Looking for fun stuff to do this week? Why not let us be your guide. Here’s what our editors recommend in the worlds of film, music, clubbing, cabaret, comedy, theatre, art, and good old television. Enjoy!
‘Blue is the Warmest Colour‘, this French romance puts you back on the roller coaster of falling in love for the first time.
‘The Innocents‘, this 1961 spine chiller is arguably cinema’s best ghost story.
‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug‘, back with dwarves, giant spiders, gob-smacking set-pieces and the precious.
‘Gravity‘, this is a movie made for the biggest screen you can find – don’t leave it too late.
‘Nebraska’, another slice of grouchy small-town man-disappointment in a melancholy road movie.
Fat White Family (100 Club, Dec 10) Something very special, this should be a freak-out that would make Zappa proud.
Wooden Shjips (Scala, Dec 10) A treat for those who like their guitar music intense, immersive, and sounding like it comes from very distant shores indeed.
Arthur Beatrice (Cargo, Dec 11) They’re among our tips for 2014. Go see them now, if only for the pleasure of saying ‘Oh, I caught them back in 2013.’
Egg Presents (Egg, Dec 13) Hear the legendary Green Velvet play a set of his devilish tunes and twisted spoken word monologues.
Night Train (Egg, Dec 14) Catch Detroit techno star Kenny Larkin – an underground hero and a huge influence on modern house.
Running Wild X Total Garage (Plan B, Dec 14) Wookie and DJ EZ take Brixton by storm alongside producer Deadboy.
The Slipper Room (Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, Dec 11) For two decades, the Slipper Room has spearheaded New York neo-burlesque.
Lady Rizo (Soho Theatre, Dec 18 – Jan 4) The soulful, uproarious and irresistible singer and comic begins her festive run.
Margaret Thatcher: Queen of Soho (Theatre 503, Dec 10 – Jan 4) Matt Tedford dons coiffured helmet, twin set and handbag to impersonate the Iron Lady in this larky satirical step back in time.
Gits and Shiggles Comedy Night (Half Moon Putney, Dec 10) Master satirist Andy Zaltzman, character comic Joseph Morpurgo, feel-good hero Luisa Omielan, and sharp witted Dane Sofie Hagen make up the bill.
Laugh Out London – Angel (Old Queen’s Head, Dec 10) Political wonder Josie Long, moustachioed ‘Man Down’ star Mike Wozniak and more take to the (tiny) stage.
Nish Kumar – Nish Kumar is a Comedian (Soho Theatre, Dec 9 – 19) Slick, sharp, confident stand-up from this loveable charmer.
‘Emil and the Detectives‘ (National Theatre, until Mar 18 2014) Take a trip to ’20s Berlin as a child cast of over 50 perform in the National Theatre’s excellent family adaptation of Erich Kastner’s great adventure story.
‘Candide‘ (Menier Chocolate Factory, until Feb 22 2014) The superb cast in Matthew White’s bonkers production fling this Bernstein curio around the Menier’s auditorium with panto-grade impish humour.
‘The Night Before Christmas‘ (Soho Theatre, until Jan 5 2014) Dark meta-Christmas humour abounds in surrealist Anthony Neilson’s very funny festive show.
Jules de Balincourt (Victoria Miro, until Dec 20) Welcome to the intriguing world of this Paris-born, New York-based painter – where Chelsea Manning and apocalyptic gatherings all have their place.
Jack Smith: Cologne, 1974 (Space, until Dec 15) Last chance to see photos and film documenting the late artist’s famed performance in Cologne zoo.
Good Ol’ Freda: The Beatles’ Secretary (More4, Dec 10, 9pm) Join the fab four’s fan club secretary for this charming and perceptive alternative history.
British Comedy Awards 2013 (C4, Dec 12, 9pm) It may be a little more on-message these days, but this is one awards ceremony that retains an air of unpredictability.
Abba: Absolute Image (C5, Dec 13, 10pm) Excellent profile of the Swedish pop combo and their berserk relationship with fashion and self image.
Borgen (BBC4, Dec 14, 9pm) Birgitte, Katrine and co face the final curtain: but will all endings be happy ones?
Sports Personality of the Year; The X Factor (BBC1, Dec 15, 7.40pm. ITV, Dec 15, 7.30pm) The nation decides, twice. Andy Murray and Sam Bailey look like the frontrunners as millions hit their redial buttons.
Want more? Here’s our list of more hot happenings this week.