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...
Hogarth: Place and ProgressSir John Soane's Museum
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Holborn
London, WC2A 3BP
The darkly satirical series of William Hogarth (1697-1764) have an enduring appeal today. Cutting through social conventions, they present with wit and humour the immorality and vice that Hogarth perceived in all classes of society.
Hogarth: Place and Progress will unite all of Hogarth's surviving painted series for the first time, along with his engraved series. The Museum’s own Rake’s Progress and An Election will be joined by Marriage A-la-Mode from the National Gallery, the Four Times of Day from the National Trust and a private collection, as well as the three surviving paintings of The Happy Marriage from Tate and the Royal Cornwall Museum. The exhibition will also include engraved series lent by Andrew Edmunds prints such as The Four Stages of Cruelty, Industry and Idleness and Gin Lane and Beer Street.
Hogarth's narratives present a satirical take on the idea of 'progress'. The principal characters flout conventional morality and so progress not towards spiritual enlightenment but to poverty, madness and death. London settings, still identifiable today, play a key role in these cautionary tales: in A Rake’s Progress, the Rake's initial progression from the mercantile City of London to an extravagant West End mansion spirals to a brothel in Covent Garden, then ultimately to insanity and death in Bedlam madhouse, as a consequence of his dissolute lifestyle.
Displayed across the backdrop of Sir John Soane’s Museum, the exhibition will demonstrate how Hogarth’s ‘Modern Moral Subjects’ married the idea of progress with the moral geography of London, in a dynamic and evolving way throughout his own progress as an artist.
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.
Cornflakes to Cola224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington
London, W8 6AG
In 1950 Sainsbury’s opened its first self-service store in Croydon. This marked a pivotal moment as it was the first time that shoppers in the UK could help themselves to products directly from the shelves. Rationing from World War II would come to an end in 1954, beginning a new era of abundance.
In self-service stores packaging design took on a new importance as the only way of communicating information about the product. Sainsbury’s was quick to understand this, and in 1963 set up its own in-house design team, led by graphic designer Peter Dixon. Although small in size, the team had a prodigious output, creating hundreds of new packaging designs each year.
Rigorously overseen by the CEO John Sainsbury, the team was also responsible for designing the company’s broader brand identity, from staff passes to delivery trucks. Every element had to communicate the company’s messaging. In retrospect however, they also reveal the energy and optimism of the period, where even a packet of cornflakes could be playful and modern.’
Secret RiversNo.1 Warehouse, West India Quay
London, E14 4AL
For centuries Londoners have existed beside a series of waterways, which have shaped the city and people within it. The history of this relationship and the art that is has inspired are the focus of our next major exhibition, Secret Rivers.
Secret Rivers uses archaeological artefacts, art, photography and film to reveal stories of life by London’s rivers, streams, and brooks, exploring why many of them were lost over time.
Historic and contemporary artworks from artists, poets and authors will also show how London’s rivers have played an important role in the city’s imaginations. Previously unseen artefacts from excavations of the River Fleet and elsewhere hint at the diverse industrial, economic and religious roles these rivers have played over the centuries.
The intriguing histories of the River Effra, Fleet, Neckinger, Lea, Wandle, Tyburn, Walbrook and Westbourne will all feature in the exhibition. Each river will highlight a broader theme such as poverty, industry, development, effluence, manipulation, activism, sacred association and restoration.
Designer Maker User224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington
London, W8 6AG
Designer Maker User features almost 1000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design viewed through the angles of the designer, manufacturer and user, including a crowdsourced wall.
The exhibition covers a broad range of design disciplines, from architecture and engineering, to the digital world, fashion and graphics. Designer Maker User features a bold, colourful and engaging display designed by Studio Myerscough, with digital interactives by Studio Kin.
Beasts of London at the Museum of London150 London Wall
London, EC2Y 5HN
Meet the animals who have shaped London's history in this fully interactive digital installation.
Step into an immersive tour through London’s history, narrated by the animals who once lived here.
Discover how animals – from lions and elephants, to horses, rats and pigeons - have shaped the city and its beastly history, from the Roman era through medieval London and right up to the present day.
Voicing these animals are big-name actors, including Brian Blessed, Pam Ferris, Nish Kumar, Stephen Mangan, Angellica Bell and Joe Pasquale.
Recommended for children aged seven and over.
As I Live and Breathe100 London Rd, Forest Hill
London, SE23 3PQ
Award-winning, internationally-exhibited visual artist Claire Morgan has created stunning new pieces for the Horniman, including a dramatic installation in Gallery Square.
Claire’s thought-provoking works draws on the theme of waste and the impact that humans have on their surroundings.
Her pieces include thousands of fragments of colourful waste polythene frozen in time, and nature combined with plastics.
As I Live and Breathe features new pieces specially commissioned by the Horniman. A dramatic large scale installation suspended from the ceiling and descending over two floors captivates visitors as they enter the Museum. The three forms are composed of thousands of fragments of colourful waste polythene, torn by hand from used shopping bags. These suggest a dramatic movement, being pulled by gravity from overhead down to the ground below, but here the movement has been halted in order to freeze a fleeting instant in time.
Inside our Natural History Gallery will be a display combining plastics and nature, featuring four taxidermy specimens of prolific residents of urban London: grey squirrel, red fox, carrion crow and rose-ringed parakeet. A conical form – made from fragments of torn black polythene from bin bags - protrudes from the mouth of each animal.
Treasures of Europe 1800-1615 TourCromwell Road
London, SW7 2RL
Be guided through a suite of seven galleries displaying an extraordinary collection of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design.
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.
The Wolf of Wall Street5-15 Sun Street
London, EC2M 2PT
An immersive production of The Wolf of Wall Street, the autobiography by larger-than-life American stockbroker Jordan Belfort, is set to open at a London location in September.
Based on the 2007 memoir, which was subsequently adapted for the big screen by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street tells of the highs and lows of the millionaire lifestyle, the flat-out debauchery that comes with it, and the pressures of a high-level FBI investigation. Belfort filed for bankruptcy at the age of 25, but became a stock market millionaire by the age of 26. At one point, his company, Stratton Oakmont, made one thousand dollars per minute.
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!"
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!'.
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”.
SolarisKing Street, Lyric Square
London, W6 0QL
On a space station orbiting Solaris, three scientists have made contact with a new planet. Sent from earth to investigate reports of abnormal activity on-board, Kris Kelvin arrives to find one crew member dead and two who are seeing things that cannot be explained. When her dead lover appears to her, it seems she too has fallen victim to the mystery of this strange planet. Should she return to reality, or is this her chance to turn back time?
Have the crew been studying Solaris – or has it been studying them?
Only Fools and Horses8 Haymarket
London, SW1Y 4HT
A stage adaptation of the classic British sitcom Only Fools and Horses, co-written by Paul Whitehouse, which is now in London's West End at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
First broadcast on the BBC in 1981, Only Fools and Horses was the quintessential British comedy show. Starring David Jason as South London market trader Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter and Nicholas Lyndhurst as his younger brother Rodney, the Peckham brothers spent their lives trying to get rich quick with a number of schemes devised through their company, Trotters Independent Trading Co. Their yellow three-wheeler Reliant Regal is an icon and can be spotted on the odd road across Britain if you’re lucky…
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”.