Our August 2019 highlights
Given that an estimated two million people attended last year, Notting Hill Carnival totally deserves its reputation as Europe’s biggest street festival. The annual event is a vivid and thrilling spectacle that celebrates and showcases London’s rich, varied and magnificent multicultural past and present.
On a balmy London evening, nothing beats watching a movie under the stars. Whether you want to shriek-along to ‘The Shining’ in a graveyard or catch a romcom in a gorgeous Royal Park or palace, add these events to your fair-weather bucket list.
Six weeks is a long time to keep anyone entertained, let alone your toughest critics. Don't panic though, we've got this year's school summer holidays totally sorted.
Move over, Glastonbury: the world’s biggest music festival is coming to town. The BBC Proms 2018 takes place at the Royal Albert Hall, which has hosted the series of classical concerts since 1941 and every year you can expect to see the world’s greatest orchestras and classical performers come to London. Get it in your diary.
The stunning glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly (the man behind the giant chandelier in the V&A’s entrance hall) have been exploding out of Kew Gardens’ glorious foliage since April. Now see them sparkle as they’re lit-up after dark at these special lates.
Spend a day out on a pick-your-own farm in (or near) London this back holiday weekend. Whether you want to pluck summer-ripe berries, leafy greens and root veg or gather autumnal apples, pumpkins and squashes, these farms all have acres of PYO fields to keep you busy. Strawberries are getting harder to find, but there’s still plenty of apples and blackberries to fill your punnet. Remember, always call your chosen farm ahead of your visit to check what’s ripe for picking.
An evening tour of east London’s Bevis Marks Synagogue and Dennis Severs’ house. Go snoop around a Huguenot home by candlelight.
Room after gorgeous room looking at the big ball of cheese in the sky. Space is endlessly fascinating, and this makes the moon feel tantalisingly close.
A new kids' musical based on a bestselling book series. It's wonderfully, adorably messed up in a warped world. Expect singalongs that summon the hard-knocks world of ‘Oliver!’ or ‘Les Misérables’.
Make the most out of the last – and longest – weekend in August. You’ve gained a day off work, so make it count.
Chop, chop. Head to Inua Ellam’s celebration of African barbershops back for one last run. Don’t miss the banging pre-show.
Learn about fifty-years worth of radical art focusing on gender identity. This is what happens when art can knock bigotry down a few pegs. It's fun, salacious and it might just be making the world a bit of a better place.
Contem-paw-ary art chosen by cultured canines. Hounds down, this show is the shih-tzu and it’ll make you want to raise a glass to the world’s best bitches.
This year’s Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Junya Ishigami, is a cool, calming haven bang in the middle of Hyde Park. Made from 61 tonnes of slate and 106 steel columns, Ishigami’s creation is a massive sweeping roof and definitely worth a look.
A crash course intro to one of Finland’s most famous painters. The gloriously ghoulish late self-portraits prove that the best can come last.
Ludicrous, stupid, over-the-top paintings of weird stuff. Oh, and a dildo machine. It's as good as it is dumb, and it's seriously dumb.
It’s here – that final gasp of the season: the August bank holiday. There are bucketloads of offbeat ways to spend your three days of freedom and make those 72 hours count with our alt August bank holiday guide.
Self-portraits through the ages by a serious contemporary giant. This is angry, cynical art, and it's pretty damn great.
Violent, crude, but brilliantly written animated videos. It's a nasty, nasty show, but that's why it's so good.
The wild artist brings colour to her dazzling life. They're works of pain and heartbreak: awful, heart-wrenching and brilliant paintings. See Lee Krasner in full flight.
This is ‘Evita’ 2.0, a swaggering reboot of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic. It’s got a confetti cannon that brings plenty of fun and it’s not afraid to use it.
British art for British times: it’s all about culture in the era of New Order. You’ve seen most of it before, but hits are still hits and with good reason.
Get an eyeful of Frank Bowling's unique style fusing abstraction with elements of figurative art at this much-deserved major exhibition. Don't miss the opportunity to see these gorgeously-coloured artworks in all their glory.
Catch this biographical jukebox musical tracing the life and times of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Having already enjoyed a two-year-stint on Broadway, this is a night of uplifting Latino-pop and kinetic choreography.
Pioneering artist-activist Ringgold combines storytelling and painting to stitch together narratives about black American history and the fight for equal rights. This is art for changing society, and it’s a pretty worthwhile cause.
In her lifetime, Russian artist Natalia Goncharova helped found avant garde modern art movements, worked with Sergei Diaghilev at the Ballet Russes and much, much more. This exhibition is overdue and should help to resurrect her reputation as a major artist you should know about.
Awe-inspiring installations based on nature, light and the elements. It’ll scare you, elate you and make you recycle. It’s epic environmentalism at its finest and it is sublime.
Perfectly staged photographs with all the complexity of a movie. There are countless stories to get lost in here.
See complex, politically minded art by Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz. This show is full of complicated ideas, histories and perspectives.
Don't miss this spin-off from the beloved stripper comedy that made Tatum a household name, which is co-directed by the man himself (alongside choreographer Alison Faulk). It's billed as ‘a 360-degree dance and acrobatic spectacular’, which we're guessing means ‘stripping’.
Eliasson is back at the Tate Modern (following his famous Turbine Hall installation in 2003) with a big exhibition and an outside artwork. He's even taking over the Terrace Bar, turning it into a vegetarian canteen.
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