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43 great things to do in London this week

Posted at 1:15 pm, March 9, 2015 in Food & Drink, Free, Fun London, Music & Nightlife, Outdoor London

Hannah Whittle[Photo: Hannah Whittle]

What a week London has lined up for you! You can nibble on Twiglets at an ‘Abigail’s Party’ themed dining experience, get lost in the experimental sounds of a Glass Animals gig or go colour crazy at Cinnamon Kitchen’s House of Holi event. Here are all the fun things to do in London this week…

Things to do 

Bear Witness, Sotheby’s, Mon-Tue, free. This March Sotheby’s will auction off a collection of over 500 curious artefacts and pieces of art which were acquired over decades by just one collector. The objects will be exhibited in the week preceding the sales, and visitors can expect to marvel at themes such as power, sex and death.

Women Writing Science, The Royal Society, Tuesday, free. The Royal Society celebrates International Women’s Day with this talk on early female scientists who used writing to further their careers.

All Change! Did the First World War Transform the Lives of London Women?, London Transport Museum, Tuesday, £10, £8 concs. While many of Britain’s men were suddenly forced into a new career during World War I, for many women the situation offered new realms of independence. The Museum of London’s Working and Social History Curator Beverly Cook talks about the ways in which the lives of London’s ladies changed when war struck a century ago.

Volcanoes with Sir Tony Robinson, Central Hall Westminster, Tuesday, £15, £5 students. Presumably with his ‘Time Team’ hat on (we doubt Baldrick was into volcanoes) Sir Tony Robinson presents the fifth annual Stoneley Lecture, an exploration of the impact of volcanoes on human life through the ages.

The Man vs Rib Champion’s Cup, Porky’s, Bankside, Wednesday, £15 challenge entry. Over the last year, Porky’s have been challenging Londoners to the ‘Man vs Rib’ competition: a ginormous portion of slow-smoked ribs and a double helping of chips to be devoured as quickly as possible. The fastest eaters have now been invited back for the ultimate fight, which will result in one of them will being crowned the mightiest meat-eater of all.

Lunchtime Tour of the Royal College of Music Museum, Knightsbridge, Wednesday, free. Make the most of lunchtime with a free guided tour of the Royal College of Music Museum’s 1,500 instruments, portraits, photographs and scores.

Milk Tea Bread, Borough Market, Wednesday, £15 per event, £40 for all three. This trio of events from food-obsessives Toast are each focused on an everyday item that almost every kitchen in Britain is likely to have in stock. A panel of experts on each of the three staples will explore the origins, production, sustainability and health impact of their product of interest, as well as looking at how we became so relient on it in the first place.

Stairwell Stories: Folktales for Fearless Adults, Monument, Thursday, £20. This night of live storytelling is the first evening event ever hosted at The Monument and it looks like they might be on to a winner. With the help of popular storytelling radio show Nyx Chariot, five original tales of folklore in the city will be told by professional, international storyteller Nell Phoenix.

Professor Steve Peters on Inspiration, Conway Hall, Thursday, £30. Who better to provide winning advice on inspiration that the Consultant Psychiatrist credited with helping the Olympic British cycling team go for gold? Professor Steve Peters has used his remarkable knowledge of the workings of the human mind to improve the performances of professional sportsmen from Liverpool Football Club, England Rugby and World Championship Snooker to name but a few.

Cinnamon Kitchen’s House of Holi, City, all week, £8. Bid the grey of winter a relieved farewell and welcome spring with a burst of colour with a session in Cinnamon Kitchen’s Holi Pod. Guests will be provided with a protective white suit before pelting each other with brightly coloured paint powders until they look as unnatural as a bag of Rainbow Drops.

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

The Art of Dining: Abigail's Party

Eating and drinking

The Art of Dining: Abigail’s Party, The Rose Lipman Building, Wed-Thu, £55. Chef Ellen Parr and set designer Alice Hodge are the creative masterminds behind the ever-inventive Art of Dining. Their next pop-up is a seventies spectacular based on Mike Leigh’s play ‘Abigail’s Party’. The Rose Lipman Building will be transformed into an interpretation of the play’s set complete with lava lamps, shag-pile rugs, loud wallpaper and every shade of beige imaginable.

London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival, Camden Centre, Wed-Thu, £3.50. North London’s Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) representatives present their annual beer festival, which will see pint enthusiasts (attempt to) taste their way through more than 150 real ales, ciders, perries and imported beers.

Spring Chicken, Forza Win Dispensa, Thursday, £35. Forza Win are good at all the things that make dinner great. Communal tables shared with excellent company, well-chosen drinks to help the conversation flow and, the most important part, darn good food.

Ceru, 29 Rathbone Place, all week. A pop-up restaurant serving the finest of Levantine flavours – that’s dishes from Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon and Israel.

Max’s Sandwich Shop, Finsbury Park. A Stroud Green restaurant selling large-scale sandwiches designed to be a meal in themselves.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Jack Dee – So What?Jack Dee – So What?


No Such Thing as a Fish Podcast, Soho Theatre, TONIGHT, £12.50. This hugely popular fact-loving podcast is hosted by ‘QI’ elves Dan Schreiber, James Harkin, Andrew Murray and Anna Ptaszynski. These sneaky little ‘elves’ are the researchers on the Stephen Fry-hosted panel show – they find all those interesting nuggets of information.

Night Howls, Mediterranean Café, Tuesday, free. Alison Thea-Skot, Fraser Millward and Jenny Collier run and appear at this freebie sketch and character night. Joining the gang on March 10 are subtle sketch duo Lazy Susan, master improviser Paul Foxcroft, That Pair, So On & So Forth, Karl Schultz, Holly Burn and many more.

Jack Dee – So What?, Canal Café Theatre, Wednesday, £10. Everyone’s favourite grumpster, Jack Dee, plays a very intimate date at the Canal Cafe. He’ll be up to his usual shtick of being brilliantly moany about the smallest of annoyances. Get ready for some misanthropic comedy gems.

Aamer Rahman – The Truth Hurts, Soho Theatre, all week, £15, £12.50 concs. Uninhibited Australian stand-up Aamer Rahman – half of comedy duo ‘Fear of a Brown Planet’ with Nazeem Hussain – tackles racism, Islam, immigration and more hard-hitting topics in his smart solo show.

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

Ravi Coltrane

Live music

Ravi Coltrane, Ronnie Scott’s, TONIGHT, £35-£50. Don’t miss this chance to see the son of jazz pioneer John Coltrane, who has earned his own reputation beyond that of his father’s name – he’s a formidable saxophonist with impressive command over his instrument.

Glass Animals, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Tuesday, £14.50. Hailing from Oxford, this experimental electronic pop outfit were signed to Wolf Tone (the new label of finger-on-the-pulse producer Paul Epworth) towards the end of last year, which will do them absolutely no harm whatsoever.

Marina & The Diamonds, Oslo, Wednesday, £16.50. Elastic-voiced quirk-pop star Marina Diamandis returns for her first live show in two years, showcasing songs from her forthcoming ‘Froot’ album in an intimate setting in Hackney. This one’ll sell out quick.

The Preatures, Dingwalls, Thursday, £12.50. Talented Australians The Preatures use the same winning formula as Haim – funky bass and drums, ’70s rock guitar and slinky R&B vocals – and could well imitate the Californian sister act’s success. Luckily they’re still playing small venues.

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

B.Traits XOYO Residency


B.Traits XOYO Residency, XOYO, Thursday, £6. After its stormingly successful three-month Saturday night residency slots steered and curated by top DJs – including Eats Everything, Jackmaster and most recently Skream – Shoreditch club XOYO spreads its residency wings a little wider, asking Canadian bass-fiend B.Traits to helm a Thursday night slot.

Clark + Vessels, Village Underground, Thursday, £15. Warp Records’ bleepy maverick Clark and experimental live electronics band Vessels perform at the opening party of Convergence, a series of performances and talks to explore the relationship between music and technology.

FWD>>, Dance Tunnel, Thursday, £7. Rinse FM’s seminal London club night FWD, perhaps the key event in helping spread various bass-led genres around the city, has ended its long-standing residency at Shoreditch’s Plastic People. But don’t despair, because Rinse have found a new home for the event in Dalston’s Dance Tunnel.

…or see all the parties planned this week.



White Heat, Greenwich Picturehouse, TONIGHT, £9, £8 concs. One of the all-time great gangster movies returns to the big screen. James Cagney sits in his mother’s lap as they plan their heists together.

Drive-In Film Club: ‘Back to the Future’, Alexandra Palace, Wednesday, £22 per car. If you missed the epic Secret Cinema event last year, catch up with the adventures of Marty McFly at this new vehicular pop-up from the folks behind the Rooftop Film Club.

Focus Film Festival, Barbican Centre, Thursday, prices vary. Curated in collaboration with the Barbican Young Programmers, this new film festival is geared towards 12-18 year olds and aims to give young people a better understanding of the film industry.

Or at the cinema…

Chappie ★★★★☆ After the out-of-nowhere sucker punch of his 2009 debut ‘District 9’, Neill Blomkamp’s second film, 2013’s ‘Elysium’, felt like the work of a Hollywood-designed, blockbuster-producing robot: slick and anonymous. So it’s a huge relief to discover that, with ‘Chappie’, the South African filmmaker has re-engaged his emotion chip and ramped up the weirdness factor for this lovably scattergun cybernetic satire.

Still Alice ★★★★★ ‘Still Alice’, adapted by married couple Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland from Lisa Genova’s 2007 novel, is the rare film possessed with the courage required to shine a light into that abyss that is Alzheimer’s, knowing full well that down is the only way out.

…or see all of the latest releases.



Antigone, Barbican Centre, Tue-Thu, £16-£55. Juliette Binoche stars in a new version of Sophocles’s tragedy directed by visionary Belgian Ivo van Hove.

Buyer & Cellar, Menier Chocolate Factory, Thursday, £22.50-£32.50. Off-Broadway 2013 hit ‘Buyer & Cellar’ is brought over to the UK by the Menier Chocolate Factory for its UK premiere. The comedy is about a LA actor who decides to go to work in Barbara Streisand’s Malibu basement.

Closer, Donmar Warehouse, all week, £10-£35. A great revival of Patrick Marber’s icy play about love in London.

Game, Almeida Theatre ,all week, £16-£30. ‘Game’ is about as high-concept as mainstream theatre gets, a short, experimental show that’s like a cross between a series of ‘Big Brother’ and Iain Duncan Smith’s wettest dream.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

Nick Waplington/Alexander McQueen: Working Process

This week’s best new art

Nick Waplington/Alexander McQueen: Working Process, Tate Britain, Tue-Thu, £16, £14 concs.
Coinciding with Alexander McQueen fever at the V&A, this photographic exhibition reveals the working process of a fashion genius.

The Syngenta Photography Award Exhibition, Somerset House, Wed-Thu, free. Aiming to stimulate global discussion through thought provoking photographic responses to worldwide issues, the second edition of this annual photography prize focuses on ‘Scarcity-Waste’.

RCA Secret, Royal College of Art Battersea, Thursday, free. The Royal College of Art’s annual fundraiser returns with its sale of postcard-size artworks.

Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint, Wallace Collection, Thursday, free. This spring the Wallace Collection will reveal a more radical side to the British eighteenth century portraitist who founded the Royal Academy.

Pangaea II: New Art From Africa And Latin America, Saatchi Gallery, all week, free. The second instalment of the Saatchi Gallery’s museum-scale survey of two great continents.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… a coffee lovers’ weekend in Florence and tickets to The London Coffee Festival or tickets to Whitechapel Gallery’s Adventures of the Black Square exhibition

Grab… £29.99 tickets to a silent disco at Cutty Sark on Friday April 24

Book… these gigs while you still can

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