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 17 – 24 May 2017.

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 17 – 24 May 2017.

EXHIBITION / Here and Now: London Portraits by Niall McDiarmid

The Museum of London is warming up ahead of its first ever season, City Now City Future. From today, outside the museum entrance in the Rotunda space, vivid, larger than life street portraits by photographer Niall McDiarmid present a collective portrait of London. A new interactive installation by internationally renowned interactive art pioneers Blast Theory has also been placed to tempt visitors, as has “participatory portraiture” by London-based artist Lady Lucy, offering guests an opportunity to get involved and add their voice to the works on display.

From 18 May, 10am-6pm daily, free
Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN

FESTIVAL / Toddler Takeover

Toddlers will be taking over the Museum of London Docklands for two days next week. Families with little ones are invited to join a jam-packed schedule of events at one of London’s most historically significant sites. The free festival is a celebration of children’s contributions to museums, and is part of the Takeover Day Project co-ordinated by the charity Kids in Museums. Activities include treasure trails, journeys to the docks, storytelling, and singalongs.

20 & 21 May, 10.30am until 4pm, free for families under five
Museum of London Docklands, No1 Warehouse, West India Quay, Canary Wharf E14 4AL

OPEN NIGHT / Bank of England Museum

Enjoy a rare evening visit to the Bank of England Museum as part of the Museums at Night festival, with special events taking place throughout the evening. In the presence of experts and staff, guests will have the chance to explore the new banknote gallery, which tells the story of how our currency has evolved down the centuries. The bank’s bullion experts will also be on hand to answer all your questions about gold – just don’t expect any free samples, we’ve already checked.

19 May, 5.30pm-9pm, free
Bank of England Museum, Bartholomew Lane EC2R 8AH

EXHIBITION / Thresholds

Somerset House chiefs are inviting guests to take a step back in time to the dawn of photography. Thresholds, a new virtual reality artwork by Mat Collishaw, will take visitors on a trip down the ages by re-staging one of the earliest exhibitions of photography in 1839, when British scientist William Henry Fox Talbot first presented his prints to the public at King Edward’s School in Birmingham. “The experience will be a fully immersive portal to the past; walk freely throughout a digitally reconstructed room, and touch the bespoke vitrines, fixtures and mouldings; even the heat from a coal fire will be recreated,” say organisers. Time to get yourself in the frame.

From 18 May, tickets £4.50 or £3.50 concessions
Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA

GIG / KT Tunstall

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall will make her mark at the Barbican this month, blending the hits that propelled her into pop fame with new tracks from album KIN. Tunstall broke into the public eye with a 2004 live solo performance of her song Black Horse and the Cherry Tree on Later… with Jools Holland, and has used her influences of Fleetwood Mac and Neil Diamond to stay close to the top since. So don’t miss this chance to catch her stripped back, live and right on your doorstep.

22 May, 7.30pm, tickets £18.50-£38.50 from barbican.org.uk
Barbican Centre, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS

FESTIVAL / Sicily Fest

With London experiencing near Mediterranean temperatures towards the end of last week, it would appear that Sicily Fest has arrived just in time for summer. Only the finest traders have secured stalls at the pop-up Sicilian food market to be hosted in Bishops Square on 20 and 21 May, so expect your taste buds to sizzle as much as the sun does (fingers crossed). Cannoli, pizzoli and tasty desserts have all been promised on a busy menu packed with flavour, so swap the Sunday roast from something a bit more exotic.

20 & 21 May, from 10.30am
Bishops Square, Brushfield Street E1 6FQ


Faiza Butt addresses the anxieties of modern life in her artistic work, which she brings to the Southbank later this week. The London-based creative focuses on the loss of innocence, the prevalence of violence, inequality, and the demoralisation of society with striking poise. She observes that while “today language divides us, originally characters were universal and could be read by anybody”, when explaining why text appears so prominently in her work. Four large-scale light walls arranged in a cube-like formation make up Paracosm, with gallery chiefs noting that it “alludes to the architecture and decoration of the Holy Kaaba” – the building at the centre of Islam’s most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.

From 19 May, free
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX

FESTIVAL / Clerkenwell Design Week

Clerkenwell Design Week will be waving goodbye to its spiritual home for pastures new from later this year, so drop in at events across the Capital to find out exactly why this event has become such a spectacle locally. Open studios, discussions and workshops bring together some of London’s best designers, with everything from clothes to furniture in the spotlight.

23-25 May, details at clerkenwelldesignweek.com
Various locations

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