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27 brill things to do in London this week

By Stephanie Hartman

Sip on cider and beer with the Green Man gang in King’s Cross, celebrate London life at a film night dedicated to the city’s love of food, or take a tour of the guerilla gardens popping up south of the river. Check out what’s poppin’ from Monday to Thursday with the list below…


Picasso: Minotaurs and Matadors’, Gagosian Gallery, Tue-Sat, free. Primal animality is front and centre in this beautifully put together and lovingly researched show focusing on Picasso’s lifelong obsession with bulls, matadors and minotaurs. 

Philip Guston: Laughter in the Dark – Drawings from 1971 & 1975’, Hauser & Wirth, Tue-Sat, free. The 70-odd drawings here cobble together a rough narrative of Richard Nixon’s life and time in office. Guston traces Nixon as he delivers TV addresses, lambasts his advisors, swims in the sea and lies in bed.

Candy Mechanics pop-up, Covent Garden Piazza, Thu, free. Have your whole head reproduced as a confection at this Candy Mechanics pop-up shop, where they’ll scan your noggin and use 3D technology to turn it into a chocolate lollipop. 

Litro Literary Weekender, various venues, Thu, prices vary. Daring literary magazine Litro dedicates a weekend to the cultural and literary landscapes of Ghana and Nigeria, with three days of panel talks and spoken-word sessions.


Green Man presents Courtyard

Green Man presents Courtyard, Lewis Cubitt Square, from Thu, £10-£20. The loveable Welsh music festival is bringing the best of its homeland’s beer and cider to King’s Cross for a weekend of food, booze and music.

A Celebration of Fela Kuti hosted by Bukky Leo & Black Egypt, Jazz Cafe, TONIGHT, £10. The late Nigerian pioneer has his music interpreted by the saxophonist and his accompanying musicians.

Temporary Tattoo Parlour, Drink, Shop & Do, Tue, free when you buy a drink. Make your own transfer tattoo while sipping on a cocktail. All of the badassery, none of the pain.

Babeheaven, Scala, Thu, £10. The west London five-piece perform their alt-pop tracks.

Joyce Pensato: Forgettabout It’, Lisson Gallery, all week, free. Pensato isn’t trying to convey how difficult her life is. Instead, the emotion running through these messy, hectic paintings and drawings is sheer manic hysteria. 


1000 Londoners Movie Nights – All You Can Eat, Hackney Attic, TONIGHT, £5. Love food? Love film? Then you might be interested in this collection of short documentaries bringing cuisine to the big screen.

HogWhats Quiz Night, Concrete, Tue, £20. Potty for all things Harry Potter? Test how sharp your wizarding knowledge really is at this monthly immersive quiz night grilling competitors on everything from Quidditch to Herbology.

Speech Debelle, Oslo, Wed, £16.50. The Mercury Prize-winning artist from London performs her unique brand of hip hop and rap.

Clerkenwell Design Week, various venues, Tue-Thu, free. This highly regarded design festival is now in its eighth year and once again offers street spectacles, discussions, open studios and workshops. 

‘The Matrix’, Genesis Rep, Wed, £4.50. This week, the Genesis Cinema in Whitechapel is screening some of the best films released since the cinema reopened 18 years ago – all at a reasonable price. 

Welcome Cinema + Kitchen, Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre, Thu, from £17.50. Get ready for a food-filled cultural evening at Welcome Cinema + Kitchen’s latest supper club.

Into the Woods: ‘Viy’, Barbican, Thu, £9.50, £8.50 concs. The final film in this run of folkloric horror films selected by the extreme cinema experts at the Cigarette Burns film club.

Richard III’, Arcola Theatre, all week, £10-£22. Greg Hicks is magnetic in a furiously intense version of Shakespeare’s brutal play.


© Lyla Reynolds

The Guerrilla Gardeners’ Garden Tour, various locations, Thu, free. Join seasoned guerrilla gardener Richard Reynolds on a tour from Lambeth North to Elephant & Castle, stopping off at all his illicit gardens to find out what works (and how he gets away with it). 

Tate Tap Takeover x Bad Seed Brewery, Tate Modern, Thu, £10-£15. Taps at Tate Modern are being taken over by North Yorkshire-based brewery Bad Seed. Expect an evening of trialling and tasting. James and Chris, the men behind the measures, will be on hand to talk through the brewing process, their history and all things booze-related.

Kerb does Alchemy, Southbank Centre, all week, free entry. Spend a day on the South Bank crying spicy tears as Kerb’s 27 food traders return to SE1, plating up punchy dishes from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Life of Galileo’, Young Vic, all week, £10-£38. Joe Wright thrillingly directs Brecht’s story of a scientific visionary.


© Kew Gardens

Joseph Hooker: Putting Plants in Their Place, Kew Gardens, all week, included with Kew Gardens entry £14. This exhibition charts Hooker’s discoveries through botanical drawings, and will put the earliest Western illustration of Mount Everest on display.

Babette’s Feast’, Print Room, all week, £20-£28, £16-£23 concs. Heard of hygge? Well, Glynn Maxwell’s new play turns up the fabled Danish cosiness to 11, turning Karen Blixen’s subtle short story into something more sumptuous.

Wedgwood Tea Conservatory, Peter Jones, all week, £35. To celebrate this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, department store Peter Jones is being transformed into a garden-themed oasis where it’ll be serving up a flower-inspired afternoon tea menu.


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