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The A-B-Cs of autumn’s brilliant cultural stuff

Posted at 4:00 pm, September 10, 2012 in Arts & Entertainment, Fun London

Summer 2012 has been good to us Londoners, and as we step out of the global spotlight and drift away from the meagre summer sun, some of us may be coming down with a bump. Well, we’re here to help with our A-Z (even the hard letters!) of the best upcoming events this autumn. Today we’re covering our A-B-Cs…

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.

B is for... is for…

Beasts of Southern Wild

‘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, 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.

C is for... is for…

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.

Join us throughout the week for our alphabetical autumnal round-up… or take a peek at our major events calendar.

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