BEST Things To Do In London
The Event Oracle knows ALL the fun things to do in London. Select your date above then scroll down to check out what events are going on this week...
Medieval and Renaissance TourCromwell Road
London, SW7 2RL
The Medieval & Renaissance Galleries are home to one of the world's most remarkable collections of treasures from the period, ranging from delicately carved ivories and intricate metalwork to Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks and powerful sculptures
Christian Dior: Designer of DreamsCromwell Road
London, SW7 2RL
Spanning 1947 to the present day, this exhibition traces the history and impact of one of the 20th century's most influential couturiers, exploring the enduring influence of the fashion house, and Dior's relationship with Britain.
Lumière MystérieuseSir John Soane's Museum
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Holborn
London, WC2A 3BP
Sir John Soane wielded light so successfully that it may as well have been another building material. This exhibition will explore how Soane utilised light, not just through the shapes and ornamentation of his architectural compositions, but also by implementing tools such as top lighting, grilles, coloured glass and mirrors. Together these devices allowed Soane to form lighting effects, as well as effects of shadow and gloom, which dramatically impact the way we experience his work.
Installed in the Museum’s galleries, the exhibition will illustrate how Soane created various lighting effects and moods by showcasing original drawings alongside the objects, such as stained glass and mirrors, which Soane used to transform the experience of his spaces.
Playing with Money: currency and gamesGreat Russell Street
London, WC1B 3DG
The 20th century witnessed the transformation of money from precious metals to paper, from credit cards to crypto-currencies, all against a fluctuating financial backdrop. These changes are chronicled in the evolution of childhood games from the 19th century to the present.
Discover new acquisitions of toy and board game money, including recognisable classics such as Monopoly, as well as notes from other games. Many have economic themes and cover subjects from buying and selling paintings, investing in railways to playing the stock market. Often they comment on society and economics: Class Struggle is a Marxist critique of capitalism, Ratrace satirises consumerism and Black Friday is a comment on the 2008 financial crash.
Elsewhere in the exhibition, a fully stocked toy shop from the 1930s and decimalisation games from the 1960s, remind us that playing with money is essential for understanding how the world works. The exhibition playfully shows how skills and experiences we acquire in our formative years inform our adult lives.
Mary QuantCromwell Road
London, SW7 2RL
From miniskirts and hot pants to vibrant tights and makeup, discover how Mary Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street, with over 200 garments and accessories, including unseen pieces from the designer's personal archive.
British Dinosaurs: From Fossils to FeathersAkeman Street, Tring
Hertfordshire, HP23 6AP
Go on an adventure around Britain and discover why it's the birthplace of dinosaur studies.
Explore the surprising diversity of British dinosaur species and find out about the dinosaurs that still live among us in our gardens and parks.
- Come face-to-face with the cast of a Baryonyx walkeri skull and see how massive it could grow with backbone specimens found in Surrey.
- Stand up tall and measure yourself against the femur and tibia of an Iguanodon, one of the first dinosaurs to be discovered.
- See the complete skeleton of a young Hypsilophodon foxii, discovered on the Isle of Wight.
- Chomp! How do your teeth compare to Megalosaurus bucklandii teeth found in Oxfordshire?
Cairo StreetsCromwell Road
London, SW7 2RL
This display brings visitors face to face with everyday life in Cairo in the 19th century, through historic photographs of local people going about their daily lives. It also features examples of turned wood window screens, called mashrabiyyah, which gave a characteristic visual flavour to Cairo’s streets.
Slavery, culture & collectingNo.1 Warehouse, West India Quay
London, E14 4AL
The latest display in the London, Sugar and Slavery gallery at the Museum of London Docklands highlights the connection to slavery of some of Britain's oldest cultural organisations. See a map of how London's Docklands are connected to slavery.
Slavery, culture and collecting follows slave owner and art collector George Hibbert, a prominent member of a large subsection of British society which derived its wealth directly from the slave economy. These figures were often active philanthropists, and are commemorated in memorials for their associations with charitable causes, while their connections to slavery are invisible even today.
Hibbert was instrumental in building the West India Docks which now house the Museum of London Docklands. This connection positions the museum as an important place to think about the relationship between slavery and cultural heritage.
The wealth generated by slavery was used to create cultural institutions such as museums, universities, art galleries and charities. Advocates of slavery would then use culture in their arguments for the continuing use of enslaved labour, on the grounds that Africans needed the "civilising influence" of Europe.
The display contains a short film, as well as objects from the collection to encourage further debate around this challenging issue.
Wonderlab: The Equinor GalleryExhibition Road, South Kensington
London, SW7 2DD
Revealing the beauty of the science and maths that shape our everyday lives, this unmissable experience will ignite your curiosity, fuel your imagination and inspire you to see the world around you in new and exciting ways.
With over 50 mind-blowing exhibits, shows and demonstrations to enjoy, Wonderlab is an experience unlike any other.
Spread across seven different zones, there's loads of opportunity to get hands on with real scientific phenomena. Take part in live experiments at our Chemistry Bar, see lightning strike before your eyes, play with forces on giant slides or travel through space under a canopy of stars.
Engineer Your FutureExhibition Road, South Kensington
London, SW7 2DD
Could you shape the world we live in? Find out if you've got the problem-solving, big-thinking, team-working skills to be a globe-trotting engineer of tomorrow.
Visit our interactive exhibition for teens thinking about their futures, where challenges, games and films will help you understand what engineers do—and find out whether this could be a job for you.
Everybody Razzle DazzleRoyal Albert Dock Liverpool
Liverpool, L3 4BB
Liverpool Biennial, 14–18 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and Tate Liverpool have co-commissioned one of the major figures of British pop art, Sir Peter Blake, to ‘dazzle’ a Mersey Ferry in partnership with Merseytravel and National Museums Liverpool (Merseyside Maritime Museum).
Everybody Razzle Dazzle will see Peter Blake transform Snowdrop – an active Mersey Ferry – with one of his iconic, colourful designs into a fully working Dazzle Ferry.
Step aboard a moving artwork! Travelling on Snowdrop you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the history of dazzle – a painting technique employed to camouflage British ships – and the role that Liverpool’s much loved Mersey Ferries took in the First World War in a special on-board display.
Manners and Modernity: Ukiyo-e and etiquette on the Seibu RailwayCromwell Road
London, SW7 2RL
Featuring courtesans, Kabuki actors and other images found in ukiyo-e woodblock prints the posters illustrate the bustle and thrill of city life in modern Japan. Humour tempers the message about how to be a well-behaved commuter. The display includes original ukiyo-e prints which depict some of the artistic influences that inspired the posters.
Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber securityExhibition Road, South Kensington
London, SW7 2DD
From the trenches of the First World War to the latest in cyber security, Top Secret explores over a century’s worth of communications intelligence through hand-written documents, declassified files and previously unseen artefacts from the Science Museum Group's and GCHQ’s historic collections.
Trace the evolution of the gadgets and devices used to conceal crucial messages and to decode the secrets of others. Hear from GCHQ staff doing top secret work to defend against terror attacks and serious crime and discover the challenges of maintaining digital security in the 21st century.
Explore the story of Alan Turing and the team of Bletchley Park codebreakers who broke the Enigma code in 1941, uncover spy-craft from 1960’s Cold War espionage and challenge your friends and family to become codebreakers in our interactive puzzle zone.
Top Secret coincides with the 100th anniversary of GCHQ, the UK’s Intelligence, Security and Cyber agency.
Buckingham Palace tour: summer opening 2019
London, SW1A 1AA
Visit the official London residence of the Queen, as Buckingham Palace opens its doors to the public every summer.
Explore the lavishly furnished State Rooms of one of the world's few remaining working royal palaces, and look out for some of the Royal Collection's greatest treasures on display.
Highlights of the Buckingham Palace summer opening include:
- Paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude
- Sculpture by Canova and Chantrey
- Exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain
- Some of the finest English and French furniture in the world
Sol Calero: El AutobúsTate Britain
London, SW1P 4RG
Tate Liverpool presents a new commission by Berlin-based artist Sol Calero (born in Caracas, Venezuela, 1982). Calero’s work takes the form of brightly coloured, large-scale immersive installations that explore themes of representation, identity, displacement and marginalisation, all informed by her own perspective as a migrant.
Calero’s new commission, El Autobús 2019, is inspired by a recent journey through Latin America. Visitors are invited to travel through the Wolfson Gallery, exploring the floor-to-ceiling mural which overwhelms the space with a landscape of patterns, panoramic views, floral motifs and architectural elements.
Rooted in the centre of the gallery is a bus-like structure, which is reminiscent of the buses used by locals in Latin America. Visitors are encouraged to jump aboard to continue their own journey through the exhibition. Listen out for bus announcements, which promise to take you to destinations that can never be reached.
Manga マンガGreat Russell Street
London, WC1B 3DG
Enter a graphic world where art and storytelling collide in the largest exhibition of manga ever to take place outside of Japan.
Manga is a visual narrative art form that has become a multimedia global phenomenon, telling stories with themes from gender to adventure, in real or imagined worlds.
Immersive and playful, the exhibition will explore manga’s global appeal and cultural crossover, showcasing original Japanese manga and its influence across the globe, from anime to ‘cosplay’ dressing up. This influential art form entertains, inspires and challenges – and is brought to life like never before in this ground-breaking exhibition.
FlightExhibition Road, South Kensington
London, SW7 2DD
From mankind's earliest dreams of flight to the wide-body aeroplanes of today, discover the absorbing story of flight.
Overhead walkways allow you to get up close to aeroplanes suspended in the air. Examine exhibits from the pioneer days of aviation, including the world's most authentic Antoinette monoplane (1909), Amy Johnson's Gipsy Moth and the Vickers Vimy, which first crossed the Atlantic in 1919.
Information AgeExhibition Road, South Kensington
London, SW7 2DD
Re-live remarkable moments in history, told through the eyes of those who invented, operated or were affected by the new wave of technology, from the first BBC radio broadcast in 1922 to the dawn of digital TV.
Discover how wireless technology saved many lives on the Titanic and spread news of the disaster to the world within hours. You can also hear the personal stories of the operators who worked on the Enfield Telephone Exchange, the last manual telephone switchboard.
Panorama: London's lost view150 London Wall, Barbican
London, EC2Y 5HN
The stunning 20 feet wide panorama of London was painted around 1815 by the French artist Pierre Prévost.
Painted as the Napoleonic Wars drew to a close, the panorama is provides a 360° view of London as the Duke of Wellington would have known it. Looking from the tower of St Margaret’s, the church situated in the shadow of Westminster Abbey, we are presented with a sweeping view over a sunlit city. Dominating the foreground is the Abbey and the old Palace of Westminster (the Houses of Parliament), which burnt down in 1834 and includes the medieval House of Lords Chamber, target of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Prévost made panoramas of many European cities, but this particular example is thought to have been created at the height of his career. His first panorama of London, now lost, was made when he visited the city during the Peace of Amiens in 1802. He is thought to have returned to London in 1815, shortly after the Battle of Waterloo, to create this remarkable image of London.
This panorama has been acquired with the help of Art Fund, the Aldama Foundation and a group of individual donors, with additional support from Michael Spencer, the Leche Trust and other donors who wish to remain anonymous.
Mathematics: The Winton GalleryExhibition Road, South Kensington
London, SW7 2DD
Our bold and thought-provoking gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, examines the fundamental role mathematicians, their tools and ideas have played in building the world we live in.
From war and peace to life, death, money, trade and beauty, the objects in Mathematics: The Winton Gallery reveal how mathematics connects to every aspect of our lives.
BMW Tate Live ExhibitionTate Britain
London, SW1P 4RG
In 2020 Tate Modern’s Tanks will again play host to an exciting series of installations and live performances.
In 2019, Anne Imhof created a new large-scale commission, Sex. 2018 celebrated the performance pioneer Joan Jonas, while the first exhibition in 2017 included work from a range of artists including Isabel Lewis, CAMP, Wu Tsang, Fred Moten and Fujiko Nakaya.
Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Spirit CollectionCromwell Road
London, SW7 5BD
Go behind the scenes with our knowledgable science educators for a look at the Museum's fascinating zoology collection preserved in spirit.
As we explore some of the Darwin Centre’s 27 kilometres of shelves, you’ll encounter numerous treasures hidden among the 22 million animal specimens housed here.
You’ll meet Archie, our 8.62-metre-long giant squid, view specimens collected by Charles Darwin himself and learn more about our cutting-edge research.
Come From AwayCharing Cross Road
London, WC2H 0JP
Come from Away, the Broadway musical by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, is based on the events in the week following the 9/11 attacks on America, when 38 planes were ordered to land in the small Canadian town of Gander. This true story tells the tale of the town who kept 7,000 stranded visitors housed and fed following the biggest tragedy the US had seen.
The musical began previews in London at the Phoenix Theatre on 30th January 2019, and tickets for the West End premiere of Come From Away are on sale now.
Come From Away saw Sankoff and Hein modestly set out to write a musical they wanted high school kids to perform, rather than aspiring for a Broadway musical. The pair travelled to the Newfoundland town on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and learnt of the kindness of its residents. They felt like these stories had to be told and wrote a positive, upbeat musical to celebrate the residents.
9 to 5 the MusicalStrand
London, WC2R 0ET
Tickets are now on sale for 9 to 5 the Musical which brings the brilliant music of Dolly Parton to life on stage. With a story based on the 1980 film of the same name, the show gets its West End premiere at the Savoy Theatre from January 2019. Dolly Parton - 9 to 5 The Musical is a hilarious story of friendship, gossip and revenge.
9 to 5 runs at the Savoy Theatre until 31st August 2019, with tickets on sale now. The show stars Louise Redknapp, Bonnie Langford, Natalie McQueen, Amber Davies and Brian Conley.
The musical opened on Broadway in 2009 at the Marquis Theatre, starring actress Megan Hilty. The production was nominated for four Tony Awards, including one for Parton herself who was up for Best Original Score. Reviews for the musical were generally positive, with The Guardian calling the musical “a triumph” when it opened in New York.
9 to 5 the Musical opened at the West End's Savoy Theatre on 17th February 2019 in the presence of Dolly Parton herself, who took to the stage during the curtain call to express her pride in the show and added that the cast 'made her look good!'.
The Lehman Trilogy16 Denman Street
London, W1D 7DY
Tickets for Stefano Massini’s hit play The Lehman Trilogy completely sold out when the new English version premiered at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Theatre in July. Starring Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles, the play tracks three generations of the family behind one of the world’s biggest financial corporations.
The Lehman Trilogy will now transfer to the West End's Piccadilly Theatre in May 2019, with tickets now on sale.
Beginning in 1844, The Lehman Trilogy charts the formation of the Lehman Brothers bank, as a young man from Bavaria with a big dream made a splash in New York with the help of his two brothers. From here, the play skips 163 years of banking history, and tells of the establishment of the bank, and its doomed fate which led to the biggest global financial collapse in history, affecting each and every one of us.
Adapted by Ben Power, The Lehman Trilogy is directed by Sam Mendes – who directed West End smash-hit The Ferryman, as well as the latest James Bond film Spectre.
The production received a plethora of five-star reviews upon its premiere at the Lyttelton Theatre: the Guardian labelled it an ‘Engrossing play and an acting masterclass’, while The Times said ‘Sam Mendes triumphs’. Given its universal acclaim, a West End transfer may well be on the cards.
London, W1D 6BA
The West End's longest running musical, Les Misérables has been enjoyed by over 70 million people in 42 countries and in 22 languages around the globe and is still breaking box-office records as it passes its 30th year in London. The original production, which features direction by John Caird and Trevor Nunn, continues to run at the Queen's Theatre, having transferred from the Palace Theatre in April 2004.
Featuring a stunning score by Boublil and Schönberg, Cameron Mackintosh's original production opened in London at the Barbican Theatre on 8th October 1985 (beginning previews on 28th September), where it went on to become a musical theatre phenomenon. It opened at the Palace Theatre on 4th December, and transferred to its current home at the Queen's Theatre on 3rd April 2004. Fans of the show continue to revisit this dazzling original that includes hit songs such as “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Do You Hear the People Sing?”, “Bring Him Home” and “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”.
Fiddler on the RoofNorthumberland Avenue
London, WC2N 5DE
Fiddler on the Roof has transferred to the West End's Playhouse Theatre following its revival at the Menier Chocolate Factory, with director Trevor Nunn giving Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's classic musical a new lease of life. The production opened in the West End to the Playhouse Theatre on 27th March 2019, after tickets for Fiddler on the Roof at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London sold out.
Set in Russia at the turn of the 1905 Revolution, Fiddler on the Roof centres around Tevye, a Jewish man who works hard to ensure that he raises his five daughters with traditional Jewish customs. When the village matchmaker brings news that a wealthy butcher wants to marry their eldest child Tzeitel, it’s clear that pairing people together isn’t what Tzeitel wants. Tzeitel wants to marry her childhood friend, Motel the tailor. Eventually, Tzeitel and Motel marry each other, with local Jews joining in with the ceremony, but they are not able to celebrate for too long, with Russians wreaking havoc in their community.
Disney's The Lion King21 Wellington Street
London, WC2E 7RQ
Walt Disney's long-running and multi-award winning musical The Lion King continues to delight audiences in London's West End. After opening on Broadway in 1997, the show has gone on to be the most successful piece of entertainment in history, mounting numerous world-wide productions including the original London production at the Lyceum Theatre in the heart of the West End.
Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney's The Lion King is unlike anything ever before seen in musical theatre, and will redefine your expectations of what theatre can be. Director and designer Julie Taymor crafts a colourful, imaginative and highly creative world that brings the flora, fauna and animals of Africa to live, set against a timeless score by Elton John and Tim Rice, with additional songs by Lebo M, Julie Taymor, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.
Thousands continue to pack the Lyceum Theatre every week with their Lion King tickets to celebrate and revel in the majestic storytelling that transports audiences to a dazzling world that explodes with glorious colours, stunning effects and enchanting music. The Lion King began previews in the West End on 24th September 1999, with an official opening on 19th October 1999.
Tina - The Tina Turner Musical49 Aldwych
London, WC2B 4DF
Tina – The Tina Turner Musical chronicles the life of the rock ‘n’ roll legend who brought us hit songs like “What’s Love Got to Do With It”, “Proud Mary”, “The Best”, “River Deep Mountain High” and “Better Be Good To Me”.
Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on 26 November 1939 in Nutbush, Tennessee. She obtained Swiss citizenship in 2013 and currently lives in Küsnacht, Switzerland. She shot to fame in the mid-1950s singing with Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm, originally under the name "Little Ann." She became Tina Turner in 1960 and began the Ike & Tina Turner Revue with hits such as "River Deep – Mountain High", "Proud Mary" and "Nutbush City Limits", selling-out tickets to shows in stadiums and arenas across the world. She has since spoken openly about being a victim of domestic abuse and split from Ike in 1976.
Matilda - The Musical32-34 Earlham Street
London, WC2H 9HU
Adapted from the incomparable children's novel by Roald Dahl, Matilda The Musical is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company that continues to delight audiences in the West End. Since opening at the Cambridge Theatre in November 2011, the hit show has gone on to win over 50 major international awards, including 12 for Best Musical. Featuring a smart and witty original score by Tim Minchin, alongside an exciting book by Dennis Kelly, the musical adaptation is one of the most successful British musicals of modern times, and entertains audiences both old and young.
Matilda The Musical tells the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. After opening at the RSC's home in Stratford upon Avon, the musical transferred to the West End where it was greeted with a set of excellent reviews, with critics praising not only the charm of the score and book, but also the ingenious staging by director Matthew Warchus and choreographer Peter Darling.
The Phantom of the Opera Tickets57 Haymarket
London, SW1Y 4QL
Andrew Lloyd Webber's sensational long-running musical The Phantom of the Opera continues to run in its original form at the West End's Her Majesty's Theatre. Since opening in 1986 where it won the Olivier Award for Best Musical, the show features some of Lloyd Webber's most memorable music alongside the original stunning set design, costumes and special effects.
The haunting story of The Phantom of the Opera is adapted from Gaston Leroux's novel of the same name and is set in the heart of the Paris Opera House. As young ballet dancer Christine Daae becomes the object of The Phantom's secret affections, he manipulates her career at the expense and horror of the Opera House staff and stars. A truly romantic tragedy, this beautiful story is set against one of the West End's most memorable scores that includes hit songs such as “The Music of the Night”, “All I Ask of You”, “Think of Me”, and of course, “The Phantom of the Opera”.
The Book of Mormon Tickets31 Coventry Street
London, W1D 6AS
The Book of Mormon is the uplifting and satirical story of two Mormon missionaries who are sent from the comfort of Salt Lake City to Uganda in Africa in order to spread the word of the Mormon church. Whilst Elder Kevin Price is looking forward to his two year mission praying he will be posted to Orlando, his partner Elder Arnold Cunningham, a nerdy overweight missionary is only looking for a best friend. As the unlikely heroes arrive in Uganda their fears are confirmed as they are immediately robbed at gunpoint by a local warlord, General Butt-Fucking-Naked. The local villagers and Mafala Hatimbi soon tell the missionaries about their strategy for coping with life constantly battling against poverty, AIDS and famine, as well as the tyrannical General.
After meeting the other missionaries who have failed to convert the village, the pair develop two different coping strategies for handling the situation. While Elder Price optimistically believes that the Mormon word will prevail, Elder Cunningham finds himself teaching an alternative form of history and religion, one that captures the imagination of the citizens. The pair wrestle with their own integrity and beliefs, coming together to find that they both rely on each other in very similar ways.
The MousetrapWest Street
London, WC2H 9NZ
Agatha Christie's legendary 'whodunit' is still delighting and thrilling audiences in London's West End, as the show enters its 65th record-breaking year on stage. Running at the St. Martin's Theatre since 1974, the original production opened across the road at the Ambassadors Theatre on 25 November 1952 and has since been presented in 27 different languages in more than 50 countries around the world.
"A group of people gathered in a remote part of the countryside discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be? One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed. A cracking yarn and an irresistible treat for amateur sleuths everywhere!"