Wakey wakey, people – the week ahead is looking pretty fantastic. Get down and disco with DJ Harvey, explore east London’s finest cuisine on a food tour of the best bakeries, restaurants and shops, or catch some classic French cinema at the BFI. What more could you ask for? Here are the best things to do in London this week…
Fun things to do
Inside Out Festival, various locations, all week, prices vary. This fifth annual celebration of London Universities’ contributions to the capital’s cultural life will see more than 50 walks, talks, performances and activities flood both university campuses and other London venues over the next seven days.
Nour Festival of Arts, various venues, all week, prices vary. Celebrate Middle Eastern and North African arts and culture at one of the many events happening this week, from an Egyptian Woodcraft workshop at Kensington and Chelsea College, to a performance by Algerian singer Souad Massi in the Royal Albert Hall.
London East End Food Tour, various locations, all week, £65, £50 13-17s, £40 under-13s. On this tasty tour, guides will lead the way through the East End’s markets, shops, bakeries, pubs and restaurants to give a real flavour of London.
Russian Avant-Garde Theatre: War, Revolution and Design, 1913–1933, V&A, all week, free. Head to South Kensington to see more than 150 radical designs from the period, including work from some of the Russian avant-garde’s most celebrated figures. It includes work by Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko and Vladimir Tatlin.
Deadly and Disgusting Plants and Fungi, Kew Gardens, all week, free with admission. Get a taste – not literally – of the natural world’s most sneaky and dangerous flora with this collection of special tours, displays and workshops at Kew Gardens.
Bridge, Museum of London Docklands, all week, free. Following on from the Museum of London’s superb ‘Estuary’ exhibition, which looked at artists’ responses to the outer edges of the Thames, ‘Bridge’ explores how bridges influence our visual sense of the city and provide a source of inspiration for artists and photographers.
Glorious Giles! Georgian Fashion Remix, Kensington Palace, Wednesday, £25. As part of Kensington Palace’s celebration of all things Georgian, the royal residence will play host to a runway show from the archive of Giles Deacon, accompanied by pieces by master milliner Stephen Jones.
Shhh Dating, The Jam Tree, Clapham, Wednesday, £20 adv. A two-hour dating night consisting of ‘flirting games and eye-gazing’, say the organisers. The catch? You’re not allowed to talk to your prospective partner, meaning you need to break out some seriously hot eyelash-fluttering to win them over.
War Story: Afghanistan 2014, Imperial War Museum, Thursday, free. The latest War Story display focusses on the withdrawal of British combat forces from Afghanistan in 2014 after 13 years of involvement, and the implications faced by both sides.
The Knowledge Emporium, Artsdepot, Thursday, free. This sweet shop is housed in a converted 1960s airstream caravan, but that’s not the most unusual thing about it. You can’t buy their wares with money – instead The Knowledge Emporium is in the market for stories, memories, recipes, anecdotes or facts.
…or check out more events happening in London this week.
Hot places to eat and drink
Enrique Tomas, Soho. If Spanish hams are your thing, you need to check out the first branch outside Spain of this chain of high-quality jamonerías. This Soho outpost is a small, no-frills place, with a slicing counter and display cabinets upfront and simple seating up back.
DF Mexico, Spitalfields. A fashionable and affordable modern Mexican diner created by the Wahaca chain.
64 Degrees, Victoria. The original 64 Degrees opened in Brighton in 2013 and caused quite a splash with its interesting dishes and chic feel. It’s attracted so much attention that a new London boutique hotel, Artist Residence, has struck a deal to open this more spacious branch on their corner site in a mostly residential part of Pimlico.
Stoke Newington Food Assembly, Prince, Tuesday, free. A Food Assembly allows those who take pride in the contents of their pantry to order directly from local farmers and producers, then pick it up from them in person at a weekly event. This launch party celebrates Stoke Newington’s new Food Assembly with an evening of tasters, canapés and live music.
…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.
Lee Mack – Hit the Road Mack, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Tue-Thu, £27.50. Super-slick, fast-paced nonsense from Lee Mack, the star of his own sitcom ‘Not Going Out’ and BBC’s ‘Would I Lie To You?’, as he plays the Hammersmith Apollo as part of his ‘Hit the Road Mack’ tour – his first tour for four years.
Rubberbandits – Continental Fistfight, Soho Theatre, all week, £12.50-£20. The Limerick-based plastic-bag wearing musical comedy duo – responsible for YouTube sensation ‘Horse Outside’ and Chortle Award winners in 2012 – return to Soho Theatre with their latest show, ‘Continental Fistfight’.
Laugh Out London in Victoria Park, People’s Park Tavern, Thursday, £7, £5 adv. The consistently excellent Laugh Out London team set up a new shop at People’s Park Tavern. This gig includes avant-garde comedy hero Simon Munnery, Perrier Award winner Will Adamsdale, dry Norwegian stand-up Daniel Simonsen and innovative Aussie comic Bec Hill.
…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.
Death From Above 1979, Electric Ballroom, Camden, TONIGHT, £17.50. Back for their first London show since 2011, white-knuckle electro-punk duo DFA 1979 finally have some new material to follow up their storming 2004 debut ‘You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine’.
Jake Bugg, Alexandra Palace/ Union Chapel, Tue, Thu, £27-£37.50. Bugg’s brand of indie country-folk mixes a Dylan-esque rasp with Miles Kane’s brand of mordant Mod-rock, plus a dollop of Americana on his latest album ‘Shangri La’.
We Are Scientists, Brooklyn Bowl London, Wednesday, £18. Tonight they play from their new album ‘TV en Français’, which treads the same catchy new wave grooves as old hits like ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’.
Lady Gaga, The O2, Thursday, £35-£70. If you missed out on Her Gaganess’s iTunes Festival show last year, here’s another chance to catch her in London as she brings her ArtRave tour to town.
…or take a look at all 59 live music events in London this week.
DJ Harvey, Fabric, Clerkenwell, Thursday, £20. A rare gem of a UK appearance by DJ Harvey, the man who helped pioneer the disco edit and known as an all-round legendary DJ over several decades.
Your Mum’s House, The Nest, Thursday, £7, £5 before midnight, free before 10.30pm. Not for the faint-hearted, this weekly jaunt is a ‘dress up ‘n’ get messed up’ night of mayhem and mischief.
Huntleys & Palmers at Plastic People, Shoreditch, Thursday, £5-£7. Consistently ace leftfield label and party crew Huntleys & Palmers return to the immense Shoreditch basement with a stellar line-up of underground producers and selectors.
…or see all 25 parties planned this week.
The Possibilities Are Endless + Edwyn Collins Q&A, Curzon Soho, TONIGHT, £14.75. In 2005, beloved singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins suffered a crippling cerebral haemorrhage. On waking, he could only say two phrases: ‘Grace Maxwell’ and ‘the possibilities are endless’. This documentary follows Collins as he struggles to reawaken his own submerged memories and rekindle his music career through live shows and new recordings.
Alibi Film Club: ‘The Blood on Satan’s Claw’, Alibi, Dalston, TONIGHT, free. This 1970 weirdie is often slotted into the short-lived genre of folk-horror, movies which (like the better-known ‘The Wicker Man’) played on then-fashionable ideas of an ancient British tradition.
Jacques Tati Season: ‘Mon Oncle’, BFI Southbank, Thursday, £8.15-£11.50. The BFI kicks off a new season of films by that crumpled icon of French cinema, Jacques Tati. ‘Mon Oncle’ was the director’s first film in colour.
Or at the cinema…
CitizenFour ★★★★☆ In June 2013, after several months of coded messages back and forth, US security worker Edward Snowden summoned three people to a hotel room in Hong Kong to reveal who he was and what he wanted. Two of the three were journalists and the third person was documentary-maker Laura Poitras, who has now turned the behind-the-scenes story of Snowden’s revelations into ‘Citizenfour’.
Bjork: Biophilia Live ★★★★☆ This carefully crafted concert film plays it pretty straight with Björk’s September 2013 Alexandra Palace gig. That is, apart from the bits where we’re transported to an erupting volcano, the surface of the sun, or deep underwater among weirdly colourful marine life.
Northern Soul ★★★☆☆ Give ‘Northern Soul’ its due: this feisty, frequently amusing chronicle of one young man’s journey through the dancehalls of Lancashire nails its time and place, and puts some recent, similarly themed pretenders – we’re looking at you, ‘Spike Island’ – to shame.
The Judge ★★★☆☆ The Judge’ pitches a slick prodigal son, Hank (Robert Downey Jr), a self-obsessed, slick city lawyer, against his ageing, cantankerous father, Joseph (Robert Duvall), a blinkered provincial judge, still ruling over cases into his dotage.
…or see all of the latest releases.
Alice On The Underground, Chickenshed, Tue-Thu, £10, £8 concs. The extraordinary Chickenshed Theatre company – founded in 1974, literally in a chicken shed – celebrates its fortieth birthday in style with this revival of its modernised, musical version of ‘Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland’.
Blind Eye, Theatre 503, Tue-Thu, £15, £12 concs. Blind Eye is set against the background of Nazi war crime trials in the ’80s. The story follows human rights lawyer Elizabeth as she tries to bring Otto to justice with the help of his peace negotiator son.
Urinetown, Apollo Shaftesbury, all week, £19.50-£59.50. For a musical about how the human race is likely to wipe itself out very soon, ‘Urinetown’ is a whole lot of fun. Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis’s show (golden) showers the audience with pee-related puns and takes the piss out of its own love story with gritty bravado.
Damn Yankees, Landor Theatre, Tue-Thu, £20, £18 concs. It’s a humorous retelling of the Faust story, translated to the unlikely setting of 1950s baseball. Lifelong Washington Senators fan Joe Boyd sells his soul to the Devil – in the guise of the unctuous Mr Applegate – in exchange for becoming the star player his team badly needs.
…or see our theatre critics’ choices.
This week’s best new art
Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude, Courtauld Gallery, Thursday, £8.50, £4-£7.50 concs. Few people captured the human body with the obsessive fleshy intensity of Egon Schiele. The Viennese painter, and protégé of the great Austrian master Gustav Klimt, showed the human body in all its odd, contorted and bumpy glory.
Donald McGill, Chris Beetles Gallery, Wed-Thu, free. We have the graphic artist McGill to thank for the saucy seaside postcard genre. The Blackheath resident was a dab hand at creating frolicking escapades and rib tickling antics for the British coastal visitor. Here, over 100 of McGill’s comical and audacious cartoons are on display.
Rembrandt: The Late Works, National Gallery, all week, £18, £9-16 concs. The National Gallery’s new show is shockingly simple: four self-portrait canvases and a tiny etching by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, all made during the last 11 years of his life, hang, spotlit, side by side.
Affordable Art Fair Battersea, Battersea Evolution, Thursday, £10-£20, £8-£13 concs, free under-16s. It’s easy to see why the Affordable Art Fair, which celebrates its fifteenth anniversary in Battersea Park this weekend, is so popular: the artists include both emerging talents and household names, and there’s nothing remotely snooty about the atmosphere.
Little Print Shop of Horrors, online, all week. The award winning design team at Creative Spark present a new series of horror-themed prints.Purchasable through the online shop, these limited editions make the ideal Halloween gift with prices starting at £14 and mean you help support Forever Manchester, a Mancunian charity that supports community projects.
…or see all London art reviews.
And the best of the blog…