Our May highlights
Museums at Night, a series of after-hours events at some of the capital's biggest museums and quirky attractions, offers Londoners some seriously special one-off experiences. Past events have included a live session with Public Service Broadcasting at the RAF Museum, a printmaking class at the William Morris Gallery and a murder mystery party in one of UCL's oldest lecture theatres.
Thu May 14–Sat May 16. Various London venues
Star Wars fans rejoice! A major new attraction opens at Madame Tussauds in 2015, boasting 16 life-like characters and 11 expertly finished sets from the iconic films. The experience will take over two new floors at the Baker Street site and visitors can immerse themselves within sets that range from Yoda's swamp, to the red-hot lava spewing Mustafar where Anakin turns to the dark side.Read more
This ten-day festival at the Southbank Centre is a celebration of South Asia's rich culture, which includes a line-up of music, dance, literature, film and fashion. This May, topics covered will include the area's changing cultural landscape and the juxtapositions between classical and folk traditions. Events announced so far include a performance from acclaimed Indian singer Shreya Ghoshal and the Jaipur Literature Festival, which showcases South Asia's multilingual literary heritage.Read more
For its debut event, FestivalAsia is touching down at Tobacco Dock to give Londoners a taste of the orient. Over the course of three days exhibitors will showcase music, dance, food, fashion and martial arts from more than 25 countries. On the performance stage visitors can expect everything from tea ceremonies to acrobatics, from Peking Opera to Gangnam style.Read more
For this sequel to the 2012 musical comedy it’s the turn of comedian Elizabeth Banks, who produced and co-starred in the first movie, to take the directorial reins. She’s joined on the cast list by Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson and a whole host of funny women, as the gang head to Germany to compete in the a capella world championships. Given that the entire cast of the first movie are coming back, we expect the sequel to be every bit as fun (and loud).
Released Fri May 15. Cinemas nationwide
From the English Riviera (that’s Torquay to you and me) to the rather more glamorous Cote d’Azur, Riviera Style brings together over 100 years of beachwear. At the Fashion and Textiles Museum’s summer exhibition, you’ll find everything from conservative Edwardian cover-ups to swimsuits and sarongs, with the odd burkini thrown in for good measure.Read more
If it’s good enough for HRH, it’s good enough for us. Shoes for Stars explores the legacy of British heritage brand Rayne, whose shoes were worn by some of the twentieth century’s most iconic women – Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Brigitte Bardot and our own Queen Elizabeth, who wore Rayne pumps to her wedding. Over 100 examples will be on display, featuring the work of Bruce Oldfield, Mary Quant and Roger Vivier, alongside current designer Laurence Dacade.Read more
Food-lovers can tuck into a range of masterclasses, talks and tastings at this three-day festival which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2015. Chefs who'll be sharing their tips and tricks include Aldo Zilli, Ping Coombes and Michelin-starred Jesse Dunford Wood, and the new Tasting Theatre will host specialist sessions on chocolate, oyster shucking, raw food and even bee keeping.Read more
Get a hands-on masterclass in the creation of chocolate with the experts from Hotel Chocolat at this special event which will get you from bean to bar in no time. As well as making your own melt-in-the-mouth treat you'll taste a selection of different types and flavours, and a glass of champagne is included in the ticket price, too.Read more
Comedy Café Theatre
Venue says: Friday comedy shows are back! Jimmy James Jones, Luke Benson, Paul Pirie and Jamali will be performing this weekend. http://bit.ly/1UtZZxJ
Situated in Shoreditch, the Comedy Café is another purpose-built club set up by a comedian. The comedy used to be in the big downstairs room, but owner Noel Faulkner recently rebranded the venue, adding 'Theatre' to the title to add a touch of class, and has moved the stand-up to the more intimate upstairs space. Now, as well as good, solid weekend multi-bill nights, the venue hosts some top notch solo shows, including exclusive performances from big-name US talent.