From a new Charly Cox exhibition to Black Deer Festival, the 10 best cultural things to do in June

It’s no longer all about scouring the TV schedules for something riveting to watch or staying in with a good book. June feels like the month the floodgates open after a long stint of lockdown. It’s still baby steps – there is some hesitation – and reduced capacity due to Covid restrictions. But, after a cultural wasteland, we can now venture out to explore what’s going on. From art exhibitions and films to theatre and festivals, as well as ballet and opera, here are 10 fun things to do this month. Never has socially distanced seating sounded so appealing.Masterpieces in Miniature: The 2021 Model Art Gallery at Pallant House Gallery (26 June to Spring 2022)Thirty leading British artists including Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry and Dexter Dalwood have created new works in miniature ranging in size from a pound coin to no larger than 20cm for the gallery’s 2021 model art gallery. It will go on show alongside two earlier tiny model galleries – The Thirty Four Gallery in 1997 and The Model Art Gallery 2000.In the Heights (out 18 June)RecommendedHamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s joyful musical drama about a bodega owner in New York who dreams of a better life is set to be the smash hit of the summer. It’s been adapted from his Broadway show and is directed by Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M Chu, with Miranda himself starring along with Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, and Leslie Grace.  Black Deer Festival in Kent (25 to 27 June)This independent festival of Americana in Eridge Park, Kent, is one of the few good festivals actually taking place in June. Most of the biggest festivals have been delayed until September, in the hope more festival-goers will have been vaccinated by then. The line-up includes Imelda May, Jake Bugg, Van Morrison and Saving Grace featuring Robert Plant.RecommendedGreentea Peng at London Colour Factory (9 June)It certainly feels novel to go to a gig these days. Greentea Peng is playing her brand of neo-soul to a seated, socially distanced audience with her band The Seng Seng Family, just as her meditative and trippy debut album Man Made is released on 4 June. It includes her new mantra-like single “Free My People”, inspired by “a year of fear, loneliness and isolation under the pandemic”.Charly Cox: Wish You Were Here: Postcards from the Past (30 June to 9 July) at 59 Greek Street, SohoCharly Cox is holding her debut solo show – a multi-sensory poetry exhibition (Charly Cox)The 25-year-old mental health activist and bestselling poet of She Must Be Mad (2018) and Validate Me (2019) holds her debut solo show in London’s Soho – a multi-sensory poetry exhibition. It features Cox’s new body of poetry alongside interactive installations by other artists. She’s teamed up with Appear Here for this exhibition as part of their “Save the Street” campaign to prevent the loss of much-loved small to medium-sized businesses on the UK High Street.Bach & Sons at The Bridge (from 23 June)Nicholas Hytner directs this world premiere of Nina Raine’s Bach & Sons. It stars Simon Russell Beale as the “fabulously rude” composer Johann Sebastian Bach, who is always in trouble with his employers (wealthy patrons). This gripping family drama is about Bach’s family who are all musicians – including his first and second wife and all his children. It’s profound and funny.Eugene Onegin at Garsington Opera (3 to 23 July)Garsington Opera is putting on a revival of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ (Stephen Wright)This revival of Michael Boyd and Tom Piper’s acclaimed 2016 production of Tchaikovsky’s haunting opera is based on Alexander Pushkin’s great verse novel of the same name. Natalia Tanasii makes her Garsington Opera debut as Tatyana, the country girl who reveals her love for society bachelor Onegin (sung by Jonathan McGovern) and sets off a tragic chain of events. Douglas Boyd conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra.Van Gogh Alive in Kensington Gardens (4 June to 26 September)In a purpose-built venue in Kensington Park Gardens opposite the Royal Albert Hall, this multi-sensory experience takes visitors on a journey through the Netherlands, Arles, Saint Remy and Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh created many of his masterpieces. Along with 3,000 vibrant images, classical music and aromas of Province, it hopes to give the sensation of walking right into his paintings.Bridget Riley: Past into Present at David Zwirner Gallery (3 June to 31 July)Bridget Riley’s ‘Measure for Measure 45’ 2020 (Photo: Anna Arca/ ©Bridget Riley Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner)The British artist, known for her optical art that can trigger sensations of vibration and movement, presents 30 new paintings made within the last two years. The works are continuations of her recent series Measure for Measure (discs) and Intervals (stripes). The Intervals paintings are pretty big: 2.5m. Since 1961, Bridget Riley has focused on geometric forms, such as lines, circles, curves and squares in her work, adding colour in 1967. Balanchine and Robbins at Royal Opera House (4 to 13 June)The Royal Ballet delve into the rich history of American ballet as they perform classic works on the main stage by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. The cast includes all-time favourites Marianela Nunez, Francesca Hayward, and Natalia Osipova. Due to socially distanced seating, tickets sell out fast. For those who can’t get tickets, it will be streamed on ROH Stream from 11 June (£13.33)

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