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September
Photograph: Time Out

London events in September

The best events, exhibitions and all-round great things to do in London in September 2021

Written by
Katie McCabe
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The arrival of September does not mean summer is over. Sure, the leaves might be turning crunchy and the kids are going back to school, but after the year we’ve had, we deserve a little extension. Treat these four weeks like they are the last days of your summer holiday – spend your Saturdays in a lido, your Sundays in a beer garden, or lose entire weekends at the last music festivals of the season. 

From art exhibitions to theatre shows to new openings, we’ve got you covered with the best events and things to do in September in London 2021.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar.

 

Our September 2021 highlights

  • Art
  • Contemporary art
  • South Bank

The Hayward Gallery has pulled together some of the best names in contemporary painting for this survey show, and plenty of them would be worth the price of admission on their own, but all together? Bargain. There are 31 artists in total, with big names like Peter Doig, Lubaina Himid and Rose Wylie. Leave some extra time for the smoky, noir-ish nudes of Lisa Brice.

When is it? Sep 9-Dec 12. Where is it? Hayward Gallery. Find out more here

  • Things to do
  • Sport events

Does the mere thought of moving your body to electro in a throng of people have you reaching for your mask? There is a more relaxing way to re-enter the club life. At this Rogue Room session, you can set your sun salutations to high-octane dance music with a vinyasa yoga class held inside Fabric nightclub. 

When is it? Sep 24. Where is it? Fabric. Book your tickets here

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  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Covent Garden

It didn't happen in 2020 for obvious reasons, but it could still be the biggest show of 2021, all being well: finally it’s time for Michael Grandage’s musical adaptation of Disney’s ‘Frozen’, aka the most successful animated film of all time. Grandage’s lavish take has already been and gone on Broadway, 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 and the complicated relationship between sisters Elsa and Anna (the former being possessed of powers over ice and snow, lest we forget). As with the film, the songs are by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and yes, that does include that song, with remarkable restraint only included once.

When is it? Aug 27-Apr 3 2022. Where is it? Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Book your tickets here

  • Nightlife
  • Nightlife

After 18 months in hibernation, London’s mammoth dance music venue Printworks is back. It recently revealed a hot new programme of 35 shows for its reopening season, with some genuinely varied line-ups of DJs and live acts. It runs from September 17 to January 1 2022, so there should hopefully be enough there to sort your weekends out for a bit. If you’ve never heard of Printworks, try to imagine a colossal printing plant: super industrial, super spacious. Now fill it with some top-quality audio-visual production, hyped-up crowds and some seriously sought-after artists. Sounds-wise, it really depends on the night, but it’s guaranteed to be a Big One. 

When is it? Sep 17-Jan 1 2022. Where is it? Surrey Quays Rd, SE16 7PJ. Find out more here

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

The world’s first tequila taproom is coming to London where, instead of racking up shots, they’ll be serving up refreshing, sippable cocktails. The Jose Cuervo Tequila Taproom will open in Shoreditch this September for one weekend only. On the menu will be a selection of classic tequila-based drinks, from margaritas (Marg My Words) to Palomas (Playa del Paloma). 

When is it? Sep 10-12. Where is it? 46 Great Eastern St, EC2A 3EP. Find out more here

 

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Strand

This all-singing version of Robert Zemeckis ’80s time-travelling classic had a long road to the West End but finally it looks like the future is here. In terms of the plot, well, you all know what ‘Back to the Future’ is: ’80s high-schooler Marty McFly travels back to the 1950s in Doc Brown’s time-travelling DeLorean and gets up to sundry delightful time-travelling antics including almost having it off with his own mum. Roger Bart and Olly Dobson will play Doc Brown and Marty, alongside Hugh Coles as George McFly and Rosanna Hyland as Lorraine Baines.

When is it? Until Feb 13. Where is it? Adelphi Theatre. Find out more here

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  • Theatre
  • Theatre & Performance

The Greenwich + Docklands International Festival is returning for a bumper end-of-summer edition with big, bold, mostly free outdoor events. The full line-up has just been announced and it’s pretty damn spectacular. Most audacious is surely ‘Borealis’, Swiss artist Dan Acher’s recreation of the Northern Lights over Greenwich and Woolwich – we’re not exactly sure how he does this but it involves lasers and stuff and sounds amazing: it’ll run from 8.30pm to 10pm in the skies above Greenwich August 7 to September 5, and then Woolwich September 9 to 11.

When is it? Until Sept 11. Where is it? Various events across Greenwich, the City of London, Canary Wharf, Thamesmead and the Royal Docks. 

Find more outdoor theatre in London this summer.

Frankenthaler was one of America’s most important mid-century painters, a genre-defining Abstract Expressionist whose big canvases stand shoulder to shoulder with any of the men of the movement. This show focuses on her woodcuts, which are lovely, quiet but still somehow radical things.

When is it? Sep 15-April 22 2022. Where is it? Dulwich Picture Gallery. Book your tickets here.

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Just like they insisted on calling it ‘Euro 2020’ despite the competition taking place in 2021, the Royal Academy’s big annual open-call art show is back, and is still called the Summer Exhibition despite taking place in what can only possibly be described as the autumn. Get ready for big crowds, red dots and lots of people saying ‘“Summer exhibition”? More like AUTUMN exhibition, right?’ Great stuff.

When is it? September 22-Jan 2 2022. Where is it? Royal Academy of Arts. Book your tickets here

  • Art
  • Art

Created by London-based sound artist and electronic musician Yuri Suzuki, ‘Sonic Bloom’ is an installation that resembles a huge distortion of twisting trumpet shapes, resulting in one wacky, wonky, colourful contortion slap bang in swanky Mayfair. And it’s not just a pretty face. The sculpture actually absorbs sounds from the street and amplifies them, allowing passers-by to hear everything that is usually drowned out by the hustle and bustle of London, such as birdsong and rustling leaves. You can also record your voice into the horns – you never know who will be on the other side, though, so try and keep it PC.

When is it? Until Aug 2022. Where is it? Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair. Find out more here

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Prepare to shack up with one of London’s best fishmongers, Fin and Flounder, as it launches a custom-built modern seafood shack called Bar Flounder on September 3 at Netil Market, just round the corner from its HQ at Broadway Market. The menu will be fun, playful street-food dishes that celebrate the very best sustainable British seafood. 

When is it? Opens Sep 3. Where is it? Netil Market, Westgate St, E8 3RL. Find out more here

Find more seafood restaurants in London that are shrimply the best. 

A retrospective of the seriously experimental and never-anything-less-than-pretty-damn-radical American sculptor Noguchi, who was also one of the most influential furniture designers of the modern era. The iconic Noguchi table is still in production today, and would look really nice in your place if you could persuade your flatmates to never, ever put a kebab on it.

When is it? Sep 30-Jan 9 2022. Where is it? Barbican Art Gallery. Book your tickets here

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