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47 fantastic things to do in London this week

Posted at 1:00 pm, February 23, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Free, Fun London, Music & Nightlife, Outdoor London

Arijana Gurdon[Photo: Arijana Gurdon]

The final week of February in upon us and it has some serious treats in store, Londoners. Catch a ping-pong themed film night in Peckham, explore Kew Gardens after hours or shake off your sleepy head at an early morning fitness rave. Here are all things you need to know to make this week a winner…

Things to do 

Animal Week at the Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter, Warner Bros Studio, Mon-Wed, £30, £22.50 children. Filch’s four-legged partner in crime, Mrs Norris, will join the Red Persian that played Hermione’s cat Crookshanks in the Gryffindor common room. Among the owls putting in an appearance will be the great grey owl that played Errol and Ron’s pocket-sized Pidwidegeon.

Barbican Film Quiz, Barbican Centre, Tuesday, £2. This year is the 87th Academy Awards but how much do you know about the previous 86? Who lost out the most times? Who were the no-shows, the criers and the most ostentatious celebrators? This Oscars-themed edition of the Barbican’s film quiz will test the knowledge of even the biggest movie fans and red-carpet creepers.

Shhh Dating, Old Queens Head, Tuesday. Islington is the singles capital of Britain, so what better place for a silent speed dating night where you can flirt and have fun, without the pressure of having to think of cool chat up lines! Women’s tickets have all sold out but there’s still some spots for gents left.

Cirkopolis, Peacock Theatre, Tue-Thu, £15-£42. Cirque Eloise returns following their show ‘iD’ in 2013 for a stint at Peacock Theatre at Sadler’s Wells. ‘Cirkopolis’ has jugglers, contortionists, aerial artists and acrobats challenging their limits.

Haunted Dolls House Night Tours, V&A Museum of Childhood, Wednesday, £5. Experience the tiny little people in their tiny little houses all the creepier at this after-hours event to accompany the Museum of Childhood’s Small Stories exhibition. A screening of a film adaptation of M R James’s creepy book ‘The Haunted Dolls House’ will get things off to a spooky start, then guests will get a torch-lit guided tour of the exhibition.

Morning Gloryville, Oval Space, Wednesday, £16. A pre-work mid-week fitness rave, which aims to give punters a healthy, start to the working day via snacks, massages and a lot of dancing.

Kew Lates, Kew Gardens, Thursday, £15, £14 concs. It may be winter outside, but in the Kew Garden conservatory it’s always steamy. This is your chance to escape the London chill and take in the totally tropical atmosphere of Kew’s Alluring Orchids exhibition after hours.

Focus on the Positive, Grant Museum of Zoology, Thursday, free. Turn up on the night, have a beer, make a stranger happy – and save humanity while you’re at it. Here’s how it works: researchers from UCL pitch their ideas for improving the world, with the winning speaker receiving £2,000 to fund their plan and £1,000 going to the first runner-up. It’s a fun format, and your vote decides the winning project.

Introducing Meditation and Mindfulness, St Bride Foundation, Thursday, free. Gangri Karma Rinpoche, a Tibetan Lama recognised by the Dalai Lama himself, will host this introduction to Tibetan culture, meditation and mindfulness. Traditional Tibetan food, music and artwork will accompany the activities, and guests will get the chance to ask Rinpoche questions following his meditation session.

Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime, Wellcome Collection, Thursday, free. A deep, dark look at the skills and techniques used to convict criminals.

Chinese Late, Horniman Museum, Thursday, £5. As the Year of the Sheep kicks off, over-18s are invited to spend an evening at the Horniman Museum to celebrate Chinese New Year with heaps of contemporary and traditional culture.

CoolTan Arts CoolWalks- From Country Estate to Council Estate, various venues, Thursday, free. This free, guided walk will take place around East Dulwich and Camberwell. Walkers will find out about the area’s past, who lived in the biggest houses and how the district has been transformed over the years.

London Fashion Weekend, Somerset House, Thursday, from £20. Invitation to the Burberry show lost in the post? London Fashion Weekend offers us mere mortals the chance to traverse the cobbles of Somerset House.

Shark Tooth Sculpture Exhibition, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, all week, from £18.36. In a bid to dispel the negative ideas often associated with sharks, the Sea LIfe London Aquarium have designed a programme of half term events all about them. Kicking off the proceedings is an exhibition of miniature sculptures carved from their teeth.

Cravings: Can Your Food Control You?, Science Museum, all week, free. There’s not a meal that goes by that doesn’t involve some kind of decision based on what you do or don’t fancy eating, but is it our own appetite influencing those decisions, or has the food tricked us into it?

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


Eating and drinking

Pedler, Peckham. This stylishly shabby-chic and proudly local neighbourhood eatery focuses on high-quality seasonal ingredients for its daily changing, modern-European menu.

Verden, Clapton. A high-class Clapton local that punches way above its weight. Fabulous cured meats, cheese and wine can be purchased for consumption at home.

Zaika of Kensington, Hyde Park. Relaunched with a new chef, this fine dining Indian restaurant and bar serves classic dishes in an imposing former bank building.

Wellbeing Kitchen, Holborn. There’s nothing flashy about this low-budget Korean café near Centre Point – it’s a simple setup, akin to a sandwich bar, with a handful of wipe-clean tables and a takeaway cabinet of salads and drinks. However, thanks to a busy chef tending to bubbling pots behind the counter, Wellbeing Kitchen offers a surprisingly long and diverse menu of Korean favourites.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Centrepoint Laughing Point


Centrepoint Laughing Point, Palace Theatre, TONIGHT, £8.50-£31. This fundraiser for homeless charity Centre Point features an impressive line-up. The bill features ‘The Last Leg’ regular Josh Widdicombe, posho stand-up Miles Jupp, Foster’s Award nominee Sara Pascoe, Joe Lycett, Lou Sanders, Pippa Evans and superbly silly sketch trio Pappy’s, plus MC Elis James.

Sarah Kendall – Touchdown, Soho Theatre, Tue-Thu, £10-£15. Charming Aussie stand-up Sarah Kendall – who, in 2004, was the first female comic to be nominated for the Perrier Award in nearly a decade – had a hit run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe with ‘Touchdown’.

Stand Up for Shelter, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Thursday, £32.50-£40. This annual benefit gig (for a very worthy cause) always features a stellar line-up. But 2015’s show is a real humdinger. The organisers have scored a real coup in getting Mr Eddie Izzard to headline.

Liam Williams – Capitalism, Soho Theatre, all week, £10-£15. Capitalism’ is an erudite, eloquent hour about Generation Y angst in which the 26-year-old comic (who was also nominated for Best Newcomer in 2013) skilfully picks apart his own depression and contradicting personalities.

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

Twin Shadow

Live music and nightlife

Twin Shadow, Electrowerkz, TONIGHT, £16.35. The ’80s-obsessed singer-songwriter rolls up in London to spin out his synth-heavy epics, mashing up new wave and R&B into something perfect for that road trip across America you’ve been planning for God knows how long.

The War On Drugs, O2 Academy Brixton, Tuesday, £23. Adam Granduciel’s blurred-out rockers raise the roof with epic songs from their ‘Lost in the Dream’ album.

Rumer, Barbican Hall, Tuesday, £25-£45. Sarah Joyce, renamed in honour of children’s author Rumer Godden, is another in the run of retro-soul chanteuses – albeit turning more to the ’70s rather than the ’60s for her inspiration.

Bleachers, Bush Hall, Tuesday, £11.50. Jack Antonoff of hyper-successful US pop trio Fun launches his new project into the UK market, busting out infectious, punchy pop-rock which sounds tailor made to get thousands of pairs of hands in the air.

Pond, Electric Ballroom, Wednesday, £15. As well as ranking surprisingly well on Google, Aussie five-piece Pond are top contenders when it comes to whacked-out psychedelic vibes. Their trippy, proggy and maximalist songs romp through glam, space rock, retro pop and hard riffing.

Death From Above 1979, O2 Academy Brixton, Wednesday, £19.50. After releasing their first album in ten years, the Toronto dance-punk duo drop in for a white-knuckle London show.

The Paperworks, Elephant & Castle, Thursday, free. A pop-up venue near Elephant and Castle, featuring DJs spinning house and disco, bars serving cocktails, street food and one-off events.

FWD>>, Dance Tunnel, Thursday, £7. Rinse FM’s seminal London club night sees bassy boss Mumdance spin tonight, so expect anything from grime to techno to rave.

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

 My Own Private Idaho


The VITO Project: ‘My Own Private Idaho’, The Cinema Museum, Wed, free. The VITO Project host monthly film screenings where different generations of LGBT people can get together to watch and discuss movies. This month they’ve chosen the wonderful ‘My Own Private Idaho’, a road movie filmed mainly from the point of view of gay hustler Mike (River Phoenix), a narcoleptic who falls unconscious without warning at moments of stress.

A Slow Screening: Fact or Fiction, The Bussey building/CLF Art Cafe, Thursday, free. The guys behind ping-pong club night ‘Slow Bounce’ host this screening of Fact or Fiction: The Life and Times Of A Ping-Pong Hustler starring American champ, Marty Resiman. The film will be followed by a short Q&A with Director Leo Leigh and Producer Leo Marks.

Or at the cinema…

The Duke of Burgundy ★★★★☆ ‘The Duke of Burgundy’, is an S&M passion play between two gorgeous women, Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen, the Danish PM in ‘Borgen’) and Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna). It’s set in a village in an unnamed part of Europe and shot in the lushly naughty style made popular by a series of 1960s and ’70s movies.

Blackhat ★★★★☆ ‘The Insider’ and ‘Collateral’ director Michael Mann tackles an unusually timely topic with his latest thriller: computer hacking. And he wants us to take it seriously, as ‘Blackhat’ begins with a series of those tired shots that cruise along wires and through flashing microchips until we see a nuclear reactor’s cooling fans go belly-up. The resulting disaster deserves its own Bond villain to cackle at the mayhem while stroking his cat.

…or see all of the latest releases.



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.

Hamlet, Cockpit Theatre, Tue-Thu, £15-£29.50. Following Maxine Peake’s short-back-and-sides turn in Manchester last year, English Repertory Theatre stages its own gender-blind casting of the Shakespeare’s brooding young prince.

Fireworks, Royal Court Theatre, all week, £10-£20. An eloquent new play by West Bank poet and writer Dalia Taha about innocence, war and living in conflict.

How I Learned to Drive, Southwark Playhouse, all week, £10-£18. Paula Vogel’s astonishing Pulitzer prize-winning play stars an excellent Olivia Poulet.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.


This week’s best new art

Fig-2, ICA, Tue-Thu, £1 day membership. Throughout 2015, 50 weekly spontaneous exhibitions will be presented in the ICA’s studio space. This week Edmund Cook will create live recordings.

Sculpture Victorious, Tate Britain, Wed-Thu, £12,£10.50. This exhibition of remarkable Victorian sculptures reveals the innovative creativity of the empirical period.

Bridget Riley: Prints 1962-2014, Sims Reed Gallery, Wed-Thu, free. A selection of Riley’s prints from the past 50 years demonstrate her exploration of combining colour and form to dizzying glory and showcases Riley’s depth and variety: from her signature black-and-white op experiments to her more colourful creations.

Salt and Silver: Early Photography 1840-1860, Tate Britain, Wed-Thu, £12, £10.50. An exhibition of intriguing images that charts the birth of photography.

Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album, Courtauld Gallery, Thursday, £8.50. This groundbreaking show reunites drawings by the master of psychologically revealing paintings.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… tickets to Glasgow International Comedy Festival or golden tickets to View: A Festival of Art History

Grab… £35 tickets to Philip Pullman’s ‘Grimm Tales’, including a pre-show cocktail and programme

Book… these gigs while you still can

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