© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


40 exciting things happening in London this week

Posted at 12:15 pm, January 26, 2015 in Food & Drink, Free, Fun London, Music & Nightlife, Outdoor London

Juan Rendon[Photo: Juan Rendon]

Fill your brain will brilliant facts and thoughts at the Penny Lectures and School of Life Live, welcome the dawn with a dance at Morning Gloryville or pack your trunk and head to the circus in Highgate. Take a look at all the fabulous things happening in London this week…

Things to do 

Things to See and Hear in the Fourth Dimension, Royal Institution of Great Britain, Tuesday, £12, £8 concs. Comedian and maths communicator Matt Parker sounds like the kind of teacher kids can only dream of. In this family-friendly talk he will lead a journey through at least two different kinds of infinity via many kinds of maths magic.

Noodles, Jacksons Lane, Tue-Thu, £17, £15 concs. Crash landing in London this January like some anarchic alien body from outer space, is the superb NoFitState Circus. The Cardiff-based company arrive with their new show ‘Noodles’ as part of the London International Mime Festival this year.

Penny Lectures, Morley College, Wednesday, 1p. More than 130 years ago, a series of illustrated lectures were arranged at the Old Vic to encourage new thinking and ideas. Admission cost just a penny, and the success of the lectures led to the establishment of Morley Memorial College. To celebrate its 125th anniversary the college, which provides a wide range of educational courses for adults, is bringing the lectures back, along with their original ticket price.

Science Museum Lates: Engineer Your Future, South Kensington, Wednesday, free. Find out what engineers do all day through interactive games, digital experiences, talks, exhibits and installations at this late-opening celebrating the opening of the Science Museum’s new gallery.

The School of Life Live, The Emmanuel Centre, Thursday, £35. If life’s feeling a little fuzzy and like it could do with a reboot, this special event hosted by emotional intelligence gurus, The School of Life could be just what the doctor ordered. With talk titles including ‘Being a Creative Genius’ and ‘Be Happier’, there’s no doubt you’ll leave a better human. ‘Resolution Kits’ will also be provided just incase you stray.

The Psychology of Doing Nothing, Barnard’s Inn Hall, Thursday, free. Why is costly inaction attractive? Why do individuals (and organisations) sometimes hesitate even though they know they probably have more to lose by not taking a risk? Professor Helga Drummond tackles these questions in a free lecture exploring decision avoidance in business.

CoolTan CoolWalks: Film Locations in the Borough, John Harvard Library, Thursday, free. This free guided walk takes in three miles of Borough and Bankside, offering an up close and personal look at the streets and buildings used as a backdrop in many familiar films.

Your Jewish Museum: Love, Camden, all week, free. This crowdsourced exhibition features over 30 keepsakes, trinkets, everyday objects and works of art which were donated by members of the public and are accompanied by often touching and sometimes surprising testimonies explaining what the objects mean to their owners.

Mapping the City, Somerset House, all week, free. You don’t need to walk the streets of a city to get a feel for it, and this exhibition of cartographic representations will allow you a glimpse of how more than 50 internationally recognised artists from the graffiti and street art scenes view the home towns they use as their canvas.

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

Marco's MeatballsMarco’s Meatballs

Eating and drinking

Japanese Burns Night, Bump Caves, Tuesday, £40. A Japanese single malt whisky recently won the title of Best Whisky in the World. To honour this achievement and mark Burns Night, Bump Caves is throwing a cross-cultural celebration. 2011 Master Chef champion Tim Anderson has created a five-course Japanese menu for the evening with a decidedly tartan twist: it includes Haggis Gyoza, Neeps and Tatties and Tempura Mars bar.

The Great Sausage Roll Off, The Red Lion (Barnes), Wednesday, free. The mighty meaty pastry-cloaked snack is one of Britain’s favourite mouthfuls, so it’s no wonder some snack hounds are on the hunt for London’s very best. This competition sees entrants roll and cook their sausage rolls live before presenting them to a line-up of judges.

Marco’s Meatballs, The Vaults, Wed-Thu, £15. The team behind supperclub Forza Win have cooked up a dastardly dinner experience as part of the Vault Festival. Your host for the evening is Marco – a suspiciously sinister proprietor whose uncle died rather suddenly and ‘left’ him an Italian restaurant. Tickets for dinner at Marco’s include a plate of the best spaghetti and meatballs in town, a glass of wine and hopefully nothing more dramatic.

…or see more recommended restaurants.

Gits and Shiggles


Gits and Shiggles Character Assassination, COG ArtSpace, Tuesday, £8, £6 adv. The consistently excellent Gits and Shiggles team champion the character comedy scene in this monthly showcase of comics who just aren’t quite themselves.

Pajama Men – Pterodactyl Nights, Soho Theatre, from Tuesday, £15. Superb American physical comedy duo the Pajama Men back in London, with a seemingly out-of-nowhere new show. Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen are the PJ Men, and the pair play every single role in their nonsensical adventure-story shows, seamlessly moving from one character to another.

Dane Baptiste – Citizen Dane, Soho Theatre, all week, £10-£12.50. ‘Citizen Dane’ is a slick, assured debut about fitting in. Baptiste is an easygoing performer – confident without being cocky – and he has some smart material. Baptiste has ‘panel show regular’ written all over him.

Josie Long – Cara Josephine, Soho Theatre, all week, £10-£20. ‘Cara Josephine’ is a heartfelt, introspective piece of stand-up about break-ups, family and romantic ideals. It’s her most personal show yet, and it’s another feelgood triumph.

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

Fat White Family

Live music 

Fat White Family, Village Underground, TONIGHT, £12.50. Tonight 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.

Emmy The Great, Oslo, Tuesday, £12. Emma-Lee Moss was a key member of the west London acoustic scene that launched the careers of Noah And The Whale and Johnny Flynn. She plays her first London solo show in quite some time tonight, and has promised plenty of new material.

First Aid Kit, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Tuesday, £32.50. Recently tipped by none other than David Cameron, the Söderberg sisters return to London to ply their charming, lushly harmonised, narrative alt folk and country, with a set that’ll likely lean on their new album ‘Stay Gold’.

Wiley, Scala, Tuesday, adv £15. Grime godfather Wiley – the original boy from Bow – takes to the stage to cook up a tasty confection of slick MCing, rave beats and pop hooks for the faithful, including chart hits like ‘Heatwave’ and some darker, deeper stuff too from his back-to-basics latest album ‘Snakes and Ladders’.

Neneh Cherry, Electric Ballroom, Wednesday, £15. Late-’80s superstar Neneh Cherry is back in the game, creatively revitalised by a recent collaboration with Scandinavian avant-jazz band The Thing.

…or take a look at all 61 live music events in London this week.

Morning Gloryville


Morning Gloryville, Oval Space, Wednesday, £19.20. Electro-house and breaks crew Plump DJs are the special guests at the latest Morning Gloryville. Also spinning the bangers is Miles Metric.

Gospeloke, Queen of Hoxton, Thursday, £5-£8. Absolutely no prizes for guessing what this event is all about. That’s right, it’s a gospel music-focused karaoke night – ‘think “Sister Act” meets a school assembly via “Top of the Pops”‘, say the organisers.

FWD>>, Dance Tunnel, Thursday, £7. Uk house hero Huxley spins the spins. DJ Haus will also be in the… house.

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

Kingsman: The Secret Service


Mildred Pierce, Amersham Arms, TONIGHT, free. James Cain’s novel of the treacherous life in Southern California that sets house-wife-turned waitress-turned-successful restauranteur (Crawford) against her own daughter (Blyth) in competition for the love of playboy Zachary Scott, is brought fastidiously and bleakly to life by Curtiz’ direction, Ernest Haller’s camerawork, and Anton Grot’s magnificent sets.

Alibi Film Club: ‘The Hidden’ on VHS, The Alibi, TONIGHT, free. A rare chance to catch this fast-paced, blackly comic sci-fi thriller on original VHS. It’s about a power-hungry alien organism that invades the bodies of law-abiding citizens and transforms them into deranged criminals with a penchant for fast cars, blasting rock music, and violent anti-social behaviour.

The Duke Mitchell Film Club, The Phoenix Artist Club, TONIGHT, free. More freaky film fun from those past masters of the form, the Duke Mitchell Film Club. In addition to the usual crazy trailer mashups, shorts, competitions and nonsense, this month’s main feature is long-forgotten American gangland drama ‘Street Wars’.

Or at the cinema…

Kingsman: The Secret Service ★★★☆☆ Colin Firth plays Harry Hart, one of an elite band of impeccably dressed crimefighters aligned with no specific government but steeped in old money and aristocratic privilege. When one of their number pops his clogs unexpectedly, Harry tries to fulfil an old promise by bringing latchkey bruiser Eggsy (Taron Egerton) into the Kingsman fold, with explosive consequences.

A Most Violent Year ★★★★☆ In little over three years and three features, American writer-director JC Chandor has launched himself into the rare company of uncompromising filmmakers with more than superheroes on the brain. ‘A Most Violent Year’, Chandor’s new, absorbing no-bull New York period drama, further clarifies what might be the most promising career in American movies: an urban-headed filmmaker sparing with time and place and with an eye on the vacant throne of the late, great Sidney Lumet (‘Serpico’, ‘Dog Day Afternoon’).

…or see all of the latest releases.

The Talented Mr Ripley


The Talented Mr Ripley, New Diorama Theatre, Tue-Thu, £17, £14 concs. The production hinges on the performance of Christopher Hughes as Tom, who barely leaves the stage. He’s superb, at first just a little kooky and unsure of himself, but soon becomes frightening: a large, gurning smile continually crossing his lips. But he never loses a shadowy sense of vulnerability.

The Changeling, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, all week,  £10-£60. Hattie Morahan stars as Beatrice-Joanna in Dominic Dromgoole’s production of ‘The Changeling’, Thomas Middleton’s Jacobean tragedy about treachery, lust and sin.

Out of the Cage, Park Theatre, Tue-Thu, £18, £15 concs. This rousing play about female munitions workers fighting for equal pay during World War 1 is a nice companion piece to the rather fancier ‘Made in Dagenham’. ‘Out of the Cage’ also includes songs – arguably better songs – and some sharp movement sequences choreographed by Simon Pittman.

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.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

Christian marclay


This week’s best new art

Christian Marclay, White Cube Bermondsey, from Wed 28. The Swiss-American artist will turn the White Cube’s Bermondsey gallery into a symphonic masterpiece made from booze cans, bottles and glasses found discarded around east London.

Fig-2 – Simon Welsh, ICA, all week. The fourth exhibitor in Fig-2’s spontaneous 50 weekly presentations is poet, environmental activist and public speaker Simon Welsh, who is offering poetic portraits for members of the public.

First Happenings – Adrian Henri in the ’60s and ’70s, ICA, from Tue 27. Dubbed ‘the great non-singer of our time’ by John Peel who produced Henri’s band, Liverpool Scene’s first album, Henri was a central figure to the happenings movement. Catherine Marcangeli, curates this archival show that includes original prints, rock posters, ephemera and rare audio material.

Rashid Johnson: Smile, Hauser & Wirth, from Wed 28. The African-American artist presents tile paintings and bronze sculptures in an environment papered with a repeated image by French-American photographer Elliott Erwitt.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally 

Win… a year’s worth of yoga and pilates at Yotopia or tickets to ‘Magnificent Obsessions’ at Barbican

Grab… £16.50 tickets to ‘FILTH’ at The Vaults – an underground silent disco with 50 shades of difference

Book… these gigs while you still can

Best of the blog

Giles Coren: ‘They are determined to keep London shitty’

Book now to see Bradley Cooper in the West End

Chips with everything at London’s first pay-by-poker restaurant

Always the wheel thing: Coca-Cola now sponsors the London Eye

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,