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48 cool things happening in London this week

Nandan Prabhu

[Photo: Nandan Prabhu]

Need a mid-month pick-me-up? We’ve got 44 to choose from! Catch the last of the season’s outdoor film screenings at More London, don a cape and lose yourself in a world of colour on Clapham Common or have a happy Monday with comedy in New Cross. Here are the coolest things happening this week in London.

Things to do

Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival, Ivy House, Mon-Tue, prices vary. Back for its sixth year, the Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival welcomes 90 writers to North London for a series of workshops, walks and talks.

London Design Festival, various locations, all week, prices vary. This stylish multi-venue, nine-day festival takes place across the whole of the capital, but the V&A will act as a central hub hosting talks, events and exhibitions.

Colourscape Music Festival, Clapham Common, all week, £9, £5 children. The closest thing to being swallowed by a scene from ‘Yellow Submarine’, Colourscape Music Festival takes place on Clapham Common and this year celebrates its twenty-fifth birthday.

Simon Costin’s Impossible Catwalk Shows, LCF, Tue-Thu, free. This show by set designer Simon Costin, who has worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen and Tim Walker, explores fashion context, with garments hidden in a forest, strewn across a street as graffiti or decaying in a nuclear power station.

Merge Festival, Various Bankside locations, Thursday, free. This 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’.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year, Royal Observatory, Thursday, free. Among the awe-inspiring shortlisted entries for this year’s competition are pics of psychedelic auroras, spine-tingling meteor showers and the centre of the Heart Nebula.

Ming: 50 Years that Changed China, British Museum, from Thursday, £16.50,£13 concs + £1 booking fee. The exhibition will draw together some of the world’s most beautiful objects, with loans from more than 20 collections across the world, to explain how China became the country it is.

The Art of Skateboarding, The Goodhood Store, all week, free. Artists and designers including Jake & Dinos Chapman, Will Sweeney, James Jarvis, Ed Davis and Russell Maurice have all been asked to contribute to the creation of a series of skateboards, to be exhibited in Goodhood’s new 3,000ft flagship on Curtain Road.

Port x Molteni – A Cover Story, Molteni & C, all week, free. Port magazine has curated an exhibition of Gio Ponti’s iconic D.270.2 armchairs. British designers Custhom, Esme Winter, Ffion Griffith, and Marwood have each upholstered Ponti’s revered design in bespoke patterns commissioned exclusively for the exhibition. A panel discussion on interior and textile design takes place on Wed 17.

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

House at the National Theatre

Eating and drinking

House at the National Theatre, South Bank. The National Theatre has bucked things up by revamping its flagship restaurant and hiring three new chefs.

DF Mexico, Spitalfields. A cheap Mexican restaurant with lashings of flavourful fast food.

Synaesthesia Cocktails, Stories, Tuesday, £15. Art Neuro’s Synaesthesia Cocktails night tests how astute your senses really are. Each guest will be given three cocktails, all with visible clues obscured and experts will be on hand to discuss the correlation between taste and sight.

Soleshare, Tue-Wed, £20. Pass by Regents Canal en route to work on Tuesday and you’ll be able to order fish caught that day, and delivered in time for collection in the afternoon. Soleshare are also have a party on Wednesday to celebrate their birthday and the start of the native oyster season.

Castello’s Pop-up Cheese Shop, Shoreditch, all week, free. Billed as ‘an immersive 360-degree cheese experience like no other’, this pop-up is all about the pungent yellow stuff.

London Beer Dispensary, Brockley. A pub without a bar, but lots of lovely beer to try.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Happy Mondays


Happy Mondays, Amersham Arms, TONIGHT, £6, £5 adv. Tonight’s line-up is particularly special, as it features a headline spot from Mr Stewart Lee, plus support from Jarlath Regan and MC Holly Walsh.

Beth Vyse – Get Up with Hands, Hen and Chickens Theatre, TONIGHT, £6. Madass character comic Beth Vyse (part of the Weirdos Comedy collective) brings her latest solo show, ‘Get Up with Hands!’, to London following an acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe run.

Magnus Betnér, Leicester Square Theatre, Mon-Wed, £15, £12.50 concs. Swedish comedy superstar Magnus Betnér (he’s a household name in his home country) makes a rare stop over in London, offering us a chance to catch his hard-hitting, dark and rather uninhibited stand-up.

Cardinal Burns, Soho Theatre, all week, £12.50-£17.50. Cardinal Burns are longtime circuit favourites and stars of their own brilliantly funny British Comedy Award-winning Channel 4 series.

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

Iggy Azalea

Live music

Arrows Of Love, Barfly, TONIGHT, £7. Garage punks Arrows Of Love combine Mclusky, Sonic Youth and Fugazi in a raucous, instrument-swapping rock ’n’ roll show.

Iggy Azalea, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Wednesday, £15. Hyped and rising ghetto-electro rapper Iggy Azalea brings her risqué rhymes to London, backed by dirty beats and pop hooks.

Fat White Family, Electric Ballroom, Thursday, £10. Fat White Family perform from their totally screwed up debut album ‘Champagne Holocaust’ and drag their weird and wonderful dark psychedelia, which takes in Butthole Surfers and The Birthday Party, into the light of a live stage.

Ryan Adams, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire , Thu-Fri, £35. Once the boy wonder of country-rock, now 39 but no less prolific and volatile, Adams returns to London to play songs from his self-titled new album, and a few from ‘Ashes and Fire’.

…or check all the live music events in London this week.


Club nights

The Deep Hum At The Heart Of It All, The Social, Wednesday,£5, £3 adv or NUS. As well as up-and-coming live bands playing loud-and-close live sets (previous guests include The Wytches and Charlie Boyer And The Voyeurs), The Deep Hum hosts resident and guest DJs spinning alternative sounds from Grace Jones to Can.

FWD>>, Dance Tunnel, Thursday, £7, £6 adv. The fourth instalment of Rinse FM’s live Genre Takeovers at FWD focuses in on funky, which – in case you’re wondering – has very little to do with funk. Have a listen to Marcus Nasty, Brackles, Supa D and MA1 on Thursday.

Rustie ‘Green Language’ Album Launch, Oval Space, Thursday, £15. Rustie launches his new album ‘Green Language’,  written to and influenced by birdsong in the remote Scottish countryside. This should be a great show of future-leaning electronic excellence.

Clash Presents Electric Selection, Oslo, Thursday, £8 adv. Electronic voyagers Nathan Fake and Wesley Matsell launch their new label, Cambria Instruments. Also playing is Patten, a new signing on Warp Records and producer of some thoroughly enticing kaleidoscopic electronica.

…or take a look at all 23 parties planned this week.

More London Free Festival


More London Free Festival, The Scoop at More London, Wed-Thu, free. These free September screenings are officially the last hurrah of the outdoor film season. Catch ‘Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom’ on Wednesday and ‘The Goonies’ on Thursday.

Or at the cinema…

Pride ★★★★★ ‘Pride’ recalls how a small group of gay activists took a trip from London to rural South Wales in 1984 to lend their support to a beleaguered village during the miners’ strike.

In Order Of Disappearance ★★★★☆ Another week, another Nordic thriller. This one comes with added black comedy.

A Most Wanted Man ★★★☆☆ The late Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Günther Bachmann, a German intelligence agent at the heart of this John le Carré adaptation.

The BoxTrolls ★★★☆☆ In the medieval town of Cheesebridge, the citizens have been whipped into a panic over the subterranean Boxtrolls, little blue-skinned monsters who emerge from the sewers to swipe anything not bolted down. 

20,000 Days on Earth ★★★★★ From Wednesday, you’ll be able to spend the day with Nick Cave in this intimate documentary.

… or see all of the latest releases here.



Autobahn, King’s Head Theatre, Mon-Thu, £10-£20.50. Sometimes eerie, at others funny, Neil LaBute’s ‘Autobahn’ is a toe-dip into an entire generation’s worth of struggles that unravels along the highways of America.

Little Revolution, Almeida Theatre, Tue-Thu, £9-£36. Pioneering verbatim playwright Alecky Blythe follows her ground-breaking ‘London Road’, with a far shorter affair that takes the nationwide phenomena of the 2011 riots and views them through the prism of a single, divided community – that of Clarence Road in Hackney.

Briefs: The Second Coming, London Wonderground, Tue-Thu, £15.50, £14 concs. An eye-popping spectacle that is both fabulously sexy and seriously clever.

Fully Committed, Menier Chocolate Factory, Tue-Thu, £20-£29.50. There is a relatable story here about responsibility, depression and hope.

Teh Internet Is Serious Business, Royal Court Theatre, Wed- Thu, £12-£32. Tim Price continues his exploration with subversive forces in this new play providing a fictionalised account of the origins of online group of activists and hackers Anonymous.

…or see the theatre critics’ choices here.

Crafting Narrative

This week’s best new art

Crafting Narrative, PM Gallery & House, Tue-Thu, free. Designed by Martino Gamper with graphs by Åbäke, Crafting Narrative showcases a range of new and commissioned works, films, sculptures, texts and photographs by 12 contemporary makers and design studios, all of which collectively examines the idea of storytelling.

Alex Clarke: Figurative, Evelyn Yard, Tue-Thu, free. These abstract works by the recent Royal Academy Schools graduate examine the fundamental emotions and aspirations experienced by an individual when in the process of painting.

Late Turner: Painting Set Free, Tate Britain, all week, £15, £13 concs. No one work is more significant than another; there is enormous democracy in Turner’s vision. He doesn’t so much show what paint can do, but what paint is: part of the world, an element.

Francesca Woodman: Zigzag, Victoria Miro Mayfair, Tue-Thu, free. Focusing on her use of the zigzag as a compositional device, this intimate display of 25 works includes ten newly released images from Woodman’s estate.

Mary Reid Kelley: Swinburne’s Pasiphae, Pilar Corrias, all week, free. Unpublished during his lifetime, the Victorian poet Algernon Charles Swinburne’s ‘Pasiphae’ has inspired the latest work of the American artist.

Anthony Caro: The Last Sculptures, Annely Juda, all week, free. The late British Sculptor who knew no bounds when it came to experimenting with materials in his six-decade career started to work with Perspex in 2011.

Jasper Johns: Regrets, Courtauld Gallery, all week, £8.50, £4-£7.50 concs. The chance discovery of a photo showing Lucian Freud in Francis Bacon’s studio inspired this recent work by the 83 year-old American artist.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

SEE… Time Out Card holders can register today for free tickets to a preview screening of ‘Map to the Stars’ on Wed September 24 at Millbank Tower

GET... 40% off tickets to the ‘Pulp Fiction’ twentieth anniversary party at Altitude on Wed September 17

WIN… take this quiz to find out which films you should see at the London Film Festival (and you could win tickets to a red carpet gala!)

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