Ghosts and ghouls come out to play for Halloween at the end of the month but before that in October there are some of the capital's autumnal cultural mainstays in the Frieze Art Fair and the BFI London Film Festival. Also, keep a look out for the Tate's blurry Gerhard Richter retrospective.
6th October 2011 - 8th January 2012
The first major retrospective of the work of the German visual artist Gerhard Richter in London for over 20 years comes to Tate Modern this autumn. Renowned for his eye-catching photo-paintings and his celebrated "Blur" technique, Richter is considered as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, with many critics proclaiming the soon-to-be-octogenarian the world's best living painter today. Including his photo-paintings (1962-7), his early landscape and cityscape experimentations (1967-9), his fabled sequence of paintings based on images of the Baader-Meinhof group (1988) and his squeegee paintings of the 90s, this exhibition will chronologically catalogue the important phases of Richter's career, showing the full variety of media in which the artist has worked. Gerhard Richter: Panorama will also feature three glass constructions made in 1867, 1976 and 2002, and culminates with a room bringing together Richter's most recent paintings, including September (2005), based on an image of the 9/11 attack.
11th October 2011 - 9th April 2012
Berlin-based English visual artists Tacita Dean undertakes the 12th commission in The Unilever Series for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern this autumn. In the past, installations have included giant slides, a portentous crack, a walk-in black box and a fake setting sun, while the previous year's offering by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei saw the whole hall covered with 100 million intricately hand-carved porcelain sunflower seeds. There's no word yet on how Dean will fill the vast open space, but the 45-year-old former Turner Prize nominee, who is one of the celebrated Young British Artists, works primarily in film, touching also on drawing, photography and sound. It will be interesting to see if Dean chooses film as her media for it is something yet to be attempted in the history of the Unilever Series. For more information please visit www.tate.org.uk.
12th October 2011 - 27th October 2011 - DATES TO BE CONFIRMED
Every October the BFI Southbank and selected cinemas across London host the BFI London Film Festival. Now in its 55th year, the festival attracts Hollywood players and Indie film-makers from around the globe. As well as a few blockbuster premieres, gala films and celebrity-studded ceremonies, there is a commendable amount of programme time given over to small independent films, foreign language cinema, documentary work, animation and BFI National Archive classics. Over 16 days last year's festivals screened a total of 197 features and 112 shorts from 67 different countries, including 11 world, 23 international and 33 European premieres. Opening the festival was Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go, a dystopian drama starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield, whilst Danny Boyle's typically colourful 127 Hours, based on the true story of an American mountain climber who amputated his arm to free himself after being trapped by a boulder, closed the festival. An excellent film programme is enhanced by a number of correlating events, such as informal post-screening Q&As, guest appearances, workshops and masterclasses. The 2011 dates and line-up are yet to be confirmed so keep checking www.bfi.org.uk/lff for the latest news and details.
13th October 2011 - 16th October 2011
As the country's leading contemporary art fair, the Frieze Art Fair is far from conventional and there's always the possibility of stumbling across something extraordinary. And with Frieze the world's most influential art buyers arrive in Regent's Park. Specially commissioned art works are exhibited alongside curated exhibitions as well as the pieces for sale presented by 173 of the most highly respected contemporary art galleries in the world. Among the paintings and installations in Regent's Park there's an amazing jumble of the comical, the beautiful and the shocking. You can expect site-specific projects, short films, a prestigious talks programme and an artist-led education schedule all presented in a captivatingly chaotic atmosphere. It's packed into a vast temporary structure in the park with work by around 1,000 contemporary artists crammed in. There's an incredible wealth of art on display - and the incredibly wealthy come to buy it. For people-watching alone, Frieze is a must for any Londoner with an acute interest in the art world. Returning once again will be Hix Oyster Bar & Restaurant, alongside numerous cafes, Gail's artisan bakery and Japanese sushi restaurant Moshi Moshi - so you'll be able to take a much-needed pit stop as you trail around the collection. Last year, two music events also run alongside the fair. For more information go to www.friezeartfair.com.
14th October 2011
She kissed a girl and she liked it - but she kissed Russell Brand, and that was even better. 2010 was a busy year for Katy Perry, who released her second mainstream album, Teenage Dream, recorded with Snoop Dogg, appeared on Sesame Street, The Simpsons and The X Factor, fronted her own fragrance, Purr, partied with her best friend Rihanna, and found the time to get hitched to Brand in India. Now the gospel-singer-cum-popstress is hitting the road with a massive California Dreams Tour in 2011, which calls into London at the Hammersmith Apollo for three back-to-back shows in March and Wembley Arena for one night in April, before returning later in the year at The O2 Arena in October. Expect massive production and loads of visuals - Perry promises it will be "10 times better" than her last tour - as the energetic singer ploughs through her classics, as well as recent singles California Gurls, Teenage Dream and Firework.
19th October 2011 - 23rd October 2011
Planning to hit the slopes next winter? Before you take off for snowier climes you'd be wise to put in some pre-ski prep work at the Ski & Snowboard Show which turns Olympia into a giant snow dome. Almost in its 40th year, this snow show is almost as much fun as the real thing and makes for a great day out for friends and families. Taking over the Grand Hall and Balcony of Olympia, this is a mammoth event. As well as the chance to buy all the latest gear and clothes, there are bargain ski trips and, centre stage, is the main slope - where expert skiers perform and compete. It's a great spectator sport. Take the kids along - anyone under 11 goes free and there is also a creche, ice rink and husky dogs to keep your mini winter sports enthusiasts occupied. Whether it's skiing or boarding that takes your fancy the on-hand qualified pros are there to take you through the basics. There's even practical advice on how to juggle your passion for skiing without giving up the day job. With a show on this scale, it's like having a ski resort in the capital. Truly the best way to kick-start the winter season.
23rd October 2011
Film lovers will flock to the Royal Albert Hall this October to see a high definition cinematic screening of the groundbreaking Oscar winning film The Matrix, accompanied by Don Davis's film score performed by the NDR Pops Orchestra from Hamburg. This event follows on from the success of the sell-out live orchestral screenings of Lord of the Rings trilogy last year at the Royal Albert Hall. Starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne, The Matrix played a groundbreaking role in the development of the science-fiction genre, dealing with the border between reality and the virtual world and taking cinema into the 4th dimension. The Wachowski brothers' movie was renowned for its use of the visual effect known as "bullet time" - and the presence of an 85-man orchestra on stage in such a magical setting should give this landmark film even more ammunition and yet another dimension.
23rd October 2011 - 31st October 2011
Only the brave will sign up for the London Ghost Festival, a week of frightening events taking place across the city and timed to coincide with the spookiest of all nights, Halloween. These spine tingling events are designed to bring out the ghosts and spirits lurking behind the city's most haunted locations, from late night openings at the London Dungeon to ghost walks around Smithfield Market. There's plenty more spooky goings on during the week-long fright fest like a ghostly boat trip organised by the Canal Museum which passes under the dark Islington Tunnel. To celebrate the most haunted night of all, 31st October, the festival usually culminates in a costumed Halloween Ball. See www.londonparanormal.com for details. Woooah!
28th October 2011 - 30th October 2011
There is a bewildering variety of yoga disciplines covered at The Yoga Show at Olympia, from gentle meditation techniques to tie-yourself-in-knots gymnastic contortions. As well as yoga sessions there are Ayurvedic therapies, dietary advice and stalls selling everything from chemical-free yoga mats to three-week meditation holidays. The workshops really are worthwhile; some are free, for others you need to book and pay and there's something for all levels of ability. Remember to wear comfortable clothes and stay clear of heavy foods for an hour or so before the show if you want to join in. From first-timers looking to find a discipline that will suit them to experienced yoga professionals trying to achieve the next level of spiritual enlightenment, there is something here for everyone. A welcome and calming break from the bustling city.
30th October 2011 - DATE TO BE CONFIRMED
Known as the festival of lights, Diwali has religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and is celebrated by many of the capital's South Asian communities. Diwali on the Square gives Londoners a chance to come together and celebrate at a free concert with backing from the Mayor's office. This annually occuring event in Trafalgar Square has become a major fixture in London's calendar with colourful decorations, Indian music and theatrical displays all adding to the sense of occasion. Contemporary and traditional dances including the energetic Garba and Dandia are traditionally performed to celebrate Diwali and people of all faiths are welcome at this celebration of the victory of light over darkness.
HalloweenVarious venues across London
Monday 31st October 2011
The fright fest of Halloween promises a gathering of ghouls and ghosts, witches and warlocks on the streets of London as people dress up and go trick-or-treating on the spookiest night of the year. Fake blood and fancy dress are traditional ways to celebrate but there are loads of spooky goings on for Halloween. Take the London Ghost Festival, for example - a whole week of special events organised by London Paranormal which include a late night opening at the London Dungeon and ghost walks around Smithfields meat market, culminating in a Halloween Ball. You can also sign up for special ghost tours of Hampton Court Palace, or head to Thorpe Park for a thriller of a white knuckle ride when the theme park stays open late and puts on some freakish entertainment. There will be a full feature on all the options nearer the time but for a taster of what to expect you can read our Halloween 2010 feature.
London Calendar 2011
Highlights include Cirque du Soleil's new show, Rebecca Hall's National Theatre debut in Twelfth Night and the return of Dutch mus...January 2011
Don't forget it's Valentine's Day on the 14th - but there's plenty more going on this month besides, from the muddy pitch of Six N...February 2011
With winter on the way out, March's Ideal Home Show and the Country Living Fair are great occasions for a spring clean. Elsew...March 2011
We all get an extra bank holiday this year thanks to the much-hyped Royal Wedding on Friday 29th April. Other big d...April 2011
The Chelsea Flower Show and the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park get London's summer season in full swing in a month book-ended b...May 2011
It's all fun runs, flower shows and festivals for July giving Londoners ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Highlights includ...July 2011
August is the time when London's parks fill up with sunbathers, lidos come into their own, the banks of the Thames lend themselves...August 2011
Late summer fireworks light up the river at the Mayor's Thames Festival, while Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall sing in unison ...September 2011
Remember, remember the 5th November, when fireworks are set off across the city to celebrate Guy Fawkes' night. The pinnacle ...November 2011