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The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill (c) Kristjana S. Williams
Photograph: The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill (c) Kristjana S. Williams

London events in June

Plan an eventful June in London with our guide to the best art exhibitions, plays and general shindigs taking place around the city in June 2021

By Things To Do Editors
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June is one of those months that’s filled with a sense of excitement, but is also somehow layered with a tinge of anxiety. It’s that ‘end of the A-Levels’ feeling, until you remember that you left school years ago, and ‘summer holidays’ don’t really exist for adults. But in 2021, June does feel a bit like entering summer holidays as we once knew them.

The reopening of the city makes the return of things that once felt so familiar to us feel like spontaneous holiday discoveries. Eating indoors in a restaurant, sitting in a cinema as the lights go down, spending the best part of a day at a Tate Modern exhibition – they all have this new sheen. And we’re here to help you make the most of it. 

Check out our guide to the best art exhibitions, plays and generally great things to do this June 2021 in London. We’ll catch you out there.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar.

June 2021 event highlights

Charlotte Perriand on the chaise longue basculante B306, 1929  © AChP/ © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021
Photograph: Charlotte Perriand on the chaise longue basculante B306, 1929 © AChP/ © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021

1. See ‘Charlotte Perriand: The Modern Life’

A female pioneer in modernist design, Charlotte Perriand was often overshadowed by her male peers. This Design Museum retrospective hopes to fix that, running 25 years after her last exhibition at the museum. With large-scale reconstructions of her most famous interiors, original furniture, photography and personal notebooks, the show will dig into her creative process. Be warned, this exhibition may instil in you a desire to buy a completely unnecessary chaise longue. The Design Museum. Jun 19-Sep 5. £16.30, £12.15 concs. Find out more here

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Photograph: Image: Anastas Styles/Shutterstock

2. Book a ticket for ‘Under Milk Wood’ at the NT

It’s probably been so long since you’ve seen live theatre that even an am-dram production of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ would be an exciting prospect, so God knows how you’ll cope with NT’s latest star-studded offering, which features Michael Sheen and Siân Phillips in a new version of Dylan Thomas’s ‘Under Milk Wood’. National Theatre. Jun 16-Jul 24. £20-£89. Find out more here

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3. Re-emerge from lockdown to see three plays

Promising ‘a season of new plays for a new world’, Re: Emerge’s season of shows is going to be BIG. ‘J’Ouvert’, ‘Walden’ and ‘Anna X’ will transport audiences to socialite New York, buzzy Notting Hill Carnival and... a remote cabin in the woods. Stars include Gemma Arterton and Emma Corrin from ‘The Crown’. They’re standalone plays but if you’re game to see all three, there’s a 10 percent discount. Might as well make up for lost time, eh? Harold Pinter Theatre. ‘Walden’, May 19-Jun 12. ‘J’Ouvert’, Jun 16-Jul 3. ‘Anna X’, Jul 9-Aug 4. From £10. Find out more here

Cinemas reopening
Photograph: Time Out

4. Go back to the movies

News Film

The collective joy of watching something on a cinema screen has been gone far, far too long. Happily, the un-lockdown process means that London’s cinemas can begin reopening on May 17. And they are. With a vengeance. And there’s a lot of great programming going on too: Look out for Barbican’s annual Chronic Youth fest, showcasing emerging filmmakers from around the world, and The Castle is welcoming back its film clubs, CineReal and No Bollocks. Find out when your local cinema will be reopening here

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Moomins
Photograph: TimeOut/Ninityacktravels

5. Track down the Moomins at Walthamstow Wetlands

News City Life

Nature reserve Walthamstow Wetlands has teamed up with the William Morris Gallery to produce a year-long exhibition about Finnish artist and Moomins creator Tove Jansson. Titled ‘The Woman Who Fell in Love with an Island’, the show will draw parallels between the nature of the Wetlands and the island of Klovharun in the Gulf of Finland, which Jansson visited every summer for almost 30 years, along with her partner Tuulikki Pietilä. The exhibit will take place inside the Wetlands’ restored engine house, but it will also spill out into nature with an outdoor art trail. Jun 18-Sep 23. Find out more about the exhibition here, and click here to book your tickets

 

Matthew Barney
Photograph: Hugo Glendinning

6. Catch Matthew Barney: ‘Redoubt’ at the Hayward

Art

The deeply conceptual and elusive American artist Matthew Barney is returning to the UK with a big, splashy exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. ‘Redoubt’ will feature etchings and large sculptures cast from fallen trees, but the centrepiece is Barney’s mystical art feature film, which follows a fictional wolf hunter through the snowy landscape of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. Hayward Gallery. May 19-Jul 25. £12. Find out more here

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Time Out Eat List - The Barbary
Photograph: Andy Parsons

7. Eat a meal at a restaurant, INDOORS

Restaurants

Eating out in June means you can also eat in, as in indoors, without your coat, should you choose to. The problem is, everyone in London already knows this, so tables are going to get booked up well in advance. Trying to decide where to go for that long-awaited didn’t-cook-it-yourself dinner? Have a look at our 100 best restaurants list, where you’ll find places that, yes, have great food, but more importantly will also guarantee you a good time.

8. Find a new spot for open water swimming

Things to do Event spaces Manor House

The West Reservoir in Stoke Newington is not nearly as well known as other designated open-water swimming spots like Hampstead Ponds, which makes it all the more special. Sessions here are only open to experienced open-water swimmers, but courses are offered for beginners as the temperature increases. The reservoir covers 23-acres, with a clear view of the built-up London skyline, which makes it feel like you are taking a giant, freezing bath right in the middle of the city. Green Lanes. £10 (for non-Better members). Book at www.better.org.uk

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Photographer
Photo: Matthew Johnson

9. Go to a classical concert in a little café

News City Life

Ever have one of those winning holiday moments where you’re wandering through some European city, and stumble upon a concert full of locals in some tiny, backstreet venue? That can happen in London too, if you know where to look, so look for The Fidelio Café, which puts on micro classical music sessions at its cosy space in Clerkenwell. Fidelio Café. Regular dates in June. From £15. Find out more here

 

Down the Rabbit Hole (c) Kristjana S. Williams
Photograph: Down the Rabbit Hole (c) Kristjana S. Williams

10. Don’t miss ‘Alice: Curiouser & Curiouser’ at the V&A

Lockdown life has pushed us all through the looking glass this past year. Like Alice, we’ve been living on the wrong side of the mirror, so it feels like a good time for the V&A to launch its delayed exhibition, which explores the way Lewis Carroll’s character has been milked to death by the visual worlds of fashion, illustration, film and photography. They can add this event listing to the pile. V&A. May 22-Dec 31. £20. Find out more here

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Beer gardens london
Image: Time Out / Jack Latimer

11. Snag a table in a beer garden

Bars and pubs

By June, indoor boozing will (hopefully) be a thing again, which might mean we’ll start seeing a few cancellations from those Londoners who went and booked up all the city’s beer garden spots. It sucks having to plan in advance just for a pint in the pub, but at least it removes the hapless scramble for a seat on sunny days. Forget propping up the bar too: it’s table service all the way, baby. Click through for a round-up of some of our favourite beer gardens that are taking bookings. 

12. Get a table in a rooftop cocktail garden

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Aldgate

Some days you just want to while away a sunny afternoon in a beer garden making little sculptures out of crisp packets and ordering the same round until closing time. Others call for a fancier affair, like a trip to The Culpeper, a rooftop garden, restaurant and cocktail spot that’s surrounded by the City of London’s skyscrapers. It’s a gorgeous paradox of a place, a tiny farm in the sky, where little vegetables are grown in the shadow of the Gherkin. 40 Commercial St. Book your table here

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Eileen Agar Erotic Landscape 1942 Collage on paper 255 x 305 mm Private collection ©Estate of Eileen Agar/Bridgeman Images Photograph courtesy Pallant House Gallery, Chichester © Doug Atfield
Photograph: Eileen Agar Erotic Landscape 1942 Collage on paper 255 x 305 mm Private collection ©Estate of Eileen Agar/Bridgeman Images Photograph courtesy Pallant House Gallery, Chichester © Doug Atfield

14. Spend a day with ‘Angel of Anarchy’ Eileen Agar

British artist Eileen Agar was a painter, collage-maker, sculptor and fashioner of ceremonial hats. Agar moved in surrealist art circles, exhibiting alongside Dalí, Paul Nash and Dora Maar, but as this extensive retrospective will show, her wide-ranging and unpredictable style transcends the boundaries of any specific art movement. Whitechapel Gallery. May 19-Aug 29. £9.50, £7.50 concs. Find out more here

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Jules Richard Rodin dans son atelier Musée Rodin, Ph.02392 © Musée Rodin
Photograph: Jules Richard Rodin dans son atelier Musée Rodin, Ph.02392 © Musée Rodin

15. Get up close and personal with Rodin at Tate Modern

By now, we’ve all seen Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’, but you might be less familiar with his 1898 sculpture ‘Balzac’, a monument to the French novelist that may or may not depict him fondling his bits beneath his coat. Rodin was influenced by the sculptures of ancient Greece, but as this Tate Modern exhibition seeks to show, the artist was a true modern radical. Tate Modern. May 18-Nov 21. £18, £17 concs. 

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