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The 2013 A to Z of London Cool: from hacking to mezcal bars

Posted at 3:15 pm, January 12, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment


Yes, 2012 was a pretty good year for London, but this city never rests- and neither do we. From the rise of Deptford to the triumph of barn dancing, here are our predictions for what’s going to be big in the capital over the next 12 months…

G is for…GAMES-TURNED-FILMS A new Lego movie opens this year. And, after ‘Transformers’ and ‘Battleships’, more boardgame- based films are on the way. Yep – ‘Hungry Hungry Hippos: The Movie’. We kid you not. GENDER FLIPPED ADVERTS Brad Pitt has become Chanel’s first male face in a new campaign for its No 5 fragrance. Could Chanel’s ‘brave’ reversal be the trendsetter for a new ad-led gender revolution, with Clooney and co selling ‘time of the month’ products, defeating prejudice and ending the gender pay gap?

H is for… HACKING No, not that kind of hacking. Techno-collage. Due to expand from its Shoreditch community home in the London Hackspace, the art of making stuff out of mashed-up objects, wires and a parametric box generator your pal found on the street is going to be big this year. It’s due to feature heavily in what will be the hottest ticket in town, ‘In the Beginning Was the End’ – the huge DreamThinkSpeak installation-theatre show in the tunnels beneath Somerset House this month. HOEDOWN The barn dance is back, thanks in no small part to enthusiasts like the Cut A Shine Collective, an ‘anarchic hillbilly dancing squad’ which puts on hoedowns across the capital. HOPS There are already 35 breweries and brewpubs spread around the city. By the end of the year, it’ll be harder to get a pint of Carlsberg in a London boozer than a jar brewed down the road. Probably.  

I is for… ICE It isn’t just for drinks and Time Out covers, it’s for a weekend of inspiring art with sessions for beginners Find out more here. INDIGENOUS FRUIT Three cheers for our new capital apple: the ‘Core Blimey’ is going to be grown in 40 public London orchards. Truly scrumptious.

J is for…JOUSTING Helmet up as the capital goes mad for medieval fighting this year. Eltham Palace will be offering one of the best jousting tournaments in England and there’s more broadsword and lance action at Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London, plus a full-on pageant at Kent’s Hever Castle. Or borrow a horse and armour and recreate the London Bridge joust of April 23 1390, when Scotland’s Earl David did for England’s John de Wells. (And on St George’s Day, to boot!)

K is for… KICK-ASS TEEN GIRLS The world’s drippiest vampire, boring Bella, manned up for the last ‘Twilight’, and 2013 is the year the girls kick some serious butt. The 18- year-old Irish actress Saoirse Ronan stars in the new film of Stephenie Meyer’s first post- ‘Twilight’ book, ‘The Host’, as a teenager battling alien-infected humans. She’s was in ‘Atonement’ and ‘Hanna’, and is definitely a face to watch. Chloë Moretz is up to her old nunchuck-twirling tricks in ‘Kick-Ass 2’ in July and before that she’ll be getting even in a remake of ‘Carrie’ due in April. Plus, the next ‘Hunger Games’ lands in November. As K-MID continues to look very pretty in nice expensive clothes despite being pregnant, K-POP will feel the ‘Gangnam Style’ effect and be everywhere this year. KOREANS IN FILM It’s also set to be a big year for Korean cinema. Three of the country’s foremost directors have headed to Hollywood to try their luck: ‘I Saw the Devil’ director Kim Jee-Woon oversees Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to leading-man status with slam-bang action flick ‘The Last Stand’; ‘Oldboy’ director Chan-Wook Park tackles unusual horror film ‘Stoker’ with Nicole Kidman; and ‘The Host’ director Bong Joon-Ho will deliver sci-fi story ‘Snowpiercer’, starring Jamie Bell and Tilda Swinton. There’s also a sequel to Bong’s hugely successful monster flick on the cards – the dynamically titled ‘The Host 2’.

L is for… LONDON, of course. Not for us a 2012 hangover. We’re a city on the move, as the rest of this A to Z proves. The Olympics and the Golden Jubilee contributed to a vastly improved reputation for Britain in the eyes of the world, according to a new study by the British Council. Over half of those interviewed (from places including Brazil, India, Thailand, Russia and the USA) thought Danny Boyle’s dazzling Opening Ceremony reflected the best of modern and traditional Britain, while 43 percent thought the Games had enhanced Britain’s influence over world affairs.

M is for… MEZCAL BARS Following last year’s Peruvian food trend, the Latin American invasion continues with mezcal, a Mexican spirit made from a type of agave. Quiquiriqui on Hackney Road makes the trend cool, Wahaca opening a Mezcaleria on Charlotte Street makes it official. MORMON FEVER ‘South Park’ creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s Broadway musical ‘The Book of Mormon’ opens in late February and has already sold out its preview tickets. It will run and run and run.

Read our predictions for A-F

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