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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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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 2020. 

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

 

Our November 2020 highlights

Frozen Broadway
Frozen Broadway
© Deen van Meer

Frozen

Theatre Musicals Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Covent Garden

Michael Grandage’s musical adaptation of Disney’s ‘Frozen’, aka the most successful animated film of all time, is surely set to be the biggest show of the year. Grandage’s lavish take has been running on Broadway for a while now, and the general feeling is that while it doesn’t do anything to reinvent the wheel, it absolutely does enough to transport fans of the film back to their beloved Arendelle. 

Marina Abramović ‘Artist Portrait with a Candle (C)’, from the series 'Places of Power' (2013) Brazil. Image courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives © Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović: ‘After Life’

Art Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair

Everyone’s favourite performance artist, Marina Abramovć, will return to London with a major exhibition at the Royal Academy spanning her iconic career. More than 50 works are going to be on display, including some brand new ones, including the one everyone’s talking about, ‘Imponderabilia’. 

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Pretty Woman: The Musical, Broadway
Pretty Woman: The Musical, Broadway
© Matthew Murphy

‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’

Theatre Musicals Piccadilly Theatre, Soho

Every hit romcom is destined to become a musical, and the inevitable has now happened. Bryan Adams (yes, that Bryan Adams) and Jim Vallance’s take on Julia Roberts’s breakthrough hit received mixed reviews when it premiered on Broadway last year, but it lasted for a respectable enough year. 

Canaletto 'Regatta on the Grand Canal'. From the Woburn Abbey Collection

Woburn Treasures

Art The Queen's House, Greenwich

While Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire gets a spruce-up, the art collection of the Duke and Duchess of Bedfordshire relocates to The Queen's House in Greenwich. The free exhibition will show artworks by Van Dyck, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Poussin, Canaletto and more. 

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Jean Dubuffet 'Paysage aux argus (Landscape with Argus)' (1955) © Fondation Dubuffet, Paris / DACS, London, 2019. Image courtesy of Fondation Dubuffet, Paris

Jean Dubuffet

Art Painting Barbican Centre, Barbican

Sure, it's nice to order off the menu, but sometimes you just want to go for Dubuffet... And there'll be plenty to feast your eyes on in this ambitious retrospective of the radical French artist's painting.

Christmas lights in London

Things to do

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. 

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Christmas markets and fairs

Shopping 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.

Skate at Somerset House, ice rink
Skate at Somerset House, ice rink
© Life After Print Ltd.

Ice skating in London

Things to do Ice skating

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. 

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‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’

Theatre Drama Bridge Theatre, Tower Bridge

See The Bridge transformed into a 1930s dancehall for this new stage adaption of the classic novel that follows a Great Depression-era dance competition, as a series of couples compete for $1,000 in a draining feat of endurance dancing. Seating in the pit will let audience members enter a ballot to join the dancing on the floor.

Auguste Rodin 'Study for The Thinker' (1881) Musée Rodin, S.01168

Rodin

Art Tate Modern, Bankside

This major exhibition at Tate Modern emphasizes just how radical Rodin was. In a sort-of ‘behind the scenes’ approach, the show draws attention to the artist’s use of clay and plaster in producing his best-known marble and bronze creations. 

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'The Drifters Girl' comes to Garrick Theatre in October 2020
'The Drifters Girl' comes to Garrick Theatre in October 2020
Photograph: Mark Allan

‘The Drifters Girl’

Theatre Musicals Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Road

Soul-singing legend Beverley Knight is back in the West End and she's found an unlikely vehicle for her talents; a new musical about all-male singing group The Drifters. ‘The Drifters Girl’ centres on the woman behind the band, Faye Treadwell, who was the first African-American female manager and who helped propel the group to stardom over three decades. 

Tracey Emin 'It - didnt stop - I didnt stop' (2019) © HV-studio Courtesy the Artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels

Tracey Emin/Edvard Munch

Art Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair

Emin – perhaps unsurprisingly – is a long-term fan of the Norweigan Expressionist. In 1988, she created a film work titled ‘For Edvard Munch and All My Dead Children’. Emin’s recent artworks have been pretty much brilliant across the board, and this exhibition will show how Munch has long been an inspiration to her. 

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Imelda Staunton
Imelda Staunton
Photograph: Courtesy of Storyhouse PR

‘Hello Dolly’

Theatre Musicals Adelphi Theatre, Strand

Director Dominic Cooke's and the steller Imelda Staunton's are reuniting after ‘Follies’ for a crack at another classic musical, which hasn’t had a London revival in over a decade. It's got music and lyrics by Jerry Herman (‘La Cage aux Folles’) including the wonderful title number, plus 'Put on Your Sunday Clothes' and 'Before the Parade Passes By'. 

JMW Turner 'Rain, Steam and Speed - the Great Western Railway' exhibited 1844 The National Gallery, London © The National Gallery, London

Turner’s Modern World

Art Tate Britain, Millbank

J.M.W. Turner is now one of the most famous and well-established painters to have ever come out of Britain, which can make it hard to appreciate just what a radical he was during his lifetime. Turner was fascinated by the new inventions of the Industrial Revolution, as captured in the glorious ‘Rail, Steam and Speed’. You can see it irl in this show!! Which basically justifies the price of an entry ticket on its own. 

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Maria Bartuszová 'Untitled' (1985) Tate © Estate of Maria Bartuszova

Maria Bartuszová

Art Tate Modern, Bankside

Maria Baruszová was a Slovakian artist who lived and worked in Košice. This major retrospective concentrates on her output from 1960s onwards, when she first started making plaster sculptures by pouring the liquid into rubber balloons.

Find out what's happening in December
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