Plan your autumn right here, right now

Posted at 2:00 pm, September 17, 2012 in Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Music & Nightlife
Autumn Preview

The days are officially getting shorter and you know what that means, autumn is on its way. All last week we revealed our A-Z of the very best autumnal happenings and today, we’re putting them in one convenient place for your to peruse at your pleasure.

A is for... is for…

Alan Davies, comedy tour
Rejoice, because for the first time in more than a decade the comedian we named ‘Best Young Comic of 1991′ is back doing what he does best. And no, that’s not solving crimes as Jonathan Creek or displaying his ‘QI’ knowledge alongside Stephen Fry. It’s standing behind a microphone and being funny. Often wildly funny. ‘Life Is Pain’, the Loughton-born comedian’s new UK tour, arrives in Richmond and Hackney this November and Hammersmith next February. Richmond Theatre, Nov 4. Hackney Empire, Nov 12.

‘Argo’, film
Ben Affleck’s reputation as a director grows with every film he makes. After 2010’s ‘The Town’, he’s back with ‘Argo’. Based on real events, the plot sees Affleck play a CIA agent who tries to smuggle six US citizens out of Iran in 1979 – posing as the Canadian crew of a sci-fi movie. Early whispers suggest that this is a cracker.

Beasts of Southern Wild

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‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’, film

Audiences and critics went crazy for this American indie at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Directed by first-timer Benh Zeitlin, it’s a mad, magical, musical and poetic riff on the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and its undoubted star is eight year-old Quvenzhané Wallis. She plays a young girl living with her dad in a marooned community on a flooded delta and is surely on track for an Oscars nod.

Big Gay Lifestyle Show, expo
Europe’s biggest LGBT expo returns, and is set to be the best yet. There’ll be live entertainment plus a chance to browse products and services trying to woo the pink pound.

Bond

Bond, James Bond
He’s back. Jumping from fast-moving trains, motorcycling through busy markets, showering with mysterious brunettes: there are no lengths to which James Bond won’t go in the service of his country. Whether director Sam Mendes can improve on the underwhelming ‘Quantum of Solace’ remains to be seen, but expectations for ‘Skyfall’ are sky-high following Daniel Craig’s royal cameo at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

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Café Colbert, grand café
Did you ever go to Oriel, in Sloane Square? No? Well you had a lucky escape – it was a dismal and deeply forgettable French brasserie. So it’s great news that the site has been taken on by Corbin & King (the restaurateurs behind The Wolseley, The Delaunay and Brasserie Zédel). They’ll be sticking to what they do best and opening an all-day ‘grand café’ named Café Colbert. Expect decent croque monsieurs and brilliant people-watching.

Café Royal, hotel
Café Royal has had a colourful history – at its high points the elegant grillroom hosted cocktail-fuelled evenings with the likes of Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and Brigitte Bardot (not at the same time, mind). At its lowest point, ‘Big Brother’contestants had birthday parties in the Elysium nightclub. In 2007, the premises shut its gilded doors for a five-year refurb; this autumn it’s set to reopen as part of a 159-room hotel. The Louis XVI interiors have been restored in the hope of reattracting glitterati of Wilde’s calibre. Occupying a sizeable chunk of Regent Street’s John Nash curved terrace, the hotel will be open for bookings in October.

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Dance Umbrella, dance
The annual contemporary dance festival has survived a massive cut in Arts Council funding and appears this year in a concentrated form, returning to its radical roots. Choreographer Jonathan Burrows co-curates a ten-day festival of forward-thinking international work, taking place at Central Saint Martins’ new performing arts centre behind King’s Cross. It’s a great venue to reflect the bubbling creativity of the artists on show, including Bessie Award-winner Beth Gill, over from the USA with her piece ‘Electric Midwife’. Granary Building, University of the Arts, N1C 4AA (www.danceumbrella.co.uk). Oct 5-14.

‘Dancing on the Edge’, TV
For his first full TV series in more than a decade, Stephen Poliakoff (‘The Lost Prince’, ‘Shooting the Past’) has chosen 1930s London as the backdrop for the story of a black jazz band dealing with racial prejudice amid a decaying high society. Expect a stately examination of Poliakoff’s pet themes of memory, family and history, plus a fantastic cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, JohnGoodman and Matthew Goode all feature. BBC2. Late autumn.

Doctor Brown, comedy
This year’s Edinburgh Fringe was awash with mime acts, but it was Doctor Brown, the silent creation of American Phil Burgers, who ended up taking home the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for his confusingly titled show ‘Befrdfgth’. There are no ‘trapped in a box’ routines here; Burgers is like an unnerving cult leader, taking his audience on a hysterical, sometimes unsettling journey. He literally gives mime a kick up the arse. Soho Theatre. Oct 30-Nov 10.

Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men

Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men’, exhibition
No, not Dalston’s hippest nu-gaze band but an exhibition that mixes human and animal specimens with tales of shady surgeons and grave robbers (aka ‘resurrection men’). So far, so macabre, but don’t let that put you off this show, which promises insight into the creation of the Anatomy Act of 1832 that gave the state the right to take ‘unclaimed’ corpses from poorhouses for dissection, leaving you to question: just who owns your body? Museum of London. Oct 19-Apr 14 2013.

Anna del Russo's for H&M

Designers on the High Street, shopping
Is there a designer left who hasn’t cast their eyes downwards and swapped a little bit of creative sparkledust for a lot of high-street cash? Or a celebrity tenuous enough to have missed churning out a brand of knickers, lippy or – shudder – a signature fragrance? Apparently not, because autumn sees the trend for cross-brand love-ins continuing apace. Only this season there’s actually a lot to look forward to. Alongside those best avoided – see Emma Bunton’s second children’s clothing collection for argos – there are some stellar ranges out for autumn that give you great design at affordable prices. H&M, the king of guest collections, has scored an almighty coup with a collection from Maison Martin Margiela – the avantgarde Belgian designer. Expect slightly frightening looking deconstructed tailoring and lots of black, in stores on November 15. If you fancy something a little less cerebral, bonkers Vogue Japan editor Anna del Russo is doing her own H&M collection at the start of October – pictures have already been released, featuring lavishly bejewelled statement accessories. That statement may well be ‘I raided the lost ark and turned it into a pair of earrings’, but the collection will be nothing if not fun. Victoria Beckham may have her haters, but most of the style community grudgingly admit her own sleekly designed fashion line is excellent. Her first collection of prescription glasses for super-cool eyewear brand Cutler and Gross is out in October, while equally tasteful is Somerset, the Alice Temperley diffusion line at John Lewis, starting at just £15. For the boys, Topman has invited trendy young Brit menswear supremo James Long to produce his own Jumper collection, debuting in November – expect tasteful knits with kooky leather detailing. Meanwhile, the obligatory Karl Lagerfeld spin-off (there’s one every season) comes in the shape of a cosmetics range for Shu Uemura. Lagerfeld, who has  long used the Japanese brand’s eyeshadows to colour his fashion illustrations (but of course!), has come up with a beautiful jumble of shades, combining his flair for covetable colours with Shu Uemura’s excellent textures and packaging It’s out in November.

Doom, music
You might recognise Doom (formerly MF Doom)’s metal mask as the same piece of headgear Russell Crowe donned when he was bashing the vino out of some Romans in ‘Gladiator’. The London-born rapper is a heavyweight of a different kind – a modern hip hop great whose intellect and tonguetangling rhymes put him a level above the competition, as proven on his latest album, ‘Key to the Kuffs’. He performs at this unmissable London show with fellow Stones Throw Records legend Madlib and a host of other talent. HMV Forum. Oct 12 .

 

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Erased Tapes, music
The phrase ‘achingly beautiful’ might seem a bit naff nowadays, but it’s still appropriate in describing the artists on the books of Erased Tapes. The label – which has bases in both London and Berlin – is home to neoclassical stars Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds and A Winged Victory For The Sullen, all of whom play this special five-year anniversary gig at Hackney Empire. Eschewing the fragility of cool, and embracing the heaviness of emotion, the Erased artists won’t hesitate to throw the full weight of their gorgeously melancholy melodies down on their audience.

Fire: in Session

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Fire: In Session, clubbing
Usually synonymous with the kind of shirts-off gay clubbing that gives men ample chance to flaunt their gym memberships, Vauxhall’s Fire goes pleasingly mainstream  his season with In Session. Some of the biggest names in dance music (like Bugged Out and Kitsuné) will host ten parties until late November featuring Simian Mobile Disco, Detroit house pioneers Juan Atkins and Derrick May, and disco deity Fred Falke.

Forever Crazy’, cabaret
Venerable hyperglam burlesque and cabaret outfit Crazy Horse – a Parisian nightlife institution at 61 years old and counting – returns to the capital with a three-month run at a purpose-built venue on the South Bank. Expect typically sexy City of Light performances with some super- slick choreography, and look out for our feature on the show in the next issue but one of Time Out.

Found: Shoreditch Street Party, dance the night away
The joy of dancing in the street doesn’t have to end with Carnival. Found’s daytime party – held on the business side of Norton Folgate, close to Finsbury Square – is a chance for some seriously classy alfresco friskiness. Bringing the block party vibes until 8pm are two heroes of American house music, Marc ‘MK’ Kinchen and Todd Edwards, while an afterparty goes till 6am.

The Great Gorilla Run

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The Great Gorilla Run, go bananas for charity (pictured above)
The premise of this event is simple. You hire a gorilla suit. And then, alongside a thousand other Londoners also dressed as gorillas, you run, jog or walk a 7km route that begins in the City and takes in sights such as Tower Bridge and Tate Modern. Now in its tenth year, this fun run has raised more than £1 million to help save the small number of wild mountain gorillas left.

Herbie Hancock

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Herbie Hancock, jazz
Chances are that when we say Herbie’ you think of a Volkswagen Beetle. Tsk, tsk – because Hancock is by far the best Herb: a jazz musician who has helped redefine  modern music several times during his 72 years. This show, as part of the London Jazz Festival, is a rare chance to see the great man performing hits from his astonish back catalogue, from groundbreaking ’70s jazz-funk releases through to ’80s electro experimentation. No anthropomorphic cars are involved.

‘Hollywood Costume’ at the V&A, glitz and glamour
This exhibition’s headlines will revolve around it featuring more than 100 iconic film costumes that, for the most part, have never left California, but in truth the togs worn by the likes of Dorothy Gale, Indiana Jones and Scarlett O’Hara are just the YouTube trailer. The main feature comes from the case studies, which dissect the wardrobes of films such as ‘Fight Club’ and ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’, and the interviews where actors including Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep discuss their use of costume to channel characters.

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Inspiring speakers at the Soho Literary Festival, brain food
What do you get if you combine talks from top novelists with provocative debates about controversial topics? The answer is The Oldie magazine’s defiantly un-dumb Soho Literary Festival. A top-quality speaking line-up includes Giles Coren, Michael Frayn, Tim Lott and Tony Parsons. Tickets cost £9 per session, or you can bulk buy five events for £25.

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J-Lo, live music
Have you been fooled by the rocks that she’s got? Yes? Then be informed: the artist born Jennifer Lynn Lopez is still very much from the block. Her most recent hit single, ‘Dance Again’, is a thumping techno monster that revisits her ‘Waiting for Tonight’ heyday. Who cares that it features Pitbull? Not the legions of fans who are anticipating her return to the UK. When it comes to big shows, the 43-year-old former ‘American Idol’ judge’s still got the pop chops to keep thousands of people gyrating in their seats.

Joan Rivers © Rob Greig

Joan Rivers, comedy tour
The grande dame of stand-up is a true living comedy legend. At 79 years old (she doesn’t look it, does she? Do you think she’s had some work done?), Rivers is showing no sign of old age and her bitchy machine-gun-paced attacks on celebrity culture are as biting as ever. Who does she have locked in her sights this year? Whoever they are, they might as well throw in the towel right now…

‘Julius Caesar’, opera
Will the all-powerful Roman emperor really give it all up for the love of Cleopatra? Handel’s baroque tragedy sees American superstar countertenor Lawrence Zazzo in the title role and soprano Anna Christie as the Egyptian queen. With Christian Curnyn conducting and Michael Keegan-Dolan directing his Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, it promises to be a sparkling affair.

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Kings Place Festival, 100s of things to do
As the venue enters its fifth year, its autumn season kicks off once again with 100 events over three days. Featuring mostly classical performers (such as cellist Matthew Barley, The Chillingirian Quartet and London Sinfonietta), the 45-minute concerts mix it up with contemporary, jazz, folk, comedy and talks. Not forgetting fun for kids and even a boat trip. And all for just £4.50 a pop.

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Looper’, film
Bruce Willis has done some dumb stuff in the past (releasing records, offering to fight in Iraq, starring in ‘The Fifth Element’) but if he carries on like this, he’s going to wipe his slate clean. Following his lovable turn in ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, he’s taking on his most unsettling role to date as a back-from-the-future version of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s hitman in sci-fi headspinner ‘Looper’.

Love and Information’, theatre
Royal Court artistic director Dominic Cooke looks intent on going out with a bang with an eye-popping penultimate season. It gets under way with the return of the Court’s totemic playwright, ‘Top Girls’ and ‘Serious Money’ author Caryl Churchill. With a typically high-concept premise, ‘Love and Information’ features a cast of 16 playing more than a hundred characters who are trying ‘to make sense of what they know’. Royal Court Downstairs.

Hackney Picture House © Rob Greig

London Film Festival
The London Film Festival is coming to more cinemas than ever this autumn, having had a top-to-bottom overhaul by new artistic director Clare Stewart, who arrives from the Sydney Film Festival. The event opens on October 10 with the European premiere of ‘Frankenweenie’, the new animation from Tim Burton (‘Sweeney Todd’). The closing film on October 21 is ‘Great Expectations’, a brilliant adaptation of Dickens’s novel from director Mike Newell (‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’), starring Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch and Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham. Other major premieres include Paul Thomas Anderson’s hugely anticipated ‘The Master’,  which chronicles the birth of a spiritual movement in postwar America (any resemblance to Scientology is entirely coincidental apparently). There’s also an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’ and Mira Nair’s new film ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’.

Regular visitors to the festival will spot some significant changes this year. Clare Stewart is shaking things up with two major innovations. Programme-wise, she has replaced strands organised by country and region with themes such as ‘Dare’, ‘Thrill’, ‘Laughter’ and ‘Debate’. Time Out is sponsoring ‘Debate’, whose highlights include Thomas Vinterberg’s paedophile-witchhunt drama ‘The Hunt’ and the Italian ‘Big Brother’ satire ‘Reality’ (from ‘Gomorrah’ director Matteo Garrone).

Great Expectations

For the first time, as well as screening more than 150 films in West End venues, the LFF will take over cinemas across London – including the Hackney Picturehouse, the Renoir, the Screen on the Green in Islington and the Rich Mix – for the entire festival. They will also be cramming more screenings into less time – this year’s event will run for 12 days rather than the usual 16.

The full schedule is announced this week. And whatever the structural tweaks, we can expect a selection of the most-talked-about films from the summer’s big festivals (many of them months ahead of their release dates) and a generous handful of swanky gala premieres. Not to mention experimental work, restored classics (the Archive Gala is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1929 film ‘The Manxman’) and plenty of talks, workshops and Q&As. Be warned, the festival’s hottest tickets sell out fast, so early-bird booking is  recommended – already open for BFI members, while the rest of us get a chance from September 24.

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The Master’, film
Is it about Scientology? Does anyone care? ‘The Master’, Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film – his first since ‘There Will Be Blood’ – is the dramatic movie to beat this autumn, with a stunning cast, intriguing storyline (Joaquin Phoenix’s drifter comes under the spell of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s guru) and the guiding hand of the best filmmaker working in America.

Michael McIntyre , comedy
When the interminably bouncy Michael McIntyre played nine nights across the O2 and Wembley arenas in 2009 we thought his popularity could grow no more. How wrong we were. Starting on September 26, some 250,000 punters in London will lap up the baby-faced comic’s mix of domestic observations and apparent astonishment. Most booked their tickets over a year ago, so if you’ve misplaced yours, we suggest checking your ‘man drawer’.

Michael Haneke, film-maker
Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke can fairly claim to be one of cinema’s greatest living directors – and his reputation is set to soar higher still this autumn among the artier echelons of London’s filmgoers. In May, the 70-year-old director scooped the Palme d’Or at Cannes for ‘Amour’ (pictured below), his devastating new drama about an elderly couple in Paris dealing with old age and illness (played by French acting legends Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant). Just three years ago, Haneke won the same prize for ‘The White Ribbon’(bottom) –making him the only filmmaker to win the coveted award for two consecutive films in such quick succession. In the end, ‘The White Ribbon’ proved too austere a film for the Oscars (many felt it was robbed in 2010 when the Argentinian thriller ‘The Secret in Their Eyes’ won Best Foreign Language Film) but ‘Amour’ is shaping up as an early frontrunner at next year’s awards.

In Cannes, a few days before being awarded his Palme d’Or, Haneke explained to Time Out how he based his film on a simple question: ‘How do you cope with the suffering of loved ones?’ ‘Amour’ is a tender but unflinching portrait of the horrors and indignities of impending death, and it deals with its subject with immense intelligence and empathy. Haneke faces up to the realities of sickness, but his mission is not simply to present a realistic portrait of the end, even though that’s part of the process. More than that, he wants to explore the emotions and instincts felt on both sides by this couple – pride, despair, loss, empathy and its limits. ‘It would have been easy to exploit the sentimentality of this situation and manipulate the audience,’ Haneke argued. ‘But that would have been ruinous for this film. It’s important to respect the dignity of the characters you’re showing.’

Time Out is thrilled to be presenting ‘Amour’ as the Time Out Special Screening at this year’s London Film Festival in October before it arrives in cinemas on November 16.

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The National Theatre’s new play
After the blockbuster success of all-singing, all-dancing corporate satire ‘Enron’, director Rupert Goold and playwright Lucy Prebble reunite for ‘The Effect’ – a brand new endeavour from Goold’s Headlong company, and something of a coup for the National. Pathologically likeable telly star Billie Piper will head up the cast of this ‘clinical romance’ exploring sanity, neurology and the limits of medicine.

The White Building © Will Pryce

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Open House London, festival of nosiness
Ever nosily asked ‘what’s behind that door’? Well, wonder no more, because the city’s finest architectural showcase is back. The 19 previous Open House weekends have given Londoners the opportunity to roam around the Lloyd’s building and the Bank of England, and this year’s version provides the chance to explore more than 750 edifices including the Gherkin, the Heron Tower and Tower 42. It’s all free, but tickets go fast and need to be booked in advance.

Nuit Blanche, Paris

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Paris
Demonstrate your cultural savoir-faire with a hop, skip and a Eurostar to Paris to take in Nuit Blanche, a free annual arts festival that sees cafés, bars and cultural centres stay open from dusk till dawn. Big names and emerging talents in the art world breathe new life into the streets and buildings of the city with one-off performances and installations. The festival is now a decade old but avoids getting stale by selecting a new curator every year. This year Laurent Le Bon, director of the Metz division of Paris’s iconic Centre Pompidou, has visualised a fluid line of events following the length of the river Seine. You can expect achingly hip and modern works from the likes of Michel Blazy and Tania Mouraud, and new visions from up-andcoming artists Camille Henrot and Emma Dusong. Banks of the Seine, Paris.

Polari First Book Prize
Now in its second year, the Polari First Book Prize is for a debut book of poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction, that explores the LGBT experience. Entertainment comes from authors and poets Susie Boyt, Neil Alexander, Jeff Kristian, Cherry Smyth and Robert Hudson.

Photography. Lots of it
Despite looking through a camera lens, photographers see the world much as the Old Masters did – or at least, that’s the justification behind The National Gallery’s first major foray into photography. ‘Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present’ (October 31-January 20 2013) promises to shake up the institution’s Constables and Gainsboroughs by juxtaposing them with work by photographers such as Martin Parr and Craigie Horsfield. The idea is to highlight the influence of fine art on photography and to illustrate the idea that camera-clickers have both subconsciously and intentionally been following in the footsteps of classical artists since the form first emerged.

But while The National Gallery is taking intriguing baby steps toward a new kind of show, fellow London galleries are competitively wheeling out photography’s big guns. At Tate Modern, William Klein/Daido Moriyama (October 10-January 20 2013) pairs the urban photography of American Klein with that of his Japanese contemporary to explore their pioneering approach to the photobook. It also examines the avantgarde style they developed to record street life, protest and social changeon the streets of New York and Tokyo  during the mid-twentieth century.

'Everything was Moving' Photography from the 60s and 70s, Barbican © Bruce Davidson

That same era is examined in the Barbican’s ‘Everything Was Moving: Photography  from the ’60s and ’70s’ (September 13-January 13 2013). It serves as a document of those politically tumultuous years, featuring prints by David Goldblatt, who spent five decades visually recording life in South Africa pre- and post-apartheid; and images by Li Zhensheng, who was compelled to work in secret during China’s Cultural Revolution. As well as documentary, the show’s 350 works cover the changing perception of photography as a representational medium to one that helps us  understand our environment and ourselves.

Crowd-pleasing names such as William Eggleston and Bruce Davidson are among those helping to reflect the  idea of photography as an art form, leaving visitors looking for lesserknown talent to head to the V&A where socially charged images by 30 emerging photographers will be  shown in ‘Light from the Middle East: New Photography’ (November 13-April 7 2013). Among the 90 works on display,  expect to see Newsha Tavakolian’s series of  others holding pictures of their sons killed in the Iran-Iraq war, as well as digitally manipulated images by Nermine Hammam who transports Egyptian soldiers to  unlikely settings.

Light from the Middle East: New Photography, V&A © Nermine Hammam

Slightly less weighty themes are in play at Somerset House as it presents ‘Cartier-Bresson: A Question of Colour’ (November 8-January 27 2013). Celebrating Henri Cartier-Bresson’s notion of the ‘decisive moment’, the exhibition brings together 15 photographs by the master with 75 works by 14 European and  North American practitioners, to illustrate how Cartier-Bresson’s ethos of intuitively capturing a moment on film has influenced the practice of generations of  photographers. There’s also a welcome retrospective for Dorothy Bohm at the Museum of London.

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Quirky theatre
Bored of the West End? Head to Bermondsey and prepare to lose yourself in ‘The Architects’, a modern-day theatrical maze created by the envelope-pushing Shunt collective. The follow-up to the smash hit ‘Money’, this new immersive piece is inspired by the myth of the Minotaur, and tales of both modern and ancient Greece. We’re promised a ‘wildly disorientating’ experience from one of London’s most consistently inventive theatre companies.

Peep Show

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Returning TV classics
This autumn sees the strongest selection of returning TV series for years: in search of its mojo after getting a twinge in the leg is ‘Downton Abbey’ (ITV1); ‘Peep Show’ and ‘Fresh Meat’ (both C4) join ‘The Thick of It’ (Saturdays, BBC2) in a triple threat of arch sophistication and glorious meanspiritedness; Sarah Lund solves her final case in ‘The Killing’ (BBC4); Brodie is embedded in Congress as ‘Homeland’ (C4) returns; and, after the deaths and betrayals of previous series, the cast of ‘Top Boy’ (C4), ‘The Hour’ (BBC2) and ‘Boardwalk Empire’ (Sky Atlantic) are picking up the pieces. Phew…

‘The River’
Reuniting the ‘Jerusalem’ dream team of writer Jez Butterworth, director Ian Rickson and designer Ultz, this world premiere in the Royal Court’s tiny upstairs theatre is expected to generate such demand that scoring a ticket for it is practically going to be a piece of theatre in its own right. No tickets will be on sale in advance: you can buy online on the day of each performance from 9am, or in person at the Royal Court box office from 10am. In the meantime, ‘a remote cabin on the cliffs, a man and a woman, and a moonless night’ are the only details we’ve been given of the plot, but since ‘Jerusalem’ is now more or less accepted as the key British theatre work of the last decade, expectations for ‘The River’ are some way beyond feverish.

San Francisco Ballet © Erik Tomasson

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San Francisco Ballet
The company is a force to be reckoned with in American ballet, and will be paying a visit to the UK for the first time in eight years. The three contemporary  programmes San Francisco Ballet are presenting here should suit Londoners’ sensibilities to a tee, with unseen works from Brit choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and a new piece by American master Mark Morris in the mix. It’s also a chance to see diminutive star ballerina Maria Kotchetkova, who danced in London with both the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet before decamping to San Francisco (traitor!).

Stephen Fry in ‘Twelfth Night’
Fry is set to play uptight steward Malvolio in this revival of Mark Rylance’s 2002 epochal ‘Twelfth Night’. Rylance – aka Britain’s Greatest Stage Actor – will reprise his acclaimed role as Olivia in the all-male Original Practices production. Tickets for the sold-out Globe run are now going for stupid money on eBay, but there is still decent availability for the West End transfer. Shakespeare’s Globe, Sept 22-Oct 14. Apollo Shaftesbury, Nov 2-Feb 3 2013.

Tame Impala

 

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Tame Impala
A chance to tune in and wig out: Aussie five-piece Tame Impala do mind-bending guitar music like no other band on the planet, and are almost single-handedly making the psych-rock genre cool again. If indeed it ever was. Fans of excellent 2010 album ‘Innerspeaker’ are still accumulating, making this gig – in support of upcoming second record ‘Lonerism’, due in October – one extremely hot (and loud) ticket.

The Tiger Lillies

The Tiger Lillies
When Shakespeare was penning ‘Hamlet’, it’s doubtful he imagined that one day it would be performed by the world’s foremost neo-Brechtian-post-punkfalsetto-squeezebox-gypsy-cabaretthree-piece band. But that’s exactly what’s happening this September, when The Tiger Lillies present a novel take on the tragedy that involves circus, giant puppets, video projection and singer Martyn Jacques taking on a Yorickish jester-corpse persona.

Underground Rebel Bingo © Mary-Alice Thompson

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Underground Rebel Bingo
The antithesis of a quiet night down your local Mecca, Rebel Bingo takes an OAP pastime and gives it a hardcore twist. The number callers are potty-mouthed bingo babes, and the audience is encouraged to dance while drawing all over each other with Sharpies. The Rebel crew will be getting their balls out again for two nights of raucous revelry this autumn.

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‘Valentino: Master of Couture’
Strike a pose. No, seriously, do – because this exhibition celebrating the life and work of haute couture designer Valentino Garavani gives visitors the opportunity to strut their stuff down a 60-metre catwalk. And once you’ve stopped voguing and showing off, you can get an eyeful of more than 130 of the Italian genius’s dresses that have been showcased by style icons including Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Jackie Onassis. Somerset House has established itself as something of a specialist for fashion and design shows, and this looks like another strong outing.

Viva Forever

‘Viva Forever!’
‘Friendship never ends’ declared the Spice Girls back in 1997, and though Posh, Ginger, Baby and Mels B and C have gone some way towards challenging that contention over the last 15 years, all five are firmly united behind this jukebox musical. Produced by exclamation-mark-happy ‘Mamma Mia!’ maestro Judy Craymer, with a book by Jennifer Saunders, and based around the music of a band who, lest scoffers forget, shifted 65 million records, the commercial potential for this contemporary comedy musical about ‘family, friendship and trying to stay true to yourself’ is enormous.

W is for...is for…

‘War and Peace’
Three concerts exploring contemporary responses to World War II, in which Vladimir Jurowski conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra, then the Russian National Orchestra, then both of them together. The works include Britten’s ‘Sinfonia da Requiem’, Walton’s Viola Concerto (soloist Lawrence Power), excerpts from Prokofiev’s opera ‘War and Peace’ and Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No 6, ending with Shostakovich’s Symphony No 7 (‘Leningrad’) which was premiered in 1942, while the city was under siege by the Nazis and thousands of its inhabitants were dying every day from starvation.

Winter Wonderland
Okay, we know this is technically your A-Z of autumn, but if the shops are already stocking Christmas trees, we can safely talk winter. Hyde Park’s seasonal makeover into the pricy-but-pretty German-style Christmas market that is Winter Wonderland returns this November. Expect the obligatory ice rink, more rides, and lots of places to gulp down mulled wine and chomp on a bratwurst.

X is for...is for….

X-treme (ahem) pressure at The Red Bull Culture Clash
Soundsystem culture teams up with all the best aspects of a gameshow for an epic battle of the beats this November. Four competing crews – Diplo’s Major Lazer, London grime syndicate Boy Better Know, reggae selectors Channel One and Magnetic Man with Annie Mac – each set up in a corner of the arena and fight for the crowd’s votes, with the winning crew playing until the end. Tim Westwood and Radio 1’s Gemma Cairney bring the requisite razzamatazz as hosts; Bruce Forsyth was presumably unavailable.

Old Bangla Warehouse © Paul Winch-Furness

Y is for...is for…

Yuppy Babylon
If bigger is better, then the Old Bengal Warehouse is one to watch. This Grade II-listed former spice warehouse (originally built by the East India Company) is being converted by D&D Restaurants into a mega-complex with more than 10,000 square feet of dining, drinking and retail space. There will be two restaurants in the venue (one fish, one grill), a cocktail bar, a wine shop and two terraces (one smoking, one non-smoking). In short, it’s a vast playground for London’s rebooted City slickers. Britain’s getting back on its feet again! The New Street Grill is due to open on Sept 17.

Z is for...is for…

Zadie Smith’s new novel, ‘NW’
Find out why the author of ‘White Teeth’ set her latest book in Kilburn here.

 

If that’s not enough for you, head to our major events calendar for more things happening around town.

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