Our favourite cultural moments of the last decade

2010: After a pilot season in 2009, the National Theatre’s initiative to broadcast performances live to cinema screens across the UK fully kicked off in 2010 with everything from Hamlet to Frankenstein. What started as purely NT productions screened in 70 UK cinemas now screens across the globe and has incorporated productions from other theatrical institutions including the Young Vic and Donmar Warehouse.

2011: On 16 April the Turner Contemporary opened in Margate with a mission to celebrate and inspire contemporary art, as well as having been a huge driving force in the regeneration of the seaside town.

2012: It has to be the London Summer Olympics! From Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony extravaganza, Isles of Wonder, championing British culture and achievements from the NHS to James Bond, to the legacy work put in place to benefit the arts and leisure funding and infrastructure across the six London boroughs that hosted the games.

2013: In 2009 the Culture Secretary began the initiative to award one UK city every fours years with the City of Culture prize, which would see an influx of funding and awareness to promote the arts and culture sector within the winning city. Derry was the first winner back in 2013, with Hull taking the prize in 2017 and Coventry being crowned as the next winner for the 2021 prize.

2014: After a 35-year break, musical siren Kate Bush made a return to the stage with a 22-date residency at the Hammersmith Apollo entitled Before the Dawn.

2015: In April 2015, the original English Heritage organisation became a charitable trust after an £80m investment from the government, helping it to focus on the conservation of what is now over 400 historic sites across the UK. Historic England was formed at this time to take on the more functional role of running planning, grants and planning.

2016: The whole world got behind celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Across the UK were homages to the work of the Bard from theatre productions to TV adaptions and inspired orchestral performances.

2017: In October, the first completely new commercial theatre opened in London for over 80 years. The Bridge Theatre, a collaboration between Nicholas Hynter and Nick Star, has become renowned for its exciting new, and often immersive, productions, set in the 900-seater flexible performance space.

2018: On 15 September, V&A Dundee became the first design museum in Scotland and the first V&A museum to be opened outside of London.

2019:  Combining two of the UK’s most exciting talents on arguably the most famous stage in the UK was always going to be a recipe for cultural magic. Therefore, our moment of 2019 has to be Stormzy’s wearing a monochrome Union Jack stab vest designed by Banksy for his electric headline performance at Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage.



Author: Kate Plummer