

BAT OUT OF HELL

Get ready to sing along to some Meatloaf classics as it's the world premiere of Jim Steinman's Bat Out of Hell - The Musical at the London Coliseum this month.

For the stage musical, Steinman has incorporated iconic songs from the Bat Out Of Hell albums, including You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth, Bat Out Of Hell, I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, as well as further original numbers.

The musical is a dramatic and romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city (New York) adrift from the mainland. Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost, has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian.

The show opens on 5 June for previews (with the world premiere on 20 June) for a limited season until 22 July 2017. Tickets are from £15.

BALENCIAGA: SHAPING FASHION

On at the V&A until February 2018, Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion is the first UK exhibition to explore the work of Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga and his profound and continuing influence on modern fashion.

Over 100 garments and 20 hats are on display accompanied by archive sketches, patterns, photographs, fabric samples and catwalk footage. And, for the first time, the V&A has used x-ray technology to take a forensic look at the hidden details including dress weights strategically placed to determine the exact hang of the skirt in one of Balenciaga's most minimal designs.

The exhibition draws mostly on the V&A's fashion holdings – the largest collection of Balenciaga in the UK. The collection was initiated for the Museum by Cecil Beaton in the 1970s.

The exhibition marks the centenary of the opening of Balenciaga's first fashion house in San Sebastian and the 80th anniversary of the opening of his famous fashion house in Paris.

CALIFORNIA

The Design Museum in Kensington has an exhibition about the California design influence, on until 15 October 2017. From skateboards and iPhones, the central idea is that California has pioneered tools of personal liberation.

Picking up the story in the 1960s, the exhibition charts the journey from counterculture to Silicon Valley's tech culture with a diverse landscape ranging from LSD blotting paper and political posters to portable technology.

Rare exhibits include hand-drawn sketches of the Apple Macintosh's icons, concept artwork for Blade Runner, and, on display for the first time in the UK, Waymo's self-driving car (formerly the Google self-driving car project).

KEW GARDENS

This summer, visitors to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew can delight in the beauty of two giant installations. Installed last summer, Wolfgang Buttress' mesmerising 17 metre high aluminium Hive and, new for this year, the rustic tranquillity of the newly opened Woodland House as the world's largest Insect Hotel.

While plant and pollinator relationships flourish within Kew Gardens, this summer visitors are invited to look beyond the beauty as they discover how insect pollination is vital to feeding the planet and, that without these fundamental creatures, life on earth would change.

The Hive creates an immersive space to explore the challenges bees face. Surrounded by a blooming wildflower meadow, this magnificent latticework structure has 1000 LEDs hypnotically pulsating while an orchestral soundscape fills the space. Both the lights and the sound are controlled by bees in a living hive on site at Kew.

The Woodland House is in the heart of Kew's conservation area. The architecturally stunning construction features permanent displays for visitors to explore and learn about woodlands, alongside seasonal attractions and exhibitions.

HAMPTON COURT PALACE FESTIVAL

On from 7 to 24 June, the Hampton Court Palace Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary. This iconic summer festival brings world-class acts to a spectacular setting as artists perform to a beautiful backdrop in Henry VIII's open-air Tudor Courtyard for an intimate audience of 3,000.

What started in 1993 as a classical music event is now a host to international stars across musical genres.

It's all 'big names' this year with Michael Ball, Van Morrison, Will Young, Corinne Bailey Rae and Bryan Ferry amongst the line-up.

The beautiful East Front Gardens are popular for picnicking before the concert, and there are open-air bars and gourmet street food stalls available.

SPIRIT OF SUMMER FAIR

The Spirit of Summer Fair has been an annual event at Olympia London since 2009. Organised by House & Garden magazine, exhibitors are chosen for their quality, originality and style.

On from 21 to 24 June 2017, Spirit of Summer Fair brings together an eclectic mix of 350 independent boutiques and designer-makers selling an unrivalled collection of products and special pieces simply not found on the high street. The range includes garden and interior products, fashion accessories, bespoke children's clothing, summer gifts and gourmet food and wine.

And it's not all shopping as the free and interactive Summer Living Workshops, and the free expert talks, can help you become inspired for summer.

It's also worth visiting for the artisan food and drink from the country's finest producers who offer samples to entice you to purchase. And the Louis Roederer Champagne Bars make a shopping trip much less arduous. Mosimann's, the official caterers to the royal family, has a pop up restaurant so you can dine on best-in-season specialities or enjoy a traditional afternoon tea too.

BELLE & SEBASTIAN

As part of the Live At Chelsea Concert Series, legendary indie-pop band Belle & Sebastian are performing in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea on 15 June. Yes, that is the home of the Chelsea pensioners!

Since the 1990s, Belle & Sebastian have created nine albums and have had their music featured in several feature films including 500 Days of Summer and High Fidelity.

The other shows in the series include The Chelsea Fireworks Prom on 16 June, and Ludovico Einaudi on 17 and 18 June. There are VIP dining packages available for all the shows.

SPACE SPECTACULAR

For more musical fun this month, Space Spectacular is at the Royal Albert Hall on 16 and 17 June. Your favourite music from space-themed movies is performed alongside lights, lasers and indoor fireworks.

A film score can take you on an emotional journey. These iconic pieces have even transported us back to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, often painting a full picture before the actors even say a word.

And if you would like to limber up for all this fun, the Royal Albert Hall has Yoga with Live Music on 10 June open to all abilities.

DID YOU MISS THESE?

Lots of the recommendations from last month may well be good for this month too. Do see What's On in London in May 2017 Near Kensington for even more fun in London.

If you are planning a trip in London this June, check-out Fraser Suites Queens Gate special offers and promotions!

 

Laura Porter writes AboutLondonLaura.com and contributes to many other publications while maintaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on Twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.

Required photo credits: Balenciaga: Dovima with Sacha, cloche and suit by Balenciaga, Cafe des Deux Magots, Paris, 1955. Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation  |  Kew Gardens: The Hive at dusk, Credit: Jeff Eden, RBG Kew