City of London visitors, workers and residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to arts and culture events this week as we slowly settle into winter.
There are stacks of things to see, do and experience in and around the City of London each and every week. So here’s our roundup of the Square Mile’s best festivals, exhibitions, films and music performances for you to get involved with as we roll into winter.
Enjoy Cherubini’s Requiem in C minor, a work that was admired by Schumann, Beethoven and Brahms, performed by the London Lawyers’ Chorus & Orchestra.
28 November 7.30pm, tickets £12 (children £5)
St Andrew’s Church Holborn EC4A 3AF
Discarded designs and rejected plans lurk behind every important building in London. Sometimes serious considerations, sometimes fanciful exercises into the art of the possible, they imagine a city where Tower Bridge is clad in glass and a colossal burial pyramid looms over Primrose Hill. The London That Never Was explores the collections at the London Metropolitan Archives to present plans and drawings of some of the most intriguing proposals that never made it off the drawing board.
Until 8 December, free
Guildhall Art Gallery Guildhall Yard EC2V 5AE
Dance, darkness and bass frequencies – Heavy handed, we crush the moment is an immersive experience, somewhere between a dreamscape, a meditation, a nightmare and a nightclub. Over four evenings, Last Yearz Interesting Negro (the performance project of artist and dancer Jamila Johnson-Small) will present a series of genre-blurring happenings in the Pit, staging a new choreographic work that features performances by guest artists each night.
28 November-1 December, 10pm-1am, tickets £5
The Pit Barbican Centre Silk Street EC2Y 8DS
As a group of actors come together to rehearse period scenes, a rising sense of anarchy bubbles up as they question which stories deserve to be retold. Restoration Comedy collides with original rap and hip hop, challenging the parallels between a vicious and vibrant moment in theatrical history and a contemporary questioning of sexuality, gender politics and race.
29 November-4 December, tickets £10
Silk Street Theatre Silk Street EC2Y 8DT
To celebrate Tower Bridge’s 125th birthday year, Guildhall School of Music & Drama presents a site-specific light and sound installation in the unique setting of the subterranean Bascule Chamber and inspired by the history of London’s iconic landmark.
29 November-1 December, tickets £20
Tower Bridge Tower Bridge Road SE1 2UP
Experience one of the year’s most dramatic services sung by the Cathedral Choir. A candlelit procession moves from darkness to light as words and music will help you to focus on the Advent themes of light in darkness and hope in despair. See website for a host of other Christmas services.
30 November-1 December, 6pm-7.15pm, free
St Paul’s Cathedral EC4M 8AD
FILM / Secret Cinema
Following their epic Casino Royale season this summer, ‘Secret Cinema Presents Stranger Things’ kicked off on 13 November and will run into February next year. This is their first ever small-screen event but, if it’s like any other experience, it will be mega in size and excitement. As always, it’ll be taking place at a secret London location, this time totally transformed into the Hawkins, Indiana, of the show – as well as boasting a suitably terrifying version of The Upside Down world.
Until February 2020, tickets from £49
Secret London location
Experience new chamber works created by GSMD composers and performed by Quatuor Bozzini – an original voice in new, experimental and classical music. The celebrated Canadian string quartet has nurtured a vast and diverse repertoire, commissioning close to 200 pieces and premiering over 300 works. A Quatuor Bozzini concert is an intensely shared experience, with meticulous and sensuous attention to detail.
3 December, 7pm, tickets £15 (£10 concs)
Milton Court Concert Hall Milton Court EC2Y 9BH
The weather may be chilly, but it’s still worth venturing out of the office for lunch every now and again. The historic Guildhall Yard hosts a lunch market with more than 20 stalls serving mouthwatering cuisine from around the world.
5 December, 12noon-2.30pm
Guildhall Yard EC2V 5AE
Join the Cheapside Business Alliance to turn on the Christmas Tree lights with special guests and carols by the City of London Academy of Islington’s choir.
4 December 5pm-5.30pm, free
Outside 150 Cheapside EC2V 6ET
POP-UP SHOP / Mulberry at The Royal Exchange
Mulberry just launched their new pop-up store at the Royal Exchange but this is a little different from you might expect. They’ve turned the two-story shop into a fully functioning pub (a glammed up one of course) serving drinks with handbags and scarves dotted about too. You can even book out the entire space for a lock-in with work colleagues (at no charge), having some quirky work drinks in this City of London landmark. Be sure to play a few rounds of billiards upstairs while you’re at it too.
9 Royal Exchange EC3V 3LL
The Aldgate Lantern Parade and Winter Fete are back for the third year running. Building on the success of the previous editions, the project represents a collaboration between residents, groups, schools and organisations from across the area. Open to anyone and everyone, Aldgate in Winter is a vibrant celebration of the cultural wealth of the surrounding community.
6 December, 4pm-9pm, free
Aldgate Lantern Parade will be launched from Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary School playground
This oratorio is one of the best known and most performed choral works, and yet it never ceases to inspire and stir emotion. Performed by the Collegium Musicum of London, Temple Players, and four acclaimed young soloists. .
9 December, 7.30pm, tickets £15-£45
Temple Church Inner Temple Lane (Off Fleet Street)
The scores of images of the capital in the collections at London Metropolitan Archives speak of the allure of London as a subject for artists throughout the ages. Drawing on work as far back as the 16th century, this exhibition explores the formats chosen by artists and surveyors to create their images of the city, each one as different and inspiring as the next. From the earliest Victorian daguerreotype photographs to intricate engravings and elegant watercolours to vibrant aquatints, explore the visual history of the capital and be inspired all over again.
From 9 December, free
London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road EC1R 0HB
POP-UP / Smoky Barrels Shooting Lodge
This Christmas the UK’s first dedicated virtual Shooting Lodge, Smoky Barrels has popped up in London’s Square Mile, offering an immersive experience, where guests will be transported to a winter’s shoot in the Highlands. Designed to bring one of Scotland’s favourite past-times to the heart of the City, guests can take their best shot in the virtual hunting ranges, for both beginners and professionals alike.
Located in Devonshire Square, just a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station, the pop up will emulate the magic of a cosy weekend in Scottish Highlands with pals, featuring fine whisky, filthy good Scottish food from Mac & Wild and a healthy dose of competition thrown into the mix. With Christmas being one of the best times to experience the magic of a Highland hunting lodge, guests can escape to the comfort of Smoky Barrels festive retreat.
Until 21 December
1 Devonshire Square EC2M 4YP
Guildhall Art Gallery’s major exhibition in its final week. From vast panoramas to everyday views, this “fascinating exhibition” (Financial Times) depicts the capital from a range of vantage points, showing how London’s cityscape has inspired visiting and resident artists for over four centuries. With 80 works by over 60 artists, the exhibition drawn from the City Corporation’s extensive collection of London paintings. On the exhibition’s last day, Sunday 1 December, the Gallery will also be celebrating Museum Shop Sunday.
Until 1 December
Guildhall Art Gallery EC2V 5AE