July in London 2018

 
 
 
 
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Lovebox moves to Brockwell Park

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Lovebox moves to Brockwell Park
Barry Humphries: Weimar Cabaret
RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Citadel Festival
Kew the Music
Wimbledon
Art Night London 2018
Open Air Theatre
CHVRCHES play Citadel Festival
Kaleidoscope Festival
The Flaming Lips are at Kaleidoscope Festival
Brompton World Championship Final
RideLondon FreeCycle
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100
Prudential RideLondon Classic
Somerset House Summer Series
Greenwich Music Time
Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace
Regent Street Summer Streets
Prince and Patron
The Lehman Trilogy
Exit the King
Sounds and Sorcery celebrating Disney Fantasia
Home, I'm Darling
Wireless Festival
Africa Utopia
TEDxLondon: Beyond Borders
Pride in London Parade
Life in the Dark
Circus Sampler
River Stage Festival
Cubitt Sessions
Bedford Square Festival
Club Swizzle
Allelujah! with Alan Bennett and Arlene Phillips
Circus Originals
The Muppets Take The O2
 

 

A Monster Calls at the Old Vic in July 2018 when Lovebox and Citadel move to Gunnersbury Park and Wimbledon serves up an ace. Sam Mendes directs The Lehman Trilogy at the National where Rhys Ifans stars in Exit the King.

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Regent Street Summer Streets

Traffic is banned from one of London's busiest shopping streets for some summer fun.

Regent Street, Regent Street, London, W1B 5SJ

Tube: Oxford Circus Station

 

Dates: 01st - 22nd July 2018

 

For the first four Sundays in July Regent Street is banning traffic for the popular Summer Streets series. Throughout the four weeks, lululemon partners with Psycle, Frame, Third Space and UN1T to bring workout classes out onto Regent Street. The month-long event combines themes of art, culture, style and wellness with food and drink. Visit 12 food stalls from Danish bakery Ole & Steen, Gordon Ramsay's Heddon Street Kitchen and Gaucho and get in the spirit of summer with pool floats, interactive games, face painting and hair braiding at Hollister. Shops and restaurants from Oxford Circus to Piccadilly Circus take part with Tommy Hilfiger installing a Scalextric track and Anthropologie offering complimentary workshops. The event has a real festival like atmosphere with Joe Tilson's flags overhead, celebrating 250 years of the Royal Academy of Arts, and there's a colouring wall where you can join in and get creative with colour.

 
 
 

TEDxLondon: Beyond Borders

20 speakers address how we are beyond borders - from limitations to categories and labels.

Southbank Centre: Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 01st July 2018

 

There are over 2,800 TED talks online, free videos from a non-profit organisation devoted to 'Ideas Worth Spreading'. TEDxLondon gives you a chance to see them live and lines up 20 speakers to talk about Beyond Borders, taking place at Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 1st July. Speakers include campaigners and community activists from Justice4Grenfell, a professor from the European Space Agency's BepiColombo mission to Mercury, launching in autumn 2018, Dr Julia Shaw, co-founder of a startup that uses artificial intelligence to report workplace harassment, and public speaking expert Simon Bucknall. All the talks will address how we are beyond borders - from limitations to categories and labels.

 
 
 

Cubitt Sessions

A free festival of music and family weekends in Kings Cross.

Lewis Cubitt Park and Square, Handyside Street, London, N1C 4AY

Tube: King's Cross Station

 

Dates: 1st July to 12th August 2018

 

A free festival of music and family weekends, Cubitt Sessions gets bigger each year and this year's programme starts with a performance from King's Cross residents Aurora Orchestra. They're giving a pop-up rendition of Mozart's 40th symphony under the West Handyside Canopy, performed from memory. There's more classical music featuring London Brass, Daniel Lebhardt, and young singers from English National Opera. Every genre is covered from jazz to Balkan and Turkish music as well as 'An Evening of Songs from the Shows' on Friday 3rd August by four West End stars. Family Weekends celebrate street culture and the talents of Project_Vee and Acrojou who perform Frantic and The Wheel House, providing acrobatic extravaganzas, with a fusion of world, jazz and classical with African and Middle Eastern rhythms by Celloman.

 
 
 

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Beautiful blooms and show gardens within the grounds of Henry VIII's palace.

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, London, KT8 9AU

Tube: Richmond Station

 

Dates: 02nd - 08th July 2018

 

Held within the grounds of Henry VIII's palace - where he built one of the finest gardens in the world - the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is a highlight of London's summer calendar. Coming into bloom in July, the flower show brings with it the Butterfly Dome, where you can wander through thousands of free-flying butterflies; the Show Gardens, a favourite each year with a spectacular selection to give you garden-envy; and Family Saturday, packed with activities such as sowing seeds, a fun trail, story-telling and cookery classes. Head to the Flower Marquee to pick up tips from floral exhibitors and buy plants from specialist nurseries.

 
 
 

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships 2018

The famous tennis tournament returns for another year.

Wimbledon: The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Church Road, London, SW19 5AE

Tube: Wimbledon Park Station

 

Dates: 02nd - 15th July 2018

 

Wimbledon, the famous tennis tournament and the most watched event in the Grand Slam calendar, brings thousands of visitors to the All England Club with the live action played out on big screens at Murray Mound and all over London. Many tennis pros covet the Wimbledon crown above all others and the grass surface makes for fast, breathless duels. Tickets can be applied for through the public ballot on the website, if however you're not lucky enough to get hold of one it is easy to get in to the grounds if you queue up in the morning. However, there are only 500 tickets for the centre courts available, so you have to turn up seriously early - or queue overnight - to be certain of getting to see the biggest matches. But in the first week the outer courts still have some of the world's greatest players and you can grab tickets for them if you arrive by about 9am. Alternatively see LondonTown's Where to Watch Wimbledon for all the on court action on a big screen near you.

 
 
 
 

Greenwich Music Time

Emeli Sande, Sir Tom Jones and pop five piece Steps play next to Wren's historic riverside masterpiece.

Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, London, SE10 9LW

Tube: New Cross Station (East London line closed. Bus service operates)

 

Dates: 03rd - 08th July 2018

 

Set within the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich Music Time is a four-day series of al fresco concerts. For its fifth year the festival welcomes Emeli Sande, Sir Tom Jones and pop five piece Steps so there's something for teens, pensioners and everyone in between. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and classical crossover group, Il Divo, are also coming to London this summer as part of the six-day riverside music festival. All concerts are held in the magnificent surroundings of Sir Christopher Wren's twin-domed riverside masterpiece, overlooking the Thames and lit by the big city lights of Canary Wharf.

 
 
 

Sounds and Sorcery celebrates Disney FANTASIA

Enjoy an immersive experience of Disney's FANTASIA in The Vaults.

The Vaults, 10 Leake Street, London, SE1 7NN

Tube: Waterloo Station , Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 3rd July to 30th September 2018

 

In the year Mickey Mouse celebrates his 90th anniversary Sounds and Sorcery presents a new immersive experience of Disney's FANTASIA in The Vaults. Dance with a funky hippo, walk in a prehistoric wasteland and seek out the fish and the fairies in a forest of ethereal dreams as you sneak into the Sorcerer's lair. Each audience member, wearing headphones, is guided by the 96-piece orchestra - playing the classic soundtrack from the original film - on an interactive journey created using 3D projections, elaborate set designs and dazzling lighting effects.

 
 
 

The Lehman Trilogy

Simon Russell Beale stars as Sam Mendes directs the epic story of Lehman Brothers.

National Theatre: Lyttelton Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 4th July to 22nd September 2018

 

From July 2018, Sam Mendes directs the epic story of Lehman Brothers from its beginning in 1844 to its end 163 years later. Few will forget the scenes of bankers leaving in 2008, their personal effects in cardboard boxes. Stefano Massini's play, adapted for the National by Ben Power, has been staged across Europe. The triumphant world premiere in Paris in 2015 was directed by Arnaud Meunier. Two years later it impressed the critcis in Italy. Now this five-hour saga comes to the Lyttelton Theatre, played out in three parts over one evening, charting the extraordinary story of three Jewish brothers who "became the kings of Wall Street" (The Guardian), starring Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles as the Lehman Brothers, their sons and grandsons.

 
 
 

Bedford Square Festival

Shakespeare's As You Like It is performed in one of London's finest Georgian squares.

Bedford Square Gardens, Bedford Square, London, WC1B 5BL

Tube: Russell Square Station , Holborn Station

 

Dates: 04th - 07th July 2018

 

Every July one of London's finest Georgian squares, not usually open to the public, hosts a four day summer festival with an eclectic arts programme and gives everyone the chance to enjoy a picnic in the historic, private gardens. With more than forty free events the Bedford Square Festival covers literature, art, architecture, history, film, theatre and education. Speaking on this year's theme, Share the Square, is V&A Director, Tristram Hunt, talking about sharing knowledge and expertise in the arts and culture sector. On Wednesday 4th July, the garden gates are unlocked so you can enjoy free access to this beautifully-tended green space and listen to live music. As well as panel discussions, talks from staff at Sotheby's and An Evening with A.C. Grayling, Shakespeare's As You Like It, set in the late '60s, is performed in Bedford Square on Thursday 5th July.

 
 
 

Somerset House Summer Series

Metronomy, De La Soul and Don Letts fill the courtyard of Somerset House with pulsating music.

Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 05th - 15th July 2018

 

British band Metronomy, hip hop pioneers De La Soul and Don Letts, celebrating British bass culture, come to the courtyard of Somerset House for this year's Summer Series - one of the best Summer Music Festivals in London. Australia's festival favourites Flight Facilities are followed by David Rodigan who joins forces with The Outlook Orchestra to present a night of reggae. Philadelphia's finest, The Roots, come before rising stars Jorja Smith and winner of the BBC Sound of 2018, Sigrid ('the new Lorde' - The Guardian). That's all before Ireland's queen of the avant-garde, Roisin Murphy, closes the series. In addition to eleven nights of live music there's The Influence Project, a photography exhibition that digs deep into the roots and influence of modern R&B, Funk, Soul and Afrobeat.

 
 
 
 

Women Empowered

Works by celebrated female artists go on display throughout Sketch.

Sketch London, 9 Conduit Street, London, W1S 2XG

Tube: Oxford Circus Station

 

Dates: 5th July to 4th September 2018

 

With 2018 being hailed as the 'year of the woman', Sketch is celebrating with a Women Empowered exhibition. The show displays a series of works by celebrated female artists, including a selection of works by Eliza Douglas, Harriet Fleuriot, Hannah Quinland and Rosie Hasting curated by Presenza, as well as works by Dianne Harris, Lauren Baker and Denise Jones. Visitors will be able to see Power Women by Dianne Harris, an impressive new holographic installation, and two textile works by Denise Jones that look at embroidered cloths worked in Holloway Prison by Suffragettes.

 
 
 

As You Like It

Shakespeare's play lends itself perfectly to the wooded setting of the Open Air Theatre.

Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4NR

Tube: Regent's Park Station

 

Dates: 06th - 28th July 2018

 

In the mythical Forest of Arden, Shakespeare's As You Like It lends itself perfectly to the wooded setting of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. In a world of transformation where anything is possible and anything permissible, two young people discover what it really means to be in love. Directed by Max Webster (who directed Dr Suess' The Lorax at the Old Vic and Twelfth Night re-imagined for everyone aged six and over here at Regents Park), with new music by the former frontman of Noah and the Whale, Charlie Fink, this warm, open-hearted open air production promises adventure, sibling rivalry, mistaken identity and romance.

 
 
 

British Summer Time Hyde Park

Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Michael Buble and Bruno Mars play live

Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge Station

 

Dates: 06th - 15th July 2018

 

Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Michael Buble and Bruno Mars play live at British Summer Time Hyde Park, which returns for a sixth year in 2018 with another impressive line-up of big names in rock and pop. Playing Hyde Park on Saturday 14th July 2018, Brit and Grammy Award winner Bruno Mars will be joined by special guest, Khalid, who at the age of 19 won 2017's MTV VMA award for Best New Artist. Between two weekends of live music there's free entertainment in Hyde Park with open-air movie nights and tennis screenings, street food stalls and daytime DJs. Free sports sessions and after school multi-sports for kids are also part of the mid-week entertainment. Look out for more acts to be announced.

 
 
 

Wireless Festival

Stormzy, J. Cole and DJ Khaled and Friends headline the three-day festival in Finsbury Park.

Finsbury Park, Endymion Road, London, N4 1EE

Tube: Manor House Station

 

Dates: 06th - 08th July 2018

 

The three-day Wireless music festival returns to Finsbury Park for a fifth year, playing host to Stormzy, J. Cole and DJ Khaled and Friends. Rapper J. Cole headlines on Friday, musical superstar Stormzy takes over the main stage on Saturday while DJ Khaled closes the festival on Sunday, performing before Giggs returns to his hometown for what is set to be a huge performance. Festival goers will also hear from godfather of grime Wiley, North London's Wretch 32, Detroit-bred rapper Big Sean and triple BRIT Award nominee, J Hus, as well as many more. Since its first outing back in 2005 Wireless has firmly established itself as one of London's major large scale hip-hop, grime and rap music events, attracting crowds of over 20,000 for each of the three days.

 
 
 

A Monster Calls

A stage version of Patrick Ness's magical realist novel.

Old Vic Theatre, 103 The Cut, London, SE1 8NB

Tube: Waterloo Station , Southwark Station, Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 7th July to 25th August 2018

 

Sally Cookson - the director behind Jane Eyre and Peter Pan at the National Theatre - creates a stage version of Patrick Ness's magical realist novel, A Monster Calls, for the Old Vic, as part of the theatre's 200th anniversary season. Already a film, with the monster voiced by Liam Neeson, Cookson directs this staged version of Ness's award-winning novel which centres on a 13-year-old boy called Conor, who learns to face his darkest fears in the company of a hulking monster that visits him at night. This adaptation, an Old Vic production made in association with Bristol Old Vic and shown there first, is suitable for children aged 10 and above.

 
 
 
 

Art Night London 2018

The nocturnal art festival is curated by Hayward Gallery for the first time.

The Hayward Gallery, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XZ

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 07th July 2018

 

A night of free art, performance and music, Art Night partners with the Hayward Gallery for the first time. The festival will be curated by the Southbank gallery, to coincide with the its 50th anniversary in July 2018. Promising its most ambitious art trail to date, follow the route along the Thames from Southbank Centre through Vauxhall and Nine Elms to Battersea. Art Night will also feature commissions and artists' projects in iconic and off-the-beaten-track venues for just one night.

 
 
 

Pride in London Parade

The parade returns for another day of dancing, marching and rollerskating.

Trafalgar Square, Central, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DS

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Leicester Square Station, Embankment Underground Station, Piccadilly Circus Station

 

Dates: 07th July 2018

 

With growing numbers year on year, the Pride in London Parade is back for 2018 for another colourful occasion of dancing, marching and rollerskating through London. Celebrate the people and organisations who've contributed to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights over the years and join the parade as it marches proudly from Baker Street, along Oxford Street and Regent Street, ending in Trafalgar Square with a concert featuring chart acts, musicians, dancers, West End stars and other performers.

 
 
 

The Color Run

'The Happiest 5k on the Planet' returns with the theme of Marvel-lous.

Wembley Park, , London, HA9 0WS

Tube: Wembley Park Station

 

Dates: 08th July 2018

 

Known as 'The Happiest 5k on the Planet' The Color Run returns to London in 2018, taking place at Wembley Park. Less about speed and more about fun, the event sees runners/walkers/dancers begin the event in clean white t-shirts, but after being doused in a different coloured paint at each kilometre, crossing the finish line completely covered in a vivid rainbow. Last year took the theme of Dream while this year it will be Marvel-lous, with participants invited to celebrate their favourite heroes.

 
 
 

Kew the Music

Gipsy Kings, The Human League and Jools Holland play live at this year's festival.

Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB

Tube: Kew Gardens Station

 

Dates: 10th - 15th July 2018

 

Gipsy Kings, The Human League and Jools Holland play live at this year's Kew the Music, a week-long festival of summer picnic concerts set within the stunning grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. On Wednesday 11th July The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonnino Baliardo play hits from their eponymous album which featured the global smash hits Bamboleo, Un Amor and Djoba Djoba. Electro-pioneers The Human League play their heady cocktail of pop, dance, glamour and electronics on Friday 13th July and Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra wrap things up on Sunday, with help from regular guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall.

 
 
 

Barry Humphries: Weimar Cabaret

A celebration of Barry Humphries' lifelong passion and fascination with the music of the Weimar Republic.

Barbican Theatre, Silk Street, Soho, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station , Moorgate Station

 

Dates: 11th - 29th July 2018

 

Last seen in London in July 2016, Weimar Cabaret is a celebration of Barry Humphries' lifelong passion and fascination with the music of the Weimar Republic. The legendary entertainer, best known for as Dame Edna Everage, sets aside his alter ego to share witty anecdotes and irreverent asides as he narrates in his own inimitable style. He's joined by cabaret diva Meow Meow, an Australian artist who recently appeared as Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream season at Shakespeare's Globe. Both are accompanied live onstage by the Aurora Orchestra for a risque, sophisticated and seductive tribute to the jazz-infused music of the Weimar Republic.

 
 
 
 

Allelujah!

Nicholas Hytner directs Alan Bennett's new comedy drama centred on an NHS hospital.

The Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Fields Park, London, SE1 2SG

Tube: London Bridge Station

 

Dates: 11th July to 28th September 2018

 

A film crew arrives at an NHS hospital on the edge of the Pennines, which is threatened with closure, to document the daily struggle to find beds on the Dusty Springfield Geriatric Ward in the world premiere staging of Alan Bennett's comedy drama. Nicholas Hytner directs Allejujah! at The Bridge Theatre, which promises to be "as sharp as The History Boys and as funny as The Lady in the Van".

 
 
 

The Great Masked Ball: Swan Lake

An evening of feasting, dancing, storytelling and adventuring.

Secret Location, , London, XX1 0LL

Tube:

 

Dates: 11th July to 11th August 2018

 

After the success of their previous event, In Night's Darkling Glory, which offered an immersive retelling of Tristan and Isolde, The Lost Estate now present The Great Masked Ball. Transforming a secret venue near London Bridge into a fairytale palace, the grand evening takes visitors on a journey through the story of Swan Lake. Guests will don their favourite mask and settle in for an evening of feasting, dancing and adventuring, all taking place in a world created by the set designers behind Planet Gingerline and Alice Underground. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a tasty aperitif before settling down to a Russian banquet created by two Masterchef champions. Following this, you'll take to the floor for dancing and revelry before heading out into the forest in search for the glittering shores of Swan Lake. Finally, uncover the secret forest bar to revel into the small hours. The Critics Circle Male Dancer of the Year, the Royal Philharmonic and BBC Symphony will be among a 40-strong cast of dancers, actors and musicians that will help bring the Swan Lake story to life. Expect an evening of escapism, beauty and magic.

 
 
 

Lovebox

The festival moves to West London for its 16th year.

Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, London, W3 8LQ

Tube: Acton Town Station

 

Dates: 13th - 14th July 2018

 

Legendary rap group Wu-Tang Clan, Childish Gambino, N.E.R.D and Skepta lead the line up at Lovebox which comes to Gunnersbury Park in July 2018. After thirteen years at Victoria Park, Lovebox moves to its new West London home in Gunnersbury Park for its 16th year. Jools Butterfield, founder of the festival, says: "Nothing stays the same forever, and after thirteen very happy years in East London, it's time to open a new, ever more colourful chapter in our history." With high calibre headliners and a laid back party atmosphere, the love Londoners have for Lovebox continues to burn bright. The day after Lovebox, on 13th and 14th July, Citadel opens its doors on Sunday 15th July 2018.

 
 
 

River Stage Festival

Five weekends of free entertainment and food and drink pop-ups next to the National.

National Theatre, South Bank, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 13th July to 12th August 2018

 

The River Stage Festival is back at the National Theatre this summer for five weekends of free entertainment. There's an eclectic mix of theatre, drag, DJs, family fun, contemporary dance, outdoor cinema and live music including takeover weekends from East London's The Glory, HOME Manchester, Sadler's Wells and Nonclassical who turn classical music on its head. The festival launches on 13th July and includes a series of food and drink pop-ups covering craft beers, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizzas, ice cream and organic wines on draft. Whether you're at the National to see a show or just wondering along the Thames, this free festival adds a bit of fun to your weekend outing.

 
 
 

Life in the Dark

An exploration of how animals thrive without light.

Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

Tube: South Kensington Station , Gloucester Road Station

 

Dates: 13th July 2018 to 6th January 2019

 

A new exhibition at the Natural History Museum, Life in the Dark explores how different breeds of animals thrive without light. From the middle of the night to the darkest of caves and into the deepest oceans, there are entire worlds that are left completely in the dark and undiscovered. Using the latest scientific and technologic advances, the exhibition delves into the deepest corners of the earth to show visitors everything from fish to foxes, bats to boas and moles to moths, illustrating how ecosystems can thrive even without the presence of sunshine.

 
 
 
 

The Muppets Take The O2

Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie Bear and furry friends appear in their first full-length live show in Europe.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 13th - 14th July 2018

 

They've been entertaining audiences for over 60 years but this is the first time the famous Muppets appear in a full-length live show in Europe. Based on their hit 1980s variety TV show, Miss Piggy and Kermit The Frog will lead an all-star cast at The O2. Highlights include Miss Piggy in a show-stopping musical extravaganza and a rocking musical jam by The Muppets' legendary house band Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, with Animal on drums. There's also the debut of all-new original chapters of those classic Muppet Show sketches like Pigs in Space. Join The Swedish Chef, Great Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and furry friends for a witty show that doesn't just trade on 1970s nostalgia but has enough Kardashian in-jokes to appeal to a new generation of Muppet fans.

 
 
 

Citadel Festival

Tame Impala headlines the laid back festival which also welcomes CHVRCHES to West London.

Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, London, W3 8LQ

Tube: Acton Town Station

 

Dates: 15th July 2018

 

Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala headline Citadel festival with CHVRCHES and The Horrors also on the excellent line up as the laid back one-day festival moves to a new West London location this July: Gunnersbury Park. As well as music on the main stage there's a good choice of alternative entertainment from dance and drawing to screen printing and children's workshops, fashion and beauty stalls, fitness activities like disco dodgeball, and Sunday Papers Live with invited speakers creating a forum for debate.

 
 
 

Exit the King

Rhys Ifans stars as the King in Patrick Marber's adaptation of Ionesco's dark comedy.

National Theatre: Olivier Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 8XZ

Tube: Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 17th July to 8th September 2018

 

This July at the National's Olivier Theatre, Patrick Marber (the author of Closer, who more recently adapted Three Days in the Country and Hedda Gabler for the National) directs his own adaptation of Eugene Ionesco's dark comedy, Exit the King. On the back of his lead role in A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic Theatre, Rhys Ifans stars as the King, who is 400 years old and dying, while Indira Varma (Game of Thrones, Man and Superman) takes the role of his first Queen. Anthony Ward, who did the sets for Sweeney Todd and for Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker, provides the designs.

 
 
 

Nelson Mandela: The Centenary Exhibition 2018

This brand-new exhibition marks the centenary of Nelson's Mandela's birthday.

Southbank Centre: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 17th July to 19th August 2018

 

This summer, the Southbank Centre marks the centenary of Nelson Mandela's birthday with a brand-new exhibition. Taking place in the newly renovated Queen Elizabeth Hall, Nelson Mandela: The Centenary Exhibition 2018 will explore the life and times of the iconic leader, from young freedom fighter to becoming the inspiration for an international movement against South Africa's violent apartheid system. Items on display include the famous Robben Island Bible, a pickaxe used by Mandela and his colleagues in the Robben Island Quarry, a letter of thanks written by Mandela to the British public, and the complete works of Shakespeare, which was studied by the leader during his time in prison.

 
 
 

Africa Utopia

Amadou & Mariam, comedy, poetry, interactive theatre, talks and a free Block Party on the Festival Terrace.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 19th - 22nd July 2018

 

Back for a sixth time, Africa Utopia at the Southbank Centre looks at how African art and ideas can change the world for the better. Highlights in 2018 include Amadou & Mariam at the Royal Festival Hall, the Chineke! Orchestra performing a free jazz-infused concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the UK premiere screening of a film based on Nnedi Okorafor's short story Hello, Moto. Come to the festival for comedy, poetry, interactive theatre, literature, talks and a free outdoor gig by Kasai Masai, blending African rural and urban music. Further free activities include craft workshops from AFRORETRO, the Afro Dance Championships and an outdoor Block Party on the Festival Terrace. The Africa Utopia Marketplace returns with over 30 stalls selling African-inspired fashion, accessories, books, art and homeware.

 
 
 
 

The Importance Of Being Earnest

Olivier Award-winner Sophie Thompson stars in this take on Oscar Wilde's classic.

Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Charing Cross Station, Embankment Underground Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 20th July to 20th October 2018

 

Concluding the Classic Spring Oscar Wilde Season, The Importance of Being Earnest is staged at the Vaudeville Theatre this summer. Olivier Award-winner Sophie Thompson takes the role of Lady Bracknell and the production also stars Jeremy Swift as Reverend Chasuble and Sinead Matthews as Gwendolyn Fairfax. Wilde's much-loved masterpiece brings love, logic and language into the fold, tackling the topics of romantic entanglements and dual identities.

 
 
 

Sea Creatures

A display of real-life specimens provides a glimpse into the deepest parts of our oceans.

Royal Horticultural Halls, 80 Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2PE

Tube: St James's Park Station , Victoria Station

 

Dates: 20th July to 30th August 2018

 

This summer, Lawrence Hall at the Royal Horticultural Halls hosts a groundbreaking new exhibition that delves deep into the ocean. Displaying 50 ethically sourced, real-life specimens, Sea Creatures explores the secrets of life beneath the waves by showcasing cross-sections of animals such as whales, penguins and Great White sharks. Visitors can get up close and personal with the complex organs, which reveal how a life in the ocean is possible. The exhibition also includes VR experiences that give a glimpse into the deepest parts of the world's oceans.

 
 
 

KERB: The Bucket List

London's best fried chicken traders battle it out over one finger lickin' weekend.

West Handyside Canopy, York Way, London, N1C 4UZ

Tube: King's Cross Station

 

Dates: 20th - 21st July 2018

 

Last year, street food specialists KERB hosted London's first fried chicken festival and now it's set to make its return. Taking over West Handyside Canopy for a whole weekend in July, The Bucket List brings together all of London's best fried chicken for one finger lickin' event. Step into a world of sizzling, bubbling, hot and spicy crunchiness with food from the likes of Butchies, Mother Flipper, Thunderbird, Morley's and, reigning bucket list champion, Petare. Feast on buffalo-chipotle wings with pickled celery, NYC fried chicken sliders, tandoori fried chicken with mango hot sauce, and Korean wings. As well as chicken, there will also be drinks, music and games. Who will win the title of London's best fried chicken? You decide.

 
 
 

Prince and Patron

Over 100 works of art selected personally by The Prince of Wales to mark his 70th birthday.

Buckingham Palace , Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1A 1AA

Tube: Victoria Station

 

Dates: 21st July to 30th September 2018

 

To mark The Prince of Wales's 70th birthday this year the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace includes a special display of over 100 works of art personally selected by His Royal Highness. Among the works selected for Prince and Patron are Johan Joseph Zoffany's 18th century painting The Tribuna of the Uffizi, Napoleon Bonaparte's cloak, removed from the Emperor's baggage train in the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and a 1970's oil sketch of The Queen. Alongside works of art from the Royal Collection are pieces created by young artists supported by three of Prince Charles's charities so you'll also see textiles, ceramics, calligraphy, stained glass, Moroccan designs and modern mosaics.

 
 
 

Kaleidoscope Festival

Brand new music and arts festival with music from The Flaming Lips, The Go! Team and Ghostpoet.

Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, Wood Green, London, N22 7AY

Tube: Bounds Green Station

 

Dates: 21st July 2018

 

This summer, Alexandra Palace presents brand new music and arts festival, Kaleidoscope. Billed as the first festival of its kinds at the north London venue, with far reaching views of the city, there's live music from The Flaming Lips, The Go! Team, Ghostpoet, Mystery Jets, alongside DJ sets from the likes of The 2 Bears, Norman Jay MBE, Don Letts and others. It's not just about the music. Katherine Ryan and Mark Watson cover off comedy, there's poetry from Dr. John Cooper Clarke and Bang Said The Gun, inspiring insights from LDN Talks and musical satire from Johnny & The Baptist. Also on the bill are immersive experts RIFT - find them in the rarely opened Victorian basements - and the death-defying Gorilla Circus while demos from the Science Museum and performances from Flying Seagull Project and Chickenshed Theatre make this a festival for fun-seekers of all ages. Food stalls include a lovingly curated vegan corner and there's a wellbeing space for the more mindfully inclined.

 
 
 
 

Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace

See nineteen State Rooms still used by the Royal Family and open to the public in summer.

Buckingham Palace , Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1A 1AA

Tube: Victoria Station

 

Dates: 21st July to 30th September 2018

 

Every summer inquisitive visitors get the chance to look around Buckingham Palace and admire the grand State Rooms used by heads of state at the Summer Opening. This year, to mark the 70th birthday of The Prince of Wales this year, visitors can also see Prince and Patron, a special display of over 100 works of art personally selected by His Royal Highness. See the nineteen State Rooms which are still used by the Royal Family to receive and entertain guests on state and ceremonial occasions. Decorated in lavish fashion, they include paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto, Sevres porcelain and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world. There are also some exquisite royal gifts, including Faberge Eggs, on display. This is a fascinating opportunity to admire the taste - often wonderful, sometimes comically bad - of Britain's monarchy. Audio Guides: Audio tours are included in the admission price and are available in the following languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Russian.

 
 
 

Home, I'm Darling

Unsettling new comedy about one woman's quest to be the perfect 1950s housewife.

National Theatre: Dorfman, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 24th July to 5th September 2018

 

Katherine Parkinson (whose role as Jen in the IT Crowd "brought her something close to a cult following" - The Guardian) plays Judy in Home, I'm Darling, an unsettling new comedy about one woman's quest to be the perfect 1950s housewife, written by Laura Wade (who penned Posh). Every couple needs a little fantasy to keep their marriage sparkling. But behind the gingham curtains, things start to unravel, and being a domestic goddess is not as easy as it seems. This co-production with Theatr Clwyd is directed by Tamara Harvey and opens in the Emlyn Williams Theatre in Wales before transferring to the Dorfman Theatre.

 
 
 

Circus Originals

An exploration of the history of contemporary circus.

Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 25th July to 7th August 2018

 

Running simultaneously with Circus Sampler - the biggest free outdoor contemporary circus event in central London - Somerset House presents Circus Originals. The show and this accompanying exhibition take place in celebration of the 250th anniversary of contemporary circus. Circus Originals explores the history of contemporary circus, from the beginnings of modern circus in the 1800s to the radical acts of the 1980s and present-day interpretations. The display will showcase a number of pioneers and new thinkers who have transformed the circus genre. One feature includes a new site-responsive installation by Rose English, who traces her fascination with the circus industry through the figure of Katja Schumann, a renowned rider of the traditional circus.

 
 
 

Brompton World Championship Final

Strictly no Lycra at this unique race on the UK's best-loved folding bicycles.

St James's Park, Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2BJ

Tube: Westminster Station , St James's Park Station

 

Dates: 28th July 2018

 

The annual Brompton World Championship comes to central London this summer, tying in with the Prudential RideLondon cycling festival. The London event takes the form of a Le Mans style start as 550 smartly-dressed competitors (strictly no Lycra) make a mad dash to unfold their bikes before setting off on the 16 km circuit which starts on The Mall and covers eight laps around St James' Park, past Buckingham Palace before finishing back on The Mall. Given the cult-like nature of these much loved folding British Brompton bikes, its no surprise that this has become a hugely enjoyable, somewhat eccentric event with prizes for fastest team, best veteran riders and the best dressed cyclists. It'll be hard to top last year's nail biting finish - when Catalan cyclist, Unai Alvarez Mosquera won by only one centimetre - to reveal who'll be crowned the new champion.

 
 
 

RideLondon FreeCycle

Family friendly event where cyclists of all abilities can ride through London's traffic-free streets.

The Mall, Westminster, St James's, London, SW1Y 5AH

Tube: St James's Park Station

 

Dates: 28th July 2018

 

Britain's biggest bike festival, Prudential RideLondon, gets under way with the RideLondon FreeCycle, a family friendly event in which around 70,000 riders typically take part. A celebration of cycling, the event gives cyclists of all abilities a rare chance to ride through traffic-free streets in central London. An eight-mile loop - with bands, music bikes and stilt bicycles along the way - takes in some of London's most iconic sights, with participants free to stop and start, take photos and experience the fun and freedom of riding without worrying about cars, lorries and buses. From Tower Bridge to Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament, London's greatest sights will create an inspiring backdrop for a memorable day of cycling - and if you finish and want some more, then simply ride the route a second time. The FreeCycle is part of a weekend of cycling which includes the Brompton World Championship, RideLondon GrandPrix, the RideLondon 100 and RideLondon Classic for the pros.

 
 
 
 

Circus Sampler

The biggest free outdoor contemporary circus event in central London.

Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 28th July to 5th August 2018

 

In the year that circus celebrates its 250th birthday, Somerset House presents the biggest free outdoor contemporary circus event in central London. Taking place across two weekends - one in July and one in August - Circus Sampler will premiere exciting and distinctive shows in the spectacular 18th-century courtyard. One the first weekend, Far From The Norm and a group of international and London artists will perform the London premiere of Union Black, which combines fast-paced footwork and physical floor-work with Chinese pole and tight-wire. On the second weekend, Gandini Juggling give the world premiere of a special commission, Cascade. Performing in tandem with the rise and fall of the 55 water jets of the courtyard fountain, 30 jugglers will send balls flying through the air in a magnificent display. Running concurrently with Circus Sampler, Somerset House will also host the Circus Originals exhibition, exploring the history of contemporary circus.

 
 
 

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100

Keen amateur cyclists take on the leg-testing route faced by the pros.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Olympic Park, London, E15 2EE

Tube: Hackney Wick Overground Station

 

Dates: 29th July 2018

 

Embracing the cycling legacy created by the London 2012 Olympics, Prudential RideLondon 100 allows keen amateur cyclists to take on the leg-testing route faced by the pros. Taking place just hours before the world's top cyclists compete in RideLondon Classic, an estimated 25,000 participants cycle in the 100-mile race. The route starts at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and follows closed roads through the capital, Richmond Park and onto Surrey's country roads and hills, before finishing on The Mall. If 100 miles seems too much, then register for Saturday's FreeCycle event - a more leisurely eight-mile loop through central London over traffic-free roads.

 
 
 

Prudential RideLondon Classic

The world's best cyclists battle it out on a 200km route through London and Surrey.

The Mall, Westminster, London, SW1Y 5AH

Tube: St James's Park Station

 

Dates: 29th July 2018

 

See the world's best cyclists battle it out at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on the last Sunday of July. Britain's biggest one-day bike race will see 150 of the world's top pro cyclists take on a 200km route through London and Surrey. The race pits 25 teams of six riders against one another, starting on Horse Guards Road in St James's Park, heading west through the capital, past Richmond Park, out to the Surrey Hills via Dorking and up Leith Hill, the highest point in Surrey before circling back to end on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. For spectators, there's a huge variety of great vantage points from where you can support your cycling heroes along the way. A good option is to head to the start area on Horse Guards Parade next to St James's Park where you can see the pro riders signing in. The race will also be televised live on the BBC and shown on a big screen in Green Park.

 
 
 

Magic Realism: Art in Weimar Germany 1919-33

This year-long exhibition explores German art in the period between WWI and WWII.

Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street, London, SE1 9TG

Tube: Blackfriars Underground Station

 

Dates: 30th July 2018 to 14th July 2019

 

A free, year-long exhibition at Tate Modern, Magic Realism: Art in Weimar Germany 1919-33 explores German art in the period between WWI and WWII. Drawing on the holdings of The George Economou Collection, the exhibition presents around 70 paintings and works on paper in order to explore the art of the Weimar Republic. During the period, a time of political economic uncertainty, liberalisation and anti-militarism flourished and 'magic realism' - a term invented by artist and critic Franz Roh in 1925 - demonstrated a shift from the expressionist era to unsettling imagery. The display comes in a year of commemoration of the anniversary of the end of WWI, during which Tate Britain presents Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One.

 
 
 

Jamavar Women's Club

A host of inspirational women share their stories over dinner.

Jamavar, 8 Mount Street, London, W1K 3NF

Tube: Bond Street Station

 

Dates: 30th July to 17th September 2018

 

This summer, high-end Indian restaurant Jamavar hosts the Jamavar Women's Club in its subterranean bar. Welcoming a number of inspirational women, it's an antidote to the traditional 'boy's clubs' of Mayfair and will celebrate the diverse talents, ideas and advice of these powerful women. Kicking off on the 30th July, the inaugural event welcomes broadcaster and writer Edith Bowman, who has been working in TV and radio for nearly 20 years. The line-up also includes Kathryn Sargent, Savile Row's first female master tailor; Helene Darroze, the only double Michelin-starred female chef patron in the UK; and Olympic gold hockey players Kate Richardson-Walsh, the most capped female hockey player in her country's history, and teammate Helen Richardson-Walsh. Additionally, Culinary Director Surender Mohan has created a bespoke Women's Club menu. Tickets are £45 and include a welcome drink, canapes and a three-course dinner.

 
 
 

Club Swizzle

Outrageous cabaret and air-defying acrobatics at what promises to be the wildest bar in town.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station

 

Dates: 31st July to 26th August 2018

 

From the creators of La Soiree comes Club Swizzle, a summer of outrageous cabaret, air-defying acrobatics and infectious musical entertainment at the Roundhouse. Making its UK and European premiere, the production presents a new show backed by a live band and taking place around, across and above a fully functioning bar in the middle of it all. They promise 'the wildest bar in town' with acrobats, troubadours and cabaret queens led by special guest host and Cafe de Paris regular Reuben Kaye.

 
 
 

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