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39 ace things to do in London this week

By Stephanie Hartman

Head to Crouch End for fun at the Comedy Festival, explore the wonderful designs of Charles and Ray Eames at the Barbican, or attend talks, performances and exhibitions celebrating the Middle East at Nour Festival of Arts. Here are all the best ways to spend your week!

Things to do 

Voice-o-Graph, Phonica, Tue-Thu, free. This 1940s recording booth records 65 seconds of music/poetry/sweet nothings onto 6" vinyl for its user to take home and keep forever.

Joseph Sample Sale, The Music Room, Tue-Thu. Brace yourself for four days of discounts at Joseph’s sample sale. There’ll be up to 80 per cent off the brand’s main line, as well as pieces from other big names stocked in their boutique.

Nour Festival of Arts, various Kensington & Chelsea venues, Tue-Thu, prices vary. This celebration of the Middle East and North Africa's arts and culture returns for 2015 featuring a huge range of talks, workshops, exhibitions and performances.

City Stargazing, The Idler Academy, Wed, £45. The Idler Academy hosts this introduction to the study of the sky and beyond which will end with some stargazing in the garden if the weather is kind.

Care: Then and Now, Oxo Tower Wharf, Wed-Thu, free. Hands-on displays and installations tell the story of the 'CARE packages' that were first sent by people in the USA to British families in need following World War Two, through to the modern day versions that continue to help people across the globe.

Eureka! Art Pavilion, Mile End Arts Pavilion, Wed-Thu, free. This exhibition brings together a handful of artists creating work themed around science, discovery and fundamental physics.

KidZania Adults Lates, Shepherd's Bush, Thu, £29.50. The incredible children-only city that is KidZania – where kids play a sort of real-life version of the Sims – is opening to grown-ups exclusively for Time Out this winter. 

Are You Game?, WAC Arts, Thu, £10. Calling all big kids! Games guru, Kevin Campbell Davidson has been gathering fun-filled activities from his time as a teacher, circus acrobat and Ceilidh caller over the last few years and tonight you can play them all.

Made London, One Marylebone, Thu, £10. Made London returns in 2015 with a huge range of colourful, beautiful and original craft and design products. The Marylebone fair allows buyers to meet the people who do the creating, and this year more than 110 artists, makers and designers will showcase glassware, textiles, jewellery, ceramics and furniture. 

Imperial Fringe: Cities of the Future, Imperial College London, Thu, free. A range of research projects from Imperial College aiming to improve city life are presented at this evening open to anyone interested in the future of the capital.

Pumpkin Carving, Drink Shop & Do, all week, £10. Your pumpkin attempt will (hopefully) turn out a whole lot better than last year's with the help of these crafty sessions for grown-ups, if only because the free Halloween cocktail will get you feeling creative.

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



Eating and drinking

The Hour Glass, South Kensington. A newly revamped pub from the team behind Brompton Food Market, just a few streets away.

Beef & Brew, Kentish Town. A Kentish Town restaurant, from a chef who trained under Angela Hartnett, specialising in low-price cuts of steak.

Popdown at The Vaults, Waterloo, Tue-Thu, £39. Bespoke dining company Cuisson are turning Waterloo's underground venue into a high-class dining room for three months, offering interesting, innovative dinners and delicious cocktails.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.


© Steve Ullathorne



Barry Cryer and Friends: An 80th Birthday Celebration, Palace Theatre, TONIGHT, £10-£35. Writer, raconteur, comedy legend, national treasure… Barry Cryer celebrates his eightieth birthday with this huge West End show, packed with appearances from famous friends.

Spencer Jones is The Herbert in Proper Job, Soho Theatre, Wed-Thu, £10. Spencer Jones's joyous, props-based lunacy was a huge hit at this year's Edinburgh Fringe, and deservedly so. It's an hour of daft, joyful mucking about.

Ahir Shah: Distant, Soho Theatre, all week, £10. Bright young comic and Cambridge graduate Ahir Shah intellectualises pretty much any topic he sets his mind to in his solo shows. Highly analytical, slightly pessimistic outlooks on life, love, romance and comedy.

Crouch End Comedy Festival 2015, multiple venues, all week, £7-£12. Legendary comedy club Downstairs at the King's Head – which has been running for over 30 years – reopens after a refurbishment with the week-long Crouch End Comedy Festival, celebrating the club's three decades of stand-up.

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



Live music

Girls Names, 100 Club, TONIGHT, £11 adv. This four-piece from Belfast offer up dark post-punk soundscapes with occasionally excursions into motorik synth fuzz. 

Johnny Marr, The Forum, Tue, £27. Still rocking his scraggy mod ’do, the former Smiths (and Cribs) guitarist is now forging a meaty indie solo career.

The London Gay Men's Chorus, Union Chapel, Wed, £15 adv. Europe's largest gay choir and guests including the excellent all-female Deep Throat choir perform acapella to raise money for London HIV charity RGT.

Gary Numan, The Forum, Wed-Thu, £30. Despite his miserablism, his eternal Bowie-aping and his right-wing tendencies, the Numanoid has long since been recognised as the godfather of electronica and the spiritual progenitor of Marilyn Manson, 

Hot Chip, O2 Academy Brixton, Thu, £26. The much-loved London five-piece return for more gorgeous electropop, promoting a new album ‘Why Make Sense?’

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




Sounds Familiar Music Quiz, multiple venues, Tue-Wed, £40 (ticket for eight people), £33 (ticket for six people), £24 (ticket for four people), £8 (single-person ticket). Eyes down and ears open for this delightfully raucous, super-fun music-fuelled quiz, featuring rounds such as 'Round of Cheese', 'Office Party' and 'Feel the Power Ballad', plus prizes including mugs, medals, champagne and more.

Bogan Bingo, The Slug at Fulham, Thu. Think bingo is boring? So do this lot, which is why they created a brilliant, bizarre, boozy and unashamedly silly alternative. Two 'Wayne's World'-styled hosts throw serious shapes to the likes of Bon Jovi and 'Eye of the Tiger' while calling the numbers. 

Your Mum's House, The Nest, Thu, £7, £5 before midnight. Not for the faint-hearted, this weekly jaunt is a 'dress up 'n' get messed up' night of mayhem and mischief, with a soundtrack of bassy house, hip hop, old school bangers, trap, R&B and UK garage.

…or see all the parties planned this week.




Science Fiction Theatre: ‘Brainstorm’, The Victoria, TONIGHT, £5, £3.50 concs. Another overlooked sci-fi classic from one of our favourite film clubs. ‘Brainstorm’ has a fascinating and ambitious premise – the invention of a helmet-like device that enables people to experience other people's experiences.

BFI Love: 'Love Story', BFI Southbank, TONIGHT, £8.35–£11.75. The BFI’s new three-month season exploring all aspects of screen romance opens with the Marmite-movie weepie that spawned the infamous tagline ‘love means never having to say you’re sorry’. 

Or at the cinema...

The Program ★★★★☆ Ben Foster's Lance Armstrong is like something from a horror movie in Stephen Frears's eerie biopic.

Crimson Peak ★★★☆☆ Guillermo del Toro's latest is a fun but predictable Gothic ghost story starring Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska.

…or see all of the latest releases.




In the Heights, King's Cross Theatre, Mon-Tue, Thu, £22, £18 concs. The hottest ticket on Broadway right now is ‘Hamilton’, a hip hop musical about the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton in which cabinet meetings are staged as epic rap battles.

French Without Tears, Orange Tree Theatre, all week, £10-£25, £15 concs. A rare revival for Terence Rattigan's blockbuster first comedy.

Teddy Ferrara, Donmar Warehouse, all week, £10-£37.50. Dominic Cooke returns to theatre to direct this messy but insightful play about gay American students.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.


© Eames Office LLC





This week's best new art

The World of Charles and Ray Eames, Barbican Centre, Wed-Thu, £14.50, £5-£12 concs. A major survey of the post-war modernist designers Charles and Ray Eames. 

The Guardians, Leighton House Museum, Wed-Thu, £7, £5 concs. In 2013 the Governor of Medina commissioned Saudi photographer Adel Quraishi to take portraits of the eight remaining guardians, three of whom have since died. Part of the NOUR festival, this exhibition presents all the portraits with a never-before-seen photograph of the mosque’s interior.

Affordable Art Fair Battersea, Battersea Evolution, Thu, £15, £12 adv, free under-16s. The south-of-the-river instalment of this popular art fair sets up shop with over 100 contemporary galleries selling works from £100-£5,000.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a luxury holiday for two to Croatia’s capital and tickets to Zagreb Film Festival or tickets to one of six Halloween parties in London

Grab... up to 51% off spa days for one or two at Bannatyne Spa - from £37

Book… these gigs while you still can

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