This June in the capital there's a bulging mixed bag of events taking place. First, there's the flesh-flashing World Naked Bike Ride, where nudity is positively encouraged, and then there's the Wimbledon Tennis Championships where nudity is definitely frowned upon. Flashing across Centre Court will have you locked up, Londoners. Anyway, clothes on or off, there's a shedload of fun to be had in the city this month.
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Our June highlights
Now in its thirteenth year, the More London Free Festival is again bringing an impressive line-up of events and performances to the concrete amphitheatre below the Mayor's leaning glass blob of an office on the South Bank. Running June 3 to September 24, the season begins with a mix of live music and fringe theatre performance (June 3-June 26), including a take on 'Pride and Prejudice' from the redoubtable Pantaloons. From June 29-July 26 an LED screen will show full coverage of Wimbledon and other sporting fixtures. Then Gods and Monsters Theatre present slimmed down Greek tragedies 'Hecuba and the Trojan Women' and kids' show 'Captain Showoff!' by way of theatre (August 5-30). The final focus is film, and from September 2-24 there's a schedule of free screenings.Read more
A new immersive theatrical experience arrives at The Jetty out on the Greenwich Peninsula. Zebedee Productions invite you to check into 'Heartbreak Hotel' – a dilapidated hotel for lost souls where audiences are taken on a journey to explore what it means to be heartbroken. Co-producers Managing Mayhem brought in The Jetty's hit of last year - Shunt's 'The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face' - though 'Heartbreak Hotel' sounds a little less wacky than that. There's more than a whiff of Punchdrunk to it, though the producers promise that you won't have to hunt for the narrative.Read more
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. Installations include a pavilion called Arcadia, which is made from colourful, translucent plastic strips and aims to create a space for contemplation and peace, and Ludus Folly, an architectural sculpture which explores the chemistry of playful, flirtatious love with a maze, mirrored walls and a tower. The installations and a range of exhibitions will be revealed on the opening weekend (June 6-7), during which many family-friendly free events are also scheduled.Read more
Although Trooping the Colour is also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade, this prime piece of pageantry doesn't take place on Her Maj’s actual birthday (that's on April 21) but on her official birthday, a Saturday in June being more likely to provide decent weather for the proceedings. 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. Originally it was all about helping soldiers to recognise their own standard in the chaos of battle.Read more
This protest against oil dependency and the way the cult of the car dominates contemporary life is also an unfettered celebration of individuality of the human body. Many of the 1000 plus people expected to turn out will opt to bike in the buff, though full nudity is optional; the dress code is 'as bare as you dare'. And if you too long to through caution and clothes to the wind, but feel a bit bashful, you can always take something along that’s easy to put on when the procession gets held up by traffic, as it inevitably will. Whatever you do, do not get your kit off too soon...Read more
This year, around 200 gardens not ordinarily open to the public will unlock their gates for the weekend to take part in Open Garden Squares Weekend. This annual event spans 27 boroughs and includes all sorts of spaces – from traditional squares to roof terraces and allotments, as well as gardens belonging to historic buildings, schools, shops and cafes.Read more
The V&A’s summer blockbuster exhibition is all about shoes – and we aren’t talking ballet flats, cosy boots or erm… Crocs. Pleasure and Pain focuses on the transformative power of extreme footwear, exploring the agony and ecstasy that a shoe might inspire. Over 200 pairs of shoes past and present have been gathered from all around the world, from ancient Egyptian sandals decorated in pure gold leaf to hi-tech shoes created using a 3D printer.Read more
Whether you're a legitimate tennis fan or just in it for the Pimm's and oh-so-toned players, Wimbledon Tennis Championships are once again upon us and it's time to get excited. If you missed out on tickets in the public ballot, here's our eight-step guide to camping, queueing and buying grounds passes on the day. Or if you're happy to witness all the tournament's action outside SW19, discover where to find the free live screenings across the capital.
Mon Jun 29 – Sun Jul 12. All England Lawn Tennis, Church Road, SW19 5AE
The last time there was a major retrospective of Barbara Hepworth’s work in London, the First Lady of British modernism attended herself (we’re hoping she wore her fabulous fur coat). That was in 1968. Forty-odd years later, Tate Britain’s summer show looks to reassess the reputation of this sculptor of famously holey forms.Read more
Laid-back Georgia-born stand-up Reginald Darnell Hunter is a controversial, challenging, intelligent and blissfully funny comic, and he's back on the road with 'The Man Who Attempted to do as Much as Such'. Hunter initially came to the UK 15 years ago to study drama at Rada, but tried stand-up for a £10 bet and hasn't looked back since.Read more
Venue says: Entertainer extraordinaire, Robbie Peaple, will be wowing the crowd this weekend from 8pm.
Piano Smithfield is a second branch of the Piano Kensington club, a venue for listening to piano entertainers five nights a week. There is a cocktail list featuring both classics and original drinks, and a short wine list with bottles from both Europe and the New World. Note: live music is played from 6-11.30pm Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 6.30pm-2.00 am Thursday through Saturday. Jazz Trio every Tuesday.