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43 great things to do in London this week

Posted at 1:30 pm, February 9, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment

Southbank Centre Missile Hayward

[Photo: Adrian Chandler]

Don’t be glum that the weekend is over! The fun is just about to start. Down some fine gin at the Charles Dickens Museum, catch some five-star films at the cinema or swing by an anti-Valentine’s shindig for some ‘Speed Hating’. Here all the best things to do in London this week…

Things to do 

The Quiz About Nothing, The Alibi, Tuesday, £1. Test your ‘Seinfeld’ knowledge at this quiz which sees big prizes awarded to true fans who come out on top. Expect a picture round, top fives and plenty of general Kramer-based knowledge.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Camden Walking Tour, Electric Ballroom, Tuesday, £10. Local music fan Alison Wise leads this 90-minute walking tour around Camden, taking in the area’s musical heritage via the stomping grounds of such bands and artists as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Ramones, The Clash, Blondie, Joy Division, Madness, The Smiths, Blur, Oasis, Pulp, The Libertines and Amy Winehouse.

Cinesthesia: A Trip To The Moon, Hackney Picturehouse, Wednesday, £9. Using samples from NASA’s recently released library of sounds, including rockets launching and solar wind noises, musician Antwerp has created a new score for George Méliès’s silent classic ‘A Trip To The Moon’.

Regrets, Barts Pathology Museum, Thursday, Free (live events £8.35). A pathology museum seems just the place for an anti-Valentine’s show, and artist Robin Lee will be really making the most of the creepiness of venue with this multimedia exhibition of photographs of augmented hearts which are accompanied by imagined monologues form their scarred owners (written by author Russ Litten and recorded by actors).

The Gin Library, Charles Dickens Museum, Thursday, £22. Pay a visit to Charles Dickens’ basement kitchen in Bloomsbury to taste a special selection of the classic spirit that has been hand-picked by The London Gin Club. Back upstairs, a gin bar and walled garden will be filled with live music and flickering candles so that guests can continue to drink their way through the boozy library, and gins will be matched with carefully chosen garnishes and tonics.

The London Bike Show, ExCeL London, Thursday, £20, £12 concs. Performance training, spin sessions, a test track, a pop-up velodrome, stunt demos a fastest wrench competition and more than 200 exhibitor stands will be just some of the attractions at this mecca for cycling enthusiasts.

Rio Carnaval at Guanabara, Covent Garden, Thursday, £5 after 8pm. It may be winter outside, but in Guanabara it’s time to don some skimpy, colourful clothing and shake it in tribute to Rio’s biggest, brightest party.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition, The O2, all week, free. Season five is coming. And if you’re one of the many whose TV-watching schedules have been heavy with the fur-toting, flesh-revealing, plot-twisting inhabitants of Westeros and Essos you’ll definitely want to get your hands on tickets to this exhibition in Sky Studios and Sky Backstage at The O2.

…or check out more events happening in London this week.

Retox Vs Detox Pop-UpRetox Vs Detox Pop-Up

Eating and drinking

Slap ya Papa, Hackney Empire, Wed-Thu, £27.50. This week-long New Orleans-inspired supperclub offers soul food and live foot stompin’ music – so wear your dancing shoes. Expect a three-course feast, lively tunes and cocktails at Hackney Empire’s Stage 3 venue.

The Waldorf Project, Oval Space, Mon-Wed, £160 (Previews £90, £50, £20). What do you get when you cross a food designer, a choreographer, a production designer, a costume designer, a sommelier, a sound designer and an artist? This immersive art performance and food event will unite the senses through food, fine wine, scent, sound, movement and setting. 

Retox Vs Detox Pop-Up, Old Street station, all week. If you’re the sort of person who’s great at dieting until the forbidden foods are right in front of you, this pop-up might leave you conflicted – half of its wares will be healthy treats that can be enjoyed guilt-free, and the other half are sinful enough to take you back to the butter-enriched days of your December ‘diet’.

Welcome to the Stevedores, The Pickle Factory, all week. The team behind the much loved London Craft Beer Festival are launching a boozy six-week pop-up beer and whisky bar. Each week The Stevedores invites a couple of breweries to serve up their tastiest tipples.

Tommy Tucker, Chelsea. A new ‘posh gastropub’ from Claude Compton, of Claude’s Kitchen, in the rich seam of City money that runs deep into Fulham.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Shambles Web-Series TapingShambles Web-Series Taping


Hub, Pleasance Theatre, TONIGHT, £5. The Pleasance’s monthly new material/work-in-progress night features a mix of superb stand-ups, sketch troupes and character comics. On tonight’s Hub bill: Birthday Girls, Colin Hoult, David Trent, Joel Dommett, Lolly Adefope, Massive Dad, Phil Jerrod and The Pin.

Shambles Web-Series Taping, Aces & Eights, TONIGHT, free. Excellent Tufnell Park comedy club Shambles – which regularly hosts top leftfield line-ups – also churns out a web-series which showcases stand-ups alongside a backstage narrative. The line-up for tonight’s early show includes MC Matthew Crosby, Andrew O’Neill, Javier Costalles and David Mills.And tonight’s late show features MC Matthew Crosby, Will Franken, Tom Ward and Simon Munnery.

Susan Calman – Lady Like, Soho Theatre, Tue-Thu, £17.50, £15 concs. Glaswegian comic Scot Calman – a regular on Radio 4’s ‘The News Quiz’ and as seen on ‘Have I Got News For You’ and ‘QI’ – brings her latest solo show to London following a sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

James Veitch – The Fundamental Interconnectedness of Everyone with an Internet Connection, Museum of Comedy, Tue-Thu, £10, £8 concs. Ever had a text about PPI or your work-related injury? Or from a Nigerian prince? James Veitch is the comedian who replies to them. His debut solo show is a Dave Gorman-esque romp through the world of modern connected-ness through the internet.

Rhys James – Begins, Soho Theatre, all week, £12.50, £10 concs. Remarkably talented youngster Rhys James makes his Soho Theatre debut, performing his well-received show from last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. The 23-year-old stand-up is a superb writer – multiple jokes are packed into every line of his stories and poems about Generation Y angst and technology woes.

…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.

Stealing Sheep

Live music

Stealing Sheep, Chats Palace, Tuesday, £10. We’re big fans of Liverpudlian psych-folk trio Stealing Sheep, and the exciting line they draw between wide-eyed wonder and confident songcraft, so we reckon this chance to catch them playing in an intimate former library in Homerton isn’t one to pass up.

Elbow, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Tue-Thu, £36-£41. The boys from Bury raise the roof at a three-night London residency.

Honeyblood, Oslo, Wednesday, £10.10. Two Glaswegian women deploy guitar and drums to craft grunge-pop that’s sometimes fuzzy and ferocious, but also frequently touching and tinged with Americana. Their self-titled debut album comes highly recommended, and they’re a top live act too.

The Cribs, Electric Ballroom, Thursday, £20.60. Yorkshire’s spirited, scuzzy garage rockers have signed to Sony for their upcoming sixth album – could we be about to witness their return to the charts? The Jarman brothers have been playing together for over a decade now, and certainly know a big, catchy riff or an arena-ready chorus when they write one.

Rae Morris, Electric Brixton, Thursday, £11. Young pianist and singer-songwriter Morris is from Blackpool, and seems to be capitalising rather well on a guest vocal spot on the latest Bombay Bicycle Club album – though it can’t hurt that she’s also modelled for Burberry.

…or take a look at all the live music events in London this week.

Down With Dating


Down With Dating, multiple venues, Wed-Thu, from £10 earlybird. Hate dating? Want to avoid any hint of it this Valentine’s Day? This one’s for you. Disgruntled singletons will be provided with a fake name on arrival and can then get to know other miserable singles during ‘Speed Hating’, by slagging off all the things they dislike – Jeremy Kyle, top-knots, cereal cafés, righteous reporters slagging off cereal cafés… Whatever gets your goat.

Gorgon City, Roundhouse, Thursday, £16. Production duo Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson-Scott make some of the sharpest, most on-point club music around. But it’s not just clubbers who are digging Gorgon City’s take on house music. Working as producers for big-draw crossover acts like Clean Bandit and Klaxons has opened up their music to a huge pop audience.

Your Mum’s House, The Nest, Thursday, £7, £5 before midnight. Not for the faint-hearted, this weekly jaunt is a ‘dress up ‘n’ get messed up’ night of mayhem and mischief, with a soundtrack of bassy house, hip hop, old school bangers, trap, R&B, and UK garage.

…or see all the parties planned this week.



Alibi Film Club: ‘Raising Arizona’, Dalston, TONIGHT, free. Another instalment in the Alibi’s ‘1987 month’, celebrating a fine cinematic year with the Coen brothers’ fervently inventive comedy.

Or at the cinema…

Selma ★★★★★ This 1960s-set, US civil-rights drama works brilliantly as both expert historical re-creation and a powerful reflection of what’s happening in the world right now. As recent events in Ferguson, Missouri show, there’s nothing ‘finished’ about the issue of racism in America or beyond.

Love Is Strange ★★★★★ Ira Sachs’ latest movie features a Chopin piano score, adding an exquisite sense of proportion to what, in the hands of most other directors, might have felt like a cautionary tale about the perils of gay marriage. Instead, ‘Love Is Strange’ emerges as a total triumph for Sachs and his co-leads, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, who turn in career-topping work.

The Interview ★★★★☆ You’ve read the news story; now you can see the film. Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen’s ‘The Interview’ follows the hysterically violent misadventures of idiotic talk-show host Dave Skylark (James Franco, hamming it up) and his underachieving producer, Aaron (Rogen), who land an interview with Skylark superfan and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (Randall Park).

Shaun the Sheep the Movie ★★★☆☆ Only Aardman – the British creators of Wallace & Gromit, Morph and other lovable, mouldable characters – could find an irresistible movie in industrial amounts of clay and a story of an amnesiac farmer and his flock at loose in the big city.

…or see all of the latest releases.

The ChangelingThe Changeling


The Changeling, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Tuesday, £10-£60. Hattie Morahan powers a camply hilarious version of this great Jacobean tragedy.

Assassins, Menier Chocolate Factory, Tue-Thu, £30-£39.50, £29.50 concs. Catherine Tate stars in current director-of-the-moment Jamie Lloyd’s new production of Sondheim’s musical about men and women who have tried to kill presidents.

Bad Jews, St James Theatre, all week, £10-£30. Family tensions are bound to run high when a loved one dies. But in this hilarious new comedy from Joshua Harmon, you frequently wonder whether a tragic death might actually provoke a bloody murder.

My Night with Reg, Apollo Shaftesbury, all week, £10-£55. This classic drama about a group of gay friends living in the shadow of Aids transfers to the West End.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

History is Now

This week’s best new art

History is Now, Hayward Gallery, Tue-Thu, £12, £10.90, £6.50-£11 concs. Seven UK-based artists have been invited to curate artworks and archival material that define certain periods of our recent history.

Barbara Kruger: Early Works, Skarstedt Gallery, Tue-Thu, free. Seminal works from the 1980s by the influential American artist known for her use of appropriated black and white imagery combined with bold text.

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector, Barbican Centre, Thursday, £5-£12. The Barbican’s spring blockbuster showcases 14 artists’ collections that will be a veritable cornucopia of all things eccentric, rare and curious.

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends, National Portrait Gallery, Thursday, £14.50, £13 concs. An intimate reflection on John Singer Sargent’s portraits of famous friends including Claude Monet, Robert Louis Stevenson and Auguste Rodin.

Damien Hirst: Love, Paul Stolper, all week, free. Forget carved-up animals in formaldehyde or diamond-encrusted skulls, former YBA Damien Hirst must be going soft in his old age as his latest show is all about luuurve.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally 

Win… tickets to Glasgow International Comedy Festival or a six month Zones 1-2 London travelcard

Grab… tickets to an exclusive Time Out Q&A: ‘The Nether’ with Theatre Editor Andrzej Lukowski plus a poster for £25

Book… these gigs while you still can

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