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41 awesome things to do in London this week

Sonya Barber

Finish off the last few days of July with some seriously good fun in the city. Hula hoop at a height with a rooftop fitness session, float along London's waterways on a cocktail bar canal boat or catch some Edinburgh preview shows at The Phoenix Fringe. Enjoy!

Things to do 

Borough Talks, Borough Market, Tue, £15. As the market's 1000th birthday celebrations draw to an end this series of four debates will look at the modern world's relationship with food.

Amy's Kitchen Presents: A Handcrafted Summer, E5 Bakehouse, Tue, £10. Learn a new craft and enjoy a healthy dinner courtesy of Amy's Kitchen at this series of supper events held in east London. Tonight ceramicist Charlotte Mei leads a session in the art of ceramic painting, with each participant decorating a soup bowl to take home.

Ursula Martinez: Free Admission, Southbank Centre, Tue-Thu, £17. A performance by the cult cabaret star attempting to understand the absurdity of modern living, and 'celebrate the difficulties of being a human, particularly a human with a vagina...'

Science Museum Lates, Knightsbridge, Wed, free. Apparently Churchill invented the 'onesie', though we can't imagine he'd be pleased to see what it's become. Whether you wear one in tribute or not, this evening of World War Two-themed activities, talks and experiments will be great fun.

Iris Apfel: Another Mad Outfit, Book Club, Wed, £10 advance. Be one of the first to watch 'IRIS', the new documentary about nonagenarian style icon Iris Apfel, at the Book Club’s preview screening, followed by a panel discussion.

Echo360, Netil360, Wed, free. Echo is a marketplace in which you earn currency by using your skills. One hour of your time is equivalent to one Echo, which you can then use to buy other people's expertise. 

Rooftop Hula Hooping Classes, The Berkeley Spa, Wed, £65. Hoop experts HulaFit will teach techniques such as 'The Vortex' and 'Booty Bump' in order to work every last bit of your body without it feeling like a chore. Participants will tuck into a poolside lunch after the class, and are welcome to have a swim, too.

Brass on the Grass, Westminster Abbey College Gardens, Wed, free. Enjoy a free concert in your lunch hour as some of the UK's finest brass bands take to the College Garden at Westminster Abbey to perform for central London.

Gone Wild Herbs at the Curve, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, Thu, free. Drop in on the Dalston Curve Garden any Thursday evening this summer for a free workshop in the goodness of plants. Learn about herbal medicine and the different benefits of teas, balms, oils and syrups.

Summer Screen Prints, Somerset House, Thu, free. This annual exhibition returns to the West Wing Galleries of Somerset House during the venue's series of summer film screenings. Print Club London are helping to remind us just how much we love the films through the medium of screen printing and have selected 15 artists to create a poster for each of the movies using a classic scene, recognisable character or quotable line of dialogue as their inspiration.

Shuffle Festival, Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, all week, prices vary. Shuffle Festival is back for 2015, popping up at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park with a programme bursting with film, performances, art, science, storytelling, food, comedy and more.

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


What's Your Poison?


Eating and drinking

What's Your Poison?, Barts Pathology Museum, Wed, £25. This special workshop explores deadly poisons through tempting cocktails, teaching you about dangerous substances as you sip drinks such as 'Poison Apple' and 'Coffee and Cigarettes'.

Carving Masterclass with Mark Hix, Brown's Hotel, Wed, £185. With the help of this carving class, YOU could be the saviour of the Sunday roast. Mark Hix himself will share anecdotes and tips as he teaches the neglected art of carving in an intimate (and appropriate) dining room setting. 

Mayfair Market, Brown Hart Gardens, Wed, free. Mayfair's raised public garden terrace hosts this fortnightly food market selling hot food and snacks from all over the world. Plenty of benches are available for those who don't fancy eating at their desks.

Qcumber Presents: Classics on the Canal, The Electric Barge, Thu, £12. Hop aboard the Electric Barge for an evening of summertime sipping and sightseeing along the canal. The boat doubles up as a cocktail bar serving drinks as it roams the waterways, and for this series of events, the Qcumber team have concocted a menu inspired by literary tales.

Boa Down Party, The Star of Bethnal Green, free. From 6pm, Wingman Chicken will be giving out tasty bao and beers for zero pounds. They're only giving away 50 though so get there early.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.


Richard Herring



Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, Leicester Square Theatre, TONIGHT, £15.50. Joining Herring tonight: cult Scottish comedian Limmy, star of 'Limmy's Show!'

The Schadenfreude Cabaret, The Harrison,  Wed-Thu, pay-what-you-want, £5 adv guaranteed entry. At this semi-regular gig there's a mix of sketch, musical comics, character acts and straight stand-up, and the line-ups are generally great quality.

Michael Che, Soho Theatre, Thu, £20, £17.50 concs. Ahead of his run at the Edinburgh Fringe, 'Saturday Night Live' star Michael Che stops off in London for a short stint at the Soho Theatre.

The Phoenix Fringe, The Phoenix, Thu, £10, £8 adv per show or day ticket £20. Usually this festival is a London alternative to the Edinburgh Fringe, but as the Scottish fest starts quite late this year the Phoenix is hosting lots of Edinburgh previews from the likes of Hal Cruttenden, Nish Kumar, Andrew Maxwell and Aisling Bea.

Stand Up for Satire, Union Chapel, Thu, £20, £15 concs, £40 VIP. Everyone's favourite lager-guzzling baldy, Al Murray the Pub Landlord, hosts this benefit gig in aid of charity Index on Censorship. He introduces an impressive bill, including uninhibited Scottish stand-up Frankie Boyle, 'Live at the Apollo' star Shappi Khorsandi, Doc Brown, Kerry Godliman, Andrew Maxwell and Grainne Maguire.

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


Royce Wood Junior


Live music

Royce Wood Junior, The Waiting Room, TONIGHT, £6. A London-based producer responsible for one of the slinkiest, funkiest electronic albums of 2015 thus far, RWJ plays a series of three Stoke Newington gigs for the cognoscenti.

Foxes, Oslo, Wed, £14. Louisa Rose Allen, aka Foxes, smashes together yearning harmonies and glitch-fangled pop to make some appealing stuff. Fans of Florence Welch and Marina And The Diamonds, check it out.

Grandmaster Flash, Brooklyn Bowl London, Wed, £tba. 'Flash is fast, Flash is cool…' Ever since the seminal days of block parties in the Bronx, Grandmaster Flash has been an ambassador for hip hop - whether with the original Furious Five rap crew, pioneering mixing and scratching, or just rocking parties around the world.

Micachu And The Shapes, Peckham multi-storey car park, Thu, £12.50. A rare couple of shows by Mica Levi – indie frontwoman-turned-acclaimed ‘Under the Skin’ soundtrack composer – and her grimy electro/experimental pop crew the Shapes. Don’t miss them!

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


Sounds Familiar Music Quiz



Sounds Familiar Music Quiz, The Phoenix, 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.

Gaz's Rockin' Blues, St Moritz, Thu, £9, £7 before 10pm. A hugely popular long-running weekly night – filled with rock 'n' roll history – that explores the best ska, blues, reggae and jive every Thursday.

FWD>>, Dance Tunnel, Thu, £7. Prime names in dubstep, garage, grime, bass and other dark dancefloor delights every other Thursday. Garage-house guy Deadboy steps up for a set tonight with support from Finn.

…or see all the parties planned this week.


Inside Out



Punch-Drunk Love, Lexi Cinema, Wed, £5. Paul Thomas Anderson’s fourth film is without doubt the oddest romcom of all time, suspended in a hinterland between old-fashioned screwball antics, quirky indie romance and outright arthouse obliqueness. 

Dancer in the Dark, Prince Charles Cinema, Thu, £7.50, £5 concs. Lars von Trier returned to ‘Breaking the Waves’ territory with another emotionally upfront tale of self-sacrificing womanhood. 

Or at the cinema...

Inside Out ★★★★☆ Pixar's latest wildly inventive family cartoon looks at what goes on inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl.

Eden ★★★★☆ The inside story of how French house music exploded from the clubs of Paris to create international stars like Daft Punk

…or see all of the latest releases.




Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, all week, £25-£52.50. This musical classic is possibly the least feminist thing that has ever happened, but still good fun. 

Sinatra: The Man and his Music, London Palladium, all week, £14.40-£125. A classy Sinatra tribute that’ll do until the next great musical comes along.

Richard II, Shakespeare's Globe, Thu, £16-£43. Shakespeare’s weirdo monarch is humanised in a strong production.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.


Yto Barrada: Faux Guide


This week's best new art

Yto Barrada: Faux Guide, Pace Burlington Gardens, Tue-Thu, free. What am I looking at? You can’t help but think this is what French-Moroccan artist Yto Barrada wants you to ask as you enter the huge single room of the Pace gallery.

Alice Anderson: Memory Movement Memory Objects, Wellcome Collection, Tue-Thu, free. Fancy mummifying a Ford Mustang? You can at the London-based artist's solo show.

Nicholas Mangan: Ancient Lights, Chisenhale Gallery, Wed-Thu, free. Summer is officially here, and with all the subtlety of a drivetime DJ playing sunshine-themed hits, the Chisenhale is offering a pair of films by Australian artist Nicholas Mangan all about the role of the Sun (our star, that is, not the newspaper) within human society.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win...the ultimate trip to Ibiza or the ultimate summer staycation 

Grab...£15 tickets to 'Red Lion' at the National Theatre

Book...these gigs while you still can 

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