[Photo: Andre Adams]
Bounce across the world’s largest blow-up bridge, chomp on an edible garden made from chocolate pebbles, tantalising tulips and a garden wall constructed with loaf bricks and Nutella, or head to Alexandra Palace for a 1950s-style drive-in movie. Here are all the best things to do in London this week.
Things to do
Michael Eavis: Glastonbury, Victoria & Albert Museum, Tuesday, £9, £7 cons. Having recently acquired the Glastonbury archives, the V&A has invited pacifist, farmer and founder of the legendary festival, Michael Eavis, to discuss music, politics and the history of the festival.
You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat, Hackney Attic, Tuesday, £5. To celebrate ten years of the quiz, You’re Going To Need A Bigger Boat host an extra special edition with tons of Hollywood trivia for London’s biggest film buffs. The audiovisual quiz which includes pictures, posters, film clips, and soundtracks is projected on to a big screen and usually takes around two and a half hours from start to finish.
Hattie Stewart: Adversary, House of Illustration, Tue-Sun, free. Self-described ‘professional doodler’ Hattie Stewart, blasts into the House of Illustration with a brand new body of work that sees her colourful signature style transform glossy advertising and star-studded magazine covers.
Impropera Presents: Muso, Grant Museum of Zoology, Wednesday, free. This unique format – part museum late, part improvised opera – is the latest project from Impropera, musical masters of on-the-spot performance who use audience input to steer each unique production. Explore the Grant Museum of Zoology after dark, hunt for unusual artefacts, share your findings and then hear them turned into song.
Death Under Glass: Histology Art, Barts Pathology Museum, Wednesday, £10-£15 + booking fee. An evening dedicated to the exploration of the colours in pathology. ‘Art Macabre Death Drawing’ have teamed up with Barts for a drawing workshop themed around decomposition, histology and cause of death, where guests can sip on ‘formaldehyde punch’ while they sketch models and specimens.
Helen Keen presents: A Night of Ice and Fire, Royal Institution of Great Britain, Wednesday, £12, £8 concs. Could fire-breathing dragons ever exist? What really happens when royalty inbreeds? Can you actually crush someone’s skull with your bare hands? Comedian Helen Keen and Newcastle Centre for Life’s Ian Simmons will combine facts, jokes, quizzes and live demonstrations to explore the science of ‘Game of Thrones’.
Up&Go Bounce Off, Bernie Spain Gardens, Wed-Thu, free. The South Bank will come over all southern hemisphere next week as replicas of Sydney’s two biggest landmarks will pop up in Bernie Spain Gardens. Better versions, in fact, because these are inflatable! Visitors will be able to bounce along the world’s largest blow-up bridge, tackling its assault course components before flinging themselves into a ball pit.
Spitting: Photographs by Andrew Bruce & Anna Fox, James Hyman, Wed-Thu, free. Thanks to the biting silliness of ‘Spitting Image’, the satirical TV show which reached an audience of 15 million at its peak, the UK’s most famous political figures of the 1980s and 1990s have been immortalised as rubber charicatures. These new photographs portray the preserved puppets from the original series in all their worn, fragile beauty.
Bullshit London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Thursday, £10, £7 concs. Comedians and jokers lead Londoners astray on this tour of the South Bank. Expect improvised comedy and a distinctly lackadaisical approach to the truth in a somewhat skewed look at the history of our fair city.
Edible Cake Garden, Russell Square Gardens, Thursday, free. Nibble on plant pots, devour daisies and dig in to a bourbon biscuit border. This pop-up celebration of the release of Carole Matthews’ novel, ‘The Cake Shop in the Garden’ in paperback will feature a walled cake garden made from fruit loaf bricks and Nutella grouting. Inside the garden, the lawn will be dotted with chocolate pebbles.
World Book Night: Book Handouts, various south London locations, free. Free books! Books for free! Southwark library staff will be making the rounds to Dulwich, Camberwell, Elephant and Castle and elsewhere to give out free copies of the titles from this year’s World Book Night selections.
Eating and drinking
Dram & Smoke, Swan Wharf, Wed-Thu, £40. If you like your meals to scream ‘North of the border’ this five-course supperclub will have you donning tartan and borrowing bagpipes. Many of the ingredients on the menu have been smoked in a whisky barrel, and traditional Scottish flavours will include cullen skink (smoked haddock), tattie scones and hot toddies.
Bao, Soho. Wow. This slick former street food operation brings Taiwanese cuisine in from the cold, with plenty of hit dishes and a great tea selection.
Bel-Air, Old Street. Bel-Air is a Shoreditch takeaway of very high quality. Vibrantly coloured salads, zingy fresh-herb flavours and hot dishes that make you wish you could eat breakfast or lunch twice.
Fontaine’s, Stoke Newington. A cocktail bar and dining room on Stoke Newington High Street. Expect understated vintage glamour courtesy of the art deco vibe.
…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.
Funny Peculiar, Udderbelly, TONIGHT, £15, £20 Sirloin seats. This beneif gig at the Udderbelly is in aid of the Mental Health Foundation. It features an ace line-up, with Zoe Lyons introducing magical maestro Pete Firman, suave Frenchman Marcel Lucont, musical mash-up merchants Frisky & Mannish and superb stand-ups Joe Lycett and Felicity Ward.
Lolitics, The Black Heart, Tuesday, £3. Charming host Chris Coltrane MCs this very friendly political comedy/new material night. Tonight’s bill: Rob Newman, Grace Petrie, James Ross, Elf Lyons, and BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Shaun Keaveny.
Dave Hill – New York City via Cockfosters, Aces & Eights, all week, £10, £8 early bird. This is a treat. Cult New York comedian Dave Hill was once a regular on the London circuit, but rarely makes it across the Atlantic these days. But now the ‘This American Life’ contributor is playing a five-night stint in this tiny Tufnell Park basement venue.
Arthur Smith (and the Smithereens) Sings Leonard Cohen – The Extended Mix, Soho Theatre, all week, £17.50-£25. 13 years after his Edinburgh Fringe hit ‘Arthur Smith Sings Leonard Cohen’, everyone’s favourite grump returned to the songbook of Len. This follow-up played a run at the Soho Theatre last year, but now Smith’s reviving the show as an extended version: a director’s cut, if you will.
…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.
Laura Marling, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Mon-Tue, £29.50. The elegant folk songstress plays a run of London shows, channeling Fleetwood Mac with the soaring, emotional vocals and electric strumming of her new album ‘Short Movie’.
Matthew E White, Village Underground, Mon-Tue, £15. Groovy indie dude White won plenty of praise in 2013 for his album ‘Big Inner’, an intimate LP which sounded like TV On The Radio injected with country, funk and soul. He’s back in London to sing songs from the follow-up, ‘Fresh Blood’. This’ll be a treat.
Of Montreal, Islington Assembly Hall, Wednesday, £17. This evening’s show is in support of the group’s latest album ‘Aureate Gloom’ – their twelfth overall and their fourth in the last five years.
Grouper, St John-at-Hackney Church, Thursday, £15. One-woman dream-pop and ambient concern Grouper presents a haunting mix of field recordings, crystalline vocal harmonies and spaced-out guitar.
…or take a look at all the live music events in London this week.
The Deep Hum at the Heart of It All, The Social, Wednesday, £5, £3 adv or NUS. A midweek showcase of underground indie bands and DJs playing eclectic, alternative tunes.
Sounds Familiar Music Quiz, Proud Cabaret City, Wednesday, £8 (single-person ticket). Eyes down and ears open for this delightfully raucous, super-fun music-fuelled quiz, featuring rounds such as ‘Round of Cheese’, ‘Office Party’ and ‘Feel the Power Ballad’, plus prizes including mugs, medals, champagne and more, and DJ AL compering and spinning the tunes.
FWD>>, Dance Tunnel, Thursday, £7. Expect some of the prime names in dubstep, garage, grime, bass and other dark dancefloor delights every other Thursday.
…or see all the parties planned this week.
Mother India at Drive-In Film Club, Alexandra Palace, TONIGHT, £22. Cinema-going doesn’t have to be generic. It can be magical. Transport yourself back to the bygone era of the 1950s and enjoy a flick on the silver screen from the comfort of your own car.
Kinoteka Polish Film Festival: ‘The Saragossa Manuscript’, BFI Southbank, TONIGHT, £8.35–£11.75. Polish director Wojciech Has’s literary epic screens as part of the BFI’s Polish cinema strand, as selected by Martin Scorsese. A loose adaptation of Jan Potocki’s colossal eighteenth-century tome, this is a rambling, flamboyant and incoherent ‘head movie’ infusing a similar unearthly cadence to the swashbuckling genre that Jodorowski did to the western with ‘El Topo’.
Alibi Film Club: ‘A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin’, The Alibi, TONIGHT, free. Stylishly directed by giallo maestro Lucio Fulci and sporting a slinky score by the great Ennio Morricone, this is a seedy, psychedelic tale of repressed lesbianism and bloody murder funded from Italy but set and shot in swinging London.
Or at the cinema…
The Last Five Years ★★★☆☆ Anna Kendrick, of all-round awesome fame, has sung her heart out in movies before (‘Pitch Perfect’, ‘Into the Woods’). She’s at it again in this adaptation of an off-Broadway musical, the story of a failed five-year relationship between an actress (Kendrick) and an aspiring writer (Jeremy Jordan).
A Little Chaos ★★★☆☆ Kate Winslet plays a pioneering seventeenth-century gardener in the French court of Louis XIV, and she’s the best thing about the film. Wearing a corset so tight that it’s a miracle she can breathe, let alone act, she gives an emotionally switched-on performance as Sabine de Barra, a woman with nothing to lose after the death of her husband and daughter.
…or see all of the latest releases.
Alice’s Adventures Underground, The Vaults, Tuesday, £35-£47.50. Welcome to Wonderland. Well actually, welcome to Waterloo, where Les Enfants Terribles’s ‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’ has taken over the Vaults under the station for a summer of wonderful weirdness.
Circolombia, Roundhouse, Tue-Thu, £15-£29.50. The show’s theme is loosely about remembering to live in the moment, and director Renato Rocha channels this into acts that push against and break out of crowds of people or – as with the aerial acrobatics – achieve a kind of hypnotic rhythm. Even the sporadic bursts of philosophising narration bring their own weird sense of calm.
Measure for Measure, Barbican Centre, all week, £21-£26. The more seriously you take ‘Measure for Measure’ the more ridiculous it becomes. Credit therefore must go to Cheek by Jowl’s Declan Donnellan for ensuring that his fascinating and frequently gripping Russian production of Shakespeare’s tale of sexual prohibition remains undaunted by this law of diminishing returns.
Gypsy, Savoy Theatre, all week, £19.50-£69.50. The Chichester Festival Theatre’s wildly acclaimed, Imelda Staunton-starring Sondheim revival hits the West End.
…or see our theatre critics’ choices.
This week’s best new art
X curated by Sarah McCrory, Herald St, Wed-Thu, free. To celebrate the gallery’s tenth birthday, curator extraordinaire Sarah McCrory curates an anniversary celebration of work by gallery artists around the theme of what a gallery is.
Pick Me Up, Somerset House, Thursday, £10, £8 concs, £17.50 festival pass. The sixth incarnation of the graphic arts festival returns with drawings and prints by artists, creative groups and galleries from all over the world.
London Original Print Fair, Royal Academy of Arts, Thursday, £12, concs £8 inc catalogue. The world’s longest running art fair returns to the Royal Academy for its 29th year with fifty leading print dealers, specialising in everything from Old Masters to contemporary masterpieces.
Tal R: Chimney school of sculpture, Victoria Miro, Thursday, free. The Israel-born Danish artist doesn’t restrict his practice to any one style. Here, he’ll present sculptural works in the essence of kolbojnik, which means leftovers in Hebrew, a description the artist often uses to explain his eclectic source material alongside a large painting installation.
…or see all London art reviews.
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