Entertainment Matters: 22 – 29 September

Natalia Osipova
'Ballet's Golden Couple' Natalia Osipova and Sergei Polunin take to the stage at Sadler's Wells Theatre. Photo by Bill Cooper.

Our entertainment round up of the top shows, plays, concerts, festivals and exhibitions happening in the City this week.

DANCE / Natalia Osipova

Lauded for their extraordinary individual talents and loved for their offstage romance, Natalia Osipova and Sergei Polunun return to the Sadler’s Wells stage for an encore of the summer season that earned them the title of ‘ballet’s golden couple’. Osipova, a principal at the Royal Ballet, shines in her first ever commission, choreographed by Royal Opera House regular Arthur Pita. Second time is most definitely a charm.

Sadler’s Wells Theatre EC1R, 27 September – 1 October

OPERA / Così fan tutte

Mozart and Du Ponte’s satirical look at the nature of love was largely derided by their contemporaries upon its premiere in 1790. Though the story of two men ‘wife swapping’ to test their partner’s fidelity has always struggled with connotations of immorality and misogyny, most agree the music is top notch. Semyon Bychkov conducts a cast of young up-and-comers, including American soprano Corinne Winters.

Royal Opera House WC2E 9DD, 24 September – 19 October

FESTIVAL / Merge Festival

The Walkie Talkie building will likely lose its crown as the weirdest thing you will spot on the Thames once Merge Festival has rolled into Bankside. Now in its sixth year, the festival invites the public to discover Bankside’s buildings and spaces through interactive art displays. Previous years have included a light and sound show programmed using brain data and a bioluminescent chamber of wishes.

Bankside SE1, until 7 October


Acclaimed abstract artist Zarah Hussain mesmerises with shifting patterns of Islamic geometry in ‘Numina’, the latest exhibition in the Barbican’s series of foyer projects. A student of Islamic Art, Hussain has perfected the traditional technique for creating mathematically precise works, and then brings them to life using contemporary digital art forms.

Barbican Foyers EC2Y 8DS, 27 October – 9 November