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What’s On in London This Week? The Town Culture Diary

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What’s On in London This Week? The Town Culture Diary

Don't miss the best cultural events in the UK during the month...


What’s on in London this week? From the hottest show openings, new art exhibitions in London, restaurants to book into and tickets to buy now. Here’s your culture guide to the month ahead…

What’s on in London? August 2018

1 August

Boutique 1 Middle-Eastern New Gen Designer Pop-Up

Kick-start your August with a trip to see some of the best of emerging designer talent from the Middle East across fashion, lifestyle and fine jewellery. This Middle Eastern designer pop up will take over Boutique 1’s Sloane Street store during July and August bringing you the chance to explore and celebrate a new wave of talent. 3 July – 31 August,

2 August

Front Row Florists‘ Flower Crown Masterclass

Up your flower crown game this festival season with a floral masterclass at Notting Hill’s newest boutique florist, Front Row. Guests will spend the day creating their very own flower crown using Craspedias, Buplerums, Astrantias and Hydrangeas. Expect to leave with the perfect summer accessory or any occasion, whether it be a wedding, festival or garden party. Just in time for Wilderness and Bestival – result! Tickets cost £35 and can be purchased from See Tickets

3 August

King Lear

The Dule of York Theatre’s King Lear will supposedly be Ian McKellen’s last go at Shakespeare in a staging so intimate that half the theatre’s stall seats were removed. 11 July – 3 November,

National Theatre River Stage Weekends

National Theatre River Stage Weekends

The National Theatre River Stage weekends return with an eclectic mix of Saturday and Sunday takeovers. From drag cabaret and Sadler’s Wells dance to classical club music, family theatre and circus, these free events make the ideal Thames-side summer bash (with street food vendors on-deck). Weekends 13 July – 12 August,

4 August

Edward Bawden at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Known for his illustrations for Fortnum & Mason and the London Underground, Edward Bawden’s works will be shown in the most wide- ranging exhibition since his death at Dulwich Picture Gallery. His works of fine art, which have largely been forgotten, will be on display including 18 scarcely seen war portraits and his early paintings of the everyday. 23 May to 9 September,

5 August

London Shell Co’s Popping & Shuckin’ Cruise

London Shell Co’s Popping & Shuckin’ Cruise

Head down to London Shell Co for their very first cruise down Regent’s Canal in celebration of National Oyster Day. A four-course menu filled with oyster-based dishes will see you through the day, alongside a well-developed list of sparkling wines. The best way to spend 2 and a half hours on a sunny Sunday, the menu will showcase the best of British produce in picturesque surroundings. 5 August, tickets cost £50 per person, or £75 with wine pairings and can be booked through Explore Tock.

Print! Tearing It Up

Print! Tearing It Up celebrates independent British magazines that are changing the world. Visit Somerset House to learn about the history and impact of polemic and progressive publications that have evolved throughout the years to creating the current diversity in the industry. Until 22 August,

6 August

Rathfinny on the Roof

Hop on the tube to Picadilly Circus this August to celebrate the British summer atop one of London’s most breath-taking rooftop bars. For two weeks only, Londoners can taste the newly launched Sussex Sparkling wines from the Rathfinny Estate as they take over a private rooftop at the Ham Yard Hotel. With a glass of Sparkling Rosé Brut or Blanc de Blancs on arrival, guests can also try three additional gin cocktails from a British Negroni to a Seven Sisters Martini or a Sussex Cooler. What are you waiting for? 6-19 August, Tickets cost £18pp,

Ballet in the Square

Ballet in the Square

From contemporary performances by English National Ballet and an all-female circus spectacle to an abstract, immersive Shakespearean production by Mimbre and jazz performances from Sister Sledge with Craig Charles, Live In The Square will set Grosvenor Square alight with dazzling outdoor entertainment. 27 July to 18 August,

7 August

MasterChef Finalists Take Over South Bank

Six MasterChef finalists will be joining together to work their gastronomic magic at The Jam Shed Supper Club this July – September. Featuring spectacular views of the Thames and St Paul’s, the rooftop event will take place at London’s iconic Southbank Centre and will see Steve Kielty kick things off on the 24th July and Nawamin Pinpathomrat follow on the 7th August. 24 July – 8 September, 6.00pm and 8.30pm, Tickets are available to purchase for £45 through Southbank Centre.

8 August

Vilebrequin’s Womens Pop-Up in Mayfair

Vilebrequin's Womens Pop-Up in Mayfair

Taking over Burlington Arcade until September, the iconic French brand Velebrequin has transformed a 20 square foot space into a flawlessly intimate underwater oasis. Selling a specially curated selection of products from bikini’s to swimsuits, and beachwear, there’s nowhere better to get your summer wardrobe this year. 10-11 Burlington Arcade, London, W1J 0QJ, Monday- Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm, Until the end of  September.

9 August

Protests in Pictures at The Design Museum

Hope to Nope

It has been a decade of unrest, from the credit crunch of 2008 to Brexit and Trump, to the Arab Spring and refugee crisis. The Design Museum’s Hope to Nope exhibition explores the visual representations of political messages that have emerged from good old-fashioned placards to hashtags and memes. 28 March to 12 August,

10 August

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre - Little Shop of Horrors

See outdoor theatre in full flourish at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s summer season that kicks off with Peter Pan and runs through August with The Turn of the Screw, As You Like It and Dinosaur World Live. Until 15 September,

11 August

By the River, Henley

This brand spanking new festival on the banks of the Thames promises some of the world’s greatest classical musicians. Enjoy performances by Alfie Boe, Sir Karl Jenkins and Laura Wright while eating local, organic food from the festival’s very own farmers’ market. 11 August,

12 August

Wellcome Collection’s Summer Exhibition: TEETH

Wellcome Collection's Summer Exhibition: TEETH. Operator attending to mans teeth

Running from 17 May – 16 September, this weird but wonderful event will feature more than 150 objects including cartoons, advertisements, chairs, drills, caricatures and more which all relate to teeth! Head down to Wellcome collection, Euston Road to get your teeth stuck into this interesting event and learn all about the teeth you use every day! Free event, 17 May – 16 September,

Carlos Cruz Diaz

Carlos Cruz-Diez: Luminous Reality at PHILLIPS X

Presenting masterworks from throughout the career of Franco-Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, the exhibition will include significant and previously unseen artworks, as well as works from important, private collections. Considered one of the greatest artistic innovators of the 20th and 21dt centuries, this exhibition of Cruz-Diez’s work will focus on his exploration of kinetic-optic art through the use of colour, light and illusion. Until 6 September.

13 August

Flesh & Buns 5th Birthday Dinner

Flesh & Buns food

Celebrating turning 5 in style, the people who feed Londoners their fix of bao buns and maki rolls are hosting a five-course birthday dinner for all to enjoy. Featuring their favourite hits from the last half-decade, on the menu are salmon avocado rolls, Korean fried wings and of course, Bone Daddies’ legendary bao buns. Order a Tazaki sake to wash all of the deliciousness down and for dessert, there are passion fruit and almond chocolate s’mores. What’s more, all ticket sales will be donated to Action Against Hunger13 August, 6pm-8pm and 8:30pm-10:30pm, Tickets can be purchased for £25 through Eventbrite

14 August

BBC Proms

Played to the tune of 2018, this year’s BBC Proms line-up at the Royal Albert Hall includes feminist rap, NYC punk-disco and a YouTube sensation. The programme also covers more classical territory and celebrates the centenary of Bernstein’s birth, as well as suffrage for (some) women in the UK. 18 July – 8 September,

15 August

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier

Before his death last year, Azzedine Alaïa worked with the Design Museum to curate an exhibition of his works called The Couturier. Stories from his life are told through over 60 garments that give an insight to the designer, who very much danced to the beat of his own drum. 10 May to 7 October,

16 August

The Murdér Express

Hop on Board a 19th-century dining car for an immersive experience of top-class food and theatre. 25 May until 23 September,

17 August

Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy Exhibition


Jump on the train to the Tate Britain from March to September to learn a bit about the fascinating and renowned artist, Picasso. The exhibition takes you through the talented artist’s life during one year and explores how the honoured artist dealt with personal, artistic and political problems through artwork. 8 March – 9 September,

18 August

Creative Force: The Power of Creativity in Recovery

Art is known to be therapeutic, and many with PTSD benefit from having a creative outlet to express themselves. This exhibition showcases the skilful works of veterans, service personnel and their families – in many mediums – and explores the role of creativity in aiding recovery. It unearths the myriad emotions felt by those who leave home to serve their country, and those who are left behind. 8-19 August,

19 August

First Amongst Equals at the Foundling Museum

First Amongst Equals at the Foundling Museum

As part of The Foundling Museum’s year-long programme of exhibitions and events to mark the centenary of female suffrage and International Women’s Day, Maker Not Muse is a series of talks which rewrites the narrative of women as artists and creators rather than subject of matter. About time too. Until 13 Jan 2019,

20 August

Beautiful Allotment

Beautiful Allotment

A pop-up allotment has been dug up in East London to bring the countryside to the city for the summer. Curated by the brains behind the uber-Instagrammable Bourne & Hollingsworth Building, the living space offers an unprecedented drinking and eating experience. Taking over the superb Victorian gardens of the Geffrye Museum, the grounds feature day beds, handcrafted potting sheds, makeshift cocktail bars and of course, BBQ areas. An idyllic place to pop by for cocktails with friends, and a must if you love a bit of gardening… 25 July – 3 September,

21 August

Fun Home

London finally gets a piece of the fun when Fun Home comes to town. The Broadway export is based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel and tells the story of her sexuality and her father’s complexities. 18 June – 1 September,

Return of the Past: Postmodernism in British Architecture at Sir John Soane’s Museum

John Outram, Project for 200 Queen Victoria Street for Rosehaugh Stanhope Developers

John Outram, Project for 200 Queen Victoria Street for Rosehaugh Stanhope Developers

Focusing on six of the leading Postmodernist British Architects: Terry Farrell, CZWG, Jeremy Dixon, John Outram, and James Stirling, this exhibition looks specifically at its early ‘radical moment’ during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Moving beyond its intellectual and stylistic confines, Postmodernism’s emergence as a reaction to the effects of modernism on British towns and cities will be highlighted. Pivotal projects such as the SIS Building, Vauxhall and TVam, the Cascades and China Wharf and St Mark’s Road and later the Isle of Dogs Storm Water Pumping Station will be on display. 16 May – 26 August 2018,

22 August

Voice & Vote: Women’s Place in Parliament

Westminster Hall will host an exhibition that delves into the campaign for votes for women and the representation of women in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. 27 June – 6 October,

Imperium 1: Conspirator and Imperium 2: Dictator
Gielgud Theatre

Cicero, the greatest orator of his age, devoted all his energy and cunning to preserve the rule of law and defend Rome’s Republic against political rivals, discontented aristocrats and would-be military dictators. Imperium follows Cicero’s triumphs and disasters, through power struggles, civil wars and personal highs and lows, told through the eyes of Tiro, his loyal secretary. After a sell-out season in the Swan Theatre, Gregory Doran’s epic productions of Imperium: The Cicero Plays, based on the bestselling Cicero Trilogy by Robert Harris and adapted by Mike Poulton, is a backstage view of Rome at its most bloody and brutal. Until 8 September 2018.

23 August

The Late Shift at The National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery Late Shift

Visiting the National Portrait museum is no longer a serious, sober daytime affair as every Thursday and Friday from 6 to 9pm, they host talks, drawing, live music, film and photography events. It’s our new favourite way to go to the museum. The bar, café and restaurant have nothing to do with it… Come along this evening to the social space where everyone’s welcome and experience creativity, inspiration, conversation. Events change each week, Thursday and Friday evenings,

24 August

London’s First Pop-Up Vineyard

Brancott Estate Wines Pop-Up

Do you spend your morning commute wising you were in New Zealand wine tasting, rather than getting ready for the daily tube crush? You’re in luck (-ish). The world’s first train station vineyard is popping up across the capital, with 75ft of living vines appearing at Kings Cross, Waterloo, London Bridge and Paddington. So, you’ll be able to walk amongst the vines and enjoy a free glass of wine… and then the daily tube crush awaits. The pop-up vineyard, the first of its kind, has been created by Brancott Estate Wines, the first to plant Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough, and is apparently an antidote to the recent string of train delays causing mayhem (and despair) across the country. The micro-vineyard launched at Kings Cross Station on 17 July and will be stationed at Waterloo on 19 July, London Bridge Station on 21 July and London Paddington on 24 August. They will be open for commuters from 8am, where passers-by can speak to wine experts, wander through the vines and take advantage of ‘Selfie Spots’. Samples of Brancott Estates Wines Sauvignon Blanc will also be handed out 12pm–2pm and 4pm–8pm.

25 August

Aqua Neuva Celebrates La Tomatina

aqua neuva Celebrates La Tomatina

This August, one of Spain’s most famous festivals, La Tomatina of Buñol, comes to London in a celebration of all things red and squishy. Begin your day with a La Tomatina inspired menu including cocktails by Ketel One Vodka and taster dishes, then continue the party at Downstairs at Carousel in Marylebone where guests will enjoy more drinks courtesy of Ketel One and a cocktail-making masterclass. After you’ve been fed and watered, pick up the provided poncho and let the tomato-throwing activities commence. ¡Olé! 25 August, £49,

30 August

Wild Turkey 101s

Wild Turkey 101's event, turkey cooked

Authentic American bourbon Wild Turkey is holding a new series of events to teach Londoners the skills needed for a summer to remember. From learning how to become a BBQ master to making the perfect Old Fashioned, head down to Spitalfields’ HotBox for a unique experience. A sit-down feast of mouth-watering meat and bourbon-based cocktails awaits as a reward for all your hard work. 24 July and 30 August, Tickets are available to purchase from Line up Now for £35.

Magic Realism: Art in Weimar Germany 191-33

Albert Birkle, The Acrobat Schulz V 1921

Albert Birkle, The Acrobat Schulz V 1921

Tate Modern explores the art of the Weimar Republic (1919-33) in a year-long, free display, drawing upon the rich holdings of The George Economou Collection. This presentation of around seventy paintings and works on paper addresses the complex paradoxes of the Weimar era, in which liberalisation and anti-militarism flourished in tandem with political and economic uncertainty. 30 July 2018 – 14 July 2019

6 September

Pinter at the Pinter
Harold Pinter Theatre

Harold Pinter
A roll call of great names, including Keith Allen, Martin Freeman and Celia Imrie, will tread the boards in Pinter at the Pinter, a season where all 20 one-act-plays by the 20th-century playwright will run together for the very first time, and at the Harold Pinter Theatre. 6 Sept – 23 Feb.

The Ambassadors Theatre
Iwan Rheon

Dawn King’s Foxfinder will have its West End premiere starring Olivier Award-winner Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones’ Ramsay Bolton, Misfits). William Bloor, a foxfinder, arrives at Judith and Samuel Covey’s farm to investigate a suspected fox infestation. The Covey’s harvest has failed to meet their target and the government wants to know why. Trained from childhood, William is fixated on his mission to unearth the animals that must be to blame for the Covey’s woes. The unsettling and dark, comic drama is directed by Rachel O’Riordan, whose production of Killology at the Royal Court won the 2018 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre. 6 Sept 2018 – 5 Jan 2019.

10 September

London Mezcal Festival

London Mezcal Festival

Returning for its second year this September, Mezcal Week takes over the city to host a week-long fiesta of dinners, parties and events. The ultimate celebration for those who enjoy a glass of the Mexican spirit, party-goers can hit the Mezcal Festival in London Bridge, foodies can take a seat at a one-off dinner with well-known Mexican chef Santiago Lastra, while guests can grab a drink at one of London’s renowned mezcal venues. Mezcal aficionado or not, a good time is guaranteed.¡Salud! 10-16 September,

Fortnum’s X Frank 2018 (FXF18)

This year, for Fortnum & Mason’s annual artistic collaboration, art collector Frank Cohen lends a body of work by British landscape artist, John Virtue. Fortnum’s X Frank 2018 (FXF18) will exhibit the 70 large-scale monochromatic works across the floors of the luxury London store in Piccadilly.  10 September – 20 October.

13 September

START Art Fair

START Art Fair will return to the Saatchi Gallery for its fifth edition, providing a platform for emerging artists and young galleries worldwide. Exhibitor presentations and curated projects will feature some of the newest, most exciting contemporary art from over 50 artists and 25 countries. 13-16 September.

19 September

London Design Fair (Design)


Andrea Ferrari

Admist the bustle of LDF, designers will come together at Decorex to share specially curated products. Don’t miss the Sunday panel on kitchen design with Country & Town House’s very own Carole Annett. 16-19 September. decorex.comMake your way to also see some of the 120 showrooms and over 600 luxury brands showcased at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour’s Focus/18. 19-21 September.

26 September

Dance Umbrella

dance umbrella

The 40th anniversary of London’s international dance festival, Dance Umbrella, features Big Dance Theatre’s new romp through the frank diaries of Samuel Pepys. Other highlights of this Old Vic festival include Sasha Milavic Davies’ ‘everything that rises must dance’ – a celebration of female movement created by over 200 London women. 26 September – 21 October.

27 September

Aēsop Richmond’s Dinner Series

Aēsop Richmond's Dinner Series, plate of food

Head down to Aēsop Richmond and take a seat at one of their unique dinners to explore the transformative journey of seasonal ingredients. With an event taking place each season, guests will learn about the ingredients on their plates from initial growth through various treatments. 12 July, 27 September and 8 November, to purchase a ticket for £70 click here

Allelujah! by Alan Bennett
The Bridge Theatre

Bennett’s work is back onstage after the writer’s five year hiatus. In Allelujah, Beth is an old fashioned cradle-to-grave hospital, serving a town on the edge of the Pennines. When the hospital is threatened with closure as part of an NHS efficiency drive, a documentary crew, eager to capture its fight for survival, follows the daily struggle to find beds on the Dusty Springfield Geriatric Ward and the triumphs of the old people’s choir (newest member: the Pudsey Nightingale). 11 July – 29 September.

1 October 2018

IWM London; BBC One, London

14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums, in association with the BBC, have commissioned Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson to create a new film about the First World War. The film is being made exclusively with original, archive footage from the Imperial War Museums’ film archive and audio from the BBC archives. Working with WingNut Films, the footage has been hand-colourised and restored using the finest digital techniques. The film will premiere as part of the BFI London Film Festival in 2018 and air on BBC One. October & November.

10 November

Magnus Lindberg – Triumph to Exist, Royal Festival Hall

Composer Magnus Lindberg marks the centenary of Armistice with a major new work using the text of Edith Södergran’s poem Triumph to Exist, as part of 14-18 NOW. The London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir will premiere Lindberg’s new setting of the poem at the Royal Festival Hall alongside three other works with powerful wartime resonance: Debussy’s Berceuse héroïqueRequiem Canticles, Stravinsky’s adaptation of the Catholic requiem mass; and The Eternal Gospel, Janáček’s 1914 oratorio. 10 November,

MORE CULTURE: The C&TH Festival Guide 2018 / Current Exhibitions to See in London

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