The City calendar is always full to bursting with things to see, do and experience each week. From festivals and food...
The City calendar is always full to bursting with things to see, do and experience each week. From festivals and food to concerts and community fundraisers, these are the top events in the City of London for 11 to 17 October 2017.
A team of 175 performers will combine their efforts to tower over Spitalfields Market this weekend. Castellers of London will be joined by their Castellers de Sant Cugat counterparts from Barcelona to create a spectacular human tower in E1. Dating back 200 years to Catalonia, the tradition sees men and women join forces to create pillars of people in a show of strength and unity. Although originally a rural tradition, nowadays the biggest events gather thousands of people and are Unesco-recognised historical conventions.
14 October, 1pm, free
Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square E1 6EW
Chinese calligraphy takes the spotlight in this family workshop at the Museum of London, which will also provide plenty of facts and tidbits on London’s original Chinatown district. Kids must be at least five to take part.
14 October, midday and 2.30pm, free drop-in
Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN
The Nocturnal City series at Somerset House explores the state of nightlife in cities around the world, and puts its influences under the microscope. The latest instalment focuses on the London-Barcelona interplay, with panel discussions and music performances mixed with creative works to show, in particular, how live electronic music and its associated technology and arts have moved into new territories in the Catalonia capital. Of course, each foreign soil showcase is stacked up against London’s own after-hours culture and the attitudes that are helping to shape its offerings. The exhibition ends with a tune or two, with DJs playing guests out and on to the Tube well after midnight.
14 October, 4pm-12.30am, tickets from £10
Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA
If guest appearances from Tom Hanks and Hillary Clinton are not enough to inspire you to pick up a book then London Literature Festival is probably not for you. But even though most of the headline talks and readings have sold out there is still plenty to be savoured in this latest chapter of the gripping festival. In fact, 2017 represents a massive leap forward for the festival, which this year sees a specially expanded edition of the event, shining a light on how words on a page can remind readers of their shared humanity in a time when the world most needs a slice of compassion. Across the river at the Southbank, writers from the north of the country join British contemporaries as part of the ongoing Nordic Matters series, with the middle weekend dedicated to showcasing the brightest talents from across the region. There’s plenty more on offer so drop a bookmark on the centre’s website.
13 October until 1 November
Locations across London including the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX
One of Iran’s most popular young vocalists, Homayoun Sharajian, showcases his blend of traditional and modern Persian music as he performs music from acclaimed albums Nasim-e Vasl and Ba Setareh ha. Iran’s musicians often have their skills handed down to them from their parents or grandparents, but that doesn’t mean the new generations aren’t re-shaping the mould and exploring new sounds. Homayoun Shajarian, son of the legendary Persian singer Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, has introduced elements of western music into his classical repertoire to create a style that has proved alluring to mainstream and alternative audiences alike.
12 October, 7.30pm, tickets from £40
Barbican Centre, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS
Green Ink Writers’ Gym is a workshop for everyone who wants to write, and forms part of the Barbican’s offerings during Libraries Week (9-14 October). Writers of all genres and levels of experience will be able to develop new material in a positive, supportive atmosphere. The vibe is informal, but the group session will be focused, combining inspiring exercises with quality time and space to write. Places are limited so to book your spot phone 020 7638 0569, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or ask at the library enquiry desk.
14 October, 2pm, free
Barbican Library, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS
Leonor Antunes morphs straight lines with flat planes, twisting volumes and sculptural reliefs in a new commission at Whitechapel Gallery. “Taking its title from British architect Alison Smithson’s description of how young people bring together elements of style to define their identity and social allegiances, Antunes gathers references to overlooked figures in the history of 20th-century architecture, art and design, particularly women,” say gallery chiefs. Weavings, geometric patterns, artisanal techniques and utilitarian designs are all cited as sources of inspiration. Antunes’s commission features hanging and floor-based sculptures made from materials including metal, leather and rope, illuminated by lights designed by the artist.
Ongoing during normal gallery opening times, free
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street E1 7QX
Jeremy Denk is a pianist ‘you want to hear no matter what he performs’ (New York Times). Coupling spectacular musical gymnastics with the most eloquent of insights, this brilliant pianist takes control of the keys to ‘London’s most acoustically perfect auditorium’ (Independent) to explore the wonder of Mozart’s late sonatas and the vast possibilities of the variation form. Various times available, see website for details and full listings.
12&15 October, prices online
Milton Court Concert Hall, Milton Street
The latest in a series of free Monday lunchtime concerts on inventive and often challenging themes, dedicated to taking classical music and young musicians to new audiences.
15 October, 1.10pm-1.55pm, free
The Hall, St Botolph without Bishopsgate EC2M 3TL
Returning for a fourth year, Hackney’s annual music crawl promises fans another rock ’n’ roll jaunt through town. Jagwar Ma, The Rifles, Bo Ningen, Saint Agnes, Honey Lung and HVMM are all on the bill and will be performing at locations across the borough. As with most events, Hackney Wonderland’s surge in popularity has seen ticket prices creep up, but there’s plenty of value to be found in a busy programme so book your spot today. Go online to songkick.com to find out more.
14 October, tickets from £22.50
Various Hackney venues