The weather is getting colder but the calendar is heating up. From festivals and food to concerts and community fundraisers, these are the top events in the City this September.

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 this week.

DANCE / Blak Whyte Gray

Hip hop dance company Boy Blue Entertainment returns to the Barbican armed with triple bill Blak Whyte Gray, following rave reviews for its premiere on the same stage last January and nominations for both an Olivier Award and National Theatre Award. Performing as part of the Barbican’s Art of Change season, choreographer Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy and producer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante stay true to their style of leaving nothing in reserve when it comes to all-out physicality and asking some powerful questions of its young cohort of dancers, and their audiences. Don’t miss it the second time around.

12 to 15 September, Barbican Theatre, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS


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Learn to hand weave a wall hanging with tapestry talent Christabel Balfour.

Get crafty with some of the best in the business by signing up for one of the Barbican Shop’s Summer Make! workshops. Hand weave a wall hanging with tapestry talent Christabel Balfour, learn the art of lino printing from printmaker Jamie Temple, and colour your world with paper collage connoisseurs Utensils. Workshops are hands on with plenty of instruction from the experts, no experience is required, all materials are provided and you will walk away with a new skill and a DIY piece to show for your efforts. Bookings are essential and can be made through the Barbican website.

Until 29 September, various times, Barbican Shop, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS

MUSIC / The Brandenburg Choral Festival

The Brandenburg Choral Festival brings vocal ensembles of different shapes and sizes to the City’s historic churches for the Capital’s biggest and broadest celebration of all things choral. Catch Swiss ensemble Vocalino Wettingen performing a programme of works for vocal and cello at St Mary-le-Bow, Whitehall Choir and Brandenburg Sinfonia take on Mozart’s Requiem at St Martin-in-the-Fields, while Evoke Chamber Choir takes on Howell’s Requiem with Angelistenchor Heidelberg.

From 1 September, various locations, brandenburg.org.uk

EXHIBITION / The Music That Saved a Decade, Divining the Eighties underground

Those who think music from the 1980s begins with Michael Jackson and ends with Madonna would do well to take a look below the surface in this new exhibition examining the sounds of the underground from one of the most fertile periods of youth culture in history. Curator Oliver Bradbury looks at everything from punk to hardcore and house in his assessment of four representative years – 1982, 1983, 1987 and 1989 – and how they paint the bigger picture of music from the decade.

Until 3 October, Barbican Music Library, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS

EXHIBITION / Sublime Symmetry

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William De Morgan’s work married mathematics with art.

Discover the work of one of the most gifted craftsmen of his time. Marrying art and mathematics, William De Morgan’s work is captivating not just for its intrinsic beauty, but for the intelligence of its design. Fantastical beasts wrap themselves around the contours of vases, tiles and plates, and his manipulation of fanciful flora demonstrates unparalleled artistic skill. Discover how De Morgan applied mathematical ingenuity to create enthralling art that still enchants today. Check website for free talks.

Ongoing, Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-4pm, free, Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard EC2V 5AE

THEATRE / Oh My, Nellie Bly

The Musical Theatre Academy first years presents the world premiere of a musical based on the riotous true life story of America’s first female journalist. Oh My, Nellie Bly follows the tale of the trailblazing 19th-century feminist and pioneer of investigative journalism, best known for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days, and for her infamous exposé Ten Days in a Madhouse, in which she feigned insanity to report undercover from within a mental asylum.

12 to 15 September, Bridewell Theatre, 14 Bride Lane EC4Y 8EQ

WORKSHOP / Night Photography Masterclasses

Flash mob: assemble… for the Museum of London’s Night Photography Masterclasses with some seasoned artists as part of its London Nights season. Join award-winning photographer and filmmaker Gisela Torres in an exploration of capturing the human form with nocturnal London as the backdrop for you to explore composition, pose and artificial illumination to create atmospheric portraits.

Landscapes more your thing? Critically acclaimed photographer Etienne Clément will focus on the intricacies of analogue architectural photography in a journey around the Barbican in the shifting evening light.

Masterclasses are aimed at anyone with an interest in photography and advanced bookings are required. You will need to bring along a camera – this can be any kind of digital camera, from a professional DSLR to the camera on your smartphone.

7 September at 6pm and 21 September at 6.30pm, Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN

ARCHITECTURE / Open House London

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St Botolph without Aldgate has thrown open its doors for Open House London in previous years.

From St Paul’s Cathedral through to the Gherkin, the Square Mile has never been short an architectural landmark. And while these structures are impressive enough from afar, the secrets they hold inside are the reason more than a quarter of a million people will be turning up for Open House London next month. The official list of participating buildings is yet to be released, but the City is likely to be well-represented, with landmarks like the Lloyd’s Building, St Botolph-without-Aldgate Church, the Cheesegrater and the brand new Maggie’s Centre at St Bart’s Hospital on the bill in previous years. Look out for the full programme from 21 August.

22 and 23 September, Various locations

EXHIBITION / Bluecoats in the City

In 1546, the City of London established Christ’s Hospital School for the education of poor children in the former buildings and church of Greyfriars monastery in Newgate Street. The school moved to the market town of Horsham in 1902, but its strong bonds to the City of London remain, having educated, lodged, fed and clothed more than 65,000 children over the past five centuries. Bluecoats in the City delves into the history behind the school’s creation, historic practices, charitable benefactors, famous pupils – including Charles Lamb and Samuel Taylor Coleridge – and its iconic uniform of navy coats and yellow stockings.

Until 7 October, Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN

+ Women: Work & Power season

MUSIC / Spitalfields Music: Female Songwriters from 17th-century Italy

Europe’s foremost lute player, Elizabeth Kenny, and British soprano, Katherine Watson, join forces to pay homage to two pioneering female songwriters for Spitalfields Music’s final instalment of the City of London Corporation’s Women: Work and Power season. Seventeenth-century Italian composers Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini will be honoured with a programme of madrigals, arias and cantatas that show off the evocative and rich styles of two composers and their continued influence on classical music today.

11 September, Armourers Hall, 81 Coleman Street EC2R 5BJ

TALK / Women Leading the Way

The Fawcett Society presents a discussion on women in business in 2018. Hear from a top panel of speakers led by Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, and Ann Francke, CEO of Chartered Management Institute, winner of the Louis Armstrong Award for outstanding leadership of a UK professional body 2016 and author of Financial Times Guide to Management: How to Make a Difference and Get Results.

13 September, 6pm to 8pm, tickets £5, Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN

MUSIC / City of Women

Acclaimed composer Iain Chambers is making music based on the achievements of historic heroines like Emmeline Pankhurst and Elizabeth Fry with a new audio composition celebrating women in and around the City in their own words. The work explores women’s views on freedom of thought and religion, their right to work, vote and participate in public light, and is set to the powerful words of pioneering women from our past, as well as musical contributions from the City of London School for Girls choir and an all-female cast of soloists.  Listen out for it in Leadenhall Market on Open House Weekend.

22 and 23 September, 11am to 3pm, Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street EC3V 1LT


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