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70 sensational things happening in London this September

Qurban Mohebi

[ Photo: Qurban Mohebi ]

Listen up London, September is going to be FUN! Explore a labyrinth of colour in Clapham, sample delicious dishes from past winners of ‘MasterChef’, snap up a ticket to the Horst photography retrospective, or wave goodbye to summer at a rooftop party in Hackney. Here are 70 fabulous things to look forward to this month.


Sept 2: The Note Well’s Speed Listening Speed Listening aims to help you find new music and make new friends through that age-old communication method, the mixtape.

Sep 6: The Big Tramp The Cardboard Citizens theatre company is a charity that provides support for homeless people by teaching them performing arts skills and producing touring productions. They’re recruiting for a fundraiser that will see supporters walk nine miles in the shoes of someone who has experienced homelessness.

Sep 8-Nov 20: Designing the 20th Century: Life and Work of Abram Games This exhibition, curated with help from Games’ children Naomi and Daniel, looks at his artistic process through a collection of more than 100 original posters, paintings and sketches, many taken from the family’s archive.

Sep 8-21: John Lewis: How We Live Today Pop-up exhibition exploring the design stories behind some of the most popular products in British high street history celebrates the 150-year anniversary of the first John Lewis store on Oxford Street.

Sep 10-14: Invictus games in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Lee Valley Athletics Centre A four-day sporting event with 400 individuals from 14 different countries competing for gold in four different sporting categories.

Sep 12: The City of London Corporation is opening a new Heritage Gallery This purpose-built exhibition space will display a rotating selection of the archive’s best bits, including the 1297 Magna Carta, Shakespeare’s purchase deed for a house in Blackfriars and the Cartae Antiquae.

Sep 13-14: Classic Boat Rally – St Katharine Docks Landlubbers, head to the river to wander on board a variety of boats – or just admire them from any of the dock’s many quayside restaurants.

Sep 13-21: Colourscape Festival on Clapham Common Guests must choose a coloured cape before venturing into the enormous labyrinth to explore nearly an acre of space while daylight casts a rainbow glow through its walls. Trippy.

Sep 17-20: 100% Design celebrates its twentieth edition at Earls Court Now in its twentieth year, the annual interiors, design and architectural fair spotlights both new and established names.

Sep 18-Oct 19: Merge Festival, Bankside Free collection of creative events and installations takes over venues great and small in the Bankside area for a third year in 2014, this time with a theme of ‘Art and Science’.

Sep 18-Feb 2015: Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 A record number of submissions were received from more than 50 countries for the sixth year of this competition.

Sep 19-Jan 18 2015: 20th Century Knitwear – Chanel to Westwood at Fashion & Textile Museum A showcase including 1930s woollen swimwear should provide some inspiration for bridging the summer/winter gap.

Sep 19: The Modern Magazine Following the successful debut event last year, The Modern Magazine returns with another day of talks and discussions celebrating the power of editorial design. Speakers include Adam Moss, editor of New York Magazine and David Moretti, creative director of Wired Italia.

Sep 19: Maggie’s Culture Crawl A night-time walk with a difference – participants take pit stops at iconic buildings including Fulham Palace, the Foreign Office and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.

Sep 20: The Great Gorilla Run It’ll be a seriously hairy finish for this eight-kilometre charity run, which will see up to 800 participants race around the city in identical gorilla suits.

Sep 20-21: Open House London Hooray, the hugely popular, capital-wide annual festival of architecture is back and celebrating its twenty-second anniversary. This year’s apt theme is ‘Revealing’.

Sep 21: Horseman’s Sunday This annual event is now in its forty-seventh year, and remembers a 1967 protest that saw riders take to their horses to challenge the closure of the Hyde Park area’s stables.

Sep 24: The Art of the Brick at Truman Brewery Colourful large-scale sculptures made entirely of Lego include recreations of famous artworks such as Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo as well as many original pieces, including a six-metre long T-Rex skeleton constructed from over 80,000 bricks.

Sep 26-28: The London Art Book Fair The UK’s biggest art book event returns to the Whitechapel Gallery for 2014 to celebrate the best of international publishing.

Sep 26-28: The International London Tattoo Convention at Tobacco Dock There’s an impressive line-up of more than 340 international tattooists at the tenth anniversary of this annual body art festival.



Opens Sep 1: Pond Dalston The guys behind Dukes and Off Broadway bring new Hawaiian Cuisine to a Victorian warehouse in the centre of Dalston.

Sep 2-Oct 5: MasterChef Restaurant & Cafe ‘MasterChef’ winners and finalists cook at a pop-up restaurant in Southwark  for five weeks.

Opens Sept 4: Basement Sate This Soho nightspot is the latest venture from Cathleen McGarry (co-owner of Paris’ acclaimed DJ bar Sherry Butt). In addition to a compact list of creative cocktails, it promises to offer refined desserts (courtesy of the in-house pastry chef), and a rota of DJs throughout the week.

Sep 6-7: Meatopia, Tobacco Dock Two-day meat-lovers’ food festival with Dirty Bones, Duck & Waffle, Flat Iron and Foxlow showing off their skills.

Opens Sep 15: Mission The second wine bar from the team at popular Hoxton wine bar Sager & Wilde, this younger sibling, just a mile down the road from the original, promises to focus more on Californian wine. Likewise, expect a US-leaning cocktail list and a Californian-inspired food offering.

Sep 12-28: Urban Food Fortnight 2014 There’s plenty of producing, potting and pickling going on in the capital these days, and for two weeks it’s time to celebrate the best of London’s home-grown goods.

Sep 18-19: Cocktails in the City A two-day boozy spectacular that brings together cocktails from more than 20 bars in London under one roof at The Grand Hall, St Pancras.

Sep 20-21: Conflict Kitchen To coincide with the weekend of World Peace Day, peace-building charity International Alert and Queen of Hoxton are collaborating to create a pop-up restaurant that serves food cooked to recipes from conflict zones. Dishes devised by Yotam Ottolenghi, Anissa Helou and Claudia Roden.

Opens Sep: Rabbit Formerly home to Choys Chinese restaurant, this site has been taken over by the Gladwin brothers, who are turning it into a spin-off of their popular Notting Hill eatery Shed. In addition to the ‘wild’ and foraged food found at its older sibling, expect a focus on nose-to-tail eating, too.

Opens Sep: 64 Degrees London-based fans of the Brighton restaurant of the same name will no doubt be pleased to hear this branch is coming to the capital. Due to open on a semi-residential Pimlico street, it will become the hotel restaurant of Artist Residence London, one of a tiny collection of quirky nationwide boutique hotels.

Opens Sep: Ippudo Coming soon to the new-build ‘piazza’ at Central St Giles, this will be the first London branch of global ramen chain Ippudo. Expect dishes such as the Shiromaru Classic (a traditional ramen-in-broth dish, topped with slices of white pork) and the Akamuru Modern (with a more gutsy broth, laced with garlic oil and the ‘secret’ in-house miso paste).

Opens Sep: Tredwell’s A casual ‘British diner’, this large, affordable chain-in-waiting is the brainchild of acclaimed chef Marcus Wareing, and is due to open in the Seven Dials area of Covent Garden this September.



Sep 6: ‘Sátántangó‘ What, the whole thing?! Yes, the ICA will be showing all 450 minutes (that’s seven and a half hours) of Bela Tarr’s sprawling slow-cinema masterwork.

Sep 7: ‘Pickpocket‘ If you’ve spent all of Saturday watching ‘Satantango’, why not wash it down on Sunday afternoon with Robert Bresson’s comparatively slight (at 75 minutes) but just as confrontational and wondrous ‘Pickpocket’?

Sep 12: ‘Pride‘ Aka, the next ‘Fully Monty’. This autumn’s put-a-smile-on-your-face British comedy. It’s the true story of gay and lesbian protesters who descended on a Welsh town with money they’d raised for miners in the 1980s.

Sep 19: ‘The Riot Club‘ Aka, Toffs Behaving Badly. This is the film based on the play ‘Posh’ about an Oxford uni club with more than a passing resemblance to the Bullingdon Club (ex members: Boris and David Cameron).

Sep 26: ‘Get on Up‘ A surprisingly excellent James Brown biopic. Chadwick Boseman has all the moves playing the Godfather of Soul from 16 to 60.

Sep 26: ‘Maps to the Stars Julianne Moore should win every award going for playing an botoxed, messed-up actress (basically the opposite of her real-life self) in David Cronenberg’s brilliantly bonkers Hollywood satire. Its most monstrous creation is a just-out-of-rehab 13-year-old child star who out-Biebers Justin Bieber.

Sep 26: ‘Ida‘ The London-based director Pawel Pawlikowski went back to Poland to make this moving drama about a nun who, just before her final vows, leaves the convent for the first time to track down her last surviving relative.

Tig Notaro


Sep 1: Masterful Louis CK-backed American stand-up Tig Notaro makes her London debut at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Sep 8-20: Bafta-nominated sketch duo Cardinal Burns take a break from TV to bring their very silly, subtly performed characters (including Hashtag and Bukake) back to where they started: the live stage.

Sep 12-13: Technology-obsessed buffoon Adam Buxton, hugely innovative character comic Joseph Morpurgo and Tim Key and Tom Basden’s double-act Freeze!, among others, make up the comedy line-up at the Kings Place Festival.

Sep 15-17: Challenging Swedish stand-up Magnus Betnér (who’s a household name in his home country) lays down some harsh truths at the Leicester Square Theatre.

Sep 24-28: Five nights of stunning line-ups – featuring Stewart Lee, Ardal O’Hanlon, Milton Jones, David O’Doherty and plenty more – in the grand surroundings of the National Maritime Museum at the Greenwich Comedy Festival.

Sep 25-27 and Oct 2-4: Frantic, rubber-faced sweat machine Lee Evans is back on the road with ‘Monsters’, playing the O2.

Find more comedy this September

Horst: Photographer of Style


Opens Sep 6: Horst: Photographer of Style A retrospective exhibition of German-American photographer, Horst P Horst’s prolific 60-year career.

Opens Sep 10: Late Turner: Painting Set Free With over 150 works from all over Europe this is sure to be an eye-opener into a fascinating period for our most important painter.

Sep 12-13: Blisters: Sound Sessions East London screen print studio and gallery Print Club London presents a selection of 40 screen prints by 40 artists, including designers who’ve worked on cover art for The Chemical Brothers and The Sex Pistols.

Sep 12-27: Hort: It’s Not a Place, It’s a Feeling at KK Outlet  Multi-disciplinary studio Hort celebrate turning 20 this year, but instead of a retrospective show, the work on show will be based on the work created at at a residential artistic retreat at the prestigious Villa Massimo in Rome.

Opens Sep 25: Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age From New York’s first skyscrapers to recent urban sprawls in Asia, this show includes 18 photographers who have influenced our understanding of the built environment.

Opens Sep 27: Anselm Kiefer It seems shocking that this is the first major retrospective of Anselm Kiefer’s work. There will be work from his student days up until now, and it’s sure to be full of strong, difficult and emotional work.

Opens Sep 30: Turner Prize 2014 After travelling to Derry-Londonderry last year, the annual exhibition returns to London this autumn with four more hopeful artists all vying for the glory of winning the coveted Turner Prize.

Little Revolution


Sep 1: Little Revolution Alecky Blythe follows up the landmark London Road with a new play about the London riots.

Sep 2: King Charles III  Mike Bartlett’s genius verse tragedy about the fall of Charles Windsor transfers to the West End.

Sep 4: True West The Tricycle Theatre bounces back after a ‘difficult’ August.

Sep 10: The Wolf From the Door Anna Chancellor stars as a nice middle-class lady who leads a violent revolution in this award-winning new satire.

Sep 10: The James Plays This epic trilogy of plays about the kings of Scotland starring Sarah Lund transfers to London after huge acclaim at the EIF.

Sep 11: Ballyturk Cillian Murphy stars in Enda Walsh’s new black comedy about two men whose lives unravel over 90 minutes.

Sep 12: Albion Hotly-tipped young writer Chris Thompson with bold play about the rise of the far right in Britain.

Sep 17: Teh Internet is Serious Business A really intriguing drama from the mercurial Time Price about the Anonymous hackers’ collective

Sep 24: An Enemy of the People Brilliant German production of Ibsen’s play in which the audience is made to participate in a spirited debate about the nature of democracy.

Sept 24: Rudy’s Rare Records After winning unexpected acclaim as a theatre tragedian, Lenny Henry is back on the London stage in a rare comedy role with a play based on his radio series.

Tune Yards


Sep 3-4: Tune-Yards  Merrill Garbus uses her voice as an instrument, somersaulting from yodels to nursery rhyme tones to deliver a refreshingly politicised message.

Sep 6: High Rise One night, three rooftop parties, a handful of expert party-starting DJs including Waze & Odyssey, Trouble Vision, Lapalux, Mumdance and Syron.

Sep 12: Sohn One of the latest acts to sign with prestigious British label 4AD, Sohn is a hotly tipped singer, songwriter and producer whose debut album ‘Tremors’ plays with the human voice and melancholy landscapes of ambient electronica.

Sep 13: Ceremony Festival Building on their history of wicked outdoor danceathons around town, expert party-starters Found bring a host of big electronic music names to Finsbury Park for their biggest event yet.

Sep 13-14: OnBlackheath Normally ill-served when it comes to music festivals, south-east London gets its own back this September with a two-day celebration of music and food.

Sep 17: Iggy Azalea  Hyped and rising ghetto-electro rapper Iggy Azalea brings her risqué rhymes to London this month, backed by dirty beats and pop hooks.

Sep 20-21: Lauryn Hill The former Fugee and acclaimed singer-songwriter makes her first live London appearance in over two years.

Sep 25: Angel Olsen When otherworldly Chicago singer Olsen isn’t playing with Emmett Kelly’s experimental folk-rock band The Cairo Gang, she’s a bewitching folk songwriter in her own right.

Have a great month y’all!

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