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65 awesome things opening in London this April

Mark Etienne

[The London Eye at sunset. Pic: Mark Etienne]

With this spectacular line-up at your fingertips you had better get set for one amazing April!


April 3-6: Get a gourmet caffeine hit at the London Coffee Festival.

April 3-11: For fireball bubbles, exploding underwear and hydrogen rockets, head to Science Museum Live: The Energy Show.

April 5: Relive the joy of the Games as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park reopens to the public, including Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit tower.

April 3-September 14: The butterflies are back! See the beautiful beasties at Sensational Butterflies at Natural History Museum.

April 6: Catch the awesome oarsmen at The Boat Race, starting from Putney Bridge at 6pm.

April 6: Or, for a more farmy face-off head to the Goat Race, Spitalfields City Farm.

April 8: Scoop scoop at Ben and Jerry’s Free Cone Day across London.

April 9-August 17: Stop by The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk for rebel French fashion, the Barbican Art Gallery.

April 10-January 4: Stargaze at astronomical art as steampunk artists host Longitude Punk’d, the Greenwich Observatory.

April 11-13: Get comatose on cocoa goodies at the Chocolate Festival, the Business Design Centre, Angel.

April 13: Rally on the runners as the London Marathon takes over town.

April 13-17: And, if you’re competitor, the first 100 marathon runners to get to the Shard can head up to the viewing platform for free! 

April 17: There’ll be scooters, suits and plenty of ’60s cool at Modstock music fest at 229 The Venue, Great Portland St.  

April 18: See the horses, doves and a cast of over 100 take part in an open-air performance of The Passion of Jesus, Trafalgar Square.

April 19-20: Fall down the rabbit hole at an Alive in Wonderland pop-up restaurant.

April 23: Get your lit fix on World Book Day.

April 24-25 & May 5: Enjoy the delightful designs of Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival.

April 29-August 25: Find pretty and practical home inspiration at Useful + Beautiful, the Geffrye Museum.


Mid-April (date TBC): Top burger joint (and five-star rated) Patty & Bun is launching a second branch in Liverpool Street. 

April 22: The founders of the super successful Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack are set to open Bonnie Gull Seafood Café in Exmouth Market – with their own-made Mr Whippy-style ices.

By April 30: Japanese pub Kurobuta to open in Marylebone. Kanpai! Or should we say: 乾杯(かんぱい) !

April (date TBC): The Dock Kitchen’s chef Stevie Parle is heading to Dalston to set up Sardine and offer tasty Southern Italian treats. 

April (date TBC): Hackney hipster boozer the Cat & Mutton is set to re-open with an upstairs cocktail bar, and food from street food outfit Licky Chops


FILM: new releases

April 4: ‘Divergent‘, pitched to be the next big YA ‘Hunger Games’ extravaganza. Distopias rule!

April 4: Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah‘, with Russell Crowe and Emma Watson, is sure to be one hell of a biblical epic.

April 11: Black comedy ‘Calvary‘ by ‘The Guard’ director John Michael McDonagh stars top Irish talent – Chris O’Dowd, Brendan Gleeson, Dylan Moran and more.

April 18: Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does what ever a spider can…. see the ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2‘.

April 18: Pay homage to James Dean on the sixtieth anniversary his death at a re-release of ‘Giant‘ or ‘East of Eden‘.

April 18:  ‘Locke‘ (Tom Hardy in a car. Bloody brilliant.)

April 25: Christopher Nolan’s right hand man Wally Pfister makes his hotly anticipated directing debut with ‘Transcendence‘.

AND, it’s Studio Ghibli season at BFI Southbank – think ‘Spirited Away’, ‘Grave of the Fireflies’, ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ and other animated wonders.


From April 10: Udderbelly kicks off on April 10 for three months of laughs. Comedy picks include Tony Law, Susan Calman, Omid Djalili and Ed Byrne.

From April 28: Soho Theatre sell-out Tim Key takes on the Duchess Theatre.

April 21-25: Dr Buckles himself, Adam Buxton, revives his tech-heavy ‘Kernel Panic’ show in the West End.

Until April 17: Russell Howard will be stirring an uproar at the Royal Albert Hall.

And, hey, we’d be stupid not to plug our own show – Time Out Introduces – at the Udderbelly. Six of our favourite new(ish) comedians, hosted by Andrew Maxwell.

Oh go on, here’s even more hot April comedy.


April 3: See late-night art with First Thursdays across London.

April 2-August 31: Check out global pieces specially selected by Saatchi at Pangaea: New Art from across Africa and Latin America.

April 11-June 23: Peruse top talent at the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014, the Photographers’ Gallery.

April 11-June 29: Mixed media art-maker Moyra Davey decks out Camden Art Centre.

April 16-June15: Inspired by maths and physics, Tauba Auerbach reveals new sculptures in The New Ambidextrous Universe at the ICA, The Mall.

April 16-June 22: The Whitechapel Gallery is hosting a retrospective for French film maker and photographer Chris Marker.

April 17-September 7: Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, Tate Modern. Oh the wondrous potential of scissors and paper.

April 24-27: From woodcuts to pop-art masters: The London Original Print Fair 2014 at The Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly.

April 30-September 21: Building the Picture: Architecture in Italian Renaissance Painting, National Gallery


April 1-May 31: Alan Ayckbourn’s seminal anti-Thatcher drama A Small Family Business  gets its first ever revival, at the National Theatre, at the National Theatre, Olivier.

April 3-August 2: Speaking of Thatcher: Maggie and the Queen have an epic showdown in Moira Buffini’s brilliant comedy Handbagged, transferring to the Vaudeville Theatre, the Strand.

April 3-May 31: 
 Speaking of the Queen: more monarchical goings on as Charles III wrestles with his conscience in Mike Bartlett’s provocative new play, at the Almeida Theatre, Islington. [NB SHOW IS KALLED KING CHARLES III, NOT CHARLES III]

April 3-May 31:  Sherlock’s Andrew Scott stars as a disillusioned rockstar in Simon Stephens’s Birdland’, at the Royal Court, Sloane Square.

April 4-June 7:  Mark Strong stars in A View from the Bridge, as you’ve never seen in it in Ivo van Hove’s avant garde production at the Young Vic, Southwark.

April 10-May 31:  James Graham follows his political smash ‘This House’ with a show about the internet age,Privacy, at the Donmar Warehouse, Covent Garden.

April 28-May 30: Searing drone warfare monologue Grounded,  returns to the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill.


April 10-May 8: The Royal Ballet launches The Winter’s Tale, the first major new Shakespeare ballet in 50 years!


April 4-25: See Charles-Francois Gounod’s grand opera version of Goethe’s dark tale Faust at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.


April 3-May 2: Get shakin’ to some tunes at the La Linea Latin music festival.

April 6: Ministry of Sound starts monthly takeovers at Thorpe Park!

April 12: PMR Presents – a very excellent dance label showcases their chart-friendly crew in Hackney Wick.

April 12: Soul Clap and Dance Off – a broader night out, as a retro NYC dance party comes to town.

April 19: Head to a free mini music festival for Record Store DayBerwick Street, Soho.

April 17-20: See bands, pop-ups and DJs at the Lock Tavern Festival, Camden.

April 17-20: Get skanking for the London International Ska Festival.

And a whole bunch of Easter bank holiday club nights!

Not enough?! Here are even more things to do in London this April.

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