As much as Christmas is about feasting, and spending quality time with loved ones, we often find ourselves with some down time – the perfect opportunity to pick up a good read or settle in to watch a gripping series. Here at One Aldwych, we’ve rounded up a list of books, TV series and podcasts we think you might enjoy..
The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
With The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage.
Why we’re reading: Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies were both staged at the Aldwych Theatre, moments from One Aldwych! In this book we witness Cromwell’s fall, full of suspense and what ifs.
Strange Hotel by Eimear McBride
An enigmatic book, Strange Hotel follows a nameless female protagonist from country to country, from one hotel room to the next. “Even the plushest hotel room can lack soul”, said the BBC, and for Elimear, each holds complex and often painful memories.
Why we’re reading: How could we not love a story about hotel rooms around the world?
This Lovely City by Louise Hare
The city in question is London, 1948, seen through the eyes of Jamaican Lawrie Matthews, after disembarking from the Empire Windrush. A tale of young love, crime and striving for a better life.
Why we’re reading: This book transports you to war-damaged London – an educational yet gripping read.
Actress by Anne Enright
Irish author Anne Enright’s novel is about a daughter unpicking her actress mother’s life. A new novel which has been longlisted for the Women’s Fiction Prize, and is a tale of fame, power, and a daughter’s quest to understand her mother.
Why we’re reading: One Aldwych is in the heart of London’s West End, surrounded by London’s best theatre shows. This tale of fame and the highs and lows on the stage sits very close to our hearts.
Our House is on Fire by Greta Thunberg et al
Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis is co-authored by Thunberg’s mother Malena Ernman, who is the primary narrator, her father Svante and her sister Beata. It has been hailed as a must-read for an environmental message of hope.
Why we’re reading: Having championed sustainability over the last twenty years, we’re full of admiration for this courageous and influential young lady.
Season four of the royal drama starts in the late 1970s and runs right through the 1980s, as Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) clashes with Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), and Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) embarks on a tumultuous marriage with Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin).
Why we’re watching: A fascinating insight into the British Monarchy. Will you spot our neighbour The Lyceum Theatre appear on screen?
Love & Anarchy
Following crime drama Quicksand, Netflix’s second Swedish-language TV series tells the story of Sofie an ambitious consultant and married mother with two kids. Sofie takes on the modernisation of an old publishing house, where she meets young computer technician Max, and the two form an unlikely bond.
Why we’re watching: Our building’s Morning Post newspaper heritage of course!
A new Westminster-set political thriller. Charismatic UK politician Peter Laurence’s life seems to be falling apart – or is being picked apart by enemies. But as personal revelations about Peter spiral, he is untroubled by guilt or remorse, as he seeks to further his own agenda. With others plotting to bring him down, can Peter ever escape his past to win the ultimate prize in politics?
Why we’re watching: British political drama at its finest.
The Great Women Artists
Katy Hessel – an up-and-coming art historian who works on special projects and exhibitions at Victoria Miro Gallery – celebrates female artists and their work through interviews with key figures in the art world: Tate Modern director Frances Morris talks fine artist Agnes Martin; British painter Celia Paul opens up her live-in studio; and Ami Bouhassane recalls her grandmother, Lee Miller.
Why we’re listening: Art is fascinating and a huge part of the One Aldwych culture with our collection of over 400 pieces in the hotel.
There are more than 200 archival episodes of BBC Radio 4’s Bookclub. Listen to host James Naughtie in conversation with some of the greatest authors in the world, followed by questions from an audience of readers. Past guests include Don DeLillo, Jay McInerney, Muriel Spark, Jonathan Franzen, Michael Chabon, Elizabeth Strout, Naomi Alderman, and Donna Tartt.
Why we’re listening:A love for reading, learning and culture!
You probably heard a lot about cinematographer Roger Deakins during the promo push for 1917 at the start of the year, in which he and Sir Sam Mendes took us on a real-time single-shot journey through the trenches of World War I. Here, Deakins, his collaborator and wife chat to other notables about the technical side of filmmaking, from directors including Mendes and Denis Villeneuve to Steadicam operators and colour scientists.
Why we’re listening: Regular film screenings take place in the One Aldwych screening room and we love learning about how they are made!
We’d love to hear if you’ve enjoyed any of the above, leave a comment to let us know!