© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


35 cheerful things to do in London this week

Finbarr Fallon[Photo: Finbarr Fallon]

It’s a short week but there are heaps of fun things you’re going to want to cram into it. Head to Peckham for the first night of Bold Tendencies, find out more about the roots of pirate radio at the ICA or catch a screening of Baz Lurhmann’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in a Marylebone Church. Make the next couple of days count with all the fun things below.

Things to do 

Cornelia Parker: Magna Carta (An Embroidery), British Library, Mon-Sun, free. An enormous representation of the Magna Carta for the modern world commissioned by the British Library.

To Dark Matter and Beyond, Granary Square, Wed, free. No science smarts are necessary for this free talk organised by the Institute of Physics which will explain what experts at CERN hope to discover when they restart the Large Hadron Collider.

Spitalfields E1 Tea Dance, Spitalfields Market, Wed, 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.

Bold Tendencies, Peckham, Thu, free. Head to south London’s most happening multi-storey car park from Thu May 28 (until Sun Sep 27) and you can sip spritzes on the rooftop at Frank’s Café, enjoy live classical performance, see cutting-edge sculpture by Richard Wentworth and stuff yourself with tasty snacks from Ali Baba’s Bar.

CoolTan Arts CoolWalks Architecture & Industry, various London locations, Thu, free. This free guided walk will take a leisurely look at the canals, docks, warehouses and alleys of Rotherhithe, starting from Canada Water library, giving you a chance to learn about the area’s industrial and architectural history along the way.

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

Pump Shoreditch

Eating and drinking

Pump Shoreditch, The Old Petrol Station, Tue-Thu. A disused petrol station is getting a very Shoreditch makeover this summer – street food vendors and DJs are moving in to create a new all-day (and all-evening) food market.

Rupert Street Market, Soho, Thu. This lunch market, run by Street Food Union, gathers a tempting selection of traders to feed the hungry of Soho every Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 11am and 4pm. Benches are provided.

Synaesthesia by Kitchen Theory, Maida Hill Place, Thu, £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.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Sheeps – Wembley Previews


Sheeps – Wembley Previews, Soho Theatre, Tue-Thu, £10-£12. The title ‘Wembley Previews’ is a wonderful juxtaposition to Sheeps’s low-key style. This ace sketch trio – made up of Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Liam Williams, Daran Johnson and Alistair Roberts – are original, inventive and properly funny.

Dylan Moran – Off the Hook, various locations, Wed-Thu, £25. Misanthropic Irish comedy superstar Dylan Moran is back on the road with his first UK stand-up tour for four years, and he’s stopping off at the Forum and Hammersmith Apollo for us Londoners.

Pajama Men – Pterodactyl Nights, Udderbelly, Wed-Thu, £15.50, £14 concs, £20.50 Sirloin seats. Superb American physical comedy duo the Pajama Men back in London, with a seemingly out-of-nowhere new show.

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


Live music

Kelela, XOYO, TONIGHT, £9. Kelela’s ‘Cut 4 Me’ mixtape made her a hot tip in 2013, but she hasn’t been slacking since then: her new track ‘A Message’ is phenomenal, and an album is due later this year. She jets in tonight for a rare London show that should be mesmerising.

Rodriguez, Royal Albert Hall, Wed, £49.50. Headlining singer-songwriter Sixto Diaz Rodriguez – to whom the overused word ‘legendary’ truly applies – makes a rare visit to London.

Petite Meller, The Victoria, Wed, £8. Super-weird but super-catchy pop from Island Records’ new signing: a Parisian singer (and philosophy student) who comes across like a three-way cross between Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey and Nabokov’s Lolita.

José González, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Thu, £tba. The soulful, sensitive Swedish strummer returns for his first solo headline show in London for a while. Though he’s still most famous for his downbeat cover of The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’, his own material blends a love of alt Americana and Bert Jansch with his own Latino roots, and is thoroughly delectable.

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

Morning Gloryville


Morning Gloryville, Oval Space, Wed, £16. It’s Morning Gloryville’s second birthday – celebrate with all the usual AM rave antics. Line-up tbc but considering they brought out Basement Jaxx for a set recently, look out for some top DJs.

Turntables, 119 Wallis Rd, Thu, free. A pop-up party on a canalside Hackney Wick terrace, with DJs, street food vendors and cocktails.

Musical Bingo, Concrete, Thu. The party that gives the humble game of bingo a manic, musical twist returns for more fun with a new host, Suzanna Gonza. Instead of numbers being called out, there’ll be tunes played which you mark off on a card before falling onto the dancefloor.

…or see all the parties planned this week.

Clouds of Sils Maria


Science Fiction Theatre: ‘The Quiet Earth’, The Duke Of Wellington, Wed, £5. Get yourself in the mood for the impending Sci-Fi London festival with this superb New Zealand oddity. When Zac Hobson finds himself the planet’s sole reluctant survivor of a catastrophic error in the secret energy project on which he’s been engaged, the combination of guilt and self-delusion soon sends him off his rocker.

Romeo + Juliet, St Mary’s Church, Thu, from £20. Get wrapped up in Baz Luhrmann’s remarkable version of the star-crossed lovers’ tale all over again in the beautiful setting of Grade I listed St Mary’s Church. The film will be screened by candlelight with musical accompaniment from a live choir, who will perform songs from the film’s famous soundtrack such as ‘Everybody’s Free’ and ‘Kissing You’.

Eyes Wide Shut, Andaz Hotel, Thu, £10. The organisers of a superb recent run of horror films in the plush, ornate Masonic Lodge at the Andaz Hotel may be straying slightly from their remit by screening Stanley Kubrick’s gloomy marital drama, but we get why they’re doing it: the film itself is so stately and portentous, it’ll fit the surroundings perfectly.

Or at the cinema…

Clouds of Sils Maria ★★★★★ A heady psychosexual drama that’s steeped in dense anxieties and rich European glamour (the film was part-funded by Chanel), French filmmaker Olivier Assayas’s latest sees him at the top of his game.

The Tribe ★★★★☆ On paper, ‘The Tribe’ sounds like it was dreamt up by the Department for Spoofing World Cinema: it’s Ukrainian, it has no dialogue and, uniquely, all the main characters communicate solely in sign-language (without subtitles).Those characters are deaf students at the most squalid, dysfunctional boarding school imaginable. They roam the neighbourhood in gangs, unleash acts of extreme violence on each other and pimp out the girls to lorry drivers in truck stops. ‘The Tribe’ artfully explores this world from the perspective of Sergey (Grigoriy Fesenko), a newcomer to this hellish school, who rapidly climbs the ladder of depravity.

A Royal Night Out ★★★☆☆ On May 8 1945, the day the Second World War ended, London threw the party to end all parties. The pubs ran out of beer and the Royal Parks filled with condoms. And unnoticed, into the crowd slipped two teenage girls: Princesses Elizabeth, 19, and Margaret, 14. What did they get up to? Gambling in Soho and partying in a ‘knocking shop’, according to this strictly fictional and very fluffy comedy.

…or see all of the latest releases.

peter pan


Peter Pan, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Tue-Thu, £25-£48.50. JM Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’ is revived by Regents Park artistic director Timothy Sheader to open the theatre’s 2015, and boy it’s a showstopper.

The Flannelettes, King’s Head Theatre, Tue-Thu, £15-£25. After delighting audiences with his joyous hit ‘The Glee Club’ in 2002, Richard Cameron is back with something much darker. ‘The Flannelettes’ is also set to an uplifting musical soundtrack – in this case 1960s soul – but this hard-hitting drama is a much more poignant affair.

Sense of an Ending, Theatre 503, Tue-Thu, £15, £12 concs. ‘Sense of an Ending’ is so intense that, in between each scene, you can hear the audience gulp for air. We are in Rwanda, where New York Times journalist Paul has come to interview two Hutu nuns who have been charged with war crimes, carried out during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

shout out

This week’s best new art

Shout Out! UK Pirate Radio in the 1980s, ICA, Tue-Thu, £1 Day membership. An archival exhibition in the Fox Reading Room about the early pirate radio movement of the 1980s.

The Line, various London locations, Tue-Thu, free. Walk The Line between the O2 and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to see sculptures from Damien Hirst, Martin Creed and Gary Hume. London’s new sculpture trail will lead walkers along three miles of waterways including London’s Royal Docks and along the River Lea.

Central Saint Martins Degree Show, Kings Cross, Wed-Thu, free. Graduating students from Central St Martins School of Art tpresent their final shows. Courses include BA and MA Fine Art along with MA Photography, MA Art and Science and MRes courses such as Moving Image and Theory and Philosophy.

Melanie Manchot: Twelve, Peckham Platform, Wed-Thu, free. This new multi-channel video installation collates the experiences of twelve recovering substance abusers. Over two years, the London-based artist worked in collaboration with rehabilitation communities in Liverpool, Oxford and London to create a personal and intimate reflection on addiction and recovery.

Barbara T. Smith: The Poetry Sets, Cell Project Space, Thu. free. The second installment of ‘Columbidae’ curated by Laura McLean Ferris focuses on the American artist’s Xerox works from 1965-66. Following a proposal by the artist to a Los Angeles lithographers being rejected; Smith hired a Xerox 914 and proceeded to create photocopy artwork using what ever was to hand in her kitchen.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… one of two pairs of VIP weekend camping tickets to T in the Park 2015 or a pair of tickets to the very first Citadel Festival

Grab… tickets to Live & Learn with Time Out: How to get your blog buzzing on Sunday May 31

Book… these gigs while you still can

Best of the blog

Let’s get cooking! London gets its own ‘Breaking Bad’-style pop-up bar

What a quacking idea! London’s canals get a new duck lane

Top five people you see in West London

Londoners are trying to find the artist behind this 1950s mural in Stoke Newington

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