Visitors to the Square Mile can expect to check out a whole host of outdoor festivals, art exhibitions, films nights and public theatre performances this week.
The City calendar is always bursting with things to see, do and experience. And this week is no different. Visitors to the area can expect to check out a whole host of festivals, exhibitions, films and music performances as the City finally heats up. These are the top events in the City of London this week.
There’s nothing quite like St Paul’s Cathedral at twilight. Explore the cathedral after hours and see the new exhibition, The Great Restoration of the 1920s. Climb up to the Galleries and admire 360-degree views of the sun setting on London.
22 & 29 August, 7pm-9.30pm, tickets £15
St Paul’s Cathedral EC4M 8AD
Colour and noise returns to the streets around Notting Hill for Carnival this year on both Sunday 25 and Monday 26 August. Pack a bag full of beer and pre-mixed drinks (rum and ginger beer are a crowd favourite) and prepare for a day of dancing in the streets, surrounded by enormous crowds. Kick things off by watching the parade before sneaking off to the streets and open squares where countless sound stages and food and drink stalls are set up for London’s biggest public street party of the year. Just prepare for long queues for portable toilets (many people will be squatting on the streets without any shame) or be ready to pay a few quid to get into someone’s private home to use their own clean loo. Once you’ve sorted your bathroom arrangements, it’s all up from there – just be prepared for somewhat organised chaos. And all of the after parties scattered around London.
25 and 26 August, free
Around the streets of Notting Hill
The musique concrète ensemble Langham Research Centre will be performing a new work created from sounds recorded in and around brutalist buildings in Paris. The performance takes inspiration from the optimistic, utopian concepts found in the modernist designs of key buildings by architects including Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer and Jean Renaudie, with the geometry of these buildings informing the structure of the music. Both visual and acoustic observations of line, plane, volume, scale, proportion, location, intersection, superimposition, interaction and space within space all impact on what can be heard. This is music derived from extensive on-location recordings and sound actions that convey the experience of these buildings aurally. The performance also complements and elaborates the ideas found in the Langham Research Centre’s collaboration with Photolanguage running all week in the Hub.
28 August, 6.30pm, free
Life Rewired Hub, Barbican Centre, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS
You might be surprised to know how nature surrounds us even in the heart of the City.Discover how so many artists are inspired by the natural world around us in London and get hands-on creative at Guildhall Art Gallery. Do this before exploring and immersing yourself in activities at the Salters’ garden, and then listening to a series of stories about wild creatures and dramatic landscapes at the Barbican Children’s Library. Kids can collect stamps at all three sites to become an official outdoor explorer too.
29 August, 11am-4pm, free
Guildhall Art Gallery EC2V 5AE, The Salters’ Company EC2Y 5DE & Barbican Children’s Library EC2Y 8DS
On the last Thursday of every month, Andaz London Liverpool Street hosts a shrine to the demonic and the dangerous. To celebrate the current horror revival and pay tribute to its heritage, one of the City’s most unique screening venues has paired the stand-out titles of horror’s new wave with their spiritual ancestors. Watch some spooky movies in a spooky setting.
29 August, 26 September, 31 October, 7.30pm-10pm, tickets £20
The Masonic Temple at Andaz London, 40 Liverpool Street EC2M 7QN
Dabbers Bingo has made sure the resurgence of bingo isn’t just a fleeting obsession. They’ve made a bingo hall for the modern age, much loved by millennials. Expect good drinks, food and plenty of laughs. Plus, some cool prizes you’d actually want to take home. And now, to turn things up a notch, they’re introducing their new dog bingo event which allows guests to bring their furry friends to the festivities. Show off your dog’s tricks or lack thereof and mingle with your fellow dog lovers – strictly no cat people allowed. At least that would be our rule.
First show on 1 September, 1pm-4pm, tickets £12
Dabbers Social Bingo, 18-22 Houndsditch EC3A 7DB
This passionate and contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic love story is running until the end of August.Confined against their will by a society that seeks to divide, the two young lovers must follow their hearts as they risk everything to be together. Bursting with youth, vitality and Matthew Bourne’s trademark storytelling, this is one emotionally charged show that has got to be seen before it ends. This new production of Romeo & Juliet joins the popular New Adventures repertoire which includes Swan Lake, Cinderella and The Red Shoes.
Until 31 August, tickets £15-£69
Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue EC1R 4TN
A new commission from renowned artist Wolfgang Buttress blurs the boundaries between 2D, 3D and 4D. Constructed from a variety of mirror, bright, satin and matt aluminium panels, Liminal’s kaleidoscope-like lens, together with its underwater sonar, reflects and refracts the ever changing ambient sound, light and life of the River Thames.
From 1 September
Free to view at any time, Thames Riverside Walkway EC4V 3AL
London’s new summer opera festival presents innovative productions that push the boundaries of classical music. Highlights include the classical music and theatre project Vivaldi meets Werther: Four Seasons, the contemporary fashion opera Wear by Scottish composer Alastair White, the forgotten classic Caccia Lontana by Croatian-Italian composer Antonio Smareglia, and R’Otello, an opera that brings together rugby and jazz. And you don’t need to be a seasoned opera fan to enjoy these shows – the line-up has been so well curated you won’t be disappointed.
Until 7 September, tickets £12-£30
Bridewell Theatre, 14 Bride Lane EC4Y 8EQ
Familiar to many through his animated films from Rupert the Bear, The World of Peter Rabbit to Paul McCartney’s music video for The Frog Song, the Barbican presents the work of Geoff Dunbar for the first time. Made during the golden age of animation, before CGI and digital imagery, discover how each work has been hand-crafted and photographed frame by frame to produce thousands of original drawings for motion effects. Over the years Geoff has directed many award-winning films including Lautrec, the outrageous UBU ROI and the enchanting Frog Chorus. This exhibition showcases the prodigious talent behind these unforgettable classics.
Until 30 September, free
Barbican Library, Barbican Centre, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS
Two actors reimagine the story of how Elizabeth Windsor became Queen Elizabeth II (and recreate two resplendent Netflix series) in 70 minutes of frenetic hat-passing, period accents and corgi impressions. A right royal treat for both fans of the show keenly waiting for the third series – and for those wondering what all the fuss is about. This new comedy premiered in a sell-out run at the King’s Head Theatre, winning rave national press reviews, and returns to London for two weeks only after a smash Edinburgh Fringe run. Having been cruelly overlooked for her dream role as Queen Elizabeth in blockbuster series The Crown, budding starlet Beth brings her own take on the epic story of the Royal Family to the stage instead, with her agent Stanley coerced into playing (almost) all the other roles – from Prince Philip to Princess Margaret, and all of the commoners in between.
3-14 September, tickets £14.50-£26
Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley E1 8JB
A free, family music festival is being held in Waltham Forest to mark the end of the summer holidays. Headlining the main stage, you’ll find superstar NAO alongside Incognito, Lemzi, DJ Luck and MC Neat, plus many more special guests including Luke November, Bonez, L.E.A.D.E.R.S Academy. All this plus a packed programme of performances, talks and workshops, and an impressive array of food and drink stalls serving all kinds of deliciousness to festival-goers. Bring friends, bring family, bring enthusiasm and get ready to dance. This is London’s first ever Borough of Culture and Chingfest shows everyone exactly why they got the top spot for this year.
31 August, 1pm-9pm, free
Ridgeway Park, Old Church Road E4 6RS