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40 damn fine things happening in London this week

Nick Isden[Photo: Nick Isden]

Discover the weird world of VHS at the Found Footage Festival, taste Suffolk’s finest chocolate and treats at the Pump Street Bakery pop-up in east London, or search out some fresh cinema in New Cross and Deptford at the Free Film Festival. Here are all the crackin’ things happening in London this week.

Things to do 

You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat, Upstairs at the Ritzy, Tuesday, £5. To celebrate ten years of the quiz, You’re Going To Need A Bigger Boat host an extra special edition with tons of Hollywood trivia for London’s biggest film buffs. The audiovisual quiz which includes pictures, posters, film clips, and soundtracks is projected on to a big screen and usually takes around two and a half hours from start to finish.

Curationism, multiple venues, Tue-Thu, free-£10. David Balzer’s book, ‘Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else’ looks at the definition of the word curator through art history and around the world. In this trio of discussions he’ll explore what curation’s newfound popularity says about culture’s relationship with taste, as well as introducing its professionals, from Subway’s ‘sandwich artists’ to the powerful names who rule the art world.

Spitalfields E1 Tea Dance, Spitalfields Market, Wednesday, free. Join the New Covent Garden Dance Orchestra in Crispin Place for some fancy footwork to music from the 30s, 40s and 50s. Dancers of all abilities are welcome, and styles will include foxtrots, quicksteps and cha chas. Free tea will be served at 1.30pm.

Plonk, Efes Snooker Club, Wed-Thu, £7.50. Combine beer with balls at this ramshackle but imaginative crazy golf course which has, er, plonked itself within Efes Pool Hall. The nine-hole course has been built using lots of reclaimed and recycled material lending it a touch of the Wombles, and you’re sure to end up bumbling through the loops, jumps, ramps and even pool tables you have to negotiate to complete the course.

Nights in the Electric City, Omnibus, Thursday, free. This evening of screenings and discussion will explore how the introduction of gaslight and electric lighting in the nineteenth century transformed cities and the activities that went on inside them.

Eat Drink Think, London Fields Brewery, Thursday, £30. Combining food and thought, this dinner at London Fields Brewery promises delicious seasonal cooking with talks, screening and performances from those in the know. In the run up to the General Election, this politically themed event will see Benedict Pringle chair a panel discussion exploring who is winning the ‘spin’ wars and why, and what a hung parliament might look like.

Cities After Hours, Bloomsbury Theatre, Thursday, free. Tackling the inequalities of the city at night, this evening brings together a selection of film screenings and a panel discussion chaired by author Matthew Beaumont. The event will explore the numerous ways the city is experienced in the hours of darkness: as a place to work, a place to unwind or as a place to rest a head for those sleeping rough.

Skylight Soirées, Mallette Antiques, Thursday, £10. This series of talks curated and presented by former Literary Editor of The Times and Man Booker judge Erica Wagner sees Ely House’s Thursday evenings giving centre stage to novelists, journalists, historians, a singer and even a neuroscientist.

Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation, British Museum, all week, £10. A comprehensive history of Australia’s indigenous peoples, traced through art and artefacts from the BM’s collections and British and Australian loans.

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

Pump Street Bakery

Eating and drinking

Pump Street Bakery Pop-up, 67 Redchurch Street, Tue-Thu. The team behind Suffolk shop Pump Street Bakery have turned their creative hands to making bean-to-bar chocolate, and this pop-up shop celebrates the launch of their second variety: rye crumb, milk and sea salt.

Bill or Beak at Voltaire, Fleet Street, Wed-Thu. Street food favourites Bill or Beak are usually found peddling their delicious birds-in-buns at Kerb’s street food markets, so this kitchen takeover at swish basement bar Voltaire will be quite a change of scenery for them.

Synaesthesia by Kitchen Theory, Maida Hill Place, Thursday, £65 dinner, £32 lunch. Dinner’s got to do more than just taste good in this demanding world of ours, and Kitchen Theory are cooking up some serious stimulation with their latest supperclub series, Synaesthesia. Audio-visual aids and food-related lessons will accompany this seven-course experimental feast cooked by chefs with Michelin-starred kitchen experience.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Rachel Parris – Live in Vegas


Rachel Parris – Live in Vegas, Soho Theatre, Mon-Wed, £12.50. Talented musical comic Rachel Parris – who’s also a member of the Austentatious impro troupe and a panellist on the ‘Thronecast’ – goes all-out in her latest solo show. ‘Live in Vegas’ is an ambitious offering: a glitzy Vegas showcase of musical stars, all played by Parris herself.

Monkey Business Special, Proud Camden, Tuesday, £15. A one-off special from the Monkey Business gang as they take over Proud Camden for a bill headlined by the mighty Harry Hill. Joining the absurdist comedy hero are Sol Bernstein, Hari Sriskantha, James Veitch, The Odd Bods and MC Martin Besserman.

Found Footage Festival – Salute to Weirdos, Soho Theatre, all week, £15. This cult American showcase of odd and hysterical undiscovered videos is a riot. Hosts Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett introduce clips from their 20-year-old collection of VHS videos found at garage sales and thrift shops across the US.

Mark Thomas – Cuckooed, The Four Thieves, all week, £15-£18, £12 concs. The comedian has roped in director Emma Callander to help him tell a remarkable true story: Thomas discovered that a close friend of his was spying on him for Britain’s biggest arms dealer. We’re certainly intrigued.

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


Live music

Iceage, Village Underground, Tonight, £12. The hyped Danish teenagers with a fearsome live show play their gritty but surprisingly tuneful punk, including material from their 2014 album ‘Plowing Into the Field of Love’.

Loom, The Black Heart, Wednesday, free. Tarik Badwan, brother of The Horrors’ Faris, stalks out of his sibling’s tall, tall shadow as singer in his own band, Loom. With song titles like ‘Hate’ and ‘Bleed on Me’, they sound like The Strokes covering the Pixies through Nirvana’s pedalboards: a blast of grunge-fuzz punk bliss.

Philip Glass: The Études, Barbican Hall, Wednesday, £20-£25. Celebrated post-minimalist composer Glass performs his 20 Études for Piano, written between the mid-’90s and 2012, with guest pianists Maki Namekawa, Timo Andres, Clare Hammond and Vikingur Ólafsson.

Laura Marling, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wed-Thu, £29.50. The elegant folk songstress plays a run of London shows, channeling Fleetwood Mac with the soaring, emotional vocals and electric strumming of her new album ‘Short Movie’.

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

Morning Gloryville


Morning Gloryville, Oval Space, Wednesday, £16. Get tribal at the latest edition of Morning Gloryville – create your own head-gear, face art of tribal attire and get raving.

Hot Tub Cinema, Former Shoreditch Underground Station, Wed- Thu, £20-£25 per individual ticket. Kick back in a hot tub, quaff a few drinks and watch cult and classic films, with a party and music afterwards.

Your Mum’s House, The Nest, Thursday, £7, £5 before midnight. Not for the faint-hearted, this weekly jaunt is a ‘dress up ‘n’ get messed up’ night of mayhem and mischief, with a soundtrack of bassy house, hip hop, old school bangers, trap, R&B, UK garage and pretty much anything with a bassline filthy enough to make your mum blush

…or see all the parties planned this week.



Duke Mitchell Film Club, The Phoenix Artist Club, Tonight, free. Tonight two film clubs go head to head, as the Duke team up with fellow freaks Aorta Burst. Each will dig deep into their archives and unearth clips, trailers, shorts and found footage in an effort to shock and amaze each other and the audience.

Pet Sematary, Prince Charles Cinema, Tonight £7.50, £5 concs. The Prince Charles begins a new season entitled ‘While We Sweat Water and Blood’, focusing on the work of female filmmakers, with Mary Lambert’s morbid, gruesome Stephen King adaptation

New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival, various venues, all week, free. The NXDFFF is screening films in all sorts of unusual venues: the Big Red (a pizzeria in a London bus, where you can watch back-to-back cat videos), The Shaftesbury Christian Centre and the Sanford Housing Cooperative are all taking part.

Or at the cinema…

Avengers: Age of Ultron ★★★☆☆ Joss Whedon’s first ‘Avengers’ movie was the epic finale to Marvel’s cinematic Phase One, herding all the franchise’s disparate elements in a rousing, rewarding whole. ‘Age of Ultron’, though, has a definite mid-season feel to it, telling a compelling but never game-changing story while laying the foundations for the epic, two-part ‘Infinity War’ due in 2018.

The Good Lie ★★★☆☆ We’re enjoying Witherspoon’s comeback from bad romcoms to movies with strong female characters. This drama sees her play a careers advisor in Missouri given the job of helping four Sudanese asylum seekers to find jobs.

…or see all of the latest releases.

La Fille Mal Gardée


La Fille Mal Gardée, Royal Opera House, Tue-Wed, £5-£97. No ballet that opens with a group of dancing chickens – including a rooster that seems to be auditioning for the Ministry of Silly Walks – is taking itself too seriously. And, indeed, the Royal Ballet’s perma-fresh ‘La Fille Mal Gardée’ (‘The Wayward Daughter’) – created in 1960 by Frederick Ashton – is fit to burst with giddy silliness: the most gleeful ballet in the company’s repertoire.

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, National Theatre, Tue- Thu, £15-£35. Caryl Churchill’s play about revolution and constitutional reform set in 1600s is revived for the National Theatre’s new season.

Bugsy Malone, Lyric Hammersmith, Tue-Thu, £15-£35. The Lyric Hammersmith’s new building opens with a bang with this new production of Alan Parker’s classic musical ‘Bugsy Malone’.

Each His Own Wilderness, Orange Tree Theatre, all week, £15-£40. Like the novels for which she was best known, the great Doris Lessing’s obscure 1958 play strips the veneer from British society with merciless precision. In it, Lessing, who died in 2013, lays bare the gaping generational gulf dividing a country still reeling from war and struggling with the future.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

Elliott Erwitt

This week’s best new art

Elliott Erwitt: Double Platinum, Beetles & Huxley, Tue-Thu, free. An exhibition celebrating the legendary photographer to coincide with his receipt of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography award.

Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness, Whitechapel Gallery, Wed-Thu, free. This substantial overview of Williams’ career brings together over 50 photographs in specially conceived architectural installations inspired by the history of display. Unexpectedly for a survey the exhibition will start with the latest work including five works previously unseen in the UK and end with the earliest from 1981.

How To Work Together: Ahmet Ogut, Chisenhale Gallery, Wed-Thu, free. The first solo exhibition in a UK public institution by the prolific collaborative artist, Ahmet Öğüt.

Zabludowicz Collection: 20 Years, Chalk Farm, Thursday, free. Anita and Poju Zabludowicz have amassed a world-renowned private art collection over the last two decades. This group show celebrates the breadth and diversity of the Zabludowicz Collection, set up in 1994, through rarely seen and important works shown alongside installations by artists at the beginning of their career.

Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, Photographers’ Gallery, all week, free. The most prestigious photographic award exhibition in the country, which gives a top prize of £30,000 for the best exhibition or publication of the past year, returns with four new nominees: Nikolai Bakharev, Zanele Muholi, Viviane Sassen, Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse. The winner is announced on May 28.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… a weekend in Paris for Weather Festival or one of five pairs of weekend tickets to Field Day festival 2015

Grab… up to 31% off two standard or VIP tickets to the London Coffee Festival

Book… these gigs while you still can

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