From art exhibitions to Italian film festivals: Five things to do in London this weekend

From art exhibitions to Italian film festivals, here are five exciting things happening in the capital this weekend, March 4 to 6, we think you should check out.

With a double dose of Tube strikes this week and the Ukraine-Russia war dominating the headlines, things feel quite stressful at the moment.

It’s understandable if people feel the need for some rest and relaxation this weekend and in London there are plenty of opportunities for escapism.

From art exhibitions to Italian film festivals, here are five exciting things happening in the capital this weekend, March 4 to 6, we think you should check out.

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    John McHale, First Contact, 1958. Credit: Estate of John McHale

    Postwar Modern exhibition at the Barbican

    Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS Till June 26 Tickets £18

    Postwar Modern explores the art produced in Britain in the wake of World War 2. Certainty was gone, and the aftershocks continued, but there was also hope for a better tomorrow. These conditions gave rise to an incredible richness of imagery, forms and materials in the years that followed.

    Focusing on ‘the new’, Postwar Modern features 48 artists and around 200 works of painting, sculpture, photography, collage and installation. It explores the subjects that most preoccupied artists, among them the body, the post-atomic condition, the Blitzed streetscape, private relationships and imagined future horizons. This exhibition feels very timely, given the situation Europe is in at the moment.

    Italian Film Festival

    Institut français du Royaume-Uni, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT Till March 7 Tickets £11 to £13

    Looking for a perfect date night? What could be more cultured or romantic than seeing an Italian film at the Ciné Lumière festival.

    Highlights include Nanni Moretti’s latest Three Floors, Futura, a distinctive portrait of contemporary Italy made by a trio of acclaimed filmmakers Pietro Marcello, Francesco Munzi, and Alice Rohrwacher, and a tribute to the late Monica Vitti with screenings of Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Eclisse, in which she played alongside Alain Delon. Check the website for the full programme of events.

    An evening of jazz with Chris Standring

    PizzaExpress, 99 High Holborn, WC1V 6LF March 5 (6.30pm and 9.30pm) Tickets £30

    Join soul jazz guitarist Chris Standring and special guest Tony Momrelle for an evening of jazz.

    Performing music from his extensive 14 album catalogue, Chris brings to the stage a world class band and an energetic live show.

    Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton) left and Taron Egerton (Rocketman) star in ‘Cock’ at the Ambassadors Theatre

    Go see Cock the play with Taron Egerton

    Ambassadors Theatre, West St, WC2H 9ND Opens March 5 Tickets from £20

    ‘Cock’ is a satirical drama by Doctor Foster writer Mike Bartlett about a man named John struggling to choose between his long-term male partner and a charming woman.

    Starring Taron Egerton (Rocketman) and Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton), this razor sharp play redefines the battle of the sexes.

    Beano Exhibition

    Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA Till March 6 Tickets £16, £12.50 (Conc)

    Catch the Beano exhibition at Somerset House in its last weekend! Come face-to-face with the Beano gang - including Dennis and Gnasher, Minnie the Minx, Bananaman and the Bash Street Kids – through original comic artwork and amazing artefacts, plundered from the Beano’s archive.

    Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules is an exhibition curated by artist and lifelong Beano fan Andy Holden, who gathers today’s greatest creative rule-breakers, including writers, musicians, painters, sculptors and photographers.