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Katie McCabe

Katie McCabe

Katie McCabe is Time Out’s former London Events Editor.

Articles (46)

The 101 best things to do in London

The 101 best things to do in London

March 2022: Is it spring already? Pretty much! The capital is already looking a lot more flowery and fun. Leicester Square will soon be full of gamboling lambs and bunnies. This is perfect weather for strolls through art galleries, sunny parks and, if you’ve got your wooly hat, the odd beer garden too.  There’s a lot to do in London. An awful lot. You can fill your days and nights with visits to incredible art exhibitions, iconic attractions, secret spots, world-beating theatre and still barely feel like you’ve scratched the surface. This London bucket list (curated by our editors and always hotly debated in the Time Out office) is a good place to start. Our city checklist will help you hunt out what’s still happening in London – including some actual real-life events – from underground shows to something new at one of London’s landmarks. Go and get acquainted with this brilliant city.  Written by Laura Richards, Ellie Walker-Arnott, Lucy Lovell, Emma Hughes, Anya Meyerowitz, Stephanie Hartman, Grace Allen, Katie McCabe, Charley Ross and Alexandra Sims.  This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here. // //

The best places to see cherry blossom in London

The best places to see cherry blossom in London

The 2022 cherry blossom season is drawing closer, and people in London are gearing up for a colourful spectacle that this year not only signals warmer days are on the way – but that better days are coming, too! (Yes, we’re getting all of that from the sight of some pretty trees.)  Cherry blossom season in Japan is a major event, drawing visitors from around the globe to witness the petals in full bloom. Well, we can’t make it for this year’s sakura season. But London has plenty of bloomin’ marvellous places to see the flowers. You can find cherry blossom in some of London’s best parks or lining pretty suburban streets. From the candyfloss arches of Greenwich Park, to the Cherry Walk in Kew Gardens, London folk are spoilt for choice. Get your cameras at the ready and find out if one of these top places to see cherry blossom in London is conveniently on your doorstep. RECOMMENDED: The best places to see spring flowers in London

The most haunted places in London

The most haunted places in London

London is an objectively scary place. It’s often dark. We don’t make much eye contact with each other. Pints now cost more than six pounds. What’s even scarier is that there are plenty of buildings and places in the city totally crawling with history, gruesome stories and alleged ghost sightings: Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London are among the most well-known, but there are tons more. Prepare thyself for our definitive list of spooky spots in the capital, from haunted inns and pubs to weird stretches of woodland, crumbling cemetery catacombs and London’s exceptionally creepy museums.  RECOMMENDED: Our guide to Halloween in London.

London events in September

London events in September

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.  

August events in London

August events in London

August in London is synonymous with one thing: Notting Hill Carnival. Earlier this year, we got the sad news that the event will not be taking place on the streets for 2021. But all is not lost, there are alternative plans afoot for a series of events called Carnival Culture in the Park. We may not be able to spill out onto the streets of Ladbroke Grove with a pocket full of Red Stripe, but all is not lost for August in London. For one thing, there’s been a summer festival roll over.  In normal circumstances (whatever that means, it’s been a minute) All Points East and Field Day happen in late May/early June, but this year both festivals will be sharing the muddy grass of Victoria Park over the August Bank Holiday weekend (Field Day, which is on Sunday August 29, is sold out, but there are still tickets going for APE). And those aren’t the only big hitters for the Bank Holiday: brand new festival Yam Carnival will be taking over Clapham Common on the Saturday, with Davido and Kehlani headlining.     Not up for a major music festival just yet? Not a problem. Throw on a facemask and go and see some art. August is typically a dead month for art exhibitions in London, but a lot of great new shows launched in July, including an enormous Paula Rego retrospective at Tate Britain, so consider this month your chance to catch up. If it’s theatre you’re after, make your way south for the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, where artist Dan Acher will be recreating the Northern

Open House London: our highlights

Open House London: our highlights

The annual Open House festival gives curious Londoners the chance to pull out their best Loyd Grossman impression and venture behind the closed doors of some of the capital’s biggest, most renowned and most secretive addresses for free. Normally, it takes place over a single weekend and involves some very long queues, but this year, the organisers are stretching it out for a full nine days. That’s a whole lot of potential snooping.  What is Open House London?A huged festival dedicated to making architecture accessible to all. This year it’s split into three themes: ‘Local London’, ‘Global London’ and ‘Architecture and Wellbeing’. The festival allows access to private homes, government landmarks and historic sites that are normally closed to the public and just waiting to be explored. Some of the buildings offer free half-hourly tours, others simply open to walk-in visitors. It’s the largest event of its kind in the world and features walks, talks and tours as well as the chance to nose around intriguing London spaces you’d never usually get to enter. When is Open House London?The 2021 addition will take place over nine days, from September 4 and Sunday 12.Where is Open House London?More than 800 buildings across 30 London boroughs will be taking part. It’s a vast sprawl, so you’ll need to dedicate some time to planning what you’d like to see. If you want to visit multiple locations, check on the Open House website in advance for details. Open House is extremely popular, so u

The best online escape rooms to try from home

The best online escape rooms to try from home

Online escape rooms take place entirely through your screen, and even though it’s a novel concept dreamt up during the Covid-19 lockdown, there are already many variations of the genre. Some blend the code-cracking with a bit of interactive theatre using Zoom, others use a digital version of an escape room that can be played through an avatar. London escape rooms have now reopened, but unlike the virtual Zoom quiz boom, these online replacements seem to have stuck. Want to assemble a team and try one for yourself? Here are four online games that have proved themselves to be more than a lockdown fad. Want some more ideas for hosting a virtual fun night? Get friends and family living at distance together by playing some of our best online party games, testing your knowledge with online trivia games or getting messy with drinking games you can play over a screen.

London events in July

London events in July

July is almost here and we’re ready to soak up everything London has to offer, which will hopefully include endless sunrays, because we’re in need of some sweet, sweet vitamin D. Make the most of the hot weather with a splash in one of the city’s lidos, a meal outdoors or book in for a cocktail in one of London’s best rooftops bars.  Most of the big London music festivals have been moved to August, but there’s still an awful lot going on, including major exhibition openings, outdoor art shows and the arrival of the big purple Spiegeltent tent in Cavendish Square for Underbelly Festival. Here’s our guide to the best exhibitions, shows and things do this July 2021 in London.  RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

London’s best pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farms

London’s best pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farms

Sick of supermarket plastic? Go straight to the root with a day of fruit and vegetable picking on these farms in and around London. For obvious lockdown reasons, the pick-your-own season has had a slow start, but many farms have now reopened to visitors, with some restrictions in place to allow for social distancing.  Whether you want to pluck summer-ripe berries, leafy greens and root veg or gather autumnal apples, pumpkins and squashes, these farms all have acres of PYO fields to keep you busy. Not only does a sunny day of fruit picking make a glorious, cobweb-blasting day trip from London, it's also a brilliant way to bump up your green credentials by picking up groceries without all the shrinkwrap and it’ll keep the kids entertained (few a for hours anyway).  REMEMBER: Farms may close when overcrowded in order to adhere to social-distancing rules, so make sure you call ahead when planning your visit. Toilets may not be operational. Check the farm’s website beforehand to find out what produce is available, as crop seasons change from year to year. And no eating while you pick, keep all your juicy finds in their punnets for weighing up. RECOMMENDED: Outdoor London

Book now: everything you need to know for summer 2021 in London

Book now: everything you need to know for summer 2021 in London

If you feel like all your friends have gone into a booking frenzy right now, you’re not alone. Since the news that London is beginning to open up out of its bleak, bleak lockdown and into a new world of picnics, pubs and possibility, it seems like everyone in the city is logging on to Doodle at the same time, ready to plan their first trip back to Rowan’s.  But don’t be fooled into booking some mediocre event just because all your mates are going. You aren’t a sheep, are you? You’re a glossy sheepdog, and a very handsome one at that. Instead, come here to us, Time Out. We’re your wisest, oldest friends and we’re here to guide you towards the best that London’s got going on over the next few months. And we’re starting with this list of all the good summer stuff you can book already.

8 non-naff ways to celebrate Father’s Day in London

8 non-naff ways to celebrate Father’s Day in London

A large chunk of this year was spent hiding under a hypothetical rock that robbed us of all sense of time, so it’s understandable if you forgot Father’s Day is on its way (this year it’s Sunday June 20). But we just reminded you. So don’t forget. With most international holidays still off the cards, it’s going to be a tough date for anyone who doesn’t happen to live in easy travelling distance of their family members. If you are fortunate enough to live in the same city as your parent, we’ve gathered some decent and not at all naff ways to spend the day together. If not, we’ve included some online-only ideas to help you catch up remotely.  Still not found what you’re after? Try our guide to London’s unusual things to do. RECOMMENDED: Our full guide to celebrating Father’s Day in London.

‘Wolves are nothing like dogs’: Matthew Barney on the lessons of his epic art film ‘Redoubt’

‘Wolves are nothing like dogs’: Matthew Barney on the lessons of his epic art film ‘Redoubt’

Matthew Barney’s first UK show in ten years is an ambitious exploration of the Idaho landscape told through etchings and huge tree sculptures. But its core piece is a work you can take home via Mubi link: Barney’s wordless two-and-a-half-hour feature film about wolf hunters, set in the Sawtooth Mountains. Here the artist explains the ideas behind his conceptual American art western, and tells us why wolves are ‘nothing like dogs’. Hi Matthew. How has lockdown been for you?‘I work with a team of people, and have for some time. The filmmaking and sculpture demand that, and a number of the people I work with have been a part of the team for many years, so there’s a trust and shared knowledge that we have developed. The pandemic certainly changed the pace with which we could work at the studio, but we managed to reopen quite early in the process and have maintained productivity throughout. I think, in part, this is because we are so close as a team.’ Your latest exhibition involves a feature film, large-scale sculptures and etchings, what was the most difficult aspect of pulling it all together?‘Making a comprehensive exhibition with all of the elements of a larger project is always a challenge. Balancing the presence of the film with that of the sculpture is the trickiest part. The architecture of the Hayward Gallery provides an interesting frame for this show, with its bunker-like volumes and the slot windows that resemble turrets – it creates a meaningful conversation with t

Listings and reviews (42)

PSX A Decade of Live Art In The UK – 10 Hour Durational Performance

PSX A Decade of Live Art In The UK – 10 Hour Durational Performance

Performance art can mean a lot of different things to different people. It can mean a silent meeting with Marina Abramović, or a conversation with a dead hare. For this event, it means 10 hours worth of performances from nine different artists, each marking the tenth anniversary of a DIY artist-run initiative called ]performance space[. Even if you don’t last the full ten hour show, stick around for work by talented Nigerian-British artist Chinasa Vivian Ezugha, who uses her body as a canvas to explore politics, activism and mental health.

Gimme More – Back to Back Britney Spears

Gimme More – Back to Back Britney Spears

Are you a long-standing Britney stan? Or someone who has recently rediscovered her music? Either way, you don’t want to miss this club night at Colours Hoxton, where it’s ALL Britney ALL the time. That’s right, no other artists will be played, all you’ll hear is Spears through the ages: ‘Stronger’, ‘Overprotected’, ‘Toxic’, ‘Do Somethin’, even the underrated ‘Soda Pop’. It’s set to be an intimate club night, so booking tickets in advance is a must. Get ready for non-stop Britney, bitch. Find out more here. 

Paddington: The Story of a Bear

Paddington: The Story of a Bear

The ‘Paddington 2’ movie may have lost its ‘100 percent fresh’ streak on Rotten Tomatoes thanks to one bad review, but there’s still plenty of love for the bear. So much so, The British Library has decided to dedicate an entire exhibition to the furry guy. ’Paddington: The Story of a Bear’ will offer a broad view of Michael Bond’s creation, who was first introduced to the world by HarperCollins Children’s Books in 1958. Follow the polite little marmalade lover in all his different guises through a collection of original illustrations, books and film clips of original Paddington TV adaptations. It’s designed to be family-friendly, with workshops for schools and children (take a self ‘pawtrait’, follow the trail of marmalade, you get the idea). The exhibition will show how the Peruvian bear has evolved over the past 60 years, from sketchy handrawn illustrations to the recent CGI creation from director Paul King’s hit ‘Paddington’ movies. Find out more about the exhibition here. 

Paula Rego at Tate Britain review

Paula Rego at Tate Britain review

The Tate Britain exhibition of the renowned British-Portuguese artist is far from her first solo show, but it is the biggest of her 60-year career. A good retrospective should take you on a sort of ‘This is Your Life’ journey through an artist’s work, and that’s exactly what you have here, a huge show of more than 100 pieces, grouped into very different Rego epochs.  There's ‘Julieta’, for example; a carnival of a collage, so animated with cartoonish pinks and purples, it feels like a scrambled still from a Disney film. Get closer, and disembodied figures begin to appear: a ghost? A child? A dancing chimera? Maybe. At first, it feels like a joyful occasion, one composed from memory; could it be a local Portuguese festa? No such luck. ‘Julieta’ is about a technician who was electrocuted while working on an electricity pylon. His wife witnessed the death.  It’s not her most recognisable painting, but it’s typical of Rego, an artist who deals in brutal storytelling, using fairytales, nursery rhymes and folklore to carry each message through. Every image is an opera, and every story she tells is a drama.  An only child, Rego was born into Portugal’s dictatorship under António de Oliveira Salazar and was sent to finishing school in England by her anti-fascist family, who wanted her to grow up in a more liberal country. It’s how she ended up in the Slade School, where at just 19 she won the Summer Composition prize for ‘Under Milk Wood’, which transports Dylan Thomas’s fake Welsh v

The Woman Who Fell in Love with An Island

The Woman Who Fell in Love with An Island

I was never much of a Moomins fan as a kid. To me, they seemed tinged with melancholy. Those marshmallowy trolls were always getting lost in dark, entangled forests or trudging through rainstorms. But they were a true reflection of their creator, Tove Jansson, a Finnish artist who had absolute love and reverence for the natural world, even at its most unruly. Along with her partner, Tuulikki Pietilä, she spent her summers on a remote island, Klovharun, in the Finnish archipelago, living in a simple cottage with no electricity, creating art side-by-side. A new exhibition about Jansson attempts to draw parallels between this island life in Klovharun and the landscape of the Walthamstow Wetlands. It may seem like a reach, but somehow, it makes sense. A tiny exhibit of photographs of Jansson, taken by her brother, are mounted to the red brick walls of the Wetland’s Victorian engine house, along with some great video footage of Jansson walking through Klovharun mid-storm as her face is repeatedly smacked by the wind and rain. Like that ever-quotable Moomin wisdom, the exhibition pared down, simple, there’s nothing inessential here. It spills out into a family-friendly art trail of Moomin-character cut outs dotted through the Wetlands, but the best part is the one you can’t see: an audio download of Jansson’s lyrical essay, ‘The Island’, read by her niece and set to music by Scottish composer Erland Cooper. When you look out at the bird-swarmed islands on the Wetlands’ reservoir,

Ben Edge and the Museum of British Folklore: Ritual Britain

Ben Edge and the Museum of British Folklore: Ritual Britain

Are you a fan of ‘The Wicker Man’ and ‘A Field in England’? Then you need to get yourself to ‘Ritual Britain’, an exceedingly creepy exhibition at The Crypt Gallery inside the dusty bowels of St Pancras New Church. The show is a collaboration between artist Ben Edge and the Museum of British Folklore.  Enter The Crypt to find paintings by Ben Edge which explore contemporary British folk customs, such as the annual Druid ceremony in central London. Edge’s documentary film about the process of researching these customs ‘Frontline Folklore’ is also on display alongside terrifying objects from the Museum of British Folklore collection. Comedian Stewart Lee loved it so much he’s visited twice already. And if Lee approves, so do we. 

Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman

3 out of 5 stars

Promising Young Woman is an exercise in misdirection, a revenge thriller that gets the audience to bay for blood, but never delivers the moments we expect to see. The vigilante, Cassie, is played with a slow, crackling fury by Carey Mulligan. She’s a 30-year-old woman who dropped out of med school after a traumatic event – an event that director Emerald Fennell reveals gradually, and carefully, midway through the film. Early on, we meet Cassie half-conscious at a club, where a guy (played by Adam Brody) offers her a lift home, Instead, he takes her back to his place, and plies her with booze. He gets her into bed, and begins to undress her, ignoring her lack of consent, until Cassie sits bolt upright, clearly sober, and looks straight down the lens of the camera, at Brody’s character, at us and says: ‘I said WHAT are you doing?’. It’s a moment that Fennell has described as a kind of Promising Young Woman origin story, an idea for a scene that became the film. It is Cassie’s way of seeking justice – every week she masquerades as drunk in a club until, as she tells one of her marks: ‘A nice guy like you comes over to see if I’m okay’ before taking her home to take advantage. Their mouths deliver pseudo-feminist platitudes as their hands edge up the leg of what they think is a semi-conscious woman. She holds a mirror up to their abusive behaviour, and they are frightened by what they see. Mainly, though, they are frightened to have been caught out. The director has said that the

Audrey

Audrey

3 out of 5 stars

Documentaries about Hollywood Golden Age stars tend to follow a formula: footage of the early roles, a director talking about their incredible presence on set, then a few talking-head interviews revealing that behind all the glitz and Oscars they were, in fact, secretly sad and insecure.  Audrey covers all these touchstones, but manages to swerve the usual gossipy ‘E!’ channel tone with its immense empathy for its subject.  It helps that Audrey Hepburn’s story is even more dramatic than any of her roles could hope to match. She always had an aristocratic air, and in a way, she was one. Born in Belgium, her early years were privileged and multinational – her mother ‘Baroness Ella van Heemstra’ came from Dutch nobility. It’s what gave her that voice, that husky voice that could be heard speaking six languages, yet seemed to belong to nowhere. But that childhood unravelled when war came to the Netherlands. In the 1930s, her parents had been Nazi sympathisers. Audrey’s father left the family when she was eight years old, a trauma she describes as leaving ‘a very deep mark’. Hepburn and her mother ended up malnourished, joining the Dutch resistance as the Nazi occupation wore on. Major fans will already know how little Audrey hid messages in her shoes, and danced at underground revues to raise money for the cause, but they hit harder when coming from her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer.  Those secret performances are key to this take on her story – Audrey’s ambition was to be a prima bal

Shirley

Shirley

4 out of 5 stars

There’s a scene in Shirley that finds American author Shirley Jackson (Elisabeth Moss), in a forest, goading her houseguest, Rose (Odessa Young), to eat a ‘death cap mushroom’. We’ll share it, she tells her, as the sexual tension builds. Is she inviting Rose into the next life or testing her boundaries? The tone is set for Josephine Decker’s feverish psychodrama. We meet Jackson creatively blocked after the publication of her revered short story ‘The Lottery’. Agoraphobic, she scarcely leaves the home she shares with her husband, literary critic and college professor Stanley Edgar Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg). Her process (smoking, drinking, ripping up papers) has been interrupted by the arrival of Stanley’s new research fellow Fred (Logan Lerman) and Rose, his pregnant wife. Soon Rose is drawn into Shirley’s world – to the point of destruction. Through all the film’s fictionalised, domestic delirium, Decker tells a story of female artistic power. Jackson was the main breadwinner in her home in the 1940s and ’50s when such a thing was almost unheard of. Her command of the gothic horror genre had Time magazine dubbing her ‘Virginia Werewolf’. The main focus, though, is on Jackson’s art, and Shirley is one of the best visualisations of the writing process ever captured on screen. In cinemas Fri Oct 30.

Socrates

Socrates

4 out of 5 stars

There is a look that belongs to a person in grief. Joan Didion said it was a bit like ‘someone who wears glasses and is suddenly made to take them off’. They look naked, she explained, because ‘they think themselves invisible’. But Socrates (played by Christian Malheiros), a 15-year-old boy from São Paulo who has just lost his mother, spends the entirety of this film fighting to be seen. He does not have access to the time and space he needs to heal. Moments after a crushing opening scene where we find him shaking his mother’s unresponsive body, he’s filling in for her at her job as a cleaner. ‘She’s in tomorrow,’ he tells her colleagues, ‘She’s getting better.’  Soon the jig is up, and he’s fired for being underage; he’s not even considered old enough to collect his own mother’s ashes. Socrates needs a guardian, but his father is more of a danger than a support. He’s forced forward at freight-train speed, crossing one fault line after another as he tries to survive.  In the story’s concise 71 minutes, Brazilian-American filmmaker Alexandre Moratto doesn’t so much film Malheiros as allow him to drag the camera along. We’re part of his quest to find a job, one that takes us into grimy internet cafés and awkward moments waving loose CVs at disinterested shop owners.  A temporary relief from the misery comes with the arrival of Maicon, a slightly older guy Socrates meets through a brief job in a metal junkyard. When they eventually kiss, Moratto’s close-ups let their mouths and

The Petticoat Lane Foxtrot

The Petticoat Lane Foxtrot

Yiddisher jazz is not something you’re likely to find in the ‘genres and moods’ section of Spotify, but from the 1920s-1950s, swinging hot Jewish dance bands were the toast of the East End. Levy’s record shop in Whitechapel was the epicentre of this scene, a place where the community could buy 78rpm discs with klezmer and swing music set into their grooves. Outside the store’s entrance, couples could be found waltzing to songs about Jewish life. Until oral historian Alan Dein began his search for these old 78s, this epoch of East End jazz had been largely forgotten. By scouring the archives of the British Library and the Jewish Museum – and the charity shops of Golders Green – he found enough to compile into a record called: ‘Music Is the Most Beautiful Language in the World’. At the JW3 centre this Thursday (January 30), Dein will share the stories behind these recovered tunes, while displaying rare images from the period in which they were made. It’s more than a lecture, it’s a DJ night – a chance to dance to  singers like Rita Marlowe, Stepney’s ‘siren of Yiddish song’, and the thumping ‘A Kosher Fox Trot Medley (Petticoat Lane)’ by Mendel and His Mishpoche Band that gives the event its name. The songs  move from slapstick tributes to Brick Lane beigels to haunting Yiddish ballads about pre-war life. They are relics of another world, salvaged from charity shop crates. Now they’ve found a new life online, ready to pass the beautiful language of Yiddisher jazz on to new ge

The Mermaid

The Mermaid

Cosy east London boozer with a heated outdoor area, board games and weekly events.

News (309)

A brief history of London’s forgotten witches

A brief history of London’s forgotten witches

London’s history is laced with witches, and we’re not just saying that because Halloween is around the corner. Marble Arch was an execution site for women accused of ‘witchcraft’ for more than 600 years in the medieval times. Dark, sexist stuff. In fact, Britain’s last conviction for witchcraft was as recent as 1944. Here we’ve documented their history: from Nazi-fighters to the hippy covens of the seventies to the modern-day witches of London. Hold tight, it’s a wild ride.  1. The witch who inspired a play Marble Arch, 1621 The medieval London village of Tyburn, near modern-day Marble Arch and its Primark-bag-toting crowds, acted as an execution site for more than 600 years. Among those killed there were thieves, highwaymen and – yep – women accused of ‘witchcraft’. Elizabeth Sawyer, ‘The Witch of Edmonton’,  was executed there in 1621, after it was claimed she had been lured into serving Satan by a dog called Tom. Her story hit the capital’s book stalls within days and quickly became a stage adaptation. A stone plaque can still be found in the area, on the spot where the ‘Tyburn Tree’ – a three-sided gallows that allowed multiple executions to take place – once stood. Dark stuff. 2. The witch who scared a baker Wapping, 1652 In 1652 a pamphlet was circulated around London detailing the ‘crimes’ of herbalist Joan Peterson,  aka ‘The Witch of Wapping’. There were stories of Joan morphing into a black cat, having incriminating conversations with a squirrel and, horror of horro

‘Camden is like a goth Disneyland’: Alison Spittle on adjusting to the comedy life in London

‘Camden is like a goth Disneyland’: Alison Spittle on adjusting to the comedy life in London

Your next gig is a work in progress, what can we expect? ‘It’s about me kind of grappling with my relationship with violence, but in a funny way, because I saw some people get into a fight at aqua aerobics. If you saw it in a UFC ring, you’d be like “Grand!”, but not at a mid-tempo aqua aerobics class with about 50 pensioners. It was quite the brawl.’ So what went down? Did you try to intervene? ‘No, no, I was too busy exercising. I’m a lover not a fighter.’ You moved from Dublin to London two years ago, how has it been? ‘I am happy that I spent lockdown here. I live in Camden and it’s mad. When the puddles of sick started appearing again on my way to Aldi, it was like “Nature is healing.” You know things are going to be okay. It’s like being in Jurassic Park and seeing a fresh dinosaur poo: “It’s coming, they’re nearby!” I love living there.’ Are there any differences between Dublin and London audiences? ‘Big time. They’re more discerning in London. In Ireland, they’ll give you a bit of leeway at the start. In London, you kind of have to prove you’re funny upfront.’ What made you choose Camden? ‘Genuinely: because I’d heard of the place. Amy Winehouse loved it and if it was good enough for her… I’m not a goth, but Camden is like a goth Disneyland. I also like that people will tell you that Camden’s not good. If I tell people I live there they’ll be like, “That place was good 20 years ago, it’s a dump now.” Catch Alison Spittle: ‘Work in Progress’ at Battersea Arts Centre th

Goodbye to Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’, the show that launched a thousand thinkpieces

Goodbye to Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’, the show that launched a thousand thinkpieces

How do you solve a problem like Hannah Horvath? As ‘Girls’ comes to an end on April 17, the answer is pretty clear: you can’t, and you should stop asking. Her creator Lena Dunham knows female characters are not puzzles to complete with a neatly cut piece for a happy ending. And the finale will bring it all to a close not with a bang but with a shrug: Hannah’s pregnant and leaving New York to move upstate, as she’s landed a job in a liberal arts college (much like Oberlin, the one Dunham attended). The problematic friendship quad of Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shosh that hooked us in during 2012 has more or less disbanded. Sky Atlantic ‘Female characters are not puzzles to complete’ Hannah’s ‘surprise’ series six pregnancy rubbed many up the wrong way, and for good reason. The show prided itself on avoiding conventional female TV stories; the kind then-23-year-old Dunham told HBO she ‘couldn’t see herself or her friends in’ when first pitching ‘Girls’. And yet here we are in the go-to plot twist for the female storyline arc: perfect for a cliffhanger (‘Friends’), movie plot (‘Bridget Jones’), finale (‘Gilmore Girls’) or even a whole series (‘Jane the Virgin’). Pregnancy is an important part of many women’s stories. But it’s not the only story. And it doesn’t feel like Hannah’s. Still, Dunham writes it so well that you still want to hear it. She invites the audience to cast judgement along with Hannah’s friends. The series has been losing steam for the past two seasons, but in

There’s a new festival of summer lights in Canary Wharf

There’s a new festival of summer lights in Canary Wharf

The arrival of large-scale light installations in London is pretty standard for the winter months. By November, there are usually three or four elaborate LED-laden trails across the city, each trying to coax us all into feeling Christmassy. But this year, one has arrived early in the form of Summer Lights at Canary Wharf, a festival brought to you by the same people behind the area’s Winter Lights festival. Much like its cold-season sibling, Summer Lights is an exhibition of individual works by UK light artists (there are 11 in total), and will be free to visit, but the summer edition is designed to be explored during the day, and uses bright sunlight to ‘reflect and refract a spectrum of colours’ with installations that respond to themes of sustainability, plastic pollution and LGBTQ+ culture.  Photograph: David Parry‘Ocean Rise’ by Aphra Shemza One of the most eye-catching light works is ‘Hymn to the Big Wheel’, a huge multi-coloured octagon structure that sits inside a larger octagonal shape that visitors can walk through, watching the colours blend as they go. Others to look out for are Hugh Turvey’s X-ray images of flora and algae inside Crossrail Place Roof Garden and Aphra Shemza’s ‘Ocean Rise’, a sustainably built structure which carries a field recording of crashing waves that can be accessed by QR code.  As with most light experiences in London, it’s easy Instagram fodder, but if you happen to work near Canary Wharf, this free festival is worth a look.  When is i

Notting Hill Carnival will be celebrated with a series of fundraising events this August

Notting Hill Carnival will be celebrated with a series of fundraising events this August

Earlier this month, the organisers of Notting Hill Carnival announced that the event would not be taking place on the streets this August bank holiday due to ‘the ongoing uncertainty and risk Covid-19 poses’. It was disappointing for Londoners to hear that Carnival as we know it would not be going ahead for the second year in a row, but it turns out that phrase ‘on the streets’ was key. Last night it was announced that Notting Hill Carnival will have a presence in London this August, but will take the form of a series of ticketed events designed to raise money for the Carnival Trust. The Notting Hill Carnival Recovery Fund will also be supported by the sale of a hardback coffee-table book that sets the record straight on the rich history of the event, ‘Carnival: a Photographic and Testimonial History of the Notting Hill Carnival’ edited by Ishmahil Blagrove Jr with a preface by Margaret Busby.  The ticketed events for Carnival Culture in the Park will cost £10, and will involve three days worth of shows across August 19, 20 and 21, held in the open-air setting of Opera Holland Park. So far the performances are split into Classic Calypso (which includes artists such as Giselle Carter and G String), Pan in the Park (with legendary UK steel bands Mangrove and Ebony) and Pan Jazz (featuring the Engine Room Collective).  The idea of a ticketed Carnival is likely to make a lot of people nervous. Over the years, there have been various proposals to move Notting Hill Carnival to Hyd

It’s ‘Freedom Day’! Here’s what you should be getting up to

It’s ‘Freedom Day’! Here’s what you should be getting up to

The contentiously named ‘Freedom Day’ is today. So what does it actually mean? Well, broadly, it marks the date that lockdown restrictions will supposedly come to an end, with a caveat from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that we must proceed with caution, given that ‘this pandemic is not over’. Things, as always, are subject to change, but from Monday July 19 (today), the ‘one metre plus’ social distancing rule will no longer be enforced, the government order to work from home will be scrapped, there will be no cap on the number of people who can meet indoors or out, and the wearing of face coverings in public settings will no longer be legally mandatory (though they are ‘strongly encouraged’, which means – keep wearing them).   Many are understandably nervous at the thought of zero restrictions, given the recent spread of the Delta variant, and confusion around what ‘Freedom Day’ will actually entail. In Monday July 11’s update, Johnson implied that restrictions could be reinstated in the case of ‘exceptional circumstances’ such as the ‘arrival of a new variant that we haven’t bargained for or budgeted for’. One of the biggest changes from July 19 is that nightclubs are now officially allowed to reopen for the first time since lockdown began, and festivals will be able to go ahead. It’s also good news for arts venues that are unable survive at reduced capacity, though some have chosen to put safety first and keep social-distancing measures in place. It’s far from a free-for-al

イギリス版ディズニーランド? ロンドン近郊に大規模リゾート建設

イギリス版ディズニーランド? ロンドン近郊に大規模リゾート建設

2020年は中止や閉鎖になったことが多かった反動からか、どの街でも2021年以降の新しい動きに注目が集まっている。ロンドンの場合は、2022年から建設が始まる巨大なリゾート施設、The London Resortが話題だ。 この施設ができるのは、テムズ川を下ったダートフォード近郊のスワンコム半島。完成後は、ロンドン中心部のセント・パンクラス駅からリゾートまで電車が開通し、17分で行けるようになるという。 ヨーロッパで建設されるテーマパークとしては、1992年にオープンしたディズニーランド・パリ以来の規模。つまり、ロンドンにも「ディズニーランド的なもの」ができるといえるだろう。提携パートナーは、パラマウント・ピクチャーズ、BBC、ITVスタジオなど。各社のコンテンツや技術を生かした「次世代型」のアトラクションの登場が期待されている。 初期計画案で目を引くのは、失われたメソアメリカ文明の遺跡で埋め尽くされたThe Jungle、ハイオク車のカーチェイスや危険なスパイ活動といった大ヒット映画のスリルを味わうことができるThe Studio、23世紀のSFをテーマにしたStarportといった野心的なエリア。また、リゾートに欠かせない商業施設もある。High Streetと名付けられたこのエリア周辺には、ショップ、レストラン、ホテル、水辺の公園が作られる。 ロンドン・リゾート・カンパニー・ホールディングス(LRCH)の最高経営責任者(CEO)であるピエール・イヴ・ ジェルボーは、「私たちは、世界で最もエキサイティングなテーマパークプロジェクトの一つを創り上げます。ロンドン・リゾートは、次世代のテーマパークリゾートであり、インタラクティブ性や没入性が高い、幅広い技術や体験を最大限に活用した世界的なデスティネーションとなるでしょう」と述べている。 このリゾートには最終的に2つのパークで構成される。スケールの大きさから、建設には3万人の人々と約35億ポンド(約5,316億円)の費用が必要になる見込み。第1パークは2024年、第2パークは2029年頃にオープンする予定だ。 原文はこちら 関連記事 『ソニー・ピクチャーズ、タイでコロンビア映画のテーマパークを開業』 『ハリポタの世界に旅へ、テーマパークについて現在分かっていること』 『2021年に行くべき新施設とイベント』 『ロンドンの古いトラムトンネルが一般公開』 『ロンドンのオックスフォード・サーカス、一部が歩行者専用に』

Walthamstow Wetlands is launching an outdoor exhibition dedicated to Moomins creator Tove Jansson

Walthamstow Wetlands is launching an outdoor exhibition dedicated to Moomins creator Tove Jansson

Walthamstow Wetlands looks like a landscape you might see in a children’s story. The 211-hectare nature reserve is filled with reservoirs that shine like mirrored glass, and are occupied by curious little islands that hum with the sound of wildlife. Confident geese march freely on its immaculately mown grass mounds, seemingly unbothered by the thousands of visitors which pass through the Wetlands each weekend.  The space is just calling out for an outdoor art exhibition, which is why we're excited to hear today’s news that Walthamstow Wetlands has teamed up with the William Morris Gallery to produce a year-long exhibition about Finnish artist and Moomins creator Tove Jansson.  Titled ‘The Woman Who Fell in Love with an Island’, the exhibition will draw parallels between the nature of the Wetlands and the island of Klovharun in the Gulf of Finland, which Jansson visited every summer for almost 30 years, along with her partner Tuulikki Pietilä. The small exhibit of Jansson’s drawings, writings and photographs will take place inside the Wetlands’ restored engine house, but it will also spill out into nature with an outdoor art trail, and will include a downloadable recording of Jansson’s essay ‘The Island’ read by her niece Sophia Jansson as well as an audio composition from multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper. The exhibition may coincide with the delayed UK release of ‘Tove’, a biopic on the artist by director Zaida Bergroth, which featured on the 2021 programme at BFI Flare. T

There’s a new floating botanical garden in Chinatown

There’s a new floating botanical garden in Chinatown

There was a time when we hardly noticed flower installations in central London. It was normal for arches of cherry blossom or white irises to appear the moment spring hit, usually splashed with branding for some sweet pink gin. But things have changed. Lockdown turned London into a city of obsessive gardeners and houseplant hoarders, people who stop dead in the street to identify shrubs growing between pavement slabs.  We’re all a bunch of petal heads now, which is why we’re unusually excited by the news that a big floating botanical garden has been installed above Gerrard Street in Chinatown today (Wednesday, June 16). The garden features artistic recreations of seven different flower species: pink Chinese Peony, orange Tiger Lily, blue orchids, tulips, hibiscus, sunflowers and peach blossom. And they do look pretty, even though they’re fake.    Photograph: Jamie Lau   The garden will be hovering above Chinatown until the end of August to try and tempt Londoners to make use of the area’s 40 outdoor restaurants as well as outdoor seating for 150 people in Newport Place that can be used for takeaway.  It shouldn’t take a publicity stunt to get people to visit somewhere as objectively fantastic as London’s Chinatown, but if it means we get to eat dim sum from Gerrard’s Corner under a kaleidoscopic sky of flowers, we’re all for it. The floating botanical garden will be hanging above Gerrard’s Street from June 16.  In other elaborate garden news, have you seen the giant forest

These places are doing free drinks for dads this Father’s Day

These places are doing free drinks for dads this Father’s Day

So, it’s Father’s Day this Sunday (June 20). If this is the first you’ve heard of it, don’t beat yourself up. Lockdown rendered time meaningless, when we say ‘see you soon!’, it usually means months, not weeks. But now that you know it’s coming up, you can do something about it.  According to the Father’s Day gift guides that proliferate in magazine pages and targeted Facebook ads around this time of year, dads are simple beings whose only desires can be summed up with beer subscriptions, Patagonia duffel bags and assorted steak seasonings. But dads are people too, and they want the thing we all want: free stuff.  If you’re fortunate enough to live within easy travelling distance of your parent, you can take advantage of all the London bars and restaurants that are dishing out free drinks to dads for Father’s Day. As with a lot of these kinds of offers, unless you happen to follow dozens of London restaurants on social media, they can be tricky to find, so we’ve gathered a bunch of them below. Nothing takes the edge off an eye-wateringly high food bill like that first sip of a free pint.  The Farrier  Brand new pub The Farrier recently opened in Camden Market with three Michelin star-trained chef Ash Finch manning the kitchen. It has some fairly swish looking Sunday roasts, and all dads booked in for one will receive a free pint of Guinness as well as a lamb scotch egg this Father’s Day. Camden Stables Market, NW1 8BF. Make a reservation here.  Photograph: The Farrier Homes

The V&A is throwing a three-day Glastonbury Festival weekender

The V&A is throwing a three-day Glastonbury Festival weekender

If you are one of the 200,000-odd people whose summer used to revolve around a Glastonbury blow-out, you’re probably feeling a little glum right now. First 2020 was cancelled, then it was announced that Glasto 2021 would not be going ahead. Even the Glastonbury live stream weekender was a bit of a bust, thanks to a technical glitch that left thousands of people locked out from pre-recorded shows by IDLES, Roisin Murphy and Wolf Alice. It’s  like there’s some celestial force trying to stop our wellies from squelching down on the mud of Worthy Farm.  While we feel the sting of another fallow year, the V&A will be providing a soothing dock leaf in the form of a free interactive Glastonbury Weekender, both online and in-person at the museum. Last year, the V&A put a call out asking people to contribute memories and photographs of the festival for its Glastonbury @ 50 research project. The upcoming weekender has built on that research to create Mapping Glastonbury, an interactive online map that will chart the evolution of the festival through oral histories, sounds, objects and hundreds of photographs. It’s all part of a larger collaboration between the V&A and AHRC (that’s Arts and Humanities Research Council) which plans to create a searchable database of Glastonbury’s archive and performance history.    Photograph: Glastonbury 2005, Barry Lewis   Kate Bailey, Senior Curator of Theatre and Performance at the V&A, said that, ‘Glastonbury Festival’s rich and diverse archive is

Leadenhall Market is getting a God’s Own Junk Yard neon takeover

Leadenhall Market is getting a God’s Own Junk Yard neon takeover

God’s Own Junkyard is a godsend to the residents of Walthamstow. Whenever you’re feeling too lazy to travel beyond E17, this rainbow grotto of neon signs can be used to coax friends over to your borough. Sat in an industrial estate next to Pillars Brewery, God’s Own is a mix of shop, café and neon museum. The space is run by the Bracey family, who could easily charge visitors to enter, but instead they allow people to wander in freely, snapping photographs that make them look like they’ve just stepped into a poster for a Nicolas Winding Refn film. Unfortunately the sheer volume of neon on show means people tend to wander out without ever learning the history behind some of those signs. A new exhibition at Leadenhall Market is hoping to change that. For ‘Electric City’, God’s Own Junkyard will cover the market in cinematic neon for an exhibit that showcases its 40-year influence on the film industry. God’s Own began as ‘Electro Signs’, founded by Welsh miner Richard Bracey in 1952, but was taken over by his son, the late Chris Bracey, a neon artist who went on to produce glowing set-pieces for ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘The Dark Knight’. Pieces from all these films can be seen at ‘Electric City’, but the exhibit will have a strong focus on Bracey’s contribution to Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, which saw the artist recreate parts of Greenwich Village inside Pinewood Studios for Kubrick’s neon-heavy street scenes.  God’s Own Junkyard is now run by Chris’s sons, Marcu