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Spring preview 2018

Unmissable spring events in London

Find the absolute best things to do in London during spring 2020

By Things To Do Editors
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Spring in London is finally on its way. The days are getting warmer and lighter, people are starting to smile occasionally and Londoners are beginning to inch away from cosy pub fires and venture into the great outdoors. Plus, the city is coming to life with events and activities from March through to May 2020. 

Whether you’re after the latest art exhibitions, new theatre shows, the best gigs, restaurant openings or other great things to do in London, our spring round-up will keep your social calendar as fresh as a daisy. 

RECOMMENDED: Your ultimate London events calendar

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The best spring events in London

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Photograph: Moving Picture Hire Ltd Sir David Attenborough in Chernobyl

David Attenborough: ‘A Life on Our Planet’

Film Documentaries

Attenborough is done mollycoddling his audience with calming narrations on the lives of baby rhinos and the wandering albatross. His next big project is ‘A Life on Our Planet’, is not so much a documentary but a terrifying ‘witness statement’ about our collective failure to address climate change. Sir David will be introducing the film as part of a live Q&A with Michael Palin at the Royal Albert Hall for a very-much-sold-out screening. The good news is that the RAH event will be beamed into Picturehouse Cinemas across the city on the night. The bad news is… well, you’ll find out when you watch the film.
Various London cinemas. April 16. Prices vary.

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Photograph courtesy of MCM London Comic Con

MCM London Comic Con

Things to do Consumer shows and conventions ExCeL London, Royal Docks

A squeaking chorus of latex thighs will shuffle into the ExCel Centre this May as legions of cosplayers arrive for MCM London Comic Con. Special guests are still being confirmed, but the Comic Village, Side Quest gaming area, fan meets, tattoo stands and ‘Pop Asia’ section will be there as usual. You can put money on seeing every iteration of the Joker too (Nicholson, Leto, but mostly Phoenix). That’s enough spray-on green hair colour to fill a Claire’s Accessories.

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‘Joker’ screening ft live orchestra

News Film

As if Joaquin Phoenix’s turn as Arthur Fleck wasn’t dramatic enough, you can rewatch ‘Joker’ in Hammersmith while a live orchestra performs the film’s Bafta- and Oscar-winning cello score from Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir. Let’s hope they leave ‘Rock n Roll Part 2’ off the set list… Eventim Apollo. Hammersmith tube. April 30. From £44. Find out more here

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Nmon Ford, Orfeus: A House Opera, Young Vic
© Jose Zakany

‘Orfeus: A House Music Opera’

Theatre Musicals Young Vic, Southwark

Not many plays adapted from Ovid’s Metamorphoses come with a content warning of ‘strobe effects, bright lights, haze and heavy bass sounds’. But this is no ordinary production. Set in a dystopian future not far from our own, it follows ‘Orfeus’ as he tries to rescue the poet Euridice from his father Pluto, fascist leader of a corrupt empire. A blaring soundtrack of opera and house music will follow Orfeus as his journey unfolds. If all your nights at da clerb end up having the disastrous ending of a Greek myth, you’ll feel right at home.

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mikkeller bar
Andy Parsons

Mikkeller Brewpub at Exmouth Market

Shopping Markets and fairs Clerkenwell

Who would have guessed that, last year, Rick Astley would have a hand in bringing Denmark’s coolest brewer to London? More true to form, he’s now repeating on the success by helping bring Mikkeller Brewpub to Exmouth Market in May. This time, it’ll be brewing on site as well as serving up Copenhagen-style scran. Laura Richards
Mikkeller Brewpub at Exmouth Market. Opens spring 2020. Find out more here

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Sunday in the Park with George, Jake Gyllenhaal

‘Sunday in the Park with George’

Theatre Musicals Savoy Theatre, Strand

The Savoy Theatre presents Jake Gyllenhaal, an actor who it’s safe to say most of us have fancied at least a bit over the past two decades. The play concerns two artists named George: one a fictionalised version of Georges Seurat, deeply absorbed in painting his masterpiece; the other his cynical and troubled great-grandson, also called George. Double Gyllenhaal. The dream

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Photograph: Courtesy of Violet Bakery

Violet Corner (tbc)

Claire Ptak, the baker behind the royal wedding cake, will rise to the occasion and give the public what they want: a second, larger bakery, but this time with wine. Violet Corner (name TBC) will open on the intersection on Westgate Street and Mare Street. The new two-floor space will double up as an evening wine bar and day-time cafe. Let there be cake! Violet Corner. London Fields Overground. Opens spring 2020. Find out more here

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Photograph: Courtesy of Akoko

Akoko

Restaurants West African Fitzrovia

‘Masterchef Professional’ finalist William JM Chilila’s is bringing West African food to a wider Londoners audience with his debut restaurant opening, Akoko. One speciality to look forward to is the barbecued baby aubergine maafe, a staple peanut or groundnut stew that’s traditionally made with beef, sweet potato and carrots. The name means ‘the first’ or ‘time’ in Yoruba and we’re watching the clock until we can call up to book a table. 21 Berners St. Goodge St tube. Opens April 2020. Find out more here

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All Points East

Music Music festivals Victoria Park, Victoria Park

Take some iconic early pioneers of electronica, stick them in a park with dizzying 3D visuals and you have a recipe for a load of people old enough to know better asking each other ‘Can you feel it yet?’ Also: we can’t wait for Kraftwerk at All Points East.

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Lynette Yiadom-Boakye 'Elephant' (2014) © Lynette Yiadom -Boakye

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Art Tate Britain, Millbank

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s timeless portraits of fictional black figures have seen her work compared to artistic greats including Goya, John Singer-Sargent and Edouard Manet. This exhibition contains paintings from 2003 to now, and shows how Yiadom-Boakye has refined a unique style of figurative painting that pays homage to history, while also remaining instantly recognisable as her own. 

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Photograph: Stefania Curto

Hackney Moves

Move on up for the return of the UK’s largest outdoor fitness festival Hackney Moves. The fitness weekender might’ve got a shiny new name change, but don’t fret though, there’ll still be loads of races, free fun fitness activities and classes for all. Various areas in Dalston, Haggerston and Hackney Wick. May 15-17. Prices vary. Find out more here

Whatever you do, get outside in London this spring

A busy Greenwich Park on a summer's day.
© Alan Stanton

Outdoor London

Things to do

If you're gagging to explore the great outdoors, here's where to go to catch an open-air film, take a dip in a local lido or simply wander through one of London's many pretty parks.

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