Enjoy local craft beers, classic films on warm summer evenings and laughing yourself stupid in pubs? Then you’re going to love August. There are loads of awesome things going on – get these in your diary pronto.
COOL THINGS TO DO
Aug 1-2: BalletBoyz, Roundhouse. The beautiful dancing boyz are back in town performing old and snippets of new work with music by Keaton Henson.
Aug 2: Tie Dye High Five at Queen of Hoxton. The folk behind creative agency Neon Stash teach you how to tie-dye, dip-dye and use fabric pens.
Aug 2: It’s The Book Club‘s penultimate pop-up with a range of new designers, as well as vintage clothes and accessories.
Aug 2: Holi One at Wembley Park. Expect an intensely colourful day of music, dance, performance art and getting gloriously messy.
Aug 2: Forgotten Fighters: The First World War at Sea at the National Maritime Museum tells the stories of those who fought at sea a century ago with exhibits including weaponry, photographs and medals.
Aug 5-Nov 11: The Tower of London marks centenary of the outbreak of WWI with an installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies – one for each British and Colonial fatality during the war.
Aug 7: Pop-Up StreetVelodrome. As part of the Summer of Sport series currently taking place in Liverpool Street’s Exchange Square, StreetVelodrome will set up for a day.
Aug 9-10: Prudential RideLondon. A weekend-long feast of cycling, sport and leisure that sees an eight-mile loop of roads around central London closed to regular traffic so that bike enthusiasts can get a clear run at it.
Aug 12: Breaker’s Yard. Sutton House’s newly refurbished outdoor area opens to the public.
Aug 14: Meridian Time Breach at Royal Observatory. Steampunk’s finest come together for a late-night opening of the Observatory’s ‘Longitude Punk’d’ exhibition.
Aug 16: Seven Dials presents Spotlight. Covent Garden’s spiderweb of a junction, Seven Dials, plays host to a bevvy of entertainment.
Aug 16-17: Bounce Festival at Old Deer Park. A family festival with a line-up bustling with workshops, energetic activities and lively performances.
Aug 16: River Rat Race. This 10km aquatic challenge will see participants run, jump, swim, kayak and climb their way around the Docklands in east London to raise money for Shelter.
Aug 17-25: Mind Sports Olympiad at JW3. This annual festival of the mind is currently taking registrations for its sedentary tournaments in more than 60 board games.
Aug 22: Dino Snores for Grown-ups at Natural History Museum. A midnight feast of science-based fun for adults only.
Aug 24-25: Notting Hill Carnival. Europe’s biggest street festival is a vivid spectacle representing London’s multicultural past and present.
NEW TASTY PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK
Until August 3: Eat Chic Cafe on Camden High Street. This creative café pops up for a short couple of week, offering handcrafted meringues and craft magazines.
Until August 31: Snowflake Gelato pop up in Harvey Nichols. Take a break from shopping and cool down with some handmade ice cream.
Just opened: Vauxhall Street Food Garden. A brand new weekday street food market with its own dedicated bars.
Until August 2: Lobster Pot in Tower Hamlets. Seafood fans, you NEED to check out the stonking great menu Nicos Popupalot is offering to those attending his shellfish party.
Until August 3: Feast. A foodie fest at Tobacco Dock includes an ‘eat your own taxidermy’ masterclass. Ick.
August 1: Belvedere vodka launches Legends of the Martini in Burlington gardens offering guests a bespoke martini flight experience.
August 2: Dine Mile High in a secret location. Combining the best bits of a weekend away to Andalucia, this evening has the food, drink, immersive entertainment and a real latino vibe.
August 9-16: London Beer City hops around London’s pubs, bars and best breweries offering a load of great events.
Aug 12-17: Great British Beer Festival at Olympia. You’d better arrive thirsty or you’ll never even make a dent in the 900-strong list of ales, ciders, perries and international beers available at this five-day celebration of the art of brewing.
August 14-17: The London Craft Beer Festival at Oval Space is this month’s third chance to try some tasty tipples.
August 20: Bleecker St. Burger Van. Their burger van will be popping up near their soon-to-be permanent site in Old Spitalfields Market, which will open in 2015.
Aug 23-25: BBC Good Food Festival at Hampton Court. Artisan producers, local restaurants, butchers, bakers and kitchen gadget makers will be setting up shop in the grounds of the palace.
August 29-September 13: Mary Poppins Pop-Up Restaurant Experience, location TBA. Cor blimey, guvnor, it’s only a Mary Poppins pop-up dining experience gracing the streets of ol’ London town.
August 31: The Big Feastival in Kingham. Organised by James and ever-chirpy TV chef Jamie Oliver, this family friendly event mixes up foodie fanaticism and music.
GREAT EVENTS AND NEW FILMS
Until August 31: Time Out’s Battersea Power Station Screenings. For seven weeks Everyman is hosting a 250-seat outdoor cinema outside the iconic 1930s power station, showing, among other things, Time Out’s favourite sci-fi films.
Out now ‘Guardians of the Galaxy‘: a witty, wacky and wonderfully generous sugary gift of a film.
August 7-20 Somerset House’s outdoor screenings. Watching a movie under the stars in Somerset House’s beautiful courtyard on a balmy summer evening is a near-perfect London experience.
August 8 ‘The Inbetweeners 2‘: If the first movie’s anything to go by, expect some seriously cringeworthy forays into the world of dating, which just quite never come off as planned.
August 14 ‘The Expendables 3‘: Some believe that Sylvester Stallone’s moderately successful action franchise marks a welcome return to the trashy world of ’80s action flicks, when men were muscly, baddies were moustachioed and women were largely irrelevant. Others feel that the films just don’t try hard enough to provide anything other than lunkheaded macho jokes and things going repeatedly bang.
August 15 ‘The Rover‘: David Michod’s second film sounds like a grittier, grimier, Western-influenced companion piece to his debut, as Guy Pearce’s outback loner hauls ass through the desert in pursuit of the thugs who pinched his car.
August 22 ‘Two Days, One Night‘: Everyone’s favourite actress Marion Cotillard is amazing playing a woman desperate to keep her her job (while she’s been off sick her colleagues have been offered a vote: do you want to keep your bonus or to give Marion the push?).
August 22 ‘Lucy‘: Scarlett Johansson stars as a woman living in Taipei who is forced by the mob to work as a drug mule. We’re expecting an ass-kicking action flick.
August 22 ‘Sin City 2‘: Fans can rejoice as the long awaited sequel hits the big screen this summer.
August 29 ‘Obvious Child‘: Critics who saw the film at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival praised its witty script, sharp performances and refusal to take the tried-and-tested romcom route.
TOP NOTCH COMEDY
Aug 2-9: There’s an impressive mix of household names – Frankie Boyle, Al Murray, Milton Jones – and circuit favourites – Brian Gittins, Aisling Bea, Joe Lycett – taking part in unassuming week-long festival the Phoenix Fringe, at the Phoenix pub in Cavendish Square.
Aug 26-30: ‘America’s Funnyman’ Neil Hamburger, the anti-comedy character creation of Gregg Turkington, sports a greasy combover, phlegms into his drink and tells so-bad-they’re-hysterical jokes at Soho Theatre.
Aug 29-30: Dark, intelligent US stand-up Tom Rhodes follows up his Edinburgh Fringe run with a two-night stand at the Soho Theatre.
Aug 12-16 and 19-23: Also at Soho, dry-as-a-bone stand-up Simon Evans brings his erudite wit to tales of acquiring a new family dog in ‘Leashed’.
Aug 14-16 and 21-23: And, if you’re lucky, you might be able to snap up a ticket to an intimate work-in-progress from the pointy-faced half of The Mighty Boosh, Noel Fielding, as he warms-up for his UK tour at Jackson’s Lane.
Find more hilarious August comedy shows
‘Yellow Chalk #1 & 2 from the series Dalston Anatomy’, 2013 © Lorenzo Vitturi
A CHOICE FEW ART EXHIBITIONS OPENING
Until October 19: Lorenzo Vitturi: Dalston Anatomy at The Photographers’ Gallery. An installation exploring ideas about creation, consumption and preservation.
August 1-October 19: Primrose: Early colour photography in Russia at The Photographers’ Gallery. The social history of Russia is charted through this beautiful and intriguing assortment of images.
August 23: BMW Tate Live: Up Hill Down Hall: An indoor carnival. Get engaged in some carnival activity at Tate with this mass-performative event.
Until September 27: My Night With Reg at the Donmar. Playwright Kevin Elyot never got to see the revival of his minor classic about a group of gay friends enjoying the summer of ’85 – he passed away just a couple of months ago. Hopefully this should be a fitting tribute, with the Donmar taking a punt on rising star director Robert Hastie.
August 6-31: The Ring Cycle Plays at The Scoop. The free outdoor theatre shows at The Scoop just get more ambitious every year – following last year’s Oedipus trilogy, here’s a new four-part, four-hour adaptation of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Unsurprisingly, it’s not actually an opera, which would lead some to question the actual point, but never fear – director Phil Wilmott and his team are adapt at spinning fun, accessible theatre out of gods and monsters. Don’t expect it to be faultless, but the value is always exceptional.
August 14-September 28: The Boy Who Climbed Out Of His Face, The Jetty. The experimental Shunt collective are often maddening, always original and inevitably worth checking out when they make one of their increasingly infrequent pieces. We basically know almost nothing about their new show, but it has an amazing name an intriguing setting – a series of shipping crates on an abandoned coaling jetty on the Thames – and it’s by Shunt so, you know, give it a punt.
August 27-September 21: Toast, Park Theatre. Playwright Richard Bean is the man of the moment: his phone hacking satire ‘Great Britain’ is about to hit the West End, as is his musical adaptation of ‘Made in Dagenham’, the Globe’s soon to receive his satire ‘Pitcairn’, and ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ is still slaying ‘em on tour. Si what better time for a classy-looking revival of his debut play ‘Toast’, a comedy about a bread factory, starring Matthew Kelly?
August 28-September 13: To Kill A Mockingbird, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Timothy Sheader’s brilliantly imaginative production of the stage version of Harper Lee’s civil rights classic was one of the highlights of London theatre last summer. It returns for 2014 prior to a UK tour, and while its original leading man Robert Sean Leonard will be sorely missed, the production really is the star here.
Find more great August theatre openings
MUSIC AND CLUBBING
August 7-10: Wilderness at Cornbury Park. This festival champions all the arts, from outdoor theatre courtesy of Shakespeare’s Globe to talks and debates, horse riding, a lakeside spa and even ‘long table’ banquets with leading chefs.
August 15-16: Jabberwocky, ExCeL Centre. ATP, Pitchfork and Primavera Sound have joined forces to put on Jabberwocky, a new two-day festival with a stellar line-up that could well be one of the highlights of the London summer.
August 22-December 14: The Hydra: 2014 Series, Studio Space. It’s a beast of a programme, similar to Manchester’s Warehouse Project. One location, a series of great clubs events from now till Dec.
August 24-25: Notting Hill Carnival after parties. Need we say any more?
August 26-October 1: Kate Bush at Eventim Apollo Hammersmith. Yes indeed: that’s Kate Bush, performing live. If you didn’t get tickets, you can still go to the F*ck I didn’t get Kate Bush Tickets party on Aug 26
August 29-31: Raw Power at The Dome. Raw Power is a three-day festival by trippy musical experts Baba Yaga’s Hut, and features some legends of the genre.
August 30: In The Woods at a secret location. Punters are promised an experience as far removed from ‘warm pints of foamy Carling in a corporate mudbath’ as it’s possible to get, which can only be a great thing.