October in London 2012

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The Big Draw

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The Big Draw
The Scandinavia Show
Frieze Art Fair
Hollywood Costume
Run to the Beat
The Ski & Snowboard Show
Skyfall World Premiere
Skyfall World Premiere
Cirque Du Soleil: Michael Jackson The IMMORTAL World Tour
The Yoga Show
UK Rock Paper Scissors Championships
Dance Umbrella
Bat for Lashes
David Baddiel
Hot Chip
Azealia Banks
The River at The Royal Court
Southbank Centre's Ether Festival
Family Open Weekend
Bicycle Film Festival, 4th-7th October
Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year
London International Animation Festival
Diwali Festival, Trafalgar Square
London Cocktail Week
Turner Prize 2012
Anna Friel stars in Uncle Vanya at the Vaudeville
rAndom International: Rain Room at Barbican's Curve Gallery
London Restaurant Festival
London Restaurant Festival


October brings the annual Frieze Art Fair to town. Joan Rivers takes the stage at the Royal Albert Hall where Prince Charles attends the new Bond world premiere and there are 14 more of those at the BFI's 56th London Film Festival.


London International Animation Festival

The annual celebration of animation returns to the Barbican

Barbican Screen, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station, Moorgate Station


Dates: 26th August - 04th September 2011


The London International Animation Festival (LIAF) is a showcase of creative animation taking place throughout the city with gala premieres, Q&As, workshops and the Best of the Festival screening. The Festival aims to dispel the myth that animation is little more than cartoons for children by screening a broad range of entertaining and provocative films from across the planet. The LIAF features a comprehensive ten day programme featuring the best of the international indie animation scene, encapsulating every style, genre and technique possible. The Gala Opening on 25th October kicks off the festival at the Barbican Screen with a very special screening of For No Good Reason, the new feature film from seminal British artist, Ralph Steadman. And the festival organisers present a new Filpbook Challenge - no excuse if you've never made one before; there's a Flipbook Workshop on Saturday 27th October to show you how. The 11-day festival finishes on 4th November with a "joyously unpredictable" collection of highlights, and there are plenty of those to enjoy in between. For further information on the festival schedule, visit www.liaf.org.uk.


Children's Book Week

A fun way to encourage children to get excited about literature

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

Tube: Waterloo Station, Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 01st - 07th October 2012


National Children's Book Week takes place every year in the first full week of October. Designed to highlight the fun of reading and to gently encourage children to get excited about literature, the event has been running for almost 80 years. Themes in the past include Words and Pictures, which sparked a full programme of games, readings and book related events nationwide and in schools and libraries in London throughout the week. Also new in recent years was StarLit, a week-long festival of children's literature, organised by the Shoreditch Trust, when more than 70 authors, illustrators and poets will meet at Hoxton Square to celebrate the very best of writing for 5-15 year olds.


London Restaurant Festival

A celebratory and all-encompassing food affair at venues across the capital

Various Venues London, , London, W1J 9LN

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 1st to 31st October 2015


The London Restaurant Festival is a celebratory and all-encompassing food affair, showcasing a huge variety of events at venues across the capital. The annual festival takes place during October and incorporates over 800 different restaurants from around the capital. Highlights of this year's event include the Gastropub Quiz which takes place in 5 pubs across London simultaneously, on Tuesday 2nd October at 8pm - just one of the many special events taking place. There's the opportunity to meet Mark Hix, the chance to take sushi and sake masterclasses, and a three course menu inspired by a well known foodie's favourite film. Tom Parker-Bowles is just one of the famous people taking part in Eat Film - sample his menu inspired by Juzo Itami's noodle movie Tampopo at the Covent Garden Hotel on Wednesday 10th October. The Garrison in Bermondsey and The Sanctum Hotel in Soho are also hosting similar screenings with Russell Norman of Polpo hosting at the Sanctum. The hugely popular Gourmet Odyssey returns taking diners to three top restaurants to sample a different course at each. London's finest tapas bars - Fernandez and Wells, Brindisa Soho, Iberica, Pix and Copita - have signed up for the Tapas Tour, and Graze invites you to enjoy the best of Exmouth Market, Bermondsey Street, Marylebone High Street, Charlotte Street, Brixton Village and Soho each on one night of the festival. On Saturday 13th October head to The Old Vic Tunnels for Street ThEATre, a mix of street food, music and poetry with performance arts thrown in.


The Big Draw

Discover how drawing can connect you with your surroundings and community

Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2RL

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 1st to 31st October 2015


The Big Draw takes place nationwide throughout the month of October and museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, schools and parks all play host to a variety of events encouraging people of all ages to discover how drawing can connect them with their surroundings and communities. Put together by the Campaign for Drawing, The Big Draw is one of the world's largest drawing festivals and more than 1000 venues will take part. Schools often invite the wider community to share the pleasures of learning through drawing - last year 22 countries joined the UK in organising events. In the past, places like the Wellcome Collection, the British Library and Discover children's centre have all hosted events so there's a good chance something will be going on in your area.


Julius Caesar

Handel's best known opera returns to ENO repetoire for first time since 1979

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4ES

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


Dates: 01st October - 02nd November 2012


Directing this new production of Julius Caesar is choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan, who returns to ENO at the London Coliseum with his own Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre - described as "one of the most daring and highly original dance theatre companies in the world" by The Times. This is the first time Handel's best known opera has been staged by the ENO since 1979 and Keegan-Dolan has assembled a fine cast of singers, led by American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo in the title role and Chicago-born soprano Anna Christy - who starred as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor two years ago - as Cleopatra. Baroque expert Christian Curnyn, conducts. If the Fabulous Beast choreographer's previous reviews are anything to go by, we can expect opinions to be divided -† his previous controversial interpretation of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring for ENO had the critics polarised, with one (Edward Seckerson in The Independent) saying, "You'll never look at a bull terrier in quite the same way again."



The east London photography festival runs throughout October and November

Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E1 7QX

Tube: Aldgate East Station, Aldgate East Underground Station, Aldgate Station


Dates: 01st October - 30th November 2012


Over 200 exhibitions in more than 60 galleries come under the umbrella of†Photomonth, which despite appearances is actually a two-month photography festival in the East End of London. Into its 12th year now, Photomonth prides itself on exhibiting work by both established and emerging photographers in new and challenging ways, with everything from major exhibitions to photo tours by acclaimed photographers. Highlights include the Photofair on Saturday 6th October 2012 in Old Spitalfields Market, the Photolounge at the Old Truman Brewery, the Photomonth Lecture at the Whitechapel Gallery and the Photo-Open at the Rich Mix. Throughout the participating galleries in the East End, inventive, thought-provoking, strange and dazzling images will confront visitors, opening up ideas, issues, possibilities, showing what a profound and mysterious thing a photograph can be. With additional events, including a whole series of photowalks, talks, workshops, seminars and exhibitions, there's plenty to absorb and admire. For full details visit www.photomonth.org.


Elina Garanca

The Latvian mezzo-soprano sings with maturity and self-assurance

Barbican Hall, Silk Street, City, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station, Moorgate Station


Dates: 02nd October 2012


The London Symphony Orchestra teams up with celebrated Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca for a selection of French and Italian Arias. Alongside her conductor husband Karel Mark Chicon, Garanca will treat audiences at the Barbican Hall to her delightful voice - a voice that has been described in critical circles as 'creamy', 'silky' and even 'lustrous'. Don't miss this fabulous opportunity to enjoy an artist who sings with a maturity and a self-assurance that adds much atmosphere to her performance.


Damned by Despair

Riotous exploration of faith, revenge and love in 17th-century Italy

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

Tube: Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 02nd October - 17th December 2012


The award-winning Irish playwright and poet Frank McGuinness directs a new National Theatre version of Damned by Despair, written by the great seventeenth-century Spanish dramatist Tirso de Molina. Obsessed with his own salvation, the hermit Paulo dedicates himself to ten years of intense penance, but as his faith wavers, the Devil convinces him that he shares his fate with Enrico, a notorious Neapolitan gangster with a one-way ticket to perpetual damnation. An enraged Paulo seeks vengeance against God and assembles a band of embittered outlaws to rival Enrico's troupe. With both men surrounded by escalating crime, the possibility of redemption still hands tantalisingly close. McGuinness has a strong track record of adapting literary classics, and will no doubt bring a fresh take on this subversive and riotous exploration of faith, revenge and love in 1635 Italy. Directed by Bijan Sheibani.


Turner Prize 2012

This year's shortlisted artists are Luke Fowler, Spartacus Chetwynd, Paul Noble, and Elizabeth Price

Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, London, SW1P 4RG

Tube: Pimlico Station


Dates: 02nd October - 02nd January 2013


Set up in 1984, the Tate's Turner Prize has been courting controversy ever since. The most notorious prize in the world of contemporary art, it carries a large cash prize and instant fame for the winner who must be a British artist under fifty and have staged an 'outstanding' exhibition of work completed within the year. The shortlist always seems to feature conceptual art of the most difficult-to-understand sort. But despite the uproar from stuffier elements in the tabloids, this show is always great fun. The four shortlisted artists this year are: Luke Fowler, Spartacus Chetwynd, Paul Noble, and Elizabeth Price. They'll be attempting to join the illustrious list of recent winners including Damien Hirst, Gillian Wearing, Grayson Perry and, 2011's winner, Martin Boyce whose installation Do Words Have Voices won the prize in the year that the exhibition up sticks and moved to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. No matter what your view, the return of the Turner Prize to London in 2012 makes this a must for lovers of contemporary art. The exhibition opens at Tate Britain on 2nd October and the winner will be announced on 3rd December 2012.


Bicycle Film Festival

The four-day festival features film premieres, BMX bike polo and a Rollapaluza Roller Race

Barbican Screen, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station, Moorgate Station


Dates: 03rd - 06th October 2013


Originating in New York City in 2000, the Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) has become a firm fixture in the London calendar and returns for its ninth season in 2012. As well as a programme of films, screened at the Barbican Centre, the festival celebrates the bicycle through a Rollapaluza Roller Race on Sunday 7th October at Hoxton Bar and Grill at 8pm, the annual Bike Polo Tournament, A BMX jam on Saturday 6th October hosted by Albion BMX mag, and a cycling symposium, presented in collaboration with Transport for London. Feature film highlights include the world premiere of Line of Sight directed by Benny Zenga and filmed by legendary cycling cinematographer Lucas Brunelle, and two road cycling films from Ireland. There's the UK premiere of Ras Tailteann Men Of The Ras directed by Sean O Cualain - a documentary on the Ras Tailteann cycling race; and Martin Dwan's feature, Shay Elliot: Cycle Of Betrayal, an educational insight into the life of Ireland's first professional cyclist whose heyday was in the 1950s. In the wake of Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France win and the summer excitement in the Velodrome, visitors to this year's Bicycle Film Festival will surely reach record numbers.


rAndom International: Rain Room

An immersive, interactive installation by art studio rAndom International

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station, Moorgate Station


Dates: 04th October - 03rd March 2013


An immersive, interactive installation by art studio rAndom International exploring the notion of water as an increasingly scarce resource fills the Barbican's Curve Gallery. Visitors can simply watch or opt to walk through the perpetual rainfall - trusting that they won't get wet. The Rain Room art work invites us to consider the role played by technology in the harnessing of precious natural materials. On four Sundays during the exhibition, dancers will perform a new short piece created by choreographer Wayne McGregor, Artistic Director of Random Dance, to a score by Max Richter who previously collaborated with McGregor and artist Julian Opie when he wrote the score to the 2008 Infra as part of a Royal Ballet commission.


The High Line Symposium

The creators of New York's 'garden in the sky' talk at the Garden Museum

Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, South Bank, London, SE1 7LB

Tube: Lambeth North Station


Dates: 05th - 06th October 2012


The creators of New York's High Line - a beautiful park on a disused rail track - come to London's Garden Museum for a two-day symposium on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October 2012, their first appearance outside the US. During The High Line Symposium you will hear how West Village neighbours Joshua David and Robert Hammond transformed a derelict inner city site into the most popular park, suspended above the New York streets. What seemed an unlikely venture - "No one wanted to save the High Line but us" - caught the imaginations of the people and 10 years later they had achieved "the most unlikely of dreams". A third round of funding has recently been assembled to complete the final section. During the discussions issues of fundraising - 'How to Raise $100 million and more' - will be raised as economist Evan Davis interviews Josh and Rob. And planting designer Piet Oudolf will reveal how you encourage a mile and a half of garden to flourish. If you think you can design a new green space for London, enter the competition being run by The Garden Museum in partnership with the Landscape Institute and the Architects' Journal at: www.landscapeinstitute.org/ideas.


Dance Umbrella

Affordable contemporary dance festival at new performing arts centre

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Holborn, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station, Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 14th - 31st October 2014


Dance Umbrella has been bringing new dance experience to London since 1978 and this year's edition is no different, despite a massive cut in Arts Council funding. One of the world's leading dance festivals, Dance Umbrella presents a range of affordable and free-to-view events taking place in unique places and showcasing exciting new and established talent. Choreographer Jonathan Burrows and Betsy Gregory have co-curated a ten day programme of contemporary dance at the brand new performing arts centre at†Central Saint Martins' College. Artists on show include Beth Gill, the Bessie Award-winning American, with her act 'Electric Midwife', and Ivo Dimchev, performing in 'Lili Handel'. For information regarding the festival, visit www.danceumbrella.co.uk.


Ether Festival

Internet phenomenon iamamiwhoami plays for the first time in the UK


The Southbank Centre's eccentric Ether Festival is an annual celebration of electronic music, innovation in music, art and cross-arts experimentation. The festival has evolved over the years, blending mainstream acts such as Brian Eno, David Byrne, Peaches and Royksopp, alongside little-known acts, oddball movements and even some classical artists. Technological pioneers and musical innovators past and present come together for a series of concerts, talks and strange collaborations that often baffle as much as they astound. This year's schedule includes a double bill featuring two of Europe's fastest rising producers, the Mercury-prize nominated Ghostpoet and 22-year-old Austrian producer Anja Plaschg, aka Soap&Skin. Stand-outs among the many events to choose from are the Velvet Underground's John Cale, the UK premiere of Bill Morrison's celebrated film Decasia and a handful of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of experimental composer John Cage - including a dance performance with a cat. Go to www.southbankcentre.co.uk for the full programme.


The Scandinavia Show

Finnish music, Danish food and Swedish dancing at Earls Court Exhibition Centre

Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Tower Hamlets, London, E1W 2SF

Tube: Rotherhithe Overground Station


Dates: 12th - 13th October 2013


Scandinavia compiles some of the most beautiful and stylish destinations in the world; and this October a slice of the Nordic essence is coming to London with The Scandinavia Show. Earls Court will be brimming with Finnish music, Danish food, Swedish dancing and much more. Scandinavia is home to many intriguing natural beauties, including Iceland's geothermal landscape, Norway's fjords and of course the Northern Lights; visitors can expect to be treated to expert tips on when and where to visit to have a good chance of witnessing this magnificent phenomenon. Last year's show also welcomed seven Siberian husky puppies and two Vikings who stopped by to impress all child visitors with their Nordic tales, demonstrations and impressive Viking weapon's. Known for their sleek and on trend European style, there will also be exhibitors showcasing top-end furniture, carpets, interior design items and designer clothes and footwear. Exhibitors last year included, Bang & Olufsen, ECCO and Day Birger et Mikkelsen. Keep an eye on the website for further details for 2012's show.


Family Open Weekend

A rare chance to see treasures at the London Transport Museum Depot in Acton

London Transport Museum Depot, 2 Museum Way, London, W3 9BQ

Tube: Acton Town Station


Dates: 06th - 07th October 2012


The Family Open Weekend is one of the few occasions when the London Transport Museum Depot in Acton is open to the public and gives families a chance to see some of the 400,000 or so objects stored in the west London depot. Kids can enjoy Toby the Taxi story-telling, miniature railway rides, behind the scenes tours and a timeline of taxis, all for free on the weekend of Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October 2012. There will also be make-and-take craft workshops for children, heritage vehicle runs - including the chance to have a go on the old Routemaster bus - as well as talks about the history of the black cab and what it takes to get the 'Knowledge'. Children can learn about travel safety with simulator vans and climb aboard the life size Toby the Taxi while parents have a rare opportunity to explore the Museum's treasures which are usually hidden from public view.


Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon

Runners take in some of London's best sights including four central Royal Parks

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

Tube: Knightsbridge Station


Dates: Sunday 11th October 2015


The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon takes in four of central London's best loved parks, an iconic stretch of the Thames and some of the capital's most famous landmarks. What's more, at 13.1 miles, it's a manageable run for those still daunted by the colossal feat of a full marathon. Starting and finishing in Hyde Park, runners pass Buckingham Palace, St James's Park and the Houses of Parliament before following the river to Blackfriars Bridge and back. The next leg takes them under both Admiralty and Wellington Arch, through Green Park, all around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens (through avenues of beautiful autumnal trees) before passing the Royal Albert Hall and across the finish line. Three years ago, believe it or not, the event was won by a man dressed as a rabbit - later to be revealed as Kenyan middle distance ace John Muriithi. There's plenty to keep spectators busy - including The Brakes Food & Fitness Festival running from 8am-4pm in Hyde Park on race day. There's also the Pulse 3K run for 11-16 year olds and for those who don't fancy breaking into a sweat, there's always the Hearts and Heritage Walk.



The award-winning band fronted by Thom Yorke play two gigs at The O2

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 08th - 09th October 2012


Radiohead, the award-winning five-piece fronted by lead singer Thom Yorke, arrive at The O2 Arena on 8th and 9th October - two of only three UK dates this year which also include a gig at the Manchester Arena on 6th October. The band, from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985 and have been winning the loyalty of fans ever since their first single, "Creep", became a worldwide hit a few months after their debut album was released in 1992. Their mixture of guitar driven experimental alternative rock and electro music has stood the test of time. But, as music magazine NME points out, "the brilliance of Radiohead has never just been about their sound; it was always about the words too".


London Cocktail Week

Tastings, pop-up events and master-classes in the art of pouring the perfect concoction

Seven Dials, Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station, Tottenham Court Road Station


Dates: 5th to 11th Oct 2015


If you've ever seen the 1988 film Cocktail and wished you had the ability to mix and pour drinks with the style and rhythm that Tom Cruise does, then you're in for a treat at London Cocktail Week. Taking place at more than 100 bars across London, Cocktail Week offers mixology lovers tasting sessions, tours, pop-up events, parties and masterclasses in the art of pouring the perfect concoction. Events include the trade only RumFest which takes place at the ExCel London Exhibition Centre, the Hendrick's Gin Mobile Library which pops up outside the Vidal Sassoon Salon on Monmouth Street, and an exclusive Taste By Appointment masterclass at Dabbous by head bartender and co-owner, Oskar Kinberg. During the week, cocktail tours on red Routemaster double-decker buses will visit more than 100 cocktail bars, each offering a bespoke drink for £4 to those wearing wristbands (£4 when booked in advance, £10 thereafter). Wristbands can be collected from the London Cocktail Week Shop hub at 15 Short's Gardens, Seven Dials, WC2H 9AT. Check the official website for more information www.londoncocktailweek.com and tickets.


BFI 56th London Film Festival

Hollywood players and Indie film-makers from around the globe

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, South Bank, London, SE1 8XT

Tube: Waterloo Station, Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 10th - 21st October 2012


Every October the BFI Southbank and selected cinemas across London host the BFI London Film Festival attracting Hollywood players and Indie film-makers from around the globe. In 2012, its 56th year, the festival gets a new director, Clare Stewart, previously in charge of the Sydney Film Festival, and a bit of a shake-up with a new competition element. As well as 225 films - including 14 world premieres - shown over 12 days, 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. An excellent film programme is enhanced by a number of correlating events, such as informal post-screening Q&As, guest appearances, workshops and masterclasses. This year's highlights include Dustin Hoffman's directing debut, Quartet, and Crossfire Hurricane, the first comprehensive film portrait of The Rolling Stones, from acclaimed documentary filmmaker Brett Morgen. Expect a red carpet appearance from the old rockers themselves at the film's premiere on 18th October at Odeon Leicester Square. The 2012 festival opens with the European Premiere of Disney's Frankenweenie, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Tim Burton and closes with Great Expectations, directed by Mike Newell and starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes.


Frieze Art Fair

The world's most influential art buyers arrive in Regent's Park

Regent's Park, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4NR

Tube: Regent's Park Station


Dates: 13th to 17th Oct 2015


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. For more information go to the official website.


Azealia Banks

Foul-mouthed singer performs tracks from her forthcoming debut album

Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green, London, W12 8TT

Tube: Goldhawk Road Station, Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line), Shepherd's Bush Station (Central)


Dates: 12th October 2012


Few hip hop performers made a bigger splash than New York-based singer Azealia Banks when releasing her debut single 212 back in December 2011. Named after the Harlem area code 212 and featuring the rapper Lazy Jay, the song showcased Banks' versatility and unpredictably vocal range - even if most people will remember it for her astonishing array of expletives and attitude. 212 propelled Banks to instant stardom: the 21-year-old topped NME's 'Cool List' for 2011 on the back of one single - and she's still yet to release an album, despite the growing hype. Banks plays to a sell-out crowd at the Shepherd's Bush Empire after a mini UK Tour ahead of the release of her debut album in February, Broke With Expensive Taste.


Cirque Du Soleil: Michael Jackson The IMMORTAL World Tour

The music and lyrics of Michael Jackson are brought back to life

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 12th - 16th October 2012


Three years after his death, the music and lyrics of Michael Jackson are brought back to life in a powerful and inspirational musical. The Immortal World Tour will travel all across America and Europe, including a five day stint at London's O2 Arena, and is aimed at both lifelong fans and those experiencing the King of Pop for the first time. A thrilling blend of music, dance and visual artistry, the show aims to underscore the messages that Jackson sought to communicate - love, peace and unity. The show is written and directed by multiple Emmy Award winning Jamie King.


UK Rock Paper Scissors Championships

Over 250 competitors will battle it out at the surreal 'sporting' event

The Penderel's Oak, 283 High Holborn, Holborn, London, WC1V 7HF

Tube: Chancery Lane Station, Holborn Station


Dates: 13th October 2012


There's nothing that rivals a good old-fashioned rock, paper, scissors contest for tension. And fans of such contests are in for a treat as the UK Rock Paper Scissors Championships plays out at the Crosse Keys pub in the City of London near Bank, the 6th competition in the event's history. The grand prize is a cool £100 - not to mention a bucket load of respect for having the nerve to win that many showdowns in a row - and over 250 competitors will battle it out for the ultimate win. There's also a team competition in which you can alter your tactics - do you play your best player first or last? A surreal 'sporting' event this may be but no-one can deny the appeal.


David Baddiel: Work in Progress

Fame: Not The Musical is comedian's first stand-up show in 15 years

Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 3NE

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station, Leicester Square Station


Dates: 16th - 20th October 2012


TV funnyman David Baddiel comes out of ostensible comedy retirement with his first solo live stand-up show in 15 years. Now 48, the immensely likable and satirically smart Baddiel made his name as one half of comedy duo Newman and Baddiel in the late 80s, before becoming a regular fixture on TV with his sidekick Frank Skinner during the 'Loaded' years of the 90s. This Work in Progress show - entitled Fame: Not The Musical - sees Baddiel putting his comedic toe back into the ribald waters of stand-up for five consecutive nights at the Soho Theatre. The bespectacled novelist and screenwriter will be presenting ideas, telling anecdotes and testing out material in an intriguing show that will promises to deconstruct his own fame and our culture's obsession with fame in general. Given Baddiel's intellect and funny bones, this should be both thought-provoking and hilarious in equal measures - and his trademark relaxed delivery should give this belated return a nice convivial atmosphere. Endearingly self-deprecating, Baddiel will no doubt have a pop at his own celebrity status too.


Hot Chip

The electro geek band play tracks from their latest album, the critically acclaimed In Our Heads

Brixton Academy, 211 Stockwell Road, Brixton, London, SW9 9SL

Tube: Brixton Station


Dates: 18th - 19th October 2012


Geeky electrock synth troupe Hot Chip play two nights at the Brixton Academy as part of a UK tour to promote their fourth album, In Our Heads. The London-based five-piece - who are Alexis Taylor, Al Doyle, Owen Clarke, Felix Martin and Joe Goddard - have a unique sound, typified by Taylor's airy falsetto backed up by a series of jumpy and quirky beats. This is Oxbridge-schooled geektronica at its very best. Since their breakthrough song Over and Over Hot Chip - and their rather garish dress sense - have become favourites on the UK festival circuit and perform frequently in the DJ boxes on the east London club scene. The Guardian says the band "remake soul music for the English middle class" but it doesn't hold that against them, claiming their new offering is their best yet. Support comes from Scottish psychedelic quartet Django Django. In addition to these two Brixton gigs in October they're playing at the Roundhouse as part of the iTunes Festival on 29th September.


The River

Dominic West stars in Jez Butterworth's latest drama at The Royal Court

Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, Belgravia, London, SW1W 8AS

Tube: Sloane Square Station


Dates: 18th October - 17th November 2012


Dominic ('McNulty') West, Miranda Raison and Laura Donnelly star in Jez (Jerusalem) Butterworth's bewitching story, The River, at the Jerwood Theatre upstairs at the Royal Court. If the pairing of the actor from hit US series, The Wire, and the man behind the award-winning West End show, Jerusalem, were not excitement enough, that feeling of anticipation will only be heightened by the fact that tickets for each show are only available on the day. Because The River is being staged in small upstairs theatre, which seats around 85 people per performance, tickets are being sold online at 9am and are also available to those prepared to queue available from 10am. From 18th October, please form an orderly line. Ian Rickson, who directed Jerusalem, reunites with Butterworth once again for this drama which begins in a remote, clifftop cabin on a moonless night.


William Klein/Daido Moriyama

The use of film and photography in urban experience and political protest

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

Tube: Blackfriars Station


Dates: 18th October - 27th January 2013


The William Klein/Daido Moriyama exhibition at Tate Modern will explore the relationship between the work of William Klein (b1928) and Daido Moriyama (b1938). With Klein being one of the 20th century's most important photographers and film-makers and Moriyama emerging from the 1960's Provoke movement in Japan, this exhibition will observe the use of film and photography in urban experience and political protest. The display will cover New York and Japan as it traces the influence of Klein's 1956 photo-book, Life is Good and Good in New York and Moriyama's Another Country in New York. Vintage photographs from New York, Tokyo and Paris will also be displayed.


Dara O Briain: Craic Dealer

Irish funnyman Dara O Briain hits the road with Craic Dealer, a brand new show for 2012

Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street, London, W6 9QH

Tube: Hammersmith Station


Dates: 19th - 27th October 2012


Following his sell out tour of the UK & Ireland in 2010, Irish funnyman Dara O Briain hits the road again with Craic Dealer, a brand new show for 2012. For four days this October the bevoweled Irish comedian will perform at the Hammersmith Apollo as part of his UK tour. The lofty Irishman is huge right now - both in stature (he measures 6'4" and has the girth to match) and in celebrity (is there anything he's not on at the moment? The Apprentice - You're Fired, Stargazing Live and the Three Men in a Boat franchise) - but this tour strips O Briain of all his baggage and lets him loose at doing what he's best at: making people laugh. The best thing is for you to forget the tired panel show (Mock The Week), the book (Tickling the English), the DVD (Dara O Briain Talks Funny), the newspaper sports column (The Guardian on Saturday) and the documentaries - forget all that chaff and go in with an open mind. "His set is a masterclass in intelligent stand-up," says The Guardian. "O Briain has a laser eye for the absurd and the spurious amid the too-much-stuff with which we shore up our hapless lives." And if anyone knows about too much stuff, it's O Briain with his multi-pie-dipping fingers and accompanying verbal diarrhoea.


Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Stunning images give a fresh and arresting view of the natural world

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

Tube: South Kensington Station, Gloucester Road Station


Dates: 19th October - 03rd March 2013


Some photographers wait for weeks in order to catch that one great action shot, some set up elaborate timing systems, others have simply seen an opportunity, grabbed a camera and produced a unique picture of the natural world. The annual Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum shows new perspectives on familiar creatures and quirky corners of nature. Animals, insects, plants and landscapes are captured brilliantly across a number of categories in what must be one of the most colourful and heart warming collections of images on display in the capital. The high profile competition is the most prestigious and successful event of its kind in the world (the pictures tour the globe once the London exhibition winds down in spring). It is open to amateur and professional photographers and each year a panel of wildlife and photography experts scrutinise around 30,000 entries from a global pool for their composition and originality. The photos on display are, by turns, touching, inspiring, educational and tragic, but all of them provide an insight into a magical natural world. This is a stunning exhibition. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 17th October 2012 and the exhibition opens to the public on 19th October.


Hollywood Costume

Dorothy's red shoes and other iconic Hollywood outfits are gathered at the V&A

Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2RL

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 20th October - 27th January 2013


Iconic outfits from the silver screen are gathered together at the V&A in 2012 to celebrate some of Hollywood's best-loved characters and their costumes from over a century of film making. Dorothy's glittering red shoes and gingham pinafore dress will be displayed alongside Audrey's little black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany's and Johnny Depp's slightly less chic Jack Sparrow ensemble. This is the first time these costumes will all be seen together and it offers a rare chance to soak up some Hollywood glamour. The exhibition will also include film clips, projections and never before seen interviews with Hollywood designers, directors and stars including Robert de Niro and Meryl Streep.


Disney Fantasia: Live in Concert

Experience the magic of Disney's musical animation in concert at the Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AP

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 16th November 2013


Disney's musical animation Fantasia brought surrealist visions to the masses when it was released back in 1940, now fans of the original will get a chance to experience the magic live with high definition screens and the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. Featuring the young and aspiring sorcerer, Mickey Mouse, and accompanied by a classic score consisting of Tchaikovsky, Gershwin Bach and Beethoven. The sequences flit from one dreamlike scene to another with everything from fluorescent unicorns and flying horses, to dancing red mushrooms and ballerina hippos. Childish charm and humour are juxtaposed with darker themes of death and evolution and the images are sure to leave an impact on even the sanest of minds. Over 70 years after its release this timeless cinematic adventure is still entertaining audiences of all ages.†


Joan Rivers Now or Never

Outrageous jokes and brazen humour from the Tony-nominated actress


Known for her outrageous jokes and brazen humour, Joan Rivers is taking the stage at the Royal Albert Hall this October with her Now or Never Tour. Rivers has successfully put her hand to a number of industries, including television presenting, directing and lecturing, as well as being a best-selling author, Tony-nominated actress and playwright; the multi-talented star even won an award for her jewellery collection on QVC. However despite this, stand up is where she really comes to her own. Her last UK tour was in 2005, where she gained critical acclaim and enjoyed sold out gigs; so even though this may be a Royal Albert Hall appearance prepare to blush at the comedian with no boundaries.


Jennifer Lopez

J.Lo comes to The O2 for one night only on Monday 22nd October

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 22nd October 2012


Dance-pop and R&B star Jennifer Lopez comes to London's O2 Arena on Monday 22nd October 2012 as part of her Dance Again world tour. A live show by J. Lo, a judge on TV series American Idol, is usually a flashy affair with high energy dance routines, bright lights and, with a bit of luck, some barely there body stocking-and-sequins outfits. Tickets to see the Latin American chart-topping singer and actress best known for the songs On The Floor and Love Don't Cost A Thing are expected to sell out.


Skyfall World Premiere

Prince Charles joins Daniel Craig at the world premiere on 23rd October

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AP

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 23rd October 2012


Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall will join A-list stars of the latest Bond film at a special charity event for the world premiere of Skyfall. Taking place at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 23rd October, ahead of the film's general release on 26th October 2012, Daniel Craig, back for the third time as Bond, James Bond, will be accompanied by leading actors from the film including Judi Dench who plays M, Javier Bardem - the lead baddie, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney and Ben Whishaw who plays Q, and the film's director Sam Mendes. With the production suspended in 2010, this Bond movie has been long awaited and tickets to this star studded premiere will be hard to come by. Even so, you can expect big crowds as fans gather to see a glimpse of Daniel Craig, who will (to the disappointment of many) probably be sporting a suit as opposed to those notorious Speedos.


John Bishop

The comedian performs on two successive nights at London's O2 Arena

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 24th - 25th October 2012


Fresh from playing to over 400,000 fans on his last tour and producing the fastest selling stand-up DVD of all time, John Bishop returns to London as part of a nationwide tour this autumn. The comedian has been all over British television in recent years with appearances on Sky One's A League of Their Own and his own BBC One show John Bishop's Britain and has been described by the Daily Telegraph as a 'comedy superstar'. Due to overwhelming popular demand, a second date has been added, meaning Bishop will be leaving crowds at The O2 in stitches on two successive nights. He has also turned his hand to acting with roles in Skins and Ken Loach's Route Irish but it is his side-splitting stand-up routine that will be on display in October.


Scrooge The Musical

Tommy Steele plays the lead role in this musical revival at the London Palladium

London Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, Soho, London, W1F 7TF

Tube: Oxford Circus Station


Dates: 24th October - 05th January 2013


Tommy Steele stars in the title role, in Leslie Bricusse's musical, based on the festive short story written by Charles Dickens's classic Christmas season story at the London Palladium. Scrooge The Musical, set in Victorian London, follows the well loved story of miser Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future on Christmas eve. Originally a 1970 movie musical starring Albert Finney, this musical version has played all over the world (it appeared at the London Palladium back in 2005) and includes tunes such as I Hate People, December 25th, I'll Begin Again and Thank You Very Much which was nominated for an Academy Award. Well known actors including Shane Ritchie have played Scrooge, but this time around it's the turn of 75 year old actor Tommy Steele, the Bermondsey born pop star who shot to fame in 1956 with hits like 'Rock With The Caveman' and 'Elevator Rock' and who became an actor moving on to West End roles in the 1980's, starring in musicals including Half A Sixpence, Singin' in the Rain and Some Like it Hot.


Uncle Vanya

New adaptation of Chekhov's classic comic tale

Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 0NH

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


Dates: 24th October - 16th February 2013


Christopher Hampton's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's comic tale Uncle Vanya at the Vaudeville stars Ken Stott, Samuel West and Anna Friel, and is directed by Lindsay Posner. Chekhov's masterpiece takes place on the rural estate of an elderly professor, who is visiting from the city with his younger, glamorous second wife Yelena (Friel). This ribald study of ennui in the provinces involves an eternally frustrated love triangle between Yelena and two friends - estate manager Vanya (Scott), brother of the professor's late first wife, and the local doctor, Astrov (West). Throw in Sonya, the professor's daughter from his first marriage, who is smitten with Astrov, and the professor's proposed sale of the estate, and a farcical crisis pervades the stage. Blending sparkling wit and earthly humour, Uncle Vanya is one of the most celebrated comedic studies of the trials and tribulations of the human condition. Confusingly, this four-month Vaudeville production is the fourth revival of Uncle Vanya to take park in and around London this year. Spring saw productions at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, and The Print Room, Notting Hill ("both are superb - The Telegraph), while a small six-day production of Uncle Vanya is brought to the Noel Coward Theatre in November by Russia's award-winning theatre company Vakhtangov.


The Affordable Art Fair

Annual art bargain-buy show returns to Battersea Park

Battersea Park, Albert Bridge Road, Battersea Park, Battersea, London, SW11 4NJ

Tube: Sloane Square Station


Dates: 24th - 27th October 2013


The Affordable Art Fair is a well-loved institution in Battersea Park, an event that strips away the pretension of the art world and gives buyers a chance to pick up some really great art at fair prices, ranging from £50 to £3000. Previous years have seen some works sold for hundreds of pounds by artists who nowadays would not get out of bed for that kind of change. It's a fun, family event which is accessible to connoisseurs and the merely curious. This year paintings, sculpture, photography and original prints will be exhibited by 120 galleries at the four-day event - an ideal antidote to the relative excesses of the Frieze Art Fair one week earlier. There's a free creche, printmaking workshops and a dedicated section of art by recent graduates, so that you can have fun trying to identify the next Damien Hirst or Paula Rego - and maybe even buy some of their work.



Contemporary comedy about "money, sex and Photo-shop"

Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, Belgravia, London, SW1W 8AS

Tube: Sloane Square Station


Dates: 25th October - 24th November 2012


Acclaimed young British playwright Lucy Kirkwood makes her Royal Court debut with NSFW, a sharp contemporary comedy about "money, sex and Photo-shop" that takes a sideways glance at power games and privacy in the world of the media, and beyond. Short for 'Not Safe For Work', NSFW no doubt includes more offensive material and expletives than the Leveson Inquiry contained injunctions. Carrie's getting them out for the lads; Charlotte's just grateful to have a job; Sam's being asked to sell more than his body and Aidan's trying to keep Doghouse from going under. Nominated for an Evening Standard Best Newcomer award, Kirkwood's theatre credits include Tinderbox (Bush Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (National Theatre) and Hedda (Gate Theatre), while her CV includes a stint as screenwriting for Skins. Simon Godwin, Associate Director at the Royal Court, directs this intriguing new play.


The Yoga Show

A welcome and calming break from the bustling city

Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London, W14 8UX

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station


Dates: 26th - 28th October 2012


There is a bewildering variety of yoga disciplines covered at The Yoga Show, 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.


Run to the Beat

iPods are positively encouraged at London's official music half marathon


The two things that put most people off running a marathon are i) the length of the race, and ii) the habitual banning of iPods and other musical devices. Well, bypass both issues in one fell swoop with October's Run to the Beat, London's official music half marathon. Starting at The O2 Arena and taking place around Greenwich and Woolwich, the race is a mere 13 miles and not only are iPods encouraged, there is also 12 different musical stages dotted around the course where bands play live music throughout the race in a bid to gee on the participants. So, pay your entrance fee, raise some money for charity, get yourself down to Greenwich and run to the rhythm, run to the beat, keep your feet moving and pound that street. Or just head along to watch the runners or catch the live music. There's something on for everyone. Exact details for 2012 are yet to be released, but for more info check the official website.


NFL International Series: New England Patriots v St Louis Rams

Super Bowl runners up New England Patriots taking on the St Louis Rams at Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, HA9 0WS

Tube: Wembley Park Station


Dates: 28th October 2012


The NFL International Series returns to London for a sixth consecutive year with the 2012 Super Bowl runners up New England Patriots taking on the St Louis Rams at Wembley Stadium. The Patriots lost Super Bowl XLVI to the New York Giants in Indianapolis in February 2012 after Tom Brady came off second in the battle of the superstar quarterbacks between him and New York's Eli Manning. For the Rams, this will be the first game in the UK since it was announced they would play one of their eight homes games each season at Wembley (until 2014, at least). American Football at Wembley is seen as a showpiece event in the UK, with fans flocking to North London in order to catch a glimpse of a sport that they are rarely able to see on this side of the Atlantic.


Diwali Festival

Londoners celebrate the festival of lights with free festival of music and dance in Trafalgar Square

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

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


Dates: 28th October 2012


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, on Sunday 28th October from 2pm to 7pm in London's Trafalgar Square gives Londoners a chance to come together and celebrate at a free concert with backing from the Mayor's office. This annually occurring event has become a major fixture in London's calendar with colourful decorations, Indian music, food stalls 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. For further information, visit www.diwaliinlondon.com.


Bat For Lashes

Folk singer Natasha Khan promotes her third album

The Forum, 9-17 Highgate Road, London, NW51JY

Tube: Kentish Town Station


Dates: 29th - 30th October 2012


London-based Indie-pop and electro folk singer-songwriter Natasha Khan - aka Bat for Lashes - swings by the HMV Forum for two nights as part of her and her autumn headline Tour around the UK and Europe. Following her critically acclaimed debut album Furs and Gold, and her successful follow-up Two Suns, 32-year-old Khan is back with a third album, having Toured with Coldplay and collaborated with Beck. The new album, The Haunted Man, is released two weeks before these back-to-back London gigs and features the lead single, Laura (described by NME as "a deft, heartfelt ballad which floats upon sombre piano and delicate horns"), which Khan and her ever-changing Bat for Lashes live line-up have performed at gigs and festivals over the summer.


Doctor Brown: Bedfrgfgth

The madcap mime artist of this year's Edinburgh Festival comes to London's Soho Theatre

Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 3NE

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station, Leicester Square Station


Dates: 30th October - 10th November 2012


Doctor Brown, the star of this year's Edinburgh Festival, bring his highly rated and confusingly titled 'Bedfrgfgth' to London's†Soho Theare. Mime acts may have been all the rage at Edinburgh but the silent creation from American Phil Burgers trumped the lot of them, picking up the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award and leaving behind a wake of raucously amused festival-goers. Described by The Guardian as "part mime artist, part lord of misrule", London audiences can expect plenty of absurd visual humour and hysterical clowning about. If you think mime is something of a tired genre, then this is the show that will change your mind forever.


The Ski & Snowboard Show

Earls Court Exhibition Centre becomes a giant snow dome

Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, Battersea Park, Earls Court, London, SW11 4NJ

Tube: Sloane Square Station


Dates: 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Nov 2015


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 Earls Court into a giant snow dome. This snow show is almost as much fun as the real thing and makes for a great day out for friends and families. 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 16 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. For further information, visit the official website.


Seduced By Art: Photography Past And Present

The National Gallery puts the focus on early and contemporary photography

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DN

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


Dates: 31st October - 20th January 2013


The Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present exhibition brings together early and contemporary photography and discusses how the influences of the early pieces are reflected in the more recent images. Leading photographers Tom Hunter, Thomas Struth, Craigie Horsfield, Sam Taylor-Wood and Beate GŁtschow will have work displayed - all of these photographers trace their sources back to the 19th century or maybe even older historical art traditions. The exhibition will also map the development of photography from the 19th century onwards, representing the progression in subjects such as still life, landscape, and social portraiture.

Sophie Wallace


Sophie Wallace

30th June 2015





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