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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 20 to 26 September 2017. TOURS / Autumn...

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 20 to 26 September 2017.

TOURS / Autumn Ambles

Transport for London is rolling out 40 free guided walks around the Capital on the weekend in a bid to get Londoners out and about on their own two feet. New walks for the 2017 edition of the annual event include a specially-designed dementia-friendly stroll around the flora and fauna of Southwark Park and a rock ’n’ roll themed tour of the famous sights of Camden. Spaces are being snapped up fast, so anyone hoping to get involved is urged to visit walklondon.org.uk to book their spot. Walks are taking place one month after Public Health England released statistics showing how millions of people across the UK still don’t walk the recommended amount each month. So out of shape is the Capital that the Greater London Authority estimates that if every Londoner walked or cycled for 20 minutes a day, it would save the NHS £1.7billion in treatment costs over the next 25 years.

Saturday 23 September:

Sensory Walk: dementia-friendly stroll at 11am exploring the history, flora and fauna of Southwark Park. While out, learn how to support people living with dementia to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors.

Animal I-Spy in the City: starting at 10.30am, a family-friendly walk exploring the city and discovering where animals are hiding. This walk is perfect for children between the ages of four and seven.

Camden Rock ’n’ Roll: starting at 2.30pm, enjoy a walking tour of the famous and infamous sights of Camden’s musical history and discover the area and the musical roots that grew out of north London.

Sunday 24 September:

The Piccadilly line: starting at 10am, ever wondered why there are no flower beds in Green Park? Join this walk to learn more as the route follows the Piccadilly line above ground from Green Park to Covent Garden station. Hear the history of the Tube line and the Underground in general.

The Spooky City: starting at 11am and 2pm, ghosts, body snatchers and public executions are featured in a walk exploring London’s sinister secrets, visiting the Old Bailey, the site of the former Newgate Prison, and many other creepy locations.

Shoreditch Tour of London’s coolest streets: from 1.30pm, discover hidden areas and lesser-known streets around Shoreditch and see work by some of the world’s greatest street artists. A perfect walk to learn about the area’s rich historical sites including William Blake’s grave and Shakespeare’s first London theatre.

Family Favourites: the walk that’s also a quiz from 4pm, see the Tube station that Harry Potter and Mr Weasley use and learn how it could have made Big Ben fall over, plus a location visited by Paddington Bear and its clever trick for staying lucky.

THEATRE / After the Rehearsal/Persona

The Barbican has lined up not one, but two re-imaginings of Ingmar Bergman screenplays. The double bill focuses on the chaotic lives of theatre people, “exposing the fine line between art and reality, illness and normality.” First up is After the Rehearsal, with an obsessive director’s rehearsals transformed into excerpts akin to the notes in his diary. Everything is subject to his control yet it soon becomes apparent that life cannot be kept at bay when ex-lover Rachel and Anna, her daughter and his current star, breach his sanctum. Then, in Persona, celebrated actress Elisabeth Vogler falls mute and retreats into silence. She is cared for in hospital by nurse Alma who then accompanies her to an island summerhouse in an attempt to coax her into speaking again, only for tension to build. Ivo van Hove is behind the two performances, which will be played out by an all-Dutch cast.
27-30 September, tickets from £16-£40
Barbican Centre, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS

TALK / Magnum Photos Now: Beyond the Bible – Jonas Bendiksen

Two years ago Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen began a journey to put in the frame seven men who all claim to be the biblical Messiah returned. Now, the culmination of his work is on display, and presented in a manner which incorporates the stories he collected on the way and the lessons he learned about boundaries of religious faith and a world in need of salvation.
26 September, 7pm, tickets from £10
Barbican Centre, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS

DANCE / Spitalfields Tea Dances

This dance fest forms part of the Spitalfields Estate Community Event Programme, and features music by the acclaimed New Covent Garden Dance Orchestra. Foxtrots, quicksteps and cha chas are all on the playlist with dancers of all abilities encouraged to get up and strut their stuff in an event put together as a re-imagining of traditional social dancing from decades past.
27 September, 12.30pm until 2.30pm, free
Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square
E1 6EW

TALK / The Future(s) of Power

Is our current model for democracy serving those who believe in it? That is just one of the questions being posed in a series of workshops and talks reflecting on the future of the democratic process. Hosted at Somerset House, the first session, Power, Politicians and the People, will ask how society can work towards a different political world in which people are more inclined to cast their prized ballot. Speakers include Dr Catherine Haddon (Institute for Government), Indy Johar
(Project 00, Dark Matter Labs) and Jacques Peretti (journalist and BBC presenter).
26 September, 6.45pm until 8.30pm, free but tickets are limited
Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA

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Southbank bound: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

CONCERT / Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: The Judas Passion

While Jesus may be in the spotlight at the Barbican, on the Southbank attention has turned to Judas. Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment have put together an ensemble that chronicles the final days of the Messiah, told through the eyes of his infamous betrayer. Organisers say the concert will challenge audiences to reconsider Judas and his decision to betray his friend for 30 pieces of silver, asking if what he did was necessary and whether he can be forgiven? Passion is accompanied by All Words of Forgiveness, a literary project exploring the role of forgiveness in contemporary society.
25 September, 7pm, tickets from £10-£40
St John’s Smith Square,
Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA
Pre-concert event:
All Words for Forgiveness: Responses to the themes of forgiveness with composer Sally Beamish and librettist David Harsent.
6pm, St John’s, Smith Square
Admission free

FAIR / The Worshipful Company of Woolmen’s Sheep Drive & Wool Fair

Missing your Mary Berry fix in the wake of Bake Off’s move to Channel 4? Well the star of the smash hit will be serving up smiles on Sunday when she cuts the ribbon at this year’s Sheep Drive across London Bridge. Taking part in a centuries-old tradition, members of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen will be herding their animal friends back and forth across the Thames under historic privileges. In 2016 the Woolmen decided to add a Wool Fair to the day’s calendar of events, and with over 50 stands selling a range of woollen goods, jewellery and luxury accessories plus artisan street food, craft ales, cocktails, ice cream, product-making demonstrations and live entertainment, there is certainly plenty for everyone. Don’t be sheepish, check it out.
24 September, 10am until 6pm
London Bridge

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Worshipful Company of Woolmen’s Sheep Drive

CONCERT / Feast of St Michael and All Angels

Charity concert in aid of The Mission to Seafarers to celebrate the Feast of St Michael and All Angels.  Phillip Dyson, who tours internationally, is in town to perform a wonderful programme, featuring Rachmaninov’s Prelude in C sharp Minor, Schubert’s Impromptu in G flat major, Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu, Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, and Liszt’s Consolation No3 among others. Follows a buffet lunch with afternoon tea primed for the interval. Organisers are hiring a Steinway piano for the occasion and the pews will be especially reconfigured theatre style.
28 September, 12pm until 5pm, tickets £30
(or £20 without lunch) online from missiontoseafarers.org/event/phillip-dyson
St Michael Paternoster Royal, College Hill EC4R 2RL

TOUR / Billingsgate Roman House & Baths

Dare you take a trip down to London’s depths? This one-hour guided tour takes guests around a fascinating archaeological site, offering insight into ancient life in the City. Those tagging along will discover the remains of the Roman Bathhouse which lies hidden beneath the City’s towering office buildings on Lower Thames Street.
23 September, 12pm, tickets from £5
London Museum, 150 London Wall
EC2Y 5HN

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