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33 fantastic things to do in London this week

By Stephanie Hartman

This week you can taste pasta cooked to perfection at new restaurant Padella, check out the rising stars in illustration and graphic design at Somerset House's annual Pick Me Up show and test your musical knowledge at a nostalgia quiz spanning tunes and grooves from the '60s to the '90s. Have a ★★★★★ week with our suggestions below!

Things to do 

Hidden Prologues: A Shakespeare Special, Radisson Blu Edwardian, Tue, free. Hidden Prologues literary salon returns to celebrate Shakespeare with Ben Okri and Kamila Shamsie joining host Sam Leith. 

David Bowie Is Walking in Soho, Charing Cross Road, Tue, £15. A tour of Bowie's old Soho haunts with Geoffrey Marsh, curator of the V&A's record-breaking exhibition 'David Bowie Is'.

The Web of Our Life: Shakespeare and..., National Theatre, Tue-Wed, £6, £5 concs. Three giants of Shakespearean acting will each explore themes within the Bard's back catalogue in three separate afternoon talks.

The Spring Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair, Battersea Park, Tue-Thu, £10. This latest fair promises over 150 stands flocked in antiques and 20th century design, each one will tempt visitors with carefully laid out 'rooms'. There's a royal theme to link up with the Queen's 90th so expect heraldry amongst the antiquities.

Pick Me Up, Somerset House, Thu, £10, £8 concs. The seventh incarnation of the graphic arts festival returns with drawings and prints for sale by artists, groups and galleries from all over the world.

Bardeblah, Balham Bowls Club, Thu, free. Combining intelligent debate, a group of opinionated players and good humoured fun in a local boozer, Bardeblah is an intellectual game of persuasion centred on contemporary political and social issues.

Childhood Nostalgia Quiz Night, V&A Museum of Childhood, Thu, £10. The latest edition of the Museum of Childhood's throwback quiz covers both TV and music from decades gone by. Quiz master Matt Brown will be joined by DJ Jonny Trunk of Trunk Records on the night testing players on questions about tunes and movies from the '60s through to the '90s.

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


Eating and drinking 

Padella, Borough. A chic pasta bar just moments from the Borough Market bustle. 

Cojean, Smithfield. The first London outpost of a successful French fast food chain offers chic salad and sandwiches: competition for Pret, then.

Duende, Covent Garden. A modern tapas bar with glam stylings.

The Remedy x Big Fernand - Natural Wine and Hamburgé Salon, Thu, Big Fernand, £15. Two fine Fitzrovia’s businesses come together for an evening of tasting. Big Fernand sliders will be pair with unique wines chosen by The Remedy and available only on the night.

Origins Of at Blessing's, Spitalfields, Thu. A kitchen takeover with Middle Eastern dishes that have been three years in the making. Abdulla Amin crafted his own twist on long-treasured family recipes.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.


Joe Lycett – That's the Way, A-Ha A-Ha, Joe Lycett, Lyric Theatre, TONIGHT, £17.50, £15 concs. Another typically punny show title from ever delightful stand-up Joe Lycett. The TV regular was nominated for Best Newcomer in Edinburgh in 2012, and his shows are always a hoot.

Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho, Southbank Centre, Thu, £15.50-£20.50, concs £14. Matt Tedford's cross-dressing version of the Iron lady was a huge hit at the Edinburgh Fringe. Watch as Mags gets lost in London's notoriously saucy Soho on the eve of the vote for Section 28, and accidentally becomes a cabaret sensation.

Rob Beckett – Mouth of the South, Leicester Square Theatre, all week, £15. Fast-rising comic Rob Beckett returns to his London roots with a run at the Leicester Square Theatre. He's quickly developing into a hugely accomplished stand-up – expect cheeky stories and witty observations.

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


© Ethan Levitas





Live music and nightlife

Boredoms, The Forum, TONIGHT, £20. The mad and brilliant experimental rock band from Japan roll up for a big London show. This will be a feast of sight and sound, no doubt about it.

Tom Odell, Islington Assembly Hall, Wed. This young singer-songwriter may not be popular with the NME (they hilariously gave his debut album 'Long Way Down' 0/10) but his delicate, impassioned, piano-led ballads are a hit with the rest of the public, who will undoubtedly remember his dulcet tones from the tearjerking 2014 John Lewis Christmas ad. 

The Vaccines, Royal Albert Hall, Wed, £28-£40.75. The denim-loving indie superstars return for two more huge London gigs, continuing with their winning formula of slamming The Strokes into The Beach Boys with some Libertines-style chaos around the edges.

Karaoke Rumble, Pop Brixton, Wed, £5. Hosted by comedian Quint Fontana (disclaimer: possibly not his real name), this popular night combines pop karaoke and comedy – two disciplines that are inexplicably intertwined when you think about it.

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







Kinoteka: ‘Possession’, ICA, Tue, £11, £7 concs. Another unmissable masterpiece from the Kinoteka Polish Film Festival’s classics strand. The crafty double meaning in its title gives some clue as to what to expect from ‘Possession’: yes, it’s a horror movie, but it’s also an intimate, intelligent drama about people, about their hold over one another. 

‘Beat Girl’ + Q&A, Regent Street Cinema, Wed, £10-£11. This iconic 1950s British youth-in-revolt flick will be introduced by the ‘Beat Girl’ herself, starlet Gillian Hills, who also appeared in the likes of ‘Blow-Up’ and ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

LOCO: ‘Stolen Kisses’, The Cinema Museum, Thu, £5. The London Comedy Film Festival returns with 12 days of classic screenings, UK premieres and funny happenings across the capital.

Or at the cinema...

The Jungle Book ★★★★☆ Oobie-do… Disney's live-action remake of 'The Jungle Book' is a winner.

Hardcore Henry ★★★★★ You become the action hero in this adventurous, violent, giddy-making triumph, all shot from the hero's perspective.

…or see all of the latest releases.


© Jack Offord






1972: The Future of Sex, Shoreditch Town Hall, Tue-Thu, £12.50. Devised retro romp that kind of does what it says in the title.

Wail, Battersea Arts Centre, Tue-Thu, £12.50-£15, £12.50 concs. A delightfully silly show about whales, from Little bulb.

Scenes from 68* Years, Arcola Theatre, all week, £12-£17, £12 concs. Moving, polemic-free play about life under occupation from Palestinian-Irish writer Hannah Khalil.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.






This week's best new art

Conrad Ventur: Pink Seat, Rokeby, Wed-Thu, free. Sombre, quietly profound photographs that deal with the death of a number of the New York-based artist’s friends and acquaintances, including underground film star Mario Montez and painter Kathleen White.

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear, V&A, all week, free. Get ready to have shirts and skirts stripped back to focus on the skivvies that shape the body below at this exhibition charting how underwear supports and firms the figure, as well as the sexual and sensual appeal it holds.

Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979, Tate Britain, all week, £12. An important show in that it celebrates a generation of largely unsung Brits who reshaped the look and feel of contemporary art. 

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a fabulous Brighton escape for two or premium tickets to Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and a five-star hotel stay

Grab... tickets to a special concert by the Philharmonia Orchestra and Bach Choir in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK on April 21 

Book… these gigs while you still can

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