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48 cool things to do in London this week

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Get shot by cupid’s arrow at the Southbank’s Festival of Love, or on a flirting tour through the city; dine like Warhol at an art-themed supper club, or catch funny man Rob Delaney on his ‘Meat’ tour. Here are all the things worth knowing about this week.

Things to do 

I Make Knots Say Whaaaaat! Workshop, Drink Shop & Do, TONIGHT, £12. Ever wished your accessories were that bit more unique? Learn to knot, crochet and knit your way to a whole load of new jewellery at this workshop for crafters of all abilities. Ticket price covers all materials.

Elizabeth Street Summer Party, Belgravia, Wed, free. Retailers and restaurants on this Belgravia street are holding an outdoor party with stalls selling food and drink. The evening begins with a ‘family hour’ from 6pm with activities for kids, and all proceeds go to the charity Farms for City Children.

Focus on the Positive, Grant Museum of Zoology, Wed, free. Turn up on the night, have a beer, make a stranger happy – and save humanity while you’re at it. Here’s how it works: researchers from UCL pitch their ideas for improving the world, the winning speaker receives £2,000 to help fund their plan, and £1,000 goes to the first runner-up. It’s a fun format, and your vote decides the winning project.

The Little Workshop of Calm, Indian YMCA, Wed, £15. This one-day course of talks and workshops will help you slow down a bit, and learn to harness the power of uncertainty and of your own actions. The day will be led by author and speaker Chris Baréz-Brown and humanitarian TED contributor Andy Bradley.

32 Londoners, London Eye, Thu, £40. In June, the Eye will see the return of 32 Londoners, a one-night-only programme of talks curated by A Curious Invitation and Antique Beat. First introduced in 2014, it sees each of the pods become a gently rotating lecture theatre with a brilliant view of the capital.

Filmageddon Film Quiz: Animation Domination, Prince Charles Cinema, Thu, £6, £4 members. Filmageddon returns with its ever-popular quiz night, and this time the focus is on all things animated. Expect a stop-motion commotion as film wizards test their knowledge of Disney classics and the latest computer-crafted offerings to hit the big screen.

The Fearless Flirting Tours, National Portrait Gallery, Thu, £35. Social and cultural anthropologist Jean Smith leads a guided tour of some of London’s flirting hotspots, giving practical advice and expert tuition in the art of flirting. The tour ends in a Covent Garden pub where you can put what you’ve learned into practice.

The Tuareg and a History of the Sahara, Royal Geographical Society, all week, free. This exhibition of photography, letters, drawings, maps, music and poetry is a rare chance to learn more about the ‘blue men of the desert’, their traditions and the way they see themselves today.

Festival of Love, Southbank Centre, all week, free. The Southbank Centre’s having quite the love-in this summer with the return of their Festival of Love – two months’ worth of installations, activities, pop-ups and performances that celebrate humankind’s most overwhelming emotion.

World Naked Bike Ride, various locations, Sat, free. This protest against oil dependency and the way the cult of the car dominates contemporary life is also an unfettered celebration of the human body.

Open Garden Squares Weekend, various locations, Sat – Sun, free. Thanks to Open Garden Squares Weekend, every June us Londoners get a flash of the capital’s best green bits without, for once, the need to scale a fence or cro-bar wrought iron railings.

Clapton Jumble Trail, Chatsworth Road Market, Sun, free. This crowd-sourced street sale is back for the third year running, and newly re-christened as the Clapton Jumble Trail.

Trooping the Colour: The Queen’s Birthday Parade, Horse Guards Parade, Sat, free. Carried out on Horse Guards by fully operational troops from the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry), Trooping the Colour is a military tradition that dates back to the early eighteenth century.

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


Eating and drinking

EatChiswick, Chiswick High Rd, TODAY. This week-long festival celebrates all things culinary with special offers and events taking place in local restaurants, bars, pubs and food outlets. Guests can buy a wristband for £10 which will give them access to exclusive offers and half-price event tickets.

The Artist Dining Room with Andy Warhol, Guest Projects, Wed, £42. Shrug on a leather jacket, slip on some sunglasses and grab the Campbell’s soup can opener: Andy Warhol has invited you to dinner. This bi-monthly supper club takes its menu inspiration from artists and art movements, collaborating with chefs to present unique dining experiences.

Spirit Social, Maxilla Hall Social Club, Thu, £10. A monthly event in Notting Hill combining 1920s cocktail glamour and damn fine drinks. Each event sees three drinks brands serve up two cocktails for just £5.Taking part this month are The Duppy Share rum, 58 Gin, Quiquiriqui Mezcal and Mondino Amaro. Expect street food and live music too.

Cîroc at London Riviera, More London Riverside, all week. Celebrate the king of the fruits at this five-month long pop-up inspired by the tropical spirit of Cuba and the prickly pineapple. Visitors to the South Bank can enjoy fruit-infused drinks and a seasonal menu with influences from eastern Mediterranean street food.

Dockside Diner, Doodle Bar, Sat, £28 – £35. The Doodle Bar’s waterside terrace will host a variety of special lunches from the Grub Club roster this summer, with live blues, Cajun and gypsy jazz music to add to the atmosphere and illustrators capturing the spirit of each event on paper.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Rob Delaney


Rob Delaney – Meat, multiple venues, Mon, Wed-Thu, £20-£22. He’s sold out multiple runs at the Soho Theatre in just a few seconds – now US stand-up Rob Delaney is upgrading to the Southbank Centre for his ‘Meat’ tour. Until recently, Delaney was best known as the ‘funniest person on Twitter’ according to Comedy Central, for his @RobDelaney account.

Tommy Tiernan – Out of the Whirlwind, Soho Theatre, Tue-Thu, £20. What a treat. Multi-award winning Irish superstar Tommy Tiernan performs an intimate run at the Soho Theatre with his new solo show ‘Out of the Whirlwind’. Tommy tackles the big issues of today – sex, religion and family – with a mix of his personal demons and trademark sense of outrage.

Slapdash Festival, multiple venues, Wed-Thu, £8. This four-night mini-fest celebrates all things improvised, and features a truly impressive international line-up of improv performers. There are troupes from Estonia, Italy, Switzerland, alumni from Second City and even a live link-up with a group from iO in Chicago.

The Horne Section’s Questions Sessions, Udderbelly, Thu, £19.50, £18 concs. Alex Horne’s jazz-accompanied comedy party returns to the Udderbelly, but this time as a quiz show. It’s heaps of fun – with games, challenges and nonsense from Horne and his hugely talented band, plus special guest comics accompanied by live music.

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


Live music

Pins, Rough Trade East, TONIGHT, free. A four-piece from Manchester, Pins make enchanting, churning post-punk in the vein of Crystal Stilts, although their lo-fi thud-and-clatter also takes tips from the British indie scene of the ’80s and Cramps-style dirty surf rock. They’re playing today from their flawed but very enjoyable debut album, ‘Girls Like Us’.

Tony Bennett/Lady Gaga, Royal Albert Hall, Mon-Tue, £45-£130. Bennett! Gaga! Together on one stage! Yes, the veteran crooner (who’s found fame with a new young audience in recent years) teams up with the eccentric pop icon herself for a session in the grand setting of the Albert Hall.

Perfume Genius, Royal Festival Hall, Wed, £17.50-£20. Supplementing gilded, affecting vocals with somnambulant piano lines and harmonies as fragile as butterfly wings, Perfume Genius (Mike Hadreas from Seattle) promises a magical live show with a pin-droppingly intimate atmosphere.

Dornik, London Fields Brewery, Thu, £9. Mining the ’80s for his sophisticated synth-funk, Dornik was Jessie Ware’s drummer until her label PMR signed him up to record some slinky tracks of his own. The velvety, Michael Jackson-esque ‘On My Mind’ is typical, and sounds like both the past and the future.

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

25 Years of Fabio and Grooverider


25 Years of Fabio and Grooverider, The Forum, TONIGHT, £24. From their scene-setting jungle mash-ups at London club night Heaven back in the day to their much-loved Radio 1 spots to ripping up countless dancefloors across the globe, Fabio and Grooverider have remained two of the most important names in drum ‘n’ bass over the years. This huge night celebrates the legacy and influence of F&G with a stonkingly heavy and vast line-up of DJs and MCs.

Hyperdub x House of Trax, Corsica Studios, Thu, £5. Oh my. One of our favourite London club nights, House of Trax, is teaming up with one of the mightiest and most innovative bass-heavy record labels, Hyperdub. Expect the usual channelling of Detroit and Chicago’s deviant musical vibes from HoT, and similarly hefty and mind-warping electronic sounds from Hyperdub.

Hip Hop Karaoke, The Social, Thu, £5-£7 adv, MOTD. Think you can rap? Prove it at this popular karaoke night, where you can flex your rhyming muscles to your favourite hip hop cuts from over the decades.

Bangface Boat Party, Tower Millennium Pier, Sat £25. One of the few certain truths in dance music is that industrial strength rave crew Bangface know how to party.

…or see all the parties planned this week.

secret cinema star wars


Secret Cinema, secret location, all week, £78. Yep, the folks behind London’s best pop-up cinema experience are back this summer with what promises to be their biggest bash yet: a series of interactive screenings of the first (and best-loved) ‘Star Wars’ sequel, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’.

Silent Running, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Sat, £8. In a future where all plant life on Earth is extinct, a few specimens have been preserved aboard a spacecraft with the aim of one day returning them to the planet.

BFI Cult: ‘The Toxic Avenger’, BFI Southbank, Thu, £8.35 – £11.75. Yes, the home of all that’s respectable in British film, the BFI, will this week play host to one of the grubbiest, shoddiest exploitation movies ever made: radioactive superhero classic ‘The Toxic Avenger’.

Origins Festival: ‘Ten Canoes’, British Museum, Sat, £3. This celebration of indigenous cultures features a strong film strand, including this poetic fable from 2007.

‘Mother Joan of the Angels’ + ‘A Short Film About Killing’, Rio, Sun, £10. A double bill of rigorous Polish masterpieces, although ‘Mother Joan of the Angels’ takes a less OTT approach to the same pseudo-historical source material explored by Ken Russell in his baroque horror masterpiece ‘The Devils’.

12 O’Clock Boys’ + director Q&A, Frontline Club, Mon, £10. The 12 O’Clock Boys are a Baltimore street gang with a difference: while the kids in ‘The Wire’ occupied their time dealing drugs on street corners, these guys spend every Sunday marauding through the town centre on battered old dirt bikes.

Or at the cinema…

Spy ★★★☆☆ Star actress Melissa McCarthy and writer-director Paul Feig explore their unique (James) bond in this hilarious pastiche of spy movies.

…or see all of the latest releases.

This Is How We Die


This Is How We Die, Battersea Arts Centre, Tue-Thu, £12-£15, £9-£12 concs. Christopher Brett Bailey’s monologue is rapid, existential, surreal and goosebump-inducing.

The Dogs of War, Old Red Lion Theatre, Tue-Thu, £10-£17. A strong and delightfully weird debut from playwright Tim Foley.

Shelter Me, Theatre Delicatessen, Tue-Thu, £18. Circumference theatre company make this circus intimate – to mixed results.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

Fighting History

This week’s best new art

Fighting History, Tate Britain, Tue-Thu, £12, £9.50 concs. If you think history painting was just a conventional method for artists to portray righteous narratives, think again. Tate Britain’s summer blockbuster covers not only the morally minded large-scale works of John Singleton Copley, but also the socially conscious works of Richard Hamilton and Jeremy Deller.

Carsten Höller, Hayward Gallery, Wed-Thu. The artist who put participation into art gets his first UK retrospective before the Hayward closes for renovation.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Piccadilly, all week, £13.50, £10-£12.50 concs, free under 16s. The annual open-submission exhibition combines works by established and unknown artists in all media, including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and architecture.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, V&A, from Sat. The V&A’s next summer blockbuster exhibition is all about shoes – and we aren’t talking ballet flats or cosy boots.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win…a pair of tickets to Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the V&A or a pair of weekend tickets to V Festival 2015

Grab…£40 tickets to 32 Londoners – a series of talks on the Coca-Cola London Eye – plus a free drink on June 11

Book…these gigs while you still can

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