It’s safe to say this week is going to be a good’un. Londoners can hear sensational sounds from Glass Animals or Tom Vek, see the crème de la crème of the art world at Freize, or dine in style at Heirloom. Here’s a red hot list of things to do in London this week…
Fun things to do
The New Statesman Presents: Grayson Perry in conversation with Miranda Sawyer, Royal Institution of Great Britain, TONIGHT, £18, £15 concs. Our favourite transvestite potter will be guest editing The New Statesman’s October 9 issue, and to celebrate he will join cultural critic Miranda Sawyer for a conversation about identity, art and ‘The Great White Male’. Book in advance.
Tax Justice Walking Tour of Mayfair, Piccadilly, Tuesday, £5, £2.50 concs. International development charity Action Aid leads these walking tours of Mayfair which point out which of London’s fat cats are taking advantage of offshore tax havens.
Silent Swoon, St Martin’s Courtyard, all week, free. St Martin’s Courtyard will be hosting history’s most dashing heartthrobs for three days this October! Sadly not in person, but visitors will be permitted to bat their eyelids and sigh unrequitedly all they like during these outdoor film screenings of ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’, ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ and ‘Rebel Without a Cause’.
Make Life Worth Living: Nick Hedges’ photographs for Shelter, 1968-72, Science Museum, all week, free. This exhibition displays 100 photographs from the archive of British photographer Nick Hedges, commissioned by Shelter during the 60s and 70s.
Tales of the Plague, Tower Hill Station, Tuesday, £9, £7.50 concs. The city is still peppered with traces of the the Plague and its consequences, and this two-hour walking tour will guide you past plague pits, through ancient streets, into churches and round historical locations, meeting characters from the past along the way.
Underground Festival, various London locations, Wed-Thur, free. King’s College London’s Arts and Humanities festival is going below the surface for 2014, with a huge range of performances, tours, immersive events and debates taking on the theme of ‘underground’.
…or check out more events happening in London this week.
Eating and drinking
Heirloom, Crouch End. Heirloom hoists the flag for modern British cooking by plating up heritage vegetables, succulent rare-breed meats and Cornish fish, serving them with British craft beers and Old World wines.
Patisserie Sainte-Anne, Hammersmith. Hardly known for its pretty fancies, Hammersmith is moving into the fast lane with this on-trend French patisserie-café. It’s hard not to be taken by the cochineal pink frontage, retro-patterned wallpaper and walls the colour of lime curd.
Rabbit, Chelsea. The ‘small plates’ menu lets you try at least two or three per person. A ‘mouthful’ (appetiser) of ‘brown crab bomb, lemon dulse’ set the scene for cooking of great technical prowess, with a crisp shell containing the warm crustacean centre, held in place on the plate by a seashore-scented lemon mayonnaise. Yum.
Mission, Bethnal Green. Chef James de Jong turns out sunny dishes that match the wine country food, such as tender octopus with tomato and grains of farro, topped with a scoop of garlicky aioli.
…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.
Al Murray the Pub Landlord – One Man, One Guvnor, Beck Theatre , TONIGHT, £12.50. All hail to the ale! Can you believe Al Murray has now spent 20 years as one of the finest comedy character creations in the country, the Pub Landlord?
Chris Turner – Pretty Fly, Soho Theatre, TONIGHT, £10. Laidback, sharp-witted one-liner merchant and freestyle rapper Chris Turner brings his debut solo show to Soho Theatre, for one night only.
Austentatious – An Improvised Novel, Old Queen’s Head, TONIGHT, £6.50. Improv gets a bad rap in this country, but anyone who dismisses the genre clearly hasn’t seen Austentatious. This highly impressive troupe perform a completely improvised Jane Austen novel, complete with period dress and cello accompaniment – with marvellous results.
Simon Amstell – To Be Free, Leicester Square Theatre, Tue, Thur, £20-£23. Since ditching the bitchy world of pop music-based telly shows, Simon Amstell has made a stand-up career out of angst. He’s the epitome of melancholy, delving into his personal pit of poignancy so that we may laugh at his pain. He’s dark, challenging and sensitive all at the same time and, above that, incredibly funny.
…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.
Glass Animals, Oval Space, Tuesday, £10.50. Hailing from Oxford, this experimental electronic pop outfit were signed to Wolf Tone (the new label of finger-on-the-pulse producer Paul Epworth) towards the end of last year, which will do them absolutely no harm whatsoever.
Tom Vek, Koko, Wednesday, £13.50. The speccy electro wizard finally returns with new material, after yet another long wait between albums.
John Legend, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Thursday, £35-£55. R&B crooner John Legend tackles the genre with classy, old-school charm, gently escorting listeners from candlelit dinners to steamy dance floors and, finally, to silk-adorned bedrooms.
The 2 Bears, Rough Trade East, Thursday, Free (see website for ticket info). Two furry friends – Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and fellow Greco-Roman Soundsystem member Raf ‘Daddy’ Rundell – work downtempo dub, vocal house and squelchy, pared-down electro.
…or take a look at all 58 live music events in London this week.
The Paperworks, Elephant and Castle, Wednesday, free. Several London institutions have collaborated on an enticing free-entry pop-up space, providing music, art, street food, cocktails and loads of fun.
Bugged Out and EYOE present Lunice, XOYO, Thursday, £10.50. Lunice, one half of hip hop-warping producers TNGHT, heads to the Shoreditch clubbing staple to throw some beats and bass around in style.
Huntleys & Palmers at Plastic People, Plastic People, Thursday, £5-£7. San Francisco-based producer SOLAR steps into Shoreditch to spin underground house, with techno from Dreems alongside.
…or see 24 parties planned this week.
London Film Festival, various locations, all week, prices vary. Screening everything from swanky, star-studded red carpet premieres of major Hollywood movies to the very best in world cinema, the festival centres around Leicester Square but also branches out to local movie houses all over London.
Xtro, The Alibi, TONIGHT, free. A British horror picture daft enough to be prime drive-in fodder, if only we had such a thing. This 1982 creature-feature throws together in random fashion a mish-mash of all the half-remembered elements from recent hungry alien films.
Or at the cinema…
Effie Gray ★★★☆☆ This intelligent British drama, written by Emma Thompson, dramatises the Ruskins’ marriage. Dakota Fanning plays Effie, who finally left Ruskin in 1853 after falling in love with his protégé, the painter John Millais (Tom Sturridge).
Gone Too Far! ★★★★☆ British director Destiny Ekharaga’s debut short film ‘Tight Jeans’ was a perfect miniature, a smart look at race in Britain in the form of a simple comic sketch. Her first feature, ‘Gone Too Far!’, retains the wit, the wisdom and the Peckham setting, but it has a great deal more to say.
The Maze Runner ★★★☆☆ Teenagers are getting it in the neck again, in the latest dystopian Young Adult literary sensation to get the Hollywood treatment. ‘The Maze Runner’, adapted from the first novel in a series by James Dashner, takes a ‘Lord of the Flies’ setting of boys fending for themselves in the great outdoors and chucks in some ‘Lost’-style sci-fi.
’71 ★★★☆☆ Belfast, 1971, and Gary (Jack O’Connell), a young private in the British army, is thrown in at the deep end of the Troubles; more than that, his hands are tied and there are bricks in his pocket. This quiet lad from Derbyshire has barely been in Belfast a day when he finds himself in the middle of a violent street riot sparked by a heavy-handed house search by police in a Catholic area.
…or see all of the latest releases.
The Cherry Orchard, Young Vic, all week, £10, £35. Profoundly versatile and often experimental director Katie Mitchell stages a new English language version by Simon Stephens of Chekhov’s final play.
Henry IV, Donmar Warehouse, all week, £10-£35. Phyllida Lloyd has taken the two parts of the Bard’s weighty ‘Henry IV’ and combined into a single play with more focus on the title character – who will be played by the great Harriet Walter, so stunning as Brutus in ‘Caesar’.
Our Town, Almeida Theatre, all week, £9-£36. It is said in theatre folklore that Thornton Wilder’s script has played every night somewhere in the US since 1938. Who knows if this nugget is actually true, or even how one would go about proving it. But it does give some indication as to how popular Wilder’s simple story of two lives in small-town America really is.
Confirmation, Battersea Arts Centre,all week, £15, £12 concs. Chris Thorpe’s brutally unsentimental piece of documentary theatre about his attempt to understand the worldview of a white supremacist was the best theatre show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer. London finally gets a piece as ‘Confirmation’ storms BAC.
…or see our theatre critics’ choices here.
This week’s best new art
Frieze Art Fair 2014, Regent’s Park, Wed-Thurs, Professional Day £60.20, £33; concs £24; after 5pm £15; £50 joint ticket with Frieze Masters. The biggest contemporary carnival in London’s art calendar hits its twelfth year. Last year’s redesign and fewer galleries (still over 150) made for a better viewing experience and highlights included the daily-changing Frieze Projects performed and displayed on a Andreas Angelidakis bespoke structure.
Mirrorcity, Hayward Gallery, Tue-Thur, £10.90, £8-£10 concs. This group show of London’s most inspirational and significant artists including Lucky PDF, Laure Prouvost, Helen Marten and Susan Hiller, looks at how our increasing digital existence informs and reflects our daily experiences.
Tracey Emin: The Last Great Adventure is You, White Cube Bermondsey , Tue- Thur, free. You’d never describe Tracey Emin, the soul-baring queen of TMI, as playing hard to get, but this could be her most opaque work yet. Ambiguity is there from the off, in a series of drawings running down one side of White Cube’s seemingly endless entrance hall.
What Marcel Duchamp Taught Me, Fine Art Society, all week, free. It’s been 100 years since Duchamp presented his first readymade. Featuring notable artists such as Martin Creed, Richard Hamilton, Joseph Kosuth and Gavin Turk, this group show honours his ongoing legacy.
Howard Hodgkin: Green Thoughts, Alan Cristea, all week, free. Don’t be fooled by the spontaneous appearance of Hodgkin’s work, this new series of prints inspired by Andrew Marvell’s seventeenth century poem ‘The Garden’ are created through a process of layering various printing methods.
Dr Sinclair’s Drawer, Flat Time House, Thursday, free. John Latham’s former home and studio is the inspiration behind this group show featuring Katrina Palmer, Francesco Pedraglio, Samuel Hasler and Sarah Tripp. Taking it’s cue from Palmer’s second book, ‘The Fabricator’s Tale’ written during her residency at Flat Time House, the exhibition engages in a dialogue between the building and the varied works on show that includes sculptures, sound recordings and video.
Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris And His Legacy, 1860:1960, National Portrait Gallery, Thursday, £12.70, £11.80-£10.90 concs. Through portraits, personal items and fascinating objects, many of which will be on public display for the first time, this major exhibition illustrates Morris’s concept of ‘art for the people’ and highlights the achievements of those that he inspired.
…or see all London art reviews.
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