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40 fun things to do in London this week

By Stephanie Hartman

Bag yourself sweet discounts, drinks and fancy new clobber as Vogue's annual shopping event descends on Regent Street, head to a secret 24-hour-long party organised by Red Bull somewhere in the city, or get down to south London to watch films for free in Peckham and Nunhead. Hop to it!

Things to do 

Are You in Love with Your Phone?, The House of St Barnabas, Tue, £15 inc booking fee. Grace Dent heads up the latest panel discussion in the BUG talk series which focusses on the state of society's obsession with smartphones.

Totally Thames: Thames Boat Trip: Brunel's London, various, Tue, Thu, £14.15, £12.15 concs. Join curator of the Brunel Museum Robert Hulse on a river cruise from Embankment to the Brunel Museum, passing under three Brunel bridges along the way.

The Outsider Lectures, Union Chapel, Wed, £20, £15 adv. Ten speakers from the worlds of art, activism, comedy and academia will explore alternative viewpoints on subjects such as drug addiction, mental health and poverty, sharing personal experience and expertise.

Top of the Crops, Union Chapel, Thu, £12, £9 concs. The people behind the uplifting non-religious gathering Sunday Assembly have arranged a harvest festival. It features plenty fo the traditions you'd expect, but with their own god-free twist – ethical speakers, a food collection for homeless organisations and food banks, comedians and a raffle.

Vogue Loves Regent Street Fashion Night Out, Regent Street, Thu. Vogue's annual style knees-up is back and bigger than ever. Rebranded as Vogue Loves Regent Street for 2015, the style bible's evening of drinks, discounts and free beautification is one of the biggest dates in the discerning shopper's calendar.

Emma 200, various, Thu, prices vary. Jane Austen's 'Emma' turns 200 this year, and Friends of Brunswick Square have put on this four-day line-up of events to celebrate.

London Art Book Fair, Whitechapel Gallery, Thu, free. The Whitechapel Gallery hosts the UK's largest event dedicated to contemporary art publishing once more in 2015, with more than 80 international publishers and bookmakers presenting their printed wares.

Goldsmiths Design Festival, New Cross, all week, free. A showcase of the multi-disciplinary design produced by PhD, MA, BA and Design professors from Goldsmiths University. Works include a computer controlled brewery and there are interactive installations and workshops to take part in.

Totally Thames: The Rising Tide by Jason deCaires Taylor, Thames Foreshore at Vauxhall, all week, free. Four majestic working horses and their riders will inhabit the Thames foreshore at Nine Elms for the duration of Totally Thames. The works are a commission by underwater eco-sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor and will only be visible at the river's lowest point, highlighting the importance of the river to our city.

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






Eating and drinking

Conflict Kitchen London, House of Vans, Wed, £35, £19.50 brunch. To coincide with World Peace Day and as part of the Talking Peace Festival, International Alert have opened a pop-up café and are inviting Londoners to share food and conversation. Each event will focus on a different area of conflict and guests will be encouraged to learn more about its current state and prospects for peace.

Omnivore Food & Drink Festival, Old Truman Brewery, Thu, prices vary. The French-born, itinerant Omnivore food fest began in 2003 and has been trotting the globe since 2012, but this London instalment promises to be one of the best yet, with its roster of top international chefs and mixologists meeting plenty of homegrown talent.

Green Man presents Courtyard, Cubitt Square, Thu, free. Loveable Welsh music festival Green Man is bringing the best of its homeland's beer and cider to King's Cross for this weekend of food, booze and music.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.


© Patch Dolan / Marcel Lucon






Marcel Lucont's Cabaret Fantastique, London Wonderground, Thu, £14-£20.50. Suave, sardonic French savant Marcel Lucont presents an evening of alternative comedy and cabaret. Tonight's bill: magical maestro Pete Firman, singer Ali McGregor and circus troupe Feeding the Fish.

The Red Imp Comedy Club, Ye Olde Rose & Crown, Thu. Whirlwind Canadian comic Phil Nichol appears tonight alongside Nick Page.

Ronny Chieng – Chieng Reaction, Soho Theatre, all week, £10-£17.50. He's been away for a little while, Ronny Chieng, but the disgruntled Malaysia-born, Australia-based comic Ronny Chieng is back in London after a stint at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Zoe Coombs Marr – Dave, Soho Theatre, all week, £15. We love a bit of comedy about comedy. Aussie favourite Zoe Coombs Marr’s show is a proper parody of lazy stand-up. She plays Dave, a generic male comedian who likes beer, sex, women and football.

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






Live music

FFS (Franz Ferdinand/Sparks), The Forum, Tue, £32.50. Franz Ferdinand and Sparks unite as a new, glamorous, international super-sextet.

Mac DeMarco, Roundhouse, Wed, £18.50 adv. The fantastic guitar-toting Canadian soft-rocker comes to London in support of his latest album 'Salad Days'.

The Libertines, Electric Ballroom, Thu, £30. After the Libertines reunion in Hyde Park last year, Pete ’n’ Carl have followed through with a new album: ’Anthems for Doomed Youth’, their first record in 11 years. You’ll hear plenty of it at this intimate Camden show alongside all the rough-and-ready Libs classics.

Jurassic 5, The Forum, Thu, £32.50. The laid back, daisy age-style hip hop crew reunited a few years ago, and they stop off here on another headline tour with new material to add to their catalogue of rap classics.

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








Morning Gloryville, Ministry of Sound, Tue. A pre-work mid-week fitness rave, which aims to give punters a healthy, start to the working day via snacks, massages and a lot of dancing.

Red Bull Studios Future Underground, a secret London location, Wed-Thu. A series of three covert parties to celebrate the (now delayed) 24-hour tube – details are only revealed 24 hours before each event.

Despacio, Roundhouse, Thu, £35. Not, as you might reasonably expect, the Despacio crew switching from disco jams to jungle rinse-outs, but instead a special two-night edition of the soundsystem party decked-out in jungle decor. 

Hip Hop Karaoke, The Social, Thu, £5-£7 adv, MOTD. Think you can rap? Prove it at this popular karaoke night, where you can flex your rhyming muscles to your favourite hip hop cuts from over the decades.

…or see all the parties planned this week.


Peckham & Nunhead Free Film Festival: 'Mona Lisa', The Employment Academy, TONIGHT, free. This packed festival offers screenings in bars, cafés and gallery spaces for no money. ‘Mona Lisa’ is an assured London-set thriller about the need to love.

Or at the cinema...

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl ★★★★☆ A higher class of weepie that’ll have you sobbing in your popcorn.

Ricki and the Flash ★★★★☆ Meryl Streep is Oscar-winningly brilliant as a rock 'n' roller.

…or see all of the latest releases.







Volta International Festival, Arcola Theatre, Tue-Wed, £6-£15. While plays by our beloved Bard are performed all over the world, Britain doesn’t quite return the love in welcoming international works to these shores. It’s refreshing then that the new Volta Festival is trying to make up for that, offering a chance to catch some exciting emerging names from Europe and America. 

My Eyes Went Dark, Finborough Theatre, Tue-Thu, £16-£18, £14-£16 concs. Matthew Wilkinson’s thrilling new play is about a grieving man, suffering a deep, awful trauma.

The Win Bin, Old Red Lion Theatre, Tue-Thu, £10-£15. ‘The Win Bin’ is about the application for the last paid job in the arts. Ever. How do you decide who gets it? You make desperate people compete! So, judged by Bench, an invisible Big Brother-type figure, Bash (Kennedy), a comic-book artist, has to play against a taxidermist, a choreographer, a photographer, a writer and a crafter in 12 hours of increasingly humiliating and absurd tests. 

People, Places and Things, National Theatre, all week, £15-£45. Denise Gough is stunning in this powerful new play about addiction and reality from '1984' scribe Duncan MacMillan.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.






This week's best new art

Francesco Vezzoli: Eternal Kiss, Almine Rech Gallery, Tue-Thu, free. With the aid of a team of archaeologists, Vezzoli will restore two Ancient Roman heads to their former glory.

The Gap: Selected Abstract Art From Belgium, Parasol Unit, Wed-Thu, free. Renowned Belgian painter, Luc Tuymans curates his first group exhibition. Showcasing major works by two successive generations of fourteen Belgian artists, Tuymans considers the various influences on abstract art in the twentieth century.

20/21 British Art Fair, Royal College of Art, Wed-Thu, £10, £6 concs. Get your British Art fix at this annual specialist fair selling modern, post-war and contemporary art from 55 galleries and dealers including The Redfern Gallery, England & Co, Freya Mitton and Osborne Samuel.

Gelitin: Prosopopoeia, Massimo De Carlo, Thu, free. The cult Austrian collective challenges the concept of a unique idea in art with work that suffers from ‘multiple personality disorders’.

Start, Saatchi Gallery, Thu, £12, £10 adv, £6 under-16s, £5 adv under-16s. Focusing on emerging artists and young international galleries, the second START art fair continues to provide a platform for the talents emerging from countries like Korea, South Africa and Vietnam.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... six tickets to ATP 2.0: Nightmare Before Christmas festival or one of 50 pairs of tickets to Comedy Central’s Friendsfest

Grab... £20 tickets to a silent disco at the Natural History Museum on Friday October 9

Book... these gigs while you still can

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