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London events in October

Your guide to the best happenings, events and things to do throughout October in London

© Kendra Bean

The return of crisp days and cold evenings mean that autumn is well and truly here, but that's no excuse to hibernate. October is all about long leafy walks, pubs with fires, sunday lunches and picking out some of the capital's best fancy dress (for Halloween, of course). So get out there and enjoy London this October with our pick of events happening across the capital, because next thing you know it will be winter and that means a little something called Christmas is fast approaching.    

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our October event highlights

Guerrilla Girls

The feminist activist group looks at the Whitechapel Gallery’s history of exhibiting female artists including Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, Sarah Lucas and Bridget Riley for this Archive display. Founded in 1985 by an anonymous group of artists to expose the inequality of the male dominated art world, culture in general and politics, the Guerrilla Girls will don their gorilla masks and scan their critical eye over this east London institution. Will we like what they find?

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Whitechapel Gallery , Whitechapel Until Sunday March 5 2017

Picasso Portraits

The 2016 exhibition schedule just got a whole load more exciting with the announcement of the National Portrait Gallery's major autumn show. 'Picasso Portraits' traces the development of Pablo Picasso through the portraits he painted throughout his life – from child genius to the most famous artist in the world.

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National Portrait Gallery , Leicester Square Until Sunday February 5 2017

The Red Barn

Wunderkind director Robert Icke is an unlikely choice to direct David Hare's latest play - while Hare has been turning out wordy dramas for decades, Icke is the trendiest of hotly tipped new directors, acclaimed for his stylish reimagining of '1984'. Perhaps he'll bring some of his trademark sensory-overload intensity, which tells the story of two couples, trapped in the snow in 1969 Connecticut.

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National Theatre, Lyttelton , South Bank Monday October 24 2016 - Tuesday January 17 2017


We never were a city to turn down a party, so Oktoberfest London is getting a big, warm wilkommen in 2016. Read our pick of where to find the biggest steins of beer, the most delicious platters of sausage, the loveliest leiderhosen and the oompah bands with the most oomph.

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By: Time Out London Things To Do



Brewing for a few years now, Ella Hickson's new play 'OIL' is a drama about man's relationship with black gold, a epic that flies from 1889 to 2016 – and beyond, to oil's exhaustion. It'll be directed by modern Brit theatre's go-to avant-gardist Carrie Cracknell and stars Anne-Marie Duff.

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Almeida Theatre , Barnsbury Until Saturday November 26 2016

Beyond Caravaggio

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio remains art’s ultimate bad boy some 400 years after his death. A maverick and a murderer, he embodies the ‘live fast, die young’ mantra of rebels the world over. However, the drama of Caravaggio’s short life is more than matched by that of his art. A master of theatricality and illumination, Caravaggio revolutionised painting in Rome at the end of the 1500s by painting straight on to canvas and using ‘ordinary’ folk as models.

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National Gallery , Trafalgar Square Until Sunday January 15 2017

The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined

What makes something vulgar? This exhibition on the question of taste asks why vulgarity is such a sensitive and controversial issue with the help of archive fashion from over 120 exhibits from over 500 years of fashion - including a list of contemporary designers that reads like the invite list to the Met Ball.

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Barbican Centre , Barbican Until Sunday February 5 2017

FILTH at the Vaults

It’s time to make like Shawty and get low low low low at this Time Out exclusive underground silent disco with 50 shades of difference. Created with you filthy Londoners in mind by us filthy Londoners at Time Out, this down and dirty disco at VAULT Festival beneath Waterloo features an X-rated adult channel alongside two awesome DJs.

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The Vaults , Waterloo Friday November 11 2016 - Saturday November 26 2016

Bloomsbury Festival

Bloomsbury Festival returns in 2016 with a packed line-up featuring performances, live music and events celebrating the rich heritage of the area. This year's theme is 'language' and events explore its many forms. Headline events include Coram's Songs which sees a promenade performance set around the Foundling Hospital, and a nighttime street party showcasing a wealth of dance disciplines including Bollywood, B-Boy and Swing styles.

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Various Locations in Bloomsbury , Bloomsbury Until Sunday October 23 2016

Purple Rave

Following the untimely passing of one of the greatest musicians the world has ever known this year, Prince super-fans, Rob da Bank and Tayo, will team up for a very special Purple Rave celebration spinning all the greatest Prince hits.

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Clapham Grand , Clapham Junction Until Saturday October 22 2016
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Aldis A
Aldis A

I'm travel agent in London for the duration of that time and I'd like to listen cool music events like FILTH at the Vaults , Bloomsbury Festival or so. Something like an art arcade would be interesting as well. And possibly even somebody who comes with me there :)  http://www.gethomeworkonline.com/

Katy L
Katy L

Don't forget Retrospect London is having it's vintage clothing kilo sale on 30th October at Hoxton arches! It's a hugely popular event and a chance to get designer vintage clothes for only £15 a kilo!


Here is the event - entry is only £2!