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London events in November

Your comprehensive guide to the best events, pop-ups and things to do in London this November

By Things To Do Editors, Alexandra Sims and Angela Hui |
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Andrea Heribanova/ Flickr

November in London is brimming with fun and sparkles. The evenings may be longer and the days a whole lot chillier, but don’t stay at home. November in London is packed with plenty of ace events and things to do. Get snug at the city's cosy seasonal pop-ups, see out the beginning of winter in some of the capital's best pubs and fill your eyes with dazzling firework displays at the city's best Bonfire Night celebrations. November in London is also the month of the London Jazz Festival, The Lord Mayor’s ShowHyde Park's Winter Wonderland, South Bank Wintertime, Hogwarts in the Snow and Christmas at Kew. November is the month when the Christmas lights start to glow, ice rinks begin appearing and festive markets are popping up. Here's our pick of the best events, cultural happenings and things to do taking place in London this November 2019. 

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

 

Our November 2019 highlights

Things to do

Christmas lights in London

November is the month when London gets transformed into the sparkliest, blingiest, most festive place on earth with the switching on of Christmas lights all over town. There's nothing like the sparkle of London Christmas lights to give the city an instant festive makeover. 

Photograph: Nina Bailey
Things to do, Walks and tours

Syon Park’s Enchanted Woodland

icon-location-pin Syon House and Park, Brentford
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Each year, Syon Park’s Enchanted Woodland transforms the 600-year-old gardens with a light display, completely illuminating the Great Conservatory. It’s almost always a sell-out, so book in advance. 

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<p>Christmas at Kew</p>
Photograph: Christmas at Kew
Things to do, Walks and tours

Christmas at Kew Gardens

icon-location-pin Kew Gardens, Kew
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Christmas at Kew sees the whole place get seriously lit. Feast your eyes on more than a million sparkling pea-lights, thousands of laser5 beams in the iconic Temperate House and a brand-new waterfall of lights falling from tree canopies flooded with festive colour. 

Photograph: Eccleston Yards
Things to do, Exhibitions

Wave at Eccleston Yards

icon-location-pin Eccleston Yards, Victoria
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Eccleston Yards is putting its own spin on Christmas lights with an installation of 500 individual orbs suspended in the space for you to get lost in. Design by artist collective Squidsoup,  you might recognise the installation from Four Tet’s recent live shows at Ally Pally. 

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Skate at Somerset House, ice rink
© Life After Print Ltd.
Things to do, Ice skating

Ice skating in London

Get gliding on London’s ice rinks which are popping up across the capital in the lead up to Christmas. Here’s a round-up of the best. 

The Winter Forest
Things to do, Event spaces

The Winter Forest

icon-location-pin Broadgate Circle, Broadgate
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Chill out in wood cabins in a thicket of 300 snow-covered trees filled with twinkling lights at this Christmas pop-up. You’ll find live music, an Everyman Cinema and a mighty lineup of food there, too. 

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Photograph: Manuel Harlan
Theatre, Drama

‘The Antipodes’

icon-location-pin National Theatre, South Bank
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Eight people are trapped in an endless pitching meeting in the latest from Annie Baker. It’ll make your Monday morning stand-up look even duller than usual.

Time Out says
Antony Gormley 'LOST HORIZON I' (2008) Photograph by Stephen White, London © the artist
Art

Antony Gormley

icon-location-pin Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair
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This major new exhibition of Antony Gormley sculptures should provide a neat overview of his career to date, showing how his best-known and most-recent works developed out of his earlier practice.

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Photograph: Darjeeling Express
Things to do, Food and drink events

Resy: The Women of Food Dinner Series

icon-location-pin Various London locations, London
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Celebrate and champion women in food. Join online restaurant reservation service Resy and tuck into delicious food cooked by some of London’s most critically acclaimed female chefs including Margot Henderson, Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison.

United Visual Artists Installation view of Vanishing Point at Towner Art Gallery, 2013-14
Art, Contemporary art

United Visual Artists: ‘Other Spaces’

icon-location-pin 180 The Strand, Strand
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From the same team that brought you ‘Momentum’ in Barbican’s Curve gallery. Now the group brings three large-scale immersive works of art involving lasers, soundscapes and kinetic sculptures to the cavernous spaces of 180 the Strand.

Time Out says
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Courtesy the artist & Zabludowicz Collection. Photo: Tim Bowditch
Art

Shana Moulton

icon-location-pin Zabludowicz Collection, Kentish Town
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Lush, immersive video art about anxiety and wellness. This is almost uncomfortably relatable art and a little bit of critical distance from all that everyday bullshit. 

Time Out says
Mark Bradford 'Gatekeeper' (2019) © Mark Bradford. Image courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Joshua White
Art

Mark Bradford: ‘Cerberus’

icon-location-pin Hauser & Wirth, Mayfair
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Cerberus is the name of the multi-headed dog guarding the door to Hades, so it’s no surprise that this exhibition by Mark Bradford looks at gateways, meeting points and boundaries.

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Things to do, Markets and fairs

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

icon-location-pin Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park
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The Grinch would have a real job stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park's huge tribute to festive fun. The annual favourite is back for its thirteenth year with fairground rides, a child-friendly Santa Land and quaint Christmas markets. 

Things to do, Festivals

Southbank Centre Winter Festival

icon-location-pin Southbank Centre, South Bank
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The Southbank Centre is celebrating the coldest season with a fistful of fun pop-ups and activities. The annual Winter Market will be back with mulled wine and seasonal treats, plus kid-friendly theatre show and just-for-adults comedy. 

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The Watsons. Menier Chocolate Factory
© Manuel Harlan
Theatre, Drama

‘The Watsons’

icon-location-pin Harold Pinter Theatre, Leicester Square
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Laura Wade’s subversive staging of a Jane Austen novel. It’s a very funny, very clever takedown of period dramas.

Time Out says
Things to do, Walks and tours

Christmas at Kew Gardens

icon-location-pin Kew Gardens, Kew
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See the botanical garden’s iconic buildings and plants all lit up by a mile-long, twinkling trail. This year there’ll be a shower of silvery vines at the Treetop Walkway while down below you'll be able to spy illuminations of mythical fairy creatures. 

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© Olafur Eliasson. Photo: Jens Ziehe. Boros Collection, Berlin, Germany.
Art

Olafur Eliasson

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, Bankside
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In 2003, visitors to Tate Modern went mad for Olafur Eliasson's Turbine Hall installation. The artist is now back at the same galley with a big exhibition and an outside artwork. He's even taking over the Terrace Bar, turning it into a vegetarian canteen. 

Shopping, Markets and fairs

Christmas markets and fairs

Looking for gift inspiration? Look no further than London's Christmas markets and fairs, which start to pop up all over town from mid-November. Among a raft of special festive events you'll find foodie gifts, hand-crafted pressies and usually a bit of glühwein to help you get into that merry spirit.

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Elizabeth Peyton 'Portrait at Opera'. © the artist. Image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery
Art

Elizabeth Peyton: ‘Aire and Angels’ 

icon-location-pin National Portrait Gallery, Charing Cross Road
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Kurt Cobain, Napoleon, Queen Elizabeth II and many others feature in the artworks of Elizabeth Peyton. The artist now gets a solo show at the National Portrait Gallery, where her simple, disquieting works will also be displayed alongside historic paintings from the gallery’s own collection. 

Time Out says
Mark Leckey 'Made in ‘Eaven' (2004) Tate © Mark Leckey
Art

Mark Leckey

icon-location-pin Tate Britain, Millbank
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New art from Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey. We know a sum total of zilch about this latest work, but his previous output has been about everything from dance subcultures to semi-invented memories.

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Theatre, Drama

‘Ian McKellen On Stage’

icon-location-pin Harold Pinter Theatre, Leicester Square
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Sir Ian’s autobiographical solo show. Go because you want to spend a larky evening with a LIVING LEGEND. This is no retirement party – rather, a celebration of Ian McKellen making it to 80 with his health, memory, acting prowess and joy thoroughly intact.

Time Out says
Things to do, Ice skating

Skate at Somerset House

icon-location-pin Somerset House, Aldwych
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Somerset House's grand eighteenth-century courtyard is the perfect setting for a 900-square-metre outdoor ice rink. It's a great way to spend the day no matter how impressive your skating skills are. 

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Es Devlin 'Memory Palace' (2019) Installation view. Photo: Peter Mallet
Museums

‘Es Devlin: Memory Palace’

icon-location-pin Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, Ealing
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Travel through time and across the globe with this immersive installation by the massively talented Es Devlin. Measuring 18 metres across, the mirrored sculpture celebrates key historical moments when human perception shifted track. 

Albert Oehlen, Sachen aus Glas, 2002, Acrylic paint and oil on canvas, 209.5 x 301.5cm, Photo: Archive Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin | Paris © Albert Oehlen
Art, Contemporary art

Albert Oehlen

icon-location-pin Serpentine Gallery, Hyde Park
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See huge-scale paintings from the giants of modern German art. The gang will all be here including the likes of Georg Baselitz, Sigmar Pole and Gerhard Richter.

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Things to do, Ice skating

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

icon-location-pin Natural History Museum, South Kensington
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Arguably London’s most enchanting ice rink, thanks to the beautiful backdrop of Alfred Waterhouse's buildings, a row of trees dripping in fairy lights and a majestic Christmas tree in the middle of the ice, this is a Christmas classic. 

Theatre, Drama

‘Fairview’

icon-location-pin Young Vic, Southwark
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See the UK premiere of US playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury’s metatheatrical race drama. 

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Unknown photographer ‘Slide on the Razor’, performance as part of the Haller Revue ‘Under and Over’, Berlin, (1923) Courtesy Feral House
Art

Into the Night: ‘Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art’

icon-location-pin Barbican Centre, Barbican
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This show looks at the classic combination of art and drinking by showcasing the cabarets and clubs frequented by artists in Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Ibadan and more.

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© Michael Wharley
Theatre, Interactive

‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

icon-location-pin Immersive Wolf of Wall Street, City of London
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Well, you have to admire the chutzpah: the creators of long-running immersive London hit ‘The Great Gatsby’ have followed up with an interactive adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s hit memoir. Exact details are opaque at present, but the show will take place in a four-storey building in central London that will house a recreation of various locations from the memoir.

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William Hogarth 'A Rake’s Progress, 3: The Orgy' (1734) © The Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum.
Art

Hogarth: ‘Place and Progress’

icon-location-pin Sir John Soane’s Museum, Holborn
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Master satirist William Hogarth’s serial works in London’s coolest house. See Hogarth’s style as it grows more expansive and how his paintings are full of beauty. 

Time Out says
Lázaro Abreu Padrón, 1969, OSPAAAL, The Mike Stanfield Collection. Image courtesy of the House of Illustration
Museums

‘Designed in Cuba: Cold War Graphics’

icon-location-pin House of Illustration, King’s Cross
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There’s savagery and savage humour in this remarkable show of 100 posters and 70 magazines produced between 1966 and 1992 by Cuba’s state-run OSPAAAL, the snappily named ‘Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America’. For such a dry-sounding outfit it's house style was pretty far out. For fans of graphic design this is a must-see. 

Time Out says
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On Bear Ridge,
Photograph: Mark Douet
Theatre, Drama

‘On Bear Ridge’

icon-location-pin Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square
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Rhys Ifans stars in a drama about people trying to make do after the apocalypse. Go check out Rhys Ifans’s chopper.

Time Out says
Paul Gauguin 'Self-Portrait Dedicated to Carrière' (1888 or 1889). Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon (1985.64.20) Image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Art

Gauguin Portraits

icon-location-pin National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
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The art of Paul Gauguin isn't exactly unknown (to say the least), yet there's never been an exhibition exclusively of his portraiture - until now. 

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Lucian Freud 'Reflection (Self-portrait)' (1985) © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images.
Art

Lucian Freud: ‘The Self-portraits’

icon-location-pin Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair
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Lucian Freud isn't especially known for his self-portraits, but it turns out he did quite a few of them - enough to fill an exhibition, anyhow. 

Things to do, Walks and tours

Hogwarts in the Snow

icon-location-pin Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, Hertfordshire
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The Harry Potter studio tours get a festive makeover. See the Great Hall dressed for the Yule Ball with dripping icicles and Christmas trees and the Hogwarts castle model covered in a layer of glistening snow. Personalised knitted jumpers optional.  

Time Out says
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Bridget Riley 'Blaze 1' National Galleries of Scotland. Long loan in 2017. © Bridget Riley (2016) All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of Karsten Schubert, London.
Art

Bridget Riley

icon-location-pin Hayward Gallery, South Bank
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Bridget Riley, Queen of Optical Art, gets a big solo show at the Hayward Gallery this autumn and it’s filled with the British artist's famous perception-altering works from across seven decades of mind-twisting paintings.

Supersonic by Roy Nockolds © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Museums, Art and design

‘The Art of Innovation: From Enlightenment to Dark Matter’

icon-location-pin Science Museum, South Kensington
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Ever wondered what the relationship between David Hockney and a particle accelerator is? Or Constable and molecular biology? Well wonder no more, because this ambitious show at the Science Museum is going to explore the dialogue between science and art over the past few centuries. 

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William Blake 'Newton' (1795 – c.1805) © Tate
Art

William Blake: ‘The Artist’

icon-location-pin Tate Britain, Millbank
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Finally, a major retrospective of Blake's idiosyncratic artworks. The man who wrote 'The Tyger' truly was one of a kind and his art is filled with beauty, mystery and fear. See it whilst you can, at Tate Britain on the banks of Blake's 'charter'd Thames'. 

Philemon and Baucis, 1658, oil on panel transferred to panel, National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Art

‘Rembrandt's Light’

icon-location-pin Dulwich Picture Gallery, Dulwich
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In a year filled to the brim with Rembrandt events (it’s the 350th anniversary of the Dutch artist’s death), Dulwich Picture Gallery gets a slice of the pie with an exhibition spotlighting (ahem) how he revolutionised the painting of light. Highlights (sorry) include ’Philemon and Baucis’ - on show in the UK for the first time.  

Time Out says
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Nam June Paik 'TV Garden' 1974-7 (2002). Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Düsseldorf, Germany) © Estate of Nam June Paik
Art

Nam June Paik: ‘The Future is Now’

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, Bankside
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Artist Nam June Paik has long been predicting how technology would soon be influencing our lives. This Tate show brings together works made across five-decades by the artist credited with inventing video art.

Theatre, Experimental

‘[Blank]’

icon-location-pin Donmar Warehouse, Seven Dials
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Rising star Alice Birch’s mesmerising experimental play about female pain. It’s astonishing writing, uncompromisingly assembled. 

Time Out says
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Photograph: Moving to Mars
Museums

‘Moving to Mars’

icon-location-pin Design Museum, Kensington
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Get with the space-age programme at London's Design Museum which is showcasing inventions connected to every stage of the most ambitious version of Relocation, Relocation, Relocation ever staged.

Filippo Albacini (1777-1858), The Wounded Achilles, 1825, marble, Chatsworth House Photograph © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees
Museums, History

‘Troy: Myth and Reality’

icon-location-pin British Museum, Bloomsbury
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Don’t miss this seriously exciting show, which will be full of art, objects and beautiful things from ancient Greece.

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© Tim Walker
Museums

Tim Walker: ‘Wonderful Things’

icon-location-pin V&A, South Kensington
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Images of fashion, sex and all sorts. This is fashion photography at its glitziest, sexiest best.

Time Out says
© The Clash archive
Museums, Music

‘The Clash: London Calling’

icon-location-pin Museum of London, Barbican
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Sharif might not like it, but it’s good news for London music fans: the Museum of London is putting together a free exhibition dedicated to our city’s greatest punk band, The Clash. ‘What about The Sex Pistols?’ you ask. No, it’s The Clash, obviously, and this show looks like could be seriously good. 

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Evelyn De Morgan 'Night and Day'. Image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery
Art

‘Pre-Raphaelite Sisters’

icon-location-pin National Portrait Gallery, Charing Cross Road
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Expect flying dragons, bawling cherubs, free-floating monkeys and iridescent fabric in this show that depicts beautiful tales in this forgotten history.

Time Out says
'Mary Poppins' returns to the West End in 2019
© Seamus Ryan
Theatre, Musicals

‘Mary Poppins’

icon-location-pin Prince Edward Theatre, Soho
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Brolly-clutching supernanny Mary Poppins is floating back into the West End, with the return of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's musical after an international tour, and capitalising on the recent success of the film sequel. 

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Folding book containing a sermon on the Abhidhamma in Shan language, Mueang Lakorn, Thailand, dated 1917
Photograph: British Library Board
Museums

‘Buddhism’

icon-location-pin British Library, Euston
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A history of one of the world’s big religions. Across eye-popping panels, learn about the Buddha’s journeys and teachings, about life and rebirth, compassion and suffering. 

Time Out says
© Tate photography (Matt Greenwood)
Art, Contemporary art

‘Kara Walker: Fons Americanus’

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, Bankside
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But American artist Kara Walker’s Turbine Hall commission is a bubbling fountain representing a vicious, angry, fearsome attack on the British Empire. 

Time Out says
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© Duffy Archive
Museums

‘Cars’

icon-location-pin V&A, South Kensington
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As we approach the era of driverless cars, the V&A has a major exhibition looking at how automobiles have drastically impacted on the modern world.

Photograph: Laboratoriorosso
Museums

Tutankhamun: ‘Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh’

icon-location-pin Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea
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The stunning ancient treasures of the boy king. tut at the price, sure, but this is your last chance to see these objects before they go home forever. 

Time Out says