November in London 2015

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Bonfire Night
Bonhams London To Brighton Veteran Car Run
Winter Fine Arts & Antiques Fair
Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Festival
Spirit of Christmas Fair
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
Remembrance Sunday
EFG London Jazz Festival
Taste of London Winter
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Christmas Past
The Snowman
Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair
The Ski & Snowboard Show London
Being A Man
wonder.land
Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution
Simple Minds
A Christmas Carol
Jack And The Beanstalk
Cinderella, Lyric Hammersmith
Cycle Revolution
UrbanExplorer presents: 'That Sugar Film'
Wahaca presents Day of the Dead
Revolution Series
Club de Fromage on Ice
Catfish And The Bottlemen
Clarkson, Hammond & May Live
Ideal Home Show At Christmas
Royal Opera House: Morgen und Abend
Monotones I and II / The Two Pigeons
Underground Film Club
Winterville
Carnaby Christmas Lights and Shopping Party
Skate At Somerset House
BluesFest, Jo Harman
Michael Craig-Martin: Transience
Lord Mayor's Show
Dawn French: 30 Million Minutes
Wine C4r Boot
Bloomberg New Contemporaries
Oliver Jeffers: Measuring Land and Sea
Tintin: Herge's Masterpiece
Christmas at Kew
 

 

Bonfire Night lights up the London skyline in November and the opening of Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland signals the start of the Christmas season.

 
 

Bonhams London To Brighton Veteran Car Run

500 or so pre-1905 cars make the 60 mile drive from Hyde Park.

Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, London, W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge Station

 

Dates: 06th November 2016

 

Over 500 pre-1905 vehicles are expected for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run which allows vintage car enthusiasts from all over the UK and beyond to enjoy a picturesque drive down to the south coast, through some of Britain's loveliest scenery. It's also a bit of a spectacle. These 500 or so fine examples of pre-1905 cars make the 60 mile drive from Hyde Park in central London to the Brighton seafront in Sussex. The day before the run, on Saturday 1st November, more than 100 of these beautiful old cars parade up and down Regent Street as part of The Regent Street Motor Show. You can get up and close to view them and its absolutely free of charge. This annual event has taken place every November to commemorate the Emancipation Run of 1896, celebrating the passing into law of the 'Locomotives on the Highway Act'. This raised the speed limit from 4mph to 14mph and meant that cars no longer had to travel with a man walking in front. The tradition continues to today with cars leaving from Serpentine Road, exiting Hyde Park at Apsley Gate from 6.58am. It's a great event for anyone who's into motoring and kids love these wonderful old classic cars too.

 
 
 

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

445 gold baubles and silver lights inspired by falling snowflakes decorate the busy West End street.

Oxford Street, Oxford Street, Marylebone, London, W1C 1JN

Tube: Bond Street Station

 

Dates: 06th November - 31st December 2016

 

445 gold baubles and silver lights inspired by falling snowflakes decorate Oxford Street which is closed to cars for the first time during the turning on ceremony on 1st November 2015. The celebrity flicking the switch for the Christmas Lights in 2015 isn't yet known but last year X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (better known as Cheryl Cole) had the honour so expect someone of that calibre. The turning on ceremony includes performances and live music on the stage outside the Marble Arch flagship store of jewellery retailer Pandora. Capital FM will be there to broadcast the tunes and screens will live stream a concert from yet-to-be-revealed pop stars.

 
 
 

Winter Fine Arts & Antiques Fair

Fair offering everything from silver teapots and Lalique vases to Cartier earrings.

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

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station

 

Dates: 02nd - 08th November 2015

 

The Winter Fine Art & Antiques Fair is becoming somewhat of an antique itself, as it celebrates a quarter of a century this year. Taking place at London's Olympia, the annual fair is a permanent fixture on the calendars of all art and antique aficionados. It has also become a popular social event with high-profile visitors such as Bono, Claudia Schiffer and Jools Holland helping to boost its reputation. But don't worry if you don't know your Art Deco from your Art Nouveau, the Fair is equally popular with new buyers looking to decorate their homes. Each year, over 20,000 visitors swarm to the fair with around 125 exhibitors offering everything from silver teapots and Lalique vases to Cartier earrings and from rubies to Regency furniture.

 
 
 

Spirit of Christmas Fair

All your Christmas shopping under one roof.

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

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station

 

Dates: 31st October - 06th November 2016

 

Get all your Christmas shopping done under one roof at Olympia - and get it out of the way more than a month before Santa arrives. An annual fixture in the seasonal calendar, the Spirit of Christmas Fair attracts thousands of Yuletide shoppers gearing up for the festivities. You can expect the finest seasonal products here, ranging from festive decorations and home accessories to children's toys and seasonal eats. With over 600 companies presenting their wares, you'll find something for everyone on your Christmas list and plenty you won't find in the shops. Look out for traditional sweets, specialist cheeses, fine cuts of meat and artisan produce in the Food Hall. When travelling to the fair take the train to Kensington (Olympia) Tube Station, and check out our guide to some of the best festive hotel offers near the Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia.

 
 
 

Belarus Free Theatre: Staging a Revolution

The world's bravest theatre company marks its tenth anniversary.

The Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Bankside, London, SE1 8LZ

Tube: Southwark Station, Waterloo Station, Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 02nd - 14th November 2015

 

The world's bravest theatre company - the Belarus Free Theatre are Staging a Revolution at secret locations around London and at the Young Vic to mark their 10th anniversary. The festival stages 10 landmark productions over two weeks, by a theatre company which was banned in their own country. Recreating the Minsk experience for one week, they will stage their award-winning shows - including 4.48 Psychosis, Price of Money and Minsk, 2011: A reply to Kathy Acker - at secret locations, revealed to the audience by text message. The following week, they returnt to the Young Vic with their critically acclaimed productions of King Lear, Being Harold Pinter and the world premiere of Time of Women.

 
 
 
 

Waste

Delving into the seedy underbelly of the political elite in Edwardian England.

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

Tube: Temple Station, Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 03rd November - 16th January 2016

 

Harley Granville Barker's controversial play Waste is staged at the National Theatre, delving into the cut-throat, cynical world of sex, sleaze and suicide amongst the political elite of Edwardian England. Famously banned in 1907, the controversial piece centres on an ambitious independent politician who falls from grace when his mistress suffers a lethal backstreet abortion.

 
 
 

Community Festival

Over 60 new and emerging acts play 11 Hoxton and Shoreditch venues, and Lianne La Havas puts in a special appearance.

Finsbury Park, Endymion Road, London, N4 1EE

Tube: Manor House Station

 

Dates: Saturday 1st July 2017

 

Want to see hotly tipped acts for 2016 before they breakthrough? Head to Hoxton and Shoreditch (of course) for the Community Festival which runs for three days this November in 11 well-established east London venues and a collection of reimagined spaces. From hip hop and grime to indie, rock and electro pop, all genres are covered in the line up of more than 60 new and emerging acts. Plus local singer/songwriter/guitarist Lianne La Havas puts in a special appearance before her sold out Brixton Academy show in December, playing the intimate setting of Village Underground as part of 'Latitude Festival Presents'. Nothing But Thieves, who've supported Arcade Fire and George Ezra, are also hotly tipped for 2016; this could well be last time you'll see them in a venue as small as The Old Blue Last.

 
 
 

Bonfire Night

Fireworks and bonfires across town celebrate Guy Fawkes' failed plot.

 

Dates: 05th November 2016

 

November is the month that likes to go with a bang - and an explosive one at that. The 5th of November marks Guy Fawkes' failed plot to blow up Parliament with the kind of pyrotechnics Mr Fawkes could only dream of. Every year for Bonfire Night there's a host of elaborate fireworks displays, processions, festivals and funfairs planned across the capital. There are normally huge displays in public parks across London including shows at Ravenscourt Park, Victoria Park and Battersea Park (to name a few) - we'll update our full feature nearer the time with the best places to watch the fireworks in London on Bonfire Night.

 
 
 

The Ski & Snowboard Show London

If it's on snow and ice it's at the show which moves to Battersea this year.

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

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 27th - 30th October 2016

 

Snow-coated trees, a pop-up alpine restaurant run by Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett and a real 50 foot snow dome where pro level skiers perform stunt demos. That's what you get at the Ski & Snowboard Show which moves from Earls Court to Battersea Evolution in 2015. This snow show, which has been running for 40 years, is almost as much fun as the real thing and makes for a great day out for friends and families. Pre book a 3-course meal with a view of The Slope, accompanied by live acoustic music, or head to the Altitude Comedy Tent for sets from Marcus Brigstocke and Andrew Maxwell. As with all good skiing holidays, the best bit is the apres ski. From 6pm on Thursday and Friday live music plays at the apres bars, and on Saturday and Sunday Oom Pah Pah, family favourites and acoustic acts will soundtrack the show.

 
 
 

Catfish And The Bottlemen

The four-piece from Llandudno plays two sold-out gigs at Brixton Academy.

O2 Academy Brixton, 211 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SL

Tube: Brixton Station

 

Dates: 06th - 07th November 2015

 

Having conquered the UK with their critically acclaimed spring tour and with Ewan McGregor featuring in their latest video for the acoustic 'Hourglass', the four-piece band from Llandudno plays two sold-out gigs at Brixton Academy in November. Performing garage-rock and post-punk, with rock'n'roll and indie-pop influences, Van McCann and co will have spent the summer at festivals all over the UK including Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, T In the Park, Latitude and Festival No. 6 before hitting the road again this autumn.

 
 
 
 

UrbanExplorer presents: 'That Sugar Film'

Filmmaker Damon Gameau is joined by experts in nutrition, health, science and healthy cooking.

Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR

Tube: South Kensington Station

 

Dates: 07th November 2015

 

UrbanExplorer presents its second Smart Thinking For Kids event this autumn, this time with a screening of That Sugar Film and an expert Q&A at the Royal Geographical Society. The film sees Damon Gameau embark on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body. Interestingly, however, he only consumes foods that are commonly perceived as 'healthy', illustrating how even when we think we are doing the right thing we could in fact be harming ourselves. With a powerful message, it was this film that inspired Jamie Oliver to take on Parliament with his Sugar Rush TV documentary and initiative. After the screening, there will be a panel discussion with experts in nutrition, health, science and healthy cooking, including super-cooks Hemsley Hemsley, nutritionist and author Henrietta Norton, chef and television presenter Merrilees Parker, and cardiologist and Guardian columnist Aseem Malhotra. Aimed at children eight and above, the series of UrbanExplorer events inspire and motivate children and adults alike, with this event empowering families to make positive changes to their diet and health.

 
 
 

Wahaca presents Day of the Dead

A multisensory exploration of Mexico with live music, DJs, contemporary and street art.

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

Tube: Rotherhithe Overground Station

 

Dates: 07th November 2015

 

More than just a food festival, Wahaca's Day of the Dead presents a multisensory exploration of Mexico with live music, DJs, contemporary and street art, film and debate. Immersive theatre, eating, drinking and dancing are all part of the party London's immense Tobacco Dock where acts include Savages, synth-rockers The Horrors, Crystal Fighters, and Mexican supergroup Mexrrissey - a Latino take on Morrissey and The Smiths. Art curated by the Saatchi Gallery and by Mexico's Rodrigo Peñafiel ponders life and death while PEN International hosts daytime talks. Food is at the heart of the festival with Mexican market tacos, tortas, smokey barbacoa, roasted elotes and fresh churros for sale while Enrique Olvera, one of Mexico's most prominent chefs, hosts a supper club with Wahaca's Thomasina Miers. As the sun sets, the volume goes up and DJs play late into the night.

 
 
 

Henry IV (Part I)

Gregory Doran's production features "a major performance from Antony Sher as Falstaff" - The Guardian.

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station, Moorgate Station

 

Dates: 07th November - 24th January 2016

 

The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Henry VI, Shakespeare's enduring historical drama, comes to the Barbican this November once again as part of the King and Country event. Gregory Doran's production features "a major performance from Antony Sher as Falstaff", writes Michael Billington in The Guardian, reviewing the play when it was shown at the RSC's Stratford home. In Henry IV Part I the king prepares for war when his crown becomes under threat from enemies both foreign and domestic.

 
 
 

BluesFest

Europe's biggest free blues festival runs concurrently with the ticketed evening shows.

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 07th - 08th November 2015

 

Europe's biggest free blues festival comes to The O2 this autumn as performers including Georgie Fame, Marcus Bonfanti, Bernie Marsden, Chris Farlowe and Dr Feelgood give free daytime performances at the BluesFest which runs concurrently with the ticketed evening shows. More than thirty free daytime gigs by some of the most exciting names from the worlds of blues, soul and R&B will take place at Brooklyn Bowl and in specially constructed stages in the foyers and concourses of The O2. Jeremy Sassoon's Ray Charles Project, Big Boy Bloater, Laurence Jones, and The Boom Band are just some of the bands lined up to play at one of London's biggest's free music festivals. In the evening you can pay to see shows from the likes of Van Morrison and Tom Jones, Dave Matthews Band, Matt Schofield, Jo Harman and Tedeschi Trucks Band which adds up to a must-see festival for fans of blues and roots.

 
 
 

Remembrance Sunday

Thousands of people line the streets leading to Cenotaph to pay their respects.

Cenotaph, Whitehall, Westminster, London, SW1A 2BX

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 13th November 2016

 

Each year, on the second Sunday of November, members of the Royal Family join current and former members of the services at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday, a time to pay tribute to the dead of the UK and Commonwealth. The Queen and other members of state place wreaths at the Cenotaph followed by two minutes' silence at 11am and after a short service there is a march past by thousands who served and suffered in the conflict of war. While thousands of people line the streets leading to Cenotaph, there are usually other events marking Remembrance Sunday including a Ceremony of Remembrance at London's Imperial War Museum, a day of activities at the National Army Museum and a weekend of events at the Royal Air Force Museum.

 
 
 
 

The Force of Destiny

In English National Opera's new staging Calixto Bieito sets the action in 1930s Spain, during the Civil War.

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

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

 

Dates: 09th November - 04th December 2015

 

English National Opera's first new staging of The Force of Destiny in over 20 years is directed by Calixto Bieito, who sets the production in the 1930s, during the Spanish Civil War. Having taken over at ENO in September this year, new Music Director Mark Wigglesworth conducts Verdi's sumptuous score, with a world-class cast including star tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones and soprano Tamara Wilson as youthful lovers Don Alvaro and Donna Leonora di Vargas. Baritone Anthony Michaels-Moore - who gave "The best singing of the night" (Bach Track) in the recent ENO 'Traviata' - plays her brother Don Carlo di Vargas.

 
 
 

Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair

Handmade toys, stocking fillers, decorations and festive food.

Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0QH

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 09th - 13th November 2016

 

In preparation for Christmas, the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair brings a taste of rural England to the Business Design Centre, with all the cosy traditionalism that goes with it. With over 400 exhibitors there's everything you need for a perfect Christmas. There are handmade toys, stocking fillers, limited edition decorations, and, of course, plenty of seasonal food - from smoked salmon and tender ham to the delights of Cornish cheese, mulled wine, sloe gin, fudge, chocolate and traditional Christmas puddings. With all that tartan and tinsel, this is the perfect place to begin getting into the Christmas mood. It also gives you the chance to deal with all those traditional seasonal nightmares long before the last minute.

READER OFFER AND COMPETITION:
READER OFFER:
Special LONDONTOWN readers' ticket offer £13 - saving around 25% when quoting the following code: CL15X3 Tickets must be booked no later than 1pm on the day before the due visit. TELEPHONE: 0844 848 0160; or book online at www.countrylivingfair.com/xmas/tickets

COMPETITION:
LondonTown has five pairs of tickets to give away. To enter the competition answer the following question:
Q: Where is the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair taking place?
A: Send your answer to competitions@londontown.com before 12 noon on 28th October 2015.

 
 
 

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture

The first major retrospective of ground-breaking artist Alexander Calder.

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

Tube: Blackfriars Underground Station

 

Dates: 11th November - 03rd April 2016

 

Exhibiting how Alexander Calder's dynamic mobiles brought together motion, performance and theatricality, Performing Sculpture at Tate Modern is the first major retrospective of the ground-breaking artist. Bringing bright, spinning object to the gallery, it will assemble many of Calder's major sculptures from around the world, as well as incorporating his film, theatre, music and dance collaborations.

 
 
 

Underground Film Club

Subterranean screenings five nights a week in The Vaults under Waterloo station.

The Vaults, Launcelot Street, 1 Launcelot Street, London, SE1 7AD

Tube: Lambeth North Station, Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 11th November - 16th January 2016

 

This autumn the Underground Film Club heads below the streets to screen classics like 'Pulp Fiction' and 'The Big Lebowski' as well as new releases 'Jurassic World' and 'Mad Max: Fury Road' five nights a week in The Vaults under Waterloo station. 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and Casablanca' are also on the sub-station show reel as well as Benedict Cumberbatch's 'Hamlet' and a special screening to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Toy Story. The animated cowboy and spaceman adventure will be marked on 22nd November with an epic Pixar movie marathon, featuring awe-inspiring family flicks Toy Story, UP and Inside Out back-to-back. Cocktail connoisseurs Spirited Mixers and street food curated by head chef of Hawksmoor, Richard Sandiford, sure beats popcorn and pop. Expect a repeat of last year's sold out screenings and get in early when tickets go on sale on 7th October.

 
 
 

Dawn French: 30 Million Minutes

30 Million Minutes - or 56 years - is the time Dawn French has lived for without ever having attempted a solo standup.

Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH

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

 

Dates: 11th November - 05th December 2015

 

The ebullient star of The Vicar Of Dibley and best-selling novelist embarks on her debut solo tour, sharing various life lessons and anecdotes from her career. 30 Million Minutes - or 56 years - the time Dawn French has lived for without ever having attempted a solo standup, addresses that absence in an intimate and humorous performance billed as a monologue, a play and an autobiographical slide show directed by Michael Grandage.

 
 
 
 

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

Around sixty portraits reveal a glorious variety of work.

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London, WC2H 0HE

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

 

Dates: 17th November - 26th February 2017

 

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, held at the National Portrait Gallery each year, attracts around 7,000 images from which approximately sixty portraits are chosen for display. Open to professionals and amateurs alike, the £12,000 prize consistently attracts a high level of expertise yet the 'open to all' caveat means there's always an element of surprise. Featured here are professional commissions alongside personal portraits, photographs that tell a story and build a mystery. This is a display of intelligent art, sometimes comic, often deeply moving, in which a very simple project - take a photograph that focuses on one or more human beings - has produced a glorious variety of work.

 
 
 

Carnaby Christmas Lights and Shopping Party

Over 100 fashion brands, restaurants and bars offer discounts, DJs and live music.

Carnaby Street, Carnaby Street, Soho, London, W1F 7DN

Tube: Oxford Circus Station

 

Dates: 10th November - 31st December 2016

 

The Carnaby Street Christmas Lights will once again be launched during their annual Christmas Party this year, which takes place on Thursday 12th November 2015. The party sees over 100 fashion brands, restaurants and bars offer a 20% discount to ticket holders - tickets are free but you must register online. As well as the discounts, there's also DJs, live music, complimentary food and drinks, a pop-up bar and plenty of street entertainment. Carnaby Street always boasts fun and quirky decorations, with oversized robins and snowy moustaches among previous offerings, so you can expect an outlandish showcase.

 
 
 

I Want My Hat Back

Temporary Theatre (formerly The Shed), National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station, Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 12th November - 02nd January 2016

 

A humorous and tuneful stage adaptation of Jon Klassen's popular children's classic for the over 3s. Pubished in 2011, Klassen's simple but oh so witty book has already become a modern children's classic. In the story we meet bear. Bear's hat is gone. He loves his hat. He wants it back. He asks all of the animals in the forest, but no one has seen it. WAIT! He has seen it... I Want My Hat Back comes to the stage in a joyous new adaptation with book and lyrics by Joel Horwood and music by Arthur Darvill who played the villainous pirate Long John Silver in Treasure Island, the National Theatre's 2014 Christmas show.

 
 
 

Tintin: Herge's Masterpiece

Revealed: the art and life of the Belgium artist behind the be-quiffed cartoon hero.

Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 12th November - 31st January 2016

 

The world of be-quiffed cartoon hero Tintin comes to life at Somerset House where a revealing exhibition tells us more about the man behind the famous comic book Belgium export. Tintin: Herge's Masterpiece looks at the artist-author's fascination with architecture and design as well as comic-strip books through pencil sketches, drawings, watercolours and original artwork borrowed from the archives of the Herge Museum in Belgium. A truly iconic character, Tintin's enduring popularity is evident in the more than 200 million copies of the famous 24 'albums' sold worldwide since he first appeared in a weekly cartoon strip in 1929.

 
 
 

BBC Good Food Show

Live version of popular BBC TV programmes Saturday Kitchen and MasterChef: The Professionals.

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

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station

 

Dates: 11th - 13th November 2016

 

Bringing a host of TV programmes to life including Saturday Kitchen and MasterChef: The Professionals, the BBC Good Food Show arrives at Olympia for three days this November. Well known chefs and TV personalities present cooking demos, there's local and seasonal produce in the Producers' Village, and a handpicked selection of London's best eateries in the restaurant experience. MasterChef Skills Pod featuring finalists from this year's TV Show and you can sip on samples as part of the drinks tasting theatre and fine wine experience. In 2015 the BBC Good Food Show site sharing the Olympia stadium with the BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show, packed with baking techniques and cake-crafting demonstrations as well as appearances from Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.

 
 
 
 

EFG London Jazz Festival

Jazz takes centre stage as 2,500 artists perform across 60 venues over 10 days.

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

Tube: Waterloo Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 11th - 20th November 2016

 

The annual EFG London Jazz Festival, which returns for a 23rd time in 2015, presents 2,500 artists across 60 venues over the course of the 10-day festival. More than 250 shows take place in London's best concert halls and arts centres including the Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Centre, Ronnie Scott's, 606 Club, The Forge, the Rich Mix Centre, Artsdepot, Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall. The organisers habitually attract some top performers including MOBO and Grammy award winners and blend them together with both newcomers and mainstays of the jazz scene - from stars of the American jazz tradition to key players of the European scene and free musical thinkers. Given the obsessive nature of ardent jazz fans together with the small venues (which include restaurants and bars), tickets often sell out fast, you have been warned.

 
 
 

Royal Opera House: Morgen und Abend

German actor Klaus Maria Brandauer stars in the world premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas's new opera.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 13th - 28th November 2015

 

Graham Vick, artistic director of Birmingham Opera Company, directs the world premiere of Morgen und Abend, Georg Friedrich Haas's new opera - the first commission for the Austrian composer from The Royal Opera. Starring great German actor Klaus Maria Brandauer (who received a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination for his role of Bror Blixen in Out of Africa) the story - by award-winning Norwegian author, poet and playwright Jon Fosse, an adaptation of his acclaimed 2000 novel of the same name - follows the cycle of life following the life of a fisherman from birth to death which is told with "near incantatory simplicity".

 
 
 

BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show

See Great British Bake Off judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and cake-crafting demonstrations.

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

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station

 

Dates: 13th - 15th November 2015

 

Following the success of last year's show, the BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show returns to a new location for 2015, site sharing London's Olympia with the BBC Good Food Show and a ticket to the show also gets you into the BBC Good Food Show for free (subject to capacity). Specialising in all things baking, the Bakes & Cakes Show gives visitors access to Great British Bake Off judges cookery writer Mary Berry and professional baker Paul Hollywood. Your ticket also gets you a seat in the Supertheatre to watch these baking luminaries in action - last year the live theatre, hosted by Lisa Faulkner, was the highlight of the show. In addition, the show floor will be packed with baking techniques and cake-crafting demonstrations, free master classes for all levels from beginners to advanced bakers, and hundreds of products.

 
 
 

Revolution Series

Elite British and international cycling stars fine tuning their skills ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Lee Valley VeloPark, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E20 3EL

Tube: Leyton Station

 

Dates: 14th November 2015

 

The world's only elite track cycling league, the Revolution Series comes to London this November. Also stopping at Manchester and Glasgow, the London event takes place at Lee Valley VeloPark and will be a fast-paced occasion that's exciting for all ages, as well as providing the opportunity to visit one of the London 2012 Olympic venues. The London leg comes ahead of the final three rounds at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, and will provide an afternoon and evening session packed with male and female British and international cycling stars. Adding to the excitement, the cyclists will be fine tuning their skills ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

 
 
 

Lord Mayor's Show

A parade of over 6,000 people, military marching bands and a gilded State Coach plus a fantastic fireworks finale.

Mansion House, City of, London, EC4N 8BH

Tube: Bank Station, Cannon Street Station, Mansion House Station, Monument Station

 

Dates: 12th November 2016

 

In 2015 the Lord Mayor's Show marks its 800th birthday and we've been told to "look out for something really special" to mark the occasion on Saturday 14th November. The annual event which takes over the streets of London features a parade of over 6,000 people, military marching bands, Chinese acrobats, a procession of decorated floats and a gilded State Coach that the Lord Mayor travels in. Towards the head of the procession are two wicker giants, Gog and Magog, the traditional guardians of the City of London. The procession starts at 11am with an RAF flypast and goes on until about 2.30pm, covering the whole area between Bank and Aldwych with the mayor departing from Mansion House for the Royal Courts of Justice where she takes an oath of allegiance to the Queen. It's a fun family day out with a grand finale - the day finishes with one of London's most impressive fireworks displays at 5pm, set off from a barge moored in the Thames between Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridges. The best vantage points to watch from tend to be around Embankment and Gabriel's Wharf.

 
 
 
 

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals 2015

The world's best tennis players do battle at The O2.

The O2 Arena - Indoor sports venue, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 13th - 20th November 2016

 

A battle between the world's best eight men's singles tennis players and men's doubles pairs, the ATP World Tour Finals is a theatrical affair, with the audience plunged in darkness and all eyes on the bright hard court below. Played over eight days at The O2 Arena, the tournament brings top players like three-time defending champion Djokovic and home hope Andy Murray who lead the pack in their quests to secure places at the tour finals. They are hotly pursued by contenders Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer. Last year, a capacity crowd of 17,800 witnessed defending champion Novak Djokovic defeat World No.1 Rafael Nadal for the title and a record 1.92 million dollars in prize money and this year promises to be equally compelling.

 
 
 

Regent Street Christmas Lights

One of the most breathtaking Christmas light displays in the capital.

Regent Street, Regent Street, Soho, London, W1B 5SJ

Tube: Oxford Circus Station

 

Dates: 17th November - 31st December 2016

 

The Regent Street lights are some of the most breathtaking in the capital with a spectacular Christmas show and fireworks display marking the moment they're switched on. The turning on of the Regent Street Christmas Lights on 15th November will no doubt be carried out by a megastar, with numerous other guests performing at the party. The line-up will be announced later in the year but with last year welcoming Take That, Jessie Ware and The Jack Pack, you can expect a good party. Banning traffic for the occasion, the street has a great, festive atmosphere and the lights are set off beautifully against the regal sweep of John Nash's famous shopping street.

 
 
 

Art and Alcohol

A look at the role of alcohol in British art from the 19th century to modern day.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

Tube: Pimlico Station

 

Dates: 16th November - 24th September 2016

 

Art and Alcohol at Tate Britain looks at the role of alcohol in British art from the 19th century to modern day. Ever since William Hogarth satirised the Georgian fascination with gin, artists have illustrated Britain's relationship with alcohol, whether it be a social lubricant or a warming friend during a social or family breakdown. This exhibition shows how alcohol cuts across time, generation, class and gender, and reflects changing tastes and attitudes. The display contrasts two works from Tate's collection: George Cruikshank's Worship of Bacchus, a critical panting illustrating in one huge canvas the effects of drink on society, and Gilbert & George's Drinking Sculpture, a wall-mounted montage of photographs (progressively blurred) of drinkers in a London bar.

 
 
 

Cycle Revolution

Stories of cyclists and their machines with contributions from Chris Hoy and Paul Smith.

Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6AG

Tube: High Street Kensington Station

 

Dates: 18th November - 30th June 2016

 

Examining how cycling has changed the way we use the city, Cycle Revolution at the Design Museum brings together bicycles, clothing, accessories, equipment, film and photography. The last decade has seen a revolution in cycling, making it the biggest surge in the mode of transport since the Second World War. This surge has driven a raft of craftsman bicycle makers to tailor machines to the precise specifications of their users, making it a stylish way to get from A to B or a means of competing in a fierce sport. With contributions from celebrated cyclists including Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Paul Smith this exhibition tells the powerful, personal and sometimes remarkable stories of cyclists and their machines.

 
 
 

Monotones I and II / The Two Pigeons

Two pieces by Frederick Ashton showcase his strikingly modernist approach to ballet.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 18th November - 05th December 2015

 

In a mixed bill the Royal Opera House pairs two pieces by Frederick Ashton, his strikingly modernist ballet diptych Monotones I and II and The Two Pigeons, the story of a wayward young man blind to the value of what is right in front him. Sublime music by Erik Satie accompanies mesmerizing choreography in modernist ballet Monotones I and II serving as a counterpoint to The Two Pigeons, not seen at the Royal Opera House since 1985. In this comic piece, Ashton explores the nature of love.

 
 
 
 

Skate At Somerset House

A spectacular backdrop for one of the most popular ice rinks in town.

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

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 17th November - 15th January 2017

 

The grand 18th-century courtyard of Somerset House makes for a spectacular backdrop for one of the most popular ice rinks in town. Skating around under the 40-foot Christmas tree with a hot toddy to keep out seasonal chills is one of London's most appealing winter rituals - and a superb way to ease yourself into the festive spirit. If your youngsters need guidance there's the Polar Cub Club for under 8s. But if you're looking for something altogether more grown up, the Club Nights offer the atmosphere of open-air clubbing, on and off the ice, to a soundtrack curated by prominent DJs. This season's line-up includes Ministry of Sound, License 2 Trill and Austrian festival Snowbombing. Get your Christmas shopping done while you're there at The Christmas Arcade, a pop-up version of Fortnum & Mason's occupying 15 rooms in the West Wing of Somerset House filled with hampers, tea caddies, stocking fillers, gifts and games. Now in its 16th year, Skate at Somerset House truly is "one of the great sights of a London winter... a wonderful place to be" (The Times).

 
 
 

Fighting Extremes: From Ebola to ISIS

See how the armed forces meet different challenges in extreme situations.

IWM London (Imperial War Museums), Lambeth Road, Elephant and Castle, London, SE1 6HZ

Tube: Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 18th November - 13th November 2016

 

This free Imperial War Museum display tells the stories of British troops serving on two recent operations: the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the fight against ISIS in the Middle East. Visitors can discover how today's armed forces meet different challenges in extreme situations.

 
 
 

The Christmas Arcade

Fortnum & Mason take over Somerset House this festive season.

Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 12th November - 01st January 2017

 

Back for a second year, the Fortnum & Mason Christmas Arcade transforms the West Wing of Somerset House into a Christmassy pop-up version of the flagship Piccadilly store. Showcasing the very best of Fortnum & Mason's world-renowned products, it will be the perfect place to stop by and pick up some festive treats, from foodie fare and fashion accessories to Christmas decorations and unique gifts. The pop-up will be split into different themed rooms, dedicated to men's and women's gifts, a Christmas room with a children's section and confectionary, and new for this season, there will be a fresh food range, boasting smoked salmon that's been house cured on the roof of the Piccadilly department store. Also available to buy will be two, limited-edition Christmas tree decorations: an exquisite, hand-embroidered miniature cushion depicting a skate scene at Somerset House and a beautiful, mouth-blown, porcelain bauble with gold glitter, both only available at The Christmas Arcade.

 
 
 

Taste of London Winter

Sample food from top London restaurants at east London's Tobacco Dock.

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

Tube: Rotherhithe Overground Station

 

Dates: 19th - 22nd November 2015

 

More than 30,000 visitors typically enjoy the foodie event presented as "the perfect place for passionate foodies to get inspiration and enjoy a festive gastronomic heaven". At 'Taste of London Winter' (previously Taste of Christmas) the kings and queens of cookery share their top tips for making the festive season a culinary triumph. As well as the opportunity to take part in live cooking demonstrations you can give your Christmas a gourmet makeover and shop for top seasonal ingredients to inject some inspirational spark into your family's tried and tested festive classics. A multitude of food stalls from top London restaurants come to the east London's Tobacco Dock offering tastings and food demonstrations. Taste of London Winter always boasts some of the country's finest chefs and last year Mark Hix, Raymond Blanc, Nuno Mendes, executive chef at Chiltern Firehouse, Michel Roux Jr, Neil Rankin, and Jason Atherton (Social Eating House, Little Social, Berners Tavern and City Social) were just some of the well known names on the list.

 
 
 

China National Peking Opera Company

The opera company performs two Chinese masterpieces including the European premiere of Farewell My Concubine.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 19th - 22nd November 2015

 

In November, the China National Peking Opera Company performs two Chinese masterpieces, Warrior Women Of Yang and the full-length European premiere of Farewell My Concubine at Sadler's Wells. The latter show brings together a cast of over 50, combining music, song, mime and finely crafted costumes for their tale of grief, courage, patriotism and family loyalty.

 
 
 
 

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Fairground rides, a giant wheel, circus, ice rink and Christmas market transform Hyde Park.

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

Tube: Knightsbridge Station

 

Dates: 18th November - 02nd January 2017

 

Throughout late November and December a large area of Hyde Park near Hyde Park Corner is transformed into a Winter Wonderland, complete with fairground rides, giant wheel, circus, Christmas market, food and drink stalls, Santa's grotto and, of course, an ice rink. Now in its eighth year, Winter Wonderland has become a favourite in many Londoners' calendars. There's a huge choice of things to do from the ice rink to the Magical Ice Kingdom. Other popular features are the 53-metre-high Observational Wheel, Zippos Circus - always a hit, especially when temperatures plummet and its heated big top entertains and warms the crowd. The traditional Christmas Market with wooden chalets and various Bavarian-style bars and cafes is a hoot, as is the Spiegel Saloon, a large, festive and fully covered restaurant. Don't go with an empty wallet because while the whole thing is not cheap, it's such fun you'll want to get into the spirit and spend. (Remember: advanced booking on the main attractions is advised while you'll need to buy tokens from kiosks dotted around the fair for the many rides.) Free entry to the site means you can just walk around and absorb the festive ambiance - but it will take a strong will not to succumb to the smells and fun on offer.

 
 
 

Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution

A look at the life of one of history's best-known Londoners.

National Maritime Museum, Park Row, London, SE10 9NF

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

 

Dates: 20th November - 28th March 2016

 

The National Maritime Museum explores the life of one of history's best-known Londoners, diarist Samuel Pepys, this year with major exhibition Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution. Pepys was one of the most colourful and appealing characters of the seventeenth-century and witness to the great events that shaped Stuart Britain. His diary documented a time of turmoil in which kings fought for their crowns and medieval London was destroyed by the plague, fire and war, before being resurrected as a world city. Through the voice and personality of Samuel Pepys, who was a gossip and a socialite, the exhibition will explore the period from the execution of Charles I in 1649 to the Glorious Revolution of 1688 with 200 paintings and objects from museums, galleries and private collections across Britain and beyond.

 
 
 

Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas

Briggs' Father Christmas is a rather grumpy, discontented figure and yet utterly charming.

Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, 2 King Street, London, W6 0QA

Tube: Hammersmith Station

 

Dates: 20th November - 24th December 2015

 

Returning to the Lyric for a fourth Christmas run after three years of sell-out success, Raymond Briggs' famous Christmas story returns to the smallest stage of the Hammersmith theatre in 2015. Created by the London-born author and illustrator in 1973, Briggs' Father Christmas is as enchanting as it was 40 years ago, portraying Santa as a rather grumpy, discontented figure. In this adaptation presented by Pins and Needles the popular children's tale is told using puppet theatre and live music to create a wonderful seasonal outing for those under 6. Barry McCarthy, who plays the lead as, "a homely, flesh and blood old chap who snores, feels cold, goes to the loo..." (The Stage), reprises his role as Father Christmas.

 
 
 

Oliver Jeffers: Measuring Land and Sea

The follow-up to the artist's acclaimed 2013 solo exhibition Nothing To See Here.

Lazarides Rathbone, 11 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1HY

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station, Goodge Street Station

 

Dates: 20th November - 23rd December 2015

 

Oliver Jeffers may be best known for his fabulous picture books Stuck, Lost and Found and How to Catch a Star but he's also a fine artist with a painting in the National Portrait Gallery. Lazarides Rathbone are showing a selection of such work in Measuring Land and Sea, the follow-up to the artist's acclaimed 2013 solo exhibition Nothing To See Here. On display are landscapes and seascapes which examine the philosophical impasse at which art and science often find themselves. You can also hear the artist talk about his Dipped Paintings project at London's National Portrait Gallery on 20th November.

 
 
 

Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection

A look at the themes of tradition and modernity in Indian jewellery.

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

Tube: South Kensington Station

 

Dates: 21st November - 28th March 2016

 

Bejewelled Treasures: the Al-Thani Collection at the V&A explores the themes of tradition and modernity in Indian jewellery, featuring a gold finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan. The exhibition will also include pieces that reveal the dramatic changes that took place in Indian jewellery design during the early 20th century and will examine the influence that India had on avant-garde European jewellery made by Cartier and other leading houses. Part of the India Festival, this exhibition runs alongside The Fabric of India at the V&A.

 
 
 
 

Jack And The Beanstalk

Panto at the Hackney Empire has a huge giant, memorable songs and a break dancing cow.

Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London, E8 1EJ

Tube: Bethnal Green Station

 

Dates: 21st November - 03rd January 2016

 

The team at the Hackney Empire really know how to put on a fantastic panto with the magnificent Clive Rowe as queen of the panto dames, it's guaranteed raucous fun for all the family. This year's panto is Jack and the Beanstalk and Rowe returns to play Dame Daisy Trott with his huge charisma, commanding voice and precise comic timing. Hackney Empire's creative director, Susie McKenna has written and directed the theatre's Christmas pantos for over a decade, and they just keep getting better. So expect flamboyant staging, great comic acting, a huge giant, lots of memorable songs and, in true Hackney style, a break dancing cow.

 
 
 

Cinderella

This Cinderella wears glittery Converse and puts her pumpkin into top gear.

Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, 2 King Street, London, W6 0QA

Tube: Hammersmith Station

 

Dates: 21st November - 03rd January 2016

 

Following the success of Jack and the Beanstalk and Dick Whittington and his Cat, award winning playwright Tom Wells - well known for The Kitchen Sink and Jumpers for Goalposts - pens this year's panto at the Lyric . Giving a modern twist to the traditional format, this Cinderella wears glittery Converse and puts her pumpkin into top gear to meet a charming prince. Krystal Dockery who first appeared at the Lyric as part of the young ensemble in 2011 makes her professional stage debut in the lead role, starring alongside Samuel Buttery - a finalist in the original series of BBC1's The Voice - as Buttons and Sara Crowe who plays Madama Woo.

 
 
 

Winter at The View from The Shard

Food sculptors Bompas and Parr are behind the ice crystals, frost and snow drifts 800 feet up.

The Shard, 96 Tooley Street, London, SE1 9SG

Tube: London Bridge Station

 

Dates: 23rd November - 31st January 2016

 

Experts in immersive flavour-based experiences Bompas & Parr are behind the ice crystals, frost and snow drifts at The View from The Shard , created to add a layer of intrigue to the sky-high attraction this winter. Way up 800 feet above the city on the open-air skydeck, this sensory journey transforms the top of The Shard into an enchanting, sensory winter experience and, staying with the snow-food theme, there are e dible experiences to buy too.

 
 
 

Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Festival

The week-long east London festival offers feature films, workshops and wild parties.

Various Venues East London, Walthamstow, London, EC2M 7QH

Tube: Walthamstow Central Station

 

Dates: 24th - 29th November 2015

 

Following an expanded programme in 2014, Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Festival returns in November 2015. Rooted in London's queer creative scene, the week-long festival boasts a diverse programme that ranges from feature films to experimental art, workshops to wild parties. Taking place at various venues across east London including Hackney Picturehouse, Dalston Superstore and Rose Lipman Building, the festival brings together DJs, film-makers and producers presenting new projects and offers feature films, workshops, interactive walks, documentaries and discussions.

 
 
 

Christmas Past

A fascinating reflection on our changing tastes at this festive time of year.

Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, Hackney, London, E2 8EA

Tube: Old Street Station

 

Dates: 25th November - 08th January 2017

 

Each year the Geffrye Museum celebrates Christmas with a look at the way Christmas traditions have evolved over years at its annual Christmas Past exhibition, staged at the Shoreditch museum for over 20 years. It's a timely opportunity to see the museum's period rooms decorated to reflect our changing tastes at this festive time of year. Typically there's a programme of events and family activities which tie in with the chosen theme where you can create your own Christmas decorations, sip on mulled wine while witnessing the traditional burning of the holly and the ivy, and enjoy the carols by candlelight.

 
 
 
 

The Snowman

The theatrical equivalent of going to see Father Christmas.

Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, London, WC2A 2HT

Tube: Holborn Station, Covent Garden Station, Temple Station

 

Dates: 23rd November - 01st January 2017

 

This staging of Raymond Briggs's The Snowman by Sadlers Wells, suitable for children aged 4 and over, staged in the Peacock Theatre, has become a much-loved festive tradition in London. Translating the beautifully-illustrated book to dance, the respected ballet company creates a winter wonderland of a stage show at their West End theatre. This is the theatrical equivalent of going to see Father Christmas except infinitely more spectacular as a young boy's snowman comes to life and the two of them fly across the sky. When Father Christmas does appear it's in a shimmering woodland, surrounded by magical reindeer, dancing penguins and a host of snowy friends. As the first notes of Walking in the Air fill the theatre, the heart-melting factor will not disappoint as awe-struck children (and adults) are mesmerised by the dazzling light show of snow.

 
 
 

Artist and Empire

An exploration into how diverse artists around the world responded to the experience of empire.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

Tube: Pimlico Station

 

Dates: 25th November - 10th April 2016

 

Aiming to be the "first major presentation of the art associated with the British Empire from the 16th century to the present day", Artist and Empire at Tate Britain brings together works from public and private collections across the UK. With sculptures, paintings and works on paper, the exhibition explores how diverse artists around the world responded to the experience of empire. It also considers how the empire shaped some of the themes of British art that still resonate today.

 
 
 

Ideal Home Show At Christmas

Gadgets and gift ideas for everyone plus celebrity appearances from Gregg Wallace and Gino D'Acampo.

Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA

Tube: West Brompton Station, Earls Court Station

 

Dates: 25th - 29th November 2015

 

New for the 2015 Ideal Home Show at Christmas is the Christmas Arcade filled with the latest toys, gifts, books and gizmos, perfect presents for friends and family. With over 650 exhibitors across 7 sections from interiors to gadgets there are gift ideas for everyone. Celebrities attending the show include Gregg Wallace who fronts the restaurant, top chef and TV food personality Gino D'Acampo who will be at Olympia on Wednesday to help officially open the show. Interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen will also be on hand on to welcome visitors and give handy hints and tips on the Christmas Theatre. And the inspirational Katie Piper will be giving talks on about fashion, beauty and all things festive. Raise a glass with drinks expert Olly Smith who'll be giving tips on food and top tipples.

 
 
 

Michael Craig-Martin: Transience

Teacher to the YBAs, Michael Craig-Martin depicts everyday objects, already obsolete.

Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA

Tube: Lancaster Gate Station

 

Dates: 25th November - 14th February 2016

 

He was an influential teacher, working at Goldsmiths during the rise of the YBAs in the 1990s, and now Michael Craig-Martin - a well known artist in his own right - gets his first solo show at a London public institution since 1989. In Transience, the Serpentine Gallery brings together works from 1981 to 2015, including his era-defining representations of once familiar yet obsolete technology. His depictions of everyday objects - laptops, games consoles, black-and-white televisions and incandescent lightbulbs - highlight the increasing transience of technological innovation.

 
 
 

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2015

The most promising talent emerging from UK art schools this year.

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), 12 Carlton House Terrace, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station, Charing Cross Station

 

Dates: 25th November - 25th January 2016

 

An important barometer of contemporary art, Bloomberg New Contemporaries returns to the ICA galleries for a sixth year. This year themes of gender, labour, value and consumption are a common thread in the final selection. Among the 37 on the shortlist are Kevin Boyd whose work explores the often complex relationship between location, place and identity, Abri de Swardt whose practice is inspired by the work of Derek Jarman, and Oliver McConnie who uses grotesque imagery to defeat fear through laughter. The chosen artists represent the most promising talent emerging from UK art schools this year.

 
 
 
 

Christmas at Kew

A mile-long illuminated trail turns Kew into an enchanted winter landscape.

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

Tube: Kew Gardens Station

 

Dates: 23rd November - 02nd January 2017

 

A 50-foot Christmas tree and mile-long illuminated trail turns Kew Gardens into an enchanted winter landscape this Christmas. The beautiful gardens opens their doors after dark to reveal a walkway peppered with giant light sculptures, a tunnel of lights and light projections on the Palm House and in 2015 there's a newly designed fire garden, scented with pine, frankincense and cedar. This year the focus is on the Christmas tree. It was here, after all, in the 1790s that Queen Charlotte, a founder of Kew Gardens, first dressed the branches of a Christmas tree at Kew Palace for all to enjoy.

 
 
 

Macbeth

A radical reworking of Shakespeare's supernatural tragedy at the Young Vic.

The Young Vic, 66 The Cut, London, SE1 8LZ

Tube: Southwark Station, Waterloo Station, Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 26th November - 16th January 2016

 

Carrie Cracknell and Lucy Guerin follow up their acclaimed staging of Medea at the National Theatre with this radical reworking of Shakespeare's supernatural tragedy at the Young Vic, exploring the themes of power, treachery, paranoia, betrayal and suicide through Guerin's expressive and unsettling choreography. Famously, when the prophecy of three witches proclaims that Macbeth is destined to become the King of Scotland, he and Lady Macbeth embark upon a murderous journey of power, treachery, paranoia, betrayal and suicide.

 
 
 

Simple Minds

Glasgow band Simple Minds return with their 16th album, Big Music.

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 26th November 2015

 

With a string of hits including Don't You (Forget About Me) and Alive & Kicking, Jim Kerr and his long-time collaborator guitarist Charlie Burchill bring their latest line-up with an epic two-set show that will take you from the first hits all the way to the present day. Simple Minds' "live show combines their evocative, mould-breaking early New Wave period with the anthemic mid-80s era" The Scotsman wrote of a recent gig in Edinburgh, part of their 2015 tour.

 
 
 

Winterville

East London's answer to Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, with Christmas cabaret and a Spiegeltent.

Victoria Park, Grove Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E3 5SN

Tube: Mile End Station

 

Dates: 26th November - 23rd December 2015

 

After taking over Victoria Park for the first time in 2014, Winterville is returning for another festive season this year. East London's answer to Winter Wonderland, the town of Winterville brings together a number of classic Christmas season favourites, including an ice rink, a Santa's Grotto, a fairground and Christmas market, Bizarre Bazaar. Backyard Cinema will be creating an enchanted forest named The Winter Night Garden which, accessed only via a secret tunnel, will showcase classic films such as Love Actually, The Muppet Christmas and Elf. More entertainment can be found in the Spiegeltent, with a Snow White pantomime, Cirque du Cabaret, Shit-Faced Shakespeare and Indeedy Musical Bingo. Plus, Plonk Crazy Golf will bring a brand new nine hole putting project to the site; the Kid's Quarter will keep the little ones entertained with soft play areas, a children's market and a Santa's Grotto designed by interactive events company Bearded Kitten; and Moscow State Circus roll into town with gravity defying aerial acts, wire walkers and clowns galore. Food and drink will also feature heavily with town pub, Bar Humbug, serving real ales, mulled wine, cider and hot chocolate.

 
 
 

Clarkson, Hammond & May Live

Supercars, stupendous stunts and three middle aged men who like cars.

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 27th - 29th November 2015

 

Top Gear fans - and there's clearly quite a lot of them given the Twitter storm which errupted over the sudden cancellation of their favourite show in March this year - can get their Clarkson, Hammond & May fix in a live show at The O2. Promising some of the world's most breath-taking supercars, stupendous stunts and three middle aged men, the show includes a challenge which will see Hammond and May attempt to make cars smaller than Clarkson's P45. Other highlights include the world's largest 'Cage of Death', and a new driving sequence featuring two custom built BMW M3s both covered in over 600 metres of LED lights.

 
 
 
 

Foodies Festival Christmas

Join top chefs Angela Hartnett, Ben Tish and Sophie Grigson for a Christmas feast.

The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL

Tube: Aldgate East Station

 

Dates: 18th - 20th November 2016

 

Taking place in Syon Park in spring and at both Alexandra Palace and Clapham Common in the summer, the Foodies Festival comes to the Old Truman Brewery for its Christmas special in November. Join top chefs including Angela Hartnett, Ben Tish and Sophie Grigson for a perfectly timed Christmas feast. As well as food demos from top chefs like Giancarlo Caldesi, MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Adam Handling and Scott Hallsworth, owner of Kurobuta on King's Road, there's produce to buy in the artisan market, a whisky arena and apres ski cocktails. Take a seat at the communal Christmas feasting table, see a life-size gingerbread house, sample pungent produce from the cheese village, visit the producers grotto, and sip on craft beer at a pop-up brewery. It's not just about food, you can also sing carols, wear your best Christmas jumper for a photo booth picture, and learn how to do ceilidh dancing to live music. Bring the kids - they can go to the Elf Cookery School and learn how to bake snowballs, make friends with live reindeer and get involved in a snow ball fight. Fun!

 
 
 

Being A Man

Join the conversation on how men's roles are evolving in the 21st century.

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

Tube: Waterloo Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 25th - 27th November 2016

 

Akala, Frankie Boyle, David Baddiel and Kellie Maloney, a flamboyant boxing promoter formerly known as Frank Maloney, are just four of more than 150 speakers and performers addressing how men's roles are evolving in the 21st century at the Southbank Centre's BAM - Being A Man festival. At this second outing for the festival, Anthony and Ben Holden introduce readings from their anthology Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, Letters to 007 asks why are still so obsessed with James Bond, and Of Man and Beast presents a dynamic new outdoor dance piece by Company Chameleon exploring male group dynamics. Expect a packed programme of Q&A sessions, a 'think-in' brainstorming event, talks, keynotes and presentations, debates, concerts, performances, comedy and workshops on everything from brewing to Broga.

 
 
 

wonder.land

Damon Albarn and Moira Buffini's hotly anticipated musical take on Alice in Wonderland.

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

Tube: Temple Station, Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 27th November - 30th January 2016

 

A brand new musical inspired by Alice in Wonderland, wonder.land is Damon Albarn and Moira Buffini's hotly anticipated musical take on Lewis Carroll's much admired book. Bullied at school and unhappy at home, Aly, aged 12, escapes to wonder.land. Aly becomes brave and beautiful Alice online but some of the people she meets - the weird Dum and Dee, the creepy Cheshire Cat, the terrifying Red Queen - seem strangely familiar. With design by Rae Smith, projections by 59 Productions and lighting by Paule Constable - the design team behind War Horse - the creation of the virtual world into which Aly escapes promises to be an exciting piece of theatre.

 
 
 

Club de Fromage on Ice

Cheesy nightclub organisers (and proud of it) put DJ Slow Alfie on the decks for an old school skate.

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

Tube: Bounds Green Station

 

Dates: 27th November 2015

 

Disney did it, the BBC have done dancing on it, now cheesy nightclub organisers (and proud of it) Club de Fromage go 'on ice'. Skate to pop classics from Katy Perry and Bon Jovi, The Jam, Elvis, One Direction, Frankie Valli and The Smiths under the lovely roof of Ally Pally. It will be a right old mix up and will have you skating about singing that annoying song from Frozen. Plus for the first time the bar will be open so you can have a beer (just the one though, any more would be asking for trouble) and none of that poncy mulled wine. DJ Slow Alfie will be in the DJ booth eating biscuits for a proper old school skate. The monthly night takes places on the fourth Friday with a Christmas Special on 11th December.

 
 
 

Wine C4r Boot

Taste affordable tipples from London's best independent wine shops.

West Handyside Canopy, King's Cross, London, N1C 4AA

Tube: King's Cross Station

 

Dates: Saturday 10th June 2017

 

Vinoteca, Borough Wines and Berry Bros & Rudd are among the lovely line-up of independent wine shops coming together for the two day Wine C4r Boot. With 13 vendors, each with their top five affordable wines, plus wines gadgets, books and games by special guests, the West Handyside Canopy in King's Cross will be a wine lover's heaven. Joining regulars like Vagabond, Caviste and LDN CRU are newcomers Corney & Barrow whose wines, available for tasting and purchase, will be sold alongside food from Bob's Lobster, Traiteur and Kimchinery Korean tacos. A 12 pound ticket gains you entry, five tastes, a wine bottle carrier and an outdoor Govino tasting glass. Tokens for further tastings can also be purchased.

 
 
 
 

Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair

Christmas market and festive treats in one of London's most idyllic gardens.

Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Garden, Chelsea, London, SW3 4HS

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 28th - 29th November 2015

 

London's oldest Botanic Garden opens its doors once again for the annual Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair on the last weekend of November. Held in large heated marquees in the grounds, the stalls hold an extensive range of gifts, including garden paraphernalia, unusual jewellery, cashmere clothing, pottery, ceramics, woollen goods, handmade chocolates, children's clothes and exclusive leather goods. The Garden's Tangerine Dream Cafe will serve hot breakfasts and lunches (including a trademark game stew) as well as festive treats such as mince pies and mulled wine. You can also put in orders for special Christmas cakes and pies, to be delivered to your homes in time for Christmas. As well as the marvellous market, the Christmas Fair offers the public the chance to enjoy what is arguably London's most interesting private garden. Hidden behind towering brick walls and protected from the city's sounds and harsh breezes, the Chelsea Physic Garden is a truly breathtaking spot where the most idyllic collection of plants flourish in a unique, carefully created microclimate. A visit here before Christmas is a present in itself.

 
 
 

Julia Margaret Cameron

A major exhibition to mark the bicentenary of the birth of the pioneering photographer.

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

Tube: South Kensington Station

 

Dates: 28th November - 14th February 2016

 

The V&A marks the bicentenary of the birth of Julia Margaret Cameron with a display of more than 100 of her photographs from its collection. One of photography's 19th-century pioneers, Cameron was dedicated to the medium and daring in her experiments with image making. Best known for her powerful portraits, the exhibition will also examine her relationship between the museum's founding director Sir Henry Cole, who in 1865 presented her first museum exhibition and the only one during her lifetime.

 
 
 

A Christmas Carol

Jim Broadbent plays Scrooge in a new version of the Dickens classic.

Noel Coward Theatre, St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4AU

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

 

Dates: 30th November - 30th January 2016

 

He played Prince Albert in Blackadder's Christmas Carol but now Academy Award-winning actor Jim Broadbent plays Scrooge in a new (less silly) version of A Christmas Carol at the Noel Coward Theatre this winter. Adapted by Patrick Barlow from Charles Dickens' original story, the well-known tale of stingy Scrooge and poverty stricken Tiny Tim comes to life thanks to critically-acclaimed designer Tom Pye (The Testament of Mary, The Death of Klinghoffer, The Low Road) with Toby Sedgwick (War Horse, The 39 Steps) as director of movement. Jim Broadbent reunites with Patrick Barlow (who also wrote the long-running hit The 39 Steps) - the two performed for many years in Barlow's cult comedy troupe The National Theatre of Brent. The lead actor has also previously worked with director Phelim McDermott, the Olivier Award-winning artistic director of Improbable theatre company, who directed Theatre of Blood at the National in 2005 in which Broadbent last appeared on stage a decade ago.

 
 
 

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