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London events in September

The best cultural happenings, festivals and other great stuff in London over September 2017

Think that September is just the damp end of summer? Think again. It's still warm enough to enjoy some of outdoor London, pop-ups continue to provide food, booze and fun, and there are tons of great autumn events to enjoy.

There's also the month-long Totally Thames festival to dip into, and anyone desperate to get indoors should check the excellent Open House London weekend.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our September 2017 highlights

1

Nick Cave

Recommended

Grab this rare chance to see Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds perform classics 'Into My Arms' and 'The Ship Song' alongside newer tracks from latest project 'Skeleton Tree'. The gently mournful band haven't played London since 2014 and this will be their only date in the captial this year. It should be spine-tingling.

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30 Sep 2017
2

Haroon Mirza

Marking the ten-year anniversary of this Chalk Farm space, Mirza's commission will rework two of his previous pieces into a new installation that will reflect the architecture of what was once a Methodist chapel.

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Zabludowicz Collection , Chalk Farm Thursday September 28 2017 - Sunday December 17 2017
3

Rachel Whiteread

Twenty-three years down the line, it's easy to forget how Rachel Whiteread shocked audiences with her Turner Prize entry 'House': the concrete cast of the interior of a Victorian house in Mile End. But it won her the prize – she was the first woman to do so – and since then, Whiteread has risen to become one of the most influential figures of the art establishment. She'll always be chiefly for making casts of negative spaces, but her work stretches beyond that – this long-overdue retrospective should flesh out a highly accomplished career.

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Tate Britain , Westminster Tuesday September 12 2017 - Sunday February 4 2018
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4

Treasures of the Scythians

Please note the title of this exhibition is TBC. Quick history lesson: Scythia was a region in antiquity that covered parts of present-day Ukraine, southern Russia and Kazakhstan. It was also home to a great nomadic civilisation that produced a great number of pretty astounding artefacts, which have been amassed for this exhibition: rugs, furs, horse headgear and gold items. It promises to be a dazzling insight into one a lesser-known chapter of history.   

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British Museum , Bloomsbury Thursday September 14 2017 - Sunday January 14 2018
5

Matisse in the Studio

Not just an extraordinary painter, Henri Matisee was also an avid collector, who picked up all sorts of objects and artefacts during his travels to North Africa, Mali and the Far East. This exhibition will look at the influences these exotic acquisitions had on his art.

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Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Saturday August 5 2017 - Sunday November 12 2017
6

Ewan McLennan

Recommended

A clear and sturdy, vibrato-ripened burr is the distinguishing mark of this young Scottish folkie and former BBC Folk Awards 'Horizon Award' nominee. His debut album 'Rags and Robes' impressed folk circles in 2010, and was followed last year by 'The Last Bird to Sing', which boasted Martin Simpson, Karine Polwart and John McCusker as guest musicians and included a song about the Chilean miners.

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Green Note , Camden Town Sunday September 24 2017
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7

Queer British Art

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. This show charts the preceding century: a hundred years of queer artists either making deeply personal work (about lives led in necessary secrecy) or avowedly political statements. Duncan Grant, John Singer Sargent, Dora Carrington and David Hockney are among those on display. 

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Tate Britain , Westminster Until Sunday October 1 2017
8

The Beavertown Extravaganza

Over 65 of the world's greatest brewers (including London favourites) gather for The Beavertown Extravaganza - a two-day festival of beer, talks and tips. Merch, food and beer shop all available on-site too. Ticket includes all beers. 

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The Printworks , Rotherhithe Friday September 8 2017 - Saturday September 9 2017
9

Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?

The Wellcome will cast an eye over the relationship between graphic design and health in this autumn season show, which will count cautionary posters and neon pharmacy signs among its exhibits. 

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Wellcome Collection , Bloomsbury Thursday September 7 2017 - Sunday January 14 2018
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10

The Ferryman

Recommended

Everything about 'The Ferryman' screams big: debuting in the Court's main house, it's directed by Butterworth's James Bond collaborator Sam Mendes and co-produced by Sonia Friedman, and is already booked for a 16-week West End run immediately after its Court apperance. The plot focuses on an unexpected guest turning up to a rural family reunion in the '80s, and the performance will star Paddy Considine, Laura Donnelly and Genevieve O’Reilly.

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Gielgud Theatre , Soho Until Saturday October 7 2017
11

Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!

Wow: based on the title on this exhibition, it sounds like Grayson Perry's feeling mighty full of himself. Or is it meant with a touch of irony? The cross-dressing artist – and one of Britain's most unlikely national treasures – tends to be either denounced as a twee middlebrow populist, or a razor-sharp commentator on the foibles of our society. In any case, this major show of new works promises to look at the idea of the popular: how art can resonate with the average joe, and what it means in these uncertain post-Brexit times. 

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Serpentine Gallery , Knightsbridge Tuesday June 27 2017 - Thursday September 7 2017
12

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics

This exhibition will take a sweeping look at the history of opera, from its roots in Renaissance Italy to its present-day form. Conceptually arranged around seven different operatic premieres as case studies, works like Mozart's 'Le Nozze di Figaro', Handel's 'Rinaldo' and Wagner's 'Tannhäuser' will be explored in detail. One for fans and the unconverted alike. 

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V&A , Brompton Saturday September 30 2017 - Sunday February 25 2018
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13

Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!

Wow: based on the title on this exhibition, it sounds like Grayson Perry's feeling mighty full of himself. Or is it meant with a touch of irony? The cross-dressing artist – and one of Britain's most unlikely national treasures – tends to be either denounced as a twee middlebrow populist, or a razor-sharp commentator on the foibles of our society. In any case, this major show of new works promises to look at the idea of the popular: how art can resonate with the average joe, and what it means in these uncertain post-Brexit times. 

Read more
Serpentine Gallery , Knightsbridge Tuesday June 27 2017 - Thursday September 7 2017
14

Matisse in the Studio

Not just an extraordinary painter, Henri Matisee was also an avid collector, who picked up all sorts of objects and artefacts during his travels to North Africa, Mali and the Far East. This exhibition will look at the influences these exotic acquisitions had on his art.

Read more
Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Saturday August 5 2017 - Sunday November 12 2017
15

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

This story of six riotous teens from an all-girl Oban Catholic school letting loose during a trip to the Scottish capital is a fun and filthy torrent of songs, sex and swearing performed by a six-woman cast who each play their own distinct characters but who also walk us through a load more people they meet along the way, from dirty old men and slightly younger dirty old men, to their crotchety headmistress and various suspicious or sleazy club bouncers. 

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Duke of York’s Theatre , Covent Garden Until Saturday September 2 2017
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16

Basquiat: Boom for Real

The first question that everyone should be asking about the first major UK retrospective of Jean-Michel Basquiat is this: why the hell has it taken so long? The artist's career was short (he died, tragically, from a heroin overdose at 27), but shone all the brighter for it. Basquiat grew up in Brooklyn, and became a graffiti artist in his teenage years. Then, coming of age in the seismic New York art scene of the '80s, he was taken under the wing of Andy Warhol and shot to fame and fortune: a glittering superstar. His paintings are bright, wild, unique and hoovered up everything from anatomical textbooks to African art as influences. To see them assembled en masse is set to be a thrilling experience.   

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Barbican Centre , Barbican Saturday September 23 2017 - Sunday January 28 2018
17

Jasper Johns

Indisputable fact: there's no more important painter alive today than Jasper Johns. The 86-year-old artist's influence stretches so far and wide that it's practically immeasurable. He came of age in 1950s New York, in the fertile years between splashy Abstract Expressionism and ice-cool Pop, which was when he created his iconic piece 'Flag', which nodded to both movements. Iconoclastic and experimental, Johns moved the goalposts of painting.

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Royal Academy of Arts , Mayfair Friday September 29 2017 - Sunday December 10 2017
18

Open House London

The annual Open House London weekend gives Londoners the chance to explore behind the closed doors of some of the capital's biggest, most renowned and most secret venues for free. This is your chance to explore a bit of hidden London and have a poke around some of London's best buildings – but it's not just about being nosy, there are also loads of walks and tours to bring the buildings alive.

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By: Ellie Broughton
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Find out what's happening in October

Check out what's happening in October

London events in October

The return of crisp days and cold evenings mean we're on the verge of winter, but that's no excuse to hibernate.

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By: Time Out London Things To Do

Comments

3 comments
bigsands
bigsands

Everyone with a Smartphone or Phablet should bookmark Timeout. For Londoners, this is your one-stop shop for non-stop social interest and activities (Tongue-twister). My pick is the Open House opportunities.