MUST DO: Kentish Town’s poetry HQ. Plus pop-up opera in a hospital?

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POETRY: Metamorphic at the Torriano

Sketch of a Sunday reading at the Torriano in the late 1980’s. Photo: PR
If you’re of a bookish persuasion, the cute little literary haven near the Rose & Crown is a very new-yearish hangout, with plenty of food for thought for Sunday evenings. This Sunday, 4th Feb, it’s the launch reading for Metamorphic, a new anthology marking 2,000 years since the death of Ovid. Editors and poets Nessa O’Mahony and Paul Munden invited 100 poets to respond to the Metamorphoses with new poems that explore the contemporary resonances in the ancient work. Participants include Maggie Butt, Philip Gross, Nessa O’Mahony, George Szirtes and Jane Yeh. And if you’re an author or poet and wish to organise a reading get in touch (next date 8th April, Metamorphic, Feb 4th 730pm, £5/4 entry. 99 Torriano Ave NW5

THEATRE: Play with Powder

UK premier of Sarah Burgess’ witty comedy. Photo: SWD
If you haven’t ever been to Hampstead Theatre (why not?), winter is as good a time as any. In fact we’re always surprised by how “mini-Southbank” this corner of Eton Avenue in otherwise dreary Swiss Cottage is. Their latest production is the UK premiere of Sarah Burgess’ witty comedy, Dry Powder, which explores the “vilification of those shaping – and skewing – the economy”. It’s way less dull than that sounds, and stars Hayley Atwell (Howards End), Tom Riley and Aidan McArdle. Tickets here, runs until 3rd March. Eton Avenue NW3

OPERA: Pop-up in a hospital

Pop-Up Hansel and Gretel. Photo: Robert Workman
Finally, one for the diary. Up in South End Green, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is about to get a rather surreal twist, with innovative theatrical group Pop-Up Opera performing the darkly atmospheric work in the Royal Free Hospital, part of a tour of “unique spaces” across the UK. Sung in German (with silent movie-style captions in English), expect humour, suspense, enchanted forests – and a gingerbread house, of course. Tickets and info here. Wed 7th March, Peter Samuel Hall, Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street NW3

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