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28 top things to do in London this week

By Stephanie Hartman

Sun's out, fun's out! If you need a break from catching rays this week, there are plenty of excellent activities to get involved with. Visit a Willy Wonka-inspired exhibition, hop aboard a bus serving gin, or relax at folk gigs taking place on the South Bank. Here are 28 ways to make your week wonderful.

Things to do

London Philharmonic Orchestra Concert, Canada Square Park, Tue, free. A free outdoor concert from the London Philharmonic Orchestra who will be performing Beethoven's 'Symphony No.5', Mozart's 'Symphony No.40' and Rossini's overture to 'The Barber of Seville'.

You Can't Be What You Can't See, Tea Building, Tue, free. It can be tough to land a gig as a creative type. It's even tougher for bright sparks from less privileged backgrounds. This evening of debate is run by Pitch It, an organisation that supports young people with creative talent.

Isle Of Edna, Hackney Showroom, Wed, £8. After joking about a café in a public loo and then finding that one had opened on their very street, this comedy duo created Isle of Edna. Take part in a re-branding session, catch a film noir at 'Not So Secret Cinema' and ponder the real ale vs craft beer phenomenon.

Seasons of Love talks, Hackney Picturehouse, Wed, £5 advance, £10 on the door. Are you stuck on the sex escalator? And have you written your sex menu yet? If the answer either of those questions is a stony silence, then pop along to these two talks by counsellor Tania Glyde and discover how to open up to new experiences.

Violet Beauregarde’s Gum, White Conduit Projects, Wed-Thu, free. The three-course dinner in one stick of gum from 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' is the inspiration for this curious collaborative exhibition. 

Dating Is Comic, The Floating Showroom, Thu, £15. Learn the art of comic making while checking out potential crushes at these dating events onboard The Floating Showroom.

Wild Life Drawing: Sea Creatures, Charterhouse Aquatics, Thu, £25. Learn how to draw sharks, eels, jellyfish, shrimps and crabs – without getting wet! Wildlife Drawing returns to Charterhouse Aquatics for another session of subaquatic sketching.

Rekorderlig’s Seven Flowers Swede Dating, secret London location, Thu, £30. Join Time Out and Rekorderlig for a Swedish Mid-summer themed dating night, complete with cocktails, canapés and delectable tasting dishes.


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


© Alex Maguire





Eating and drinking

Birra Moretti Gran Tour, Brick Lane Yard, Tue-Sun, free. Nine Italian street food vendors (who make Italian food rather than hold Italian passports) will roll into this outdoor market sponsored by Birra Moretti.

The Gin Bus, various locations, Thu, £2.50. Board this handsome Hendrick’s Gin double decker – decorated to look like a cucumber – to sip a cocktail, sink a G&T and nibble a cucumber macaroon as you rumble through central London.

The Rhône Touch, The Rhône Touch, Thu. Whether it's heady grenache or fruity syrah, many a French king has supped from a bottle of Côtes du Rhône. Now you too can experience the magic of Rhône wines at this immersive two-week festival.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.







Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with Comedians, Spiegeltent at the South Bank, TONIGHT, from £15. Downbeat comic Liam Williams and former Artistic Director of Boundless Theatre Matt Bulmer direct this reimagined version of the Shakespeare classic in which Viola is a lonely activist on the run and Malvolio is a clean-living party pooper.

Jen Kirkman: I Know What I’m Doing & Other Lies I Tell Myself, Soho Theatre, all week, £10. Jen Kirkman is an ace stand-up, meandering her way through sharp stories and updates on her life (often talking about being divorced and childless) with plenty of dry wit.

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


Tomek Kmiecik





Live music and nightlife

Father Groove: Summer in Brixton Roof Party Series, Prince of Wales, Tue, £5 (RSVP required). Join the Coldharbour Disco Society – a new gang in town – for eight hours of funk, soul and disco sweetness on the lush Prince of Wales roof terrace, every Tuesday this summer.

Folk With Altitude, Southbank Centre, Southbank Centre, Wed-Thu, £14. Seasoned London folk crew The Nest Collective return with another summer series of gigs on the green and pleasant roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Pet Shop Boys, Royal Opera House, Wed-Thu, £25-£100. After a cameo in ‘The Archers’, synthpop’s answer to Gilbert & George tick off another middle-class life goal by playing the Royal Opera House. 

P45, Old Street Records, Thu, free. A weekly club night in east London's latest bar/venue, Old Street Records. Featuring DJs across two floors, with live performances from 9pm.

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







‘Absolute Beginners’ + director Q&A, Regent Street Cinema, Wed, £12, £11 concs. Director Julien Temple will be along to introduce his musical adapted from Colin MacInnes’ book about life on the edge in Soho and Notting Hill in 1958.

Check the Gate: ‘In a Lonely Place’, Prince Charles Cinema, Wed, £8.50. Former Time Out Film editor Geoff Andrew presents a rare 35mm screening of this sardonic masterpiece from ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ director Nicholas Ray.

Or at the cinema...

Ghostbusters ★★★★☆ A feisty gender-flipped remake of the beloved '80s supernatural action comedy.

…or see all of the latest releases.


© Catherine Ashmore






Into the Woods, Menier Chocolate Factory, Tue-Thu, £36.50-£39.50. A stripped, subversive take on Sondheim's fairytale satire.

Boys Will Be Boys, Bush Hall, all week, £15-£20, £10-£12.50 concs. A stylish cabaret banking satire from the always-exciting Headlong and Bush Theatre.

The Truth, Wyndham's Theatre, all week, check website for prices. 'The Truth' is painfully funny in Florian Zeller's drama.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.






This week's best new art

William Eggleston Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, Thu, £5.50-£8. William Eggleston, the man widely considered the godfather of colour photography, is a genuine art world legend and as cool as many of the people he's shot over the years. 

Ragnar Kjartansson, Barbican Centre, all week, £12. If you missed one of the standout shows of 2015, the Vinyl Factory’s presentation of Ragnar Kjartansson sensational musical installation, ‘The Visitors’, fear not as you’ll be able to experience it at the Barbican’s summer exhibition dedicated to the young Icelandic artist who has brought fun back to art.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... one of 125 pairs of Tickets to Farmopolis's preview party on a Jetty or tickets to see Groundhog Day plus an overnight stay at a four-star hotel

Grab... three perfectly-composed courses and a glass of fizz at the Sea Containers

Book… these gigs while you still can

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