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36 brilliant things to do in London this week

By Stephanie Hartman

Get crafty at Christmas workshops across town, stuff yourself with glorious dumplings at a pop-up shack, catch the NoFit State Circus at the Southbank Centre or take a spin around an impressive Robert Rauschenberg retrospective at Tate Modern. There's all that and plenty more to get stuck into this week!

Things to do

Private Eye Book Signing, Waterstones, Tue, free. Purchase a copy of the 2016 Private Eye Annual, then get it signed by Ian Hislop and his team at this in-store event. No need to book.

Paper Cutting with Poppy Chancellor, Farmopolis, Tue, £34.99 (including copy of Cut it Out!). There's more to paper cutting than you might think. Allow talented illustrator Poppy Chancellor to take you through the history of the art – which stretches all the way back to the sixth century – and pass on her top tips when it comes to taking a scalpel to the page.

Jeny Howorth in Conversation with Tamsin Blanchard, Somerset House, Tue, £20, £15 concs. Hear from '80s and '90s 'it' girl Jeny Howorth whose platinum locks created by Sam McKnight caused a storm in the fashion industry. She'll be in conversation with writer and fashion journalist Tamsin Blanchard talking about working with McKnight and what happens backstage at catwalk shows. 

Winterlights, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Tue-Thu, £12 (£10 Tues-Fri). Wander the gardens of the picture gallery on a dark winter night and discover light installations and lanterns from the same creative crew that makes Christmas at Kew.

Write and Shine, Westminster Quaker Meeting House, Wed, £15. Writer Gemma Seltzer is hoping to help sleepy Londoners to embrace the inspirational power of the morning to create new pieces of poetry, fiction and life writing.

Christmas Workshops with Hato Press, Hato, Wed, £35. If you're a pro gift giver but lack the wrapping skills your presents deserve, hotfoot it down to a workshop with Hato who'll school you in pattern-making and printing your own bespoke wrapping paper.

No Commission, Southwark Arches, Thu, free. This art and music event is a collaboration between the Dean Collection and Barcadi comprising a contemporary art fair and live performances from the likes of Lady Leshurr and Blood Orange.

Crafty Fox Market, Museum of London Docklands, Thu, free. Tonight boasts over 60 designer-makers, DJs soundtracking the shopping and workshops to get stuck into.

The Kodakery, 70 Berwick Street, all week, free. Trigger-fingers at the ready, photography buffs: try out a new smartphone from Kodak, then see a photo exhibition, quiz the experts on how to improve your Insta game. 

A Peninsula Christmas, Greenwich Peninsula, all week, free. Secret Productions are running a brand new Christmas event for Greenwich peninsula: an 'Enchanted Forest', teepee snug bar, a Santa's Grotto, amphitheatre and a Christmas market await.

Interactive snowball fight, Spitalfields Market, Wed-Fri, free. Think you've got a good aim? Put your skills to the test in an interactive game where you'll throw snowballs at a moving billboard. Prizes range from Swiss chocolates to Swiss International Air Lines vouchers.

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

Kraken Black Christmas

Eating and drinking

Kraken Black Christmas, Beagle, Mon-Wed, £25. It's back to black at this series of foodie happenings hosted by rum makers, Kraken. Over three nights, guests can dine on a festive supper created using black seasonal produce, paired with noir cocktails and a special Christmas gift.

Christmas Feast - The Italian Way, Palm 2, Wed-Thu, £36.53. Enjoy a four-course Italian Christmas feast in the heart of Hackney with Chuffed And Stuffed, care of chef Anton Petrov (previously at VanillaBlack). Tickets include dinner, a cheese board with dried fruits to share and a welcome drink. 

Rekorderlig Cider Lodge, South Bank, Thu, free. Cider cocktails made to order (hot, cold, and some made with Rekorderlig's new spiced plum cider), fire pits, Swedish food and a photo booth make the Cider Lodge a neat riverside drinking hole on the Southbank this Christmas.

Dumpling Shack Pop-Up, Leicester House, all week, £35. Dumpling Shack can usually be found on Broadway Market, but for a limited time you can dine on their signature parcels of joy in central London.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Live music

Roy Ayers, Jazz Cafe, Mon-Wed, £25. Expect all the much-sampled rare groove classics, like 'Everybody Loves the Sunshine', 'Mystic Voyage', 'Love Will Bring Us Back Together' and 'We Live in Brooklyn'.

Emmy The Great, Village Underground, Tue, £16.50. Emma-Lee Moss was a key member of the west London acoustic scene that launched the careers of Noah And The Whale and Johnny Flynn, and has released two albums of brilliantly brittle alt folk that suggest a youth spent listening to The Moldy Peaches, Diane Cluck and Arab Strap.

Nicolas Jaar, Heaven, Tue-Wed, phone for availability. This NYC-born maker of 'organic electronic music' tinges his beautiful soundscapes with dub, jazz and experimental touches. He claims to be committed to slowing down his music, with the idea that 'more unintentional things happen between the beats'.

Shura, The Forum (O2 Forum Kentish Town), Wed, £17.50. Fans of Blood Orange, Kindness, Haim and first-album Jessie Ware: Shura will be your new jam.

Talib Kweli, Islington Assembly Hall, Wed, £24.50, adv £21.50. Brooklyn native Kweli helped set a new benchmark for conscious rap through his collaborations with DJ Hi-Tek (the Reflection Eternal project) and Mos Def (as the stellar Black Star).

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



Jim Jarmusch presents: ‘The Night of the Hunter’, Picturehouse Central, Tue, £8, £5 concs. Legendary indie filmmaker Jarmusch – who has two films in UK cinemas at the moment, ‘Paterson’ and ‘Gimme Shelter’ – has taken time out of his busy schedule to program a short season for Picturehouse.

Anachron Film Club: ‘Cat People’ + ‘Curse of the Cat People’, Muse Gallery, Tue, free. Two of the finest old-Hollywood horror movies, back to back.

Soul Jazz Records presents ‘Black Caesar’, Regent Street Cinema, Wed, £12, £11 concs. Record label Soul Jazz continue their season of classic Blaxploitation with this magnificent example of the genre.

Or at the cinema...

Moana ★★★★☆ Disney continues its winning streak with this big-hearted musical animation about a young woman fighting to protect her Pacific island community.

Sully ★★★☆ ☆ Tom Hanks plays the heroic pilot who landed a passenger jet on New York's Hudson River in Clint Eastwood's terrifying, if simple, real-life drama.

…or see all of the latest releases.

© Tristram Kenton


NoFit State Circus: Bianco, Southbank Centre, Tue-Thu, £25-£39.50. Grungy Welsh circus wizards NoFit State Circus bring back an upgraded version of their 2013 show.

Beauty on the Piste, Above the Stag Theatre, Tue-Thu, £12-£50. A kinder, gentler but still very naughty panto from Above the Stag.

Buried Child, Trafalgar Studios, all week, £35-£85. Ed Harris is great in Sam Shepard's classic piece of American Gothic.

This House, Garrick Theatre, all week, £12-£47. James Graham's peerless political drama returns for 2016.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

This week's best new art

Jennifer Guidi: Radiant, Massimo De Carlo, Tue-Thu, free. Guidi makes these big works by covering coloured canvases with thick layers of cement-like sand, then digging her fingers in to create spiralling indentations, all emanating from a single spot.

Huma Bhabha, Stephen Friedman, Tue-Thu, free. One of the sculptures here looks like a barbecued Predator. If that’s not enough to make you go see Pakistani-born, USA-based artist Huma Bhabha’s show then this whole art criticism thing is pointless.

Mai-Thu Perret: Zone, Simon Lee, all week, free. ‘Zone’ takes inspiration from an avant-garde French novel about a society run by a tribe of warrior lesbian women and also forms part of a story by Perret about a remote commune of women in the desert.

Robert Rauschenberg, Tate Modern, all week, £16.80. Over the course of his 60-year career, Rauschenberg reinvented, reused, recycled and revolutionised himself so many times that walking around this retrospective feels like stumbling through a textbook on twentieth-century art history. 

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a trip to Cape Town or a festive family day out at Disney's flagship London Store

Grab... tickets to a Ginvent Pop Up

Book… these gigs while you still can

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