October in London 2019

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London Cocktail Week

photo: DrinkUp.London

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London Cocktail Week
London Cocktail Week
London Restaurant Festival
London Restaurant Festival
Frieze Art Fair
Frieze Art Fair
The Cake and Bake Show
BFI London Film Festival
Royal Parks Half Marathon
Bloomsbury Festival
Frieze Masters
War Horse is at Wembley Park
Dance Umbrella
Decorex International
Bridget Riley
Gauguin Portraits
Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert
Moving to Mars
BBC Music Introducing Live
Moniker Art Fair
Death of a Salesman
On Bear Ridge
Two Door Cinema Club
The cast of Ghost Quartet, opening production at the new Boulevard Theatre
Costume at the National Theatre
Brett Anderson is at the London Literature Festival
The Royal Opera: Don Pasquale
Inspired By The East
English National Opera: Orpheus and Eurydice
English National Opera: Orpheus in the Underworld
English National Opera: The Mikado
Roundhouse Rising
London Horror Festival
The Other Art Fair
Ai Weiwei - Roots
Science Photographer of the Year
Play Well
Mary Poppins
Dear Evan Hansen


London Cocktail Week celebrates its 10th birthday, the Bloomsbury Festival takes inspiration from Neil Armstrong's lunar landing, and a whole host of prestigious art fairs roll into town. LondonTown lists the best London events taking place in October 2019.

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London Restaurant Festival

A line-up of the world's top chefs and over 400 London restaurants take part in this month-long foodie festival.


Dates: 01st - 31st October 2019


All-encompassing food affair the London Restaurant Festival returns for its 11th year in 2019, bringing a month-long, mouth-watering array of foodie events to the capital. The annual event takes place during October and incorporates a line-up of the world's top chefs and over 400 restaurants around London. Split into two main elements - restaurant experiences and festival menus - the line-up boasts a programme of more than 60 events ranging from chef-hosted lunches to tasting menus and restaurant-hopping tours. The festival menus, meanwhile, see the hundreds of restaurants taking part serve up special menus ranging from £10 to £60, covering everything from local favourites to Michelin-starred establishments. For ultimate indulgence, there are the gourmet odyssey experiences and luxury gastronomic weekends while more accessible events include talks, wine tastings and foodie film screenings.


English National Opera: Orpheus and Eurydice

Wayne McGregor makes his ENO directorial debut with Gluck's take on the Orpheus myth.

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: 01st October - 19th November 2019


Internationally renowned choreographer and director Wayne McGregor makes his ENO directorial debut with a new production of Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice, with Alice Coote and Sarah Tynan in the title roles, accompanied by 13 dancers from Company Wayne McGregor. Willing to go to any lengths to be reunited with his one true love, the gods agree to let the grief-stricken Orpheus rescue his wife Eurydice from the underworld - just as long as he doesn't look back at her. One of four operas staged by ENO examining the Orpheus myth, all are performed against a single transforming set design by Liz Clachan.


BFI London Film Festival

A wealth of film premieres, post-screening Q&As, workshops and masterclasses.

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

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 07th - 18th October 2020


London rolls out the red carpet for the BFI London Film Festival in October, with a wealth of A-list stars stepping out for premieres of their films. This year's festival opens with Armando Iannucci's The Personal History of David Copperfield and closes with Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, with 12 days of 229 feature films screened in between. The opening film has an all-star cast featuring Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw and Paul Whitehouse so you can expect to see many them on the red carpet in Leicester Square. A-list stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones reunite as aerial explorers in The Aeronauts, Tom Hanks is television entertainer Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood and Annette Bening and Bill Nighy play a couple in their 60s in the Hope Gap. As well as the opening gala razzmatazz there are screenings in Leicester Square, Vue West End and in the purpose-built Embankment Garden Cinema as well as events for everyone, from informal post-screening Q&As to films for families and guest appearances to workshops and masterclasses.


Moniker Art Fair

The contemporary art fair makes the bold move from Shoreditch to Chelsea.

Chelsea Sorting Office, 232 Kings Road, London, SW3 5UA

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 02nd - 06th October 2019


One of the three big London art fairs in the capital during Frieze Week in October, Moniker Art Fair is the world's largest urban art fair, showcasing the international scope of street art and beyond. For its 11th edition Moniker is making the bold move from Shoreditch to Chelsea, demonstrating how street art isn't confined to east London but in fact a global movement. Taking place at the Chelsea Sorting Office on King's Road, the fair will continue to push boundaries and demonstrate how powerful and immersive an art fair can be. While Frieze showcases established names, Moniker champions emerging talent.


Ai Weiwei - Roots

A new series of monumental sculptures and experimentation with LEGO.

Lisson Gallery, 52-54 Bell Street, London, NW1 5DA

Tube: Edgware Road Station , Marylebone Station


Dates: 02nd October - 02nd November 2019


The Chinese artist and activist presents a series of monumental sculptural works in iron, cast from giant tree roots sourced in Brazil during research and production for last year's survey exhibition, 'RAIZ', at the Oscar Niemeyer-designed OCA Pavilion in Ibirapuera Oark, Sao Paulo. Ai Weiwei, known for filling Tate Modern's Turbine Hall with millions of handmade sunflower seeds, uses Lego to make several works in his latest show including a large scale recreation of the front page of the Mueller Report into alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 US election.


Frieze Art Fair

Over 160 of the world's most respected contemporary art galleries come to London.

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

Tube: Regent's Park Station


Dates: 03rd - 06th October 2019


London's best known contemporary art fair, Frieze returns to Regent's Park for its 17th edition with over 160 of the most highly respected contemporary art galleries in the world brought together. The most accessible part, the free-to-view Sculpture Park found in the English Gardens of Regent's Park, displays 25 works by leading 20th-century artists. Performance art, talks, specially commissioned art works and curated exhibitions are all part of the fair, most of which is packed into a vast temporary structure in the park with work by around 1,000 contemporary artists crammed in. A combined ticket gets you into sister fair, Frieze Masters, a showcase of Old Masters and art up to the 20th century. The two fairs form the heart of Frieze Week, when galleries and museums across London put on special exhibitions and there's a glut of art fairs including Moniker and PAD London.


Frieze Masters

A spin-off of the Frieze Art Fair with a showcase of more than 130 of the world's leading galleries.

Gloucester Green, Regent's Park, Camden Town, London, NW1 4HA

Tube: Camden Town Station


Dates: 03rd - 06th October 2019


Following its successful debut seven years ago Frieze Masters, a showcase of Old Masters and a spin-off of Frieze Art Fair, London's leading contemporary art fair, returns to London's Regents Park in October. Frieze Masters presents over 130 of the world's leading galleries, selling museum grade pieces including Dutch and Flemish Old Masters, Chinese masterpieces and illuminated manuscripts. Located in a bespoke structure on Gloucester Green, to the north east of Regent's Park, it's a short walk from its contemporary sister event, and the two fairs together present a unique perspective on the relationship between old and new art.


Mary Sibande: I Came Apart at the Seams

The prominent South African artist challenges stereotypes of black women in post-apartheid South Africa.

Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station


Dates: 03rd October - 05th January 2020


Somerset House puts the focus on contemporary artist Mary Sibande in I Came Apart at the Seams, her first solo exhibition in the UK. One of South Africa's most prominent artists, Sibande uses this exhibition to explore the power of imagination and constructive anger in a post-colonial world, using a series of photographic and sculptural works. The human-scale sculptures are modelled on Sibande herself in the form of an avatar named Sophie, who transgresses from humble beginnings as domestic housemaid into a whole host of empowered characters, transcending racial bias and marginalisation and challenging stereotypes of black women in post-apartheid South Africa.


Nara: sacred images from early Japan

Fifteen major Buddhist and Shinto sacred images go on display.

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station , Russell Square Station, Holborn Station


Dates: 03rd October - 24th November 2019


Fifteen major Buddhist and Shinto sacred images go on display at the British Museum this autumn in a free display titled Nara: sacred images from early Japan. The display features objects from Nara Prefecture that have never before been seen in the UK, shown alongside related Japanese and Chinese paintings from the British Museum's own collection. Visitors can see items from the AD 600s through to the 1300s including five Japanese national treasures and six important cultural properties. Highlights include Bodhisattva of Compassion and Libation dish with Birth of the Buddha, two gilt bronze sculptures dating from the early AD 700s and mid-AD 700s.


Elizabeth Peyton

The internationally-renowned artist will become the first artist ever to be given the run of the entire of the gallery.

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: 03rd October - 05th January 2020


This autumn, internationally-renowned artist Elizabeth Peyton will become the first artist ever to be given the run of the entire National Portrait Gallery. Not only will a new major exhibition display more than 40 of her works, there will also be a selection of her portraits dispersed throughout the gallery's permanent Collection. One of the world's leading artists, Peyton has been at the forefront of a re-evaluation of figurative art and traditional portrait painting, and this new exhibition will be the first to situate her within the historical tradition of portraiture. Key works from the first two decades of her career will go on display along with an investigation of the new direction that her work has taken over the past ten years. Portraits of Kurt Cobain, Frida Kahlo, Queen Elizabeth II, David Bowie and David Hockney will be among the works on display.


Ghost Stories

An evening of spooky stories and paranormal activity.

Ambassadors Theatre, West Street, London, WC2H 9ND

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


Dates: 03rd October - 04th January 2020


Having premiered at Lyric Hammersmith back in 2010, Ghost Stories has since become a global phenomenon, and after returning to Hammersmith earlier in the year, it's set to transfer to the West End with a limited run at The Ambassadors Theatre. Not recommended for those with a nervous disposition, the show is a series of short stories strung together by academic presenter, Professor Philip Goodman (played by Andy Nyman, co-creator of Derren Brown's stage and TV shows), and there are plenty of moments when you'll want to hide behind the sofa. Written and directed by Nyman and the League of Gentlemen's Jeremy Dyson, it is billed as a selection of stories whose creepy tales "will bleed off the stage and into your dreams". That's not quite the case - there's enough humour to soften the truly scary stuff - but it certainly gives you plenty of paranormal things to think (and shriek) about. You may notice your step quicken on the walk home after dark. Not suitable for anyone aged 15 and below, or those of a nervous disposition.


Roy's Art Fair

The largest free entrance art fair in London.

Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, London, SE1 9PH

Tube: Temple Station


Dates: 03rd - 06th September 2020


Following on from its successful art fair at The OXO Tower Bargehouse in April, Roy's Art Fair returns this October, taking place at The Old Truman Brewery at the same time as London's best known contemporary art fair, Frieze. Displaying the works of around 90 emerging and established artists, Roy's Art Fair will be the largest free entrance art fair in London with each of the artists personally showcasing their work. Visitors will be introduced to the event via a unique large-scale live art installation in the entrance hall. Created in partnership with mental health charity CALM, there will also be a number of workshops focusing on the importance of creativity and expression for positive mental health.


The Other Art Fair

Contemporary pieces, from textile to taxidermy, by emerging artists.

Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, Spitalfields, London, WC1B 4DA

Tube: Holborn Station , Russell Square Station


Dates: 03rd - 06th October 2019


A climate change light installation, handpoke tattoos and electric tasting candy are all part of The Other Art Fair which returns to Bloomsbury's historic Victoria House during Frieze Week, the busiest week in the UK's art calendar. The fair - which is owned by online gallery Saatchi Art - presents contemporary pieces, from textile to taxidermy, by up and coming artists and showcases the work by Laurie Vincent from punk band Slaves, this year's guest artist. All artists have been chosen by a committee of experts making it "worth visiting to truffle out emerging painters" (Financial Times). You can take part in free workshops and tours and refuel at Farmstand, a plant-based pop up restaurant. Welcoming you to the fair, British artist Lauren Baker has created an 'open dialogue with nature' as the entrance installation with a 'Letter to Mother Earth' projection mapped onto a white tree. With more than one thousand pieces starting at £50 as well as many arty events such as curated walks and live music, this is a completely unstuffy art experience.


London Cocktail Week

The festival celebrates its 10th anniversary by expanding from seven to ten days.

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

Tube: Aldgate East Station


Dates: 05th - 11th October 2020


Inviting London's cocktail lovers to join in on a big, city-wide party, London Cocktail Week is back for 2019 and it will be celebrating its 10th birthday by expanding from seven to 10 days. With over 300 London bars taking part, anyone wearing a special wristband can enjoy £6 cocktails all across town. At the heart of the festival is the cocktail village at Truman Brewery on Brick Lane where there are more than 35 pop-up cocktail bars along with hands-on cocktail making, immersive experiences, Street Feast street food and entertainment from Sink the Pink, Ultimate Power and Hip Hop Brunch. This year they're also adding a new London Cocktail Week Pop-Up on Grape Street in Covent Garden. Head east for Hendrick's Gin Tini Martini Townhouse where New York's NoMad Bar and Singapore's Manhattan Bar go head to head. Or drop into one of the 300 bars taking part. We love The Ned, Baptist Bar at L'oscar in Holborn and the Sanderson'sLong Bar which hosts a six day residency by Parisian bar, Le Syndicat. Mayfair bar Kwant welcomes a Latin America fiesta for one night only, at The Mezzanine bar The Stratford hosts an Italian pop-up and we get a sneak peek at the bar of Daniel Humm's hotly anticipated Davies and Brook at Claridge's before it officially opens in November.


The Cake and Bake Show

TV stars and celebrity bakers showcase their skills at this sugar-filled festival.

ExCeL London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, Earls Court, London, E16 1XL

Tube: Canning Town Station


Dates: 04th - 06th October 2019


The Cake and Bake Show has all the ingredients needed for a delicious day out. With new celebrity chefs and baking shows constantly bursting onto the scene, and the phenomenal success of The Great British Bake Off, baking has become more popular than ever. Bringing The Great British Bake Off television series to life, the tent becomes a stage at the Excel Centre where some of the stars from the current GBBO series as well as former champions give demos. The day will also offer an array of tempting and tasty features as well as star speakers. You can also enter the cake competition, showcase your skills and put your cake creation in front of a high profile panel of judges as well as thousands of visitors.


Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art

Putting the spotlight on legendary cabarets, cafes and clubs across the world.

Barbican Art Gallery, Silk Street, London, EC2 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station , Moorgate Station


Dates: 04th October - 19th January 2020


Cabarets, cafes and clubs across the world, from London to New York, Paris to Mexico City, are brought together at the Barbican Art Gallery through over 200 works from the 1880s to the 1960s. Into the Night offers an alternative history of modern art that highlights the spirit of experimentation and collaboration between artists, performers, designers, musicians and writers such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Loie Fuller, Josef Hoffmann and performer Josephine Baker. Select spaces including the multi-coloured tiled bar of the Cabaret Fledermaus in Vienna are recreated in full while films, archival material and a daily programme of live performances bring the most electrifying cabarets and clubs of the modern era to the Barbican.


Skyfall in Concert

On the site where the film premiered, Skyfall is screened with an accompanying live score.

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

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 04th - 05th October 2019


Seven years ago Skyfall premiered here at the Royal Albert Hall as Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall joined director Sam Mendes, Craig David and other A-list stars. Now the Bond movie is back... but this time everyone's invited. The second James Bond film to be presented in the series, Skyfall in Concert follows Casino Royale, which sold out at in 2017. Daniel Craig returns as the legendary 007, pitted against ruthless cyberterrorist and former British agent Silva (brilliantly played by Javier Bardem). The film is backed by Thomas Newman's BAFTA-winning score, performed live and in full by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.


Rembrandt's Light

An exploration of the Dutch Master's refined use of light and visual storytelling.

Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich Village, London, SE21 7AD

Tube: Denmark Hill Station


Dates: 04th October - 02nd February 2020


In the year that marks 350 years since Rembrandt's death, Dulwich Picture Gallery is staging Rembrandt's Light, a new exhibition focusing on the Dutch Master's refined use of light and visual storytelling. Bringing together 35 carefully selected international loans, the exhibition focuses on his greatest years, from 1639-1658, and pays particular attention to his skill at creating impact and drama, evoking a meditative mood and lighting his subjects. Among the highlights are three of Rembrandt's most famous images of women: A Woman Bathing in a Stream, A Woman in Bed and the Gallery's inimitable Girl at a Window - displayed side-by-side for the very first time. Award-winning cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, famed for his work on films like Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Mars Attacks!, has assisted with lighting some of Rembrandt's greatest paintings, etchings and drawings for the exhibition.


Costume at the National Theatre

See exquisite outfits produced by the theatre's costume department.

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

Tube: Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 04th October - 27th June 2020


Featuring costumes from Follies and Antony and Cleopatra, Costume at the National Theatre shows just some of the exquisite outfits produced by the theatre's costume department. Working on everything from muddy uniforms to giant caterpillars, the costume department sources, creates, alters, repairs, organises and maintains costumes for over 20 new productions each year. The team of 46 also has to consider practicalities like how to fit an actor in a corset in under 60 seconds. As curator Aoife Monks says, "Costume is one of the first things we see on stage", this exhibition offers a behind-the-scenes insight into the skill, thought and dedicated that goes into the garments that take centre stage.


Human Stories: Circa No Future

The first UK solo exhibition from West Indian photographer Nadia Higgins.

NOW Gallery, The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0SQ

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 04th October - 10th November 2019


West Indian photographer Nadia Higgins is given her first UK solo exhibition this autumn with Human Stories: Circa No Future at the NOW Gallery. Part of the gallery's annual Human Stories series, which encourages artists to consider modern life and the human scale, the photographic and filmic exhibition navigates the boundaries between land and sea. A celebration of the relationship between adolescence and the infinite power of Earth's oceans, it personifies the ocean and looks at its role as a constant for those who are immersed within it. Visitors can expect a beautiful display of ocean photography with all images taken on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.


English National Opera: Orpheus in the Underworld

Emma Rice directs Offenbach's comic operetta.

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: 05th October - 28th November 2019


Much-loved director Emma Rice, previously at Kneehigh and Shakespeare's Globe, makes her ENO debut with Offenbach's comic operetta Orpheus in the Underworld with Sir Willard White as Jupiter and Lucia Lucas as Public Opinion. This glamorous production transports us to a hedonistic Underworld. Here Eurydice is fooled into taking Pluto, ruler of the Underworld, as her lover after her new marriage to Orpheus ends. Orpheus, played by Ed Lyon, must try to win his wife back, but to achieve the impossible he needs the help of the gods.


Decorex International

A key event for the luxury interiors market, Decorex brings over 400 interiors and decor brands to Olympia.

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

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station


Dates: 06th - 09th October 2019


Moving to a new home and a new date in 2019, Decorex brings over 400 interiors and decor brands to Olympia in October. A key event for the luxury interiors market, displays range from hand-painted wallpapers to conceptual lighting. Names to look out for include Arte, Beaumont & Fletcher, Officine Gullo, Rose Uniacke and The Rug Company. Highlights of the four day show include beautifully created spaces, the VIP area, workshops and inspiring talks from some of the industry‚%u20AC%u2122s key influencers, While primarily a trade event, members of the public are able to attend the show on the penultimate day.


Gauguin Portraits

Putting the focus on paintings of people by the great French artist.

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 5DN

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


Dates: 07th October - 26th January 2020


For the first time ever the National Gallery stages an exhibition on the portraits of French artist Paul Gauguin. From autumn 2019 the Sainsbury Wing houses Gauguin Portraits, displaying approximately 50 works from the mid-1880s to the end of his life in 1903 and focusing on how the artist moved away from Impressionism towards Symbolism. By adding carefully selected attributes or placing the sitter into a suggestive context Gauguin was able to make portraits that expressed meaning beyond their personalities. Included in the exhibition is a group of self-portraits which show how Gauguin created personifications including his self-image as 'Christ in the Garden of Olives'.


Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert

Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden start in Jason Donovan's glittering musical.

New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, London, SW19 1QG

Tube: Wimbledon Station


Dates: 07th - 12th October 2019


Jason Donovan, producing for the first time, teams up with Mark Goucher to give us a glittering musical based on the hit movie, Priscilla, starring Terence Stamp and Guy Pearce. Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden stars as Anthony 'Tick' Belrose (who uses the drag pseudonym of Mitzi Del Bra) in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert as the musical road trip hits the outback with sequins and disco hits aplenty. Expect glitter, a dazzling array of costumes, fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance-floor classics including It's Raining Men, I Will Survive and I Love The Nightlife.


Science Photographer of the Year

70 scientific photographs are displayed in this free exhibition, the first time it's been staged.

Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 07th October - 05th January 2020


After giving hundreds of photographs a forensic examination, the judges of the Science Photographer of the Year have given the award to South African Morgan Trimble for her image 'Launching a Mini Boat'. The image, showing a tiny vessel being released to monitor ocean currents and educate about climate change, is shown at this free Science Museum exhibition. It offers a new perspectives on everyday materials like soap bubbles and Aperol as well as human health, environmental conservation and endangered wildlife. Open to all ages, the youngest on the shortlist is just 8 years old. However, it was teenager Jason Chen who won the Young Science Photographer of the Year for his photograph of a model of a dog's head, on display at his local vet school.


Dance Umbrella

Celebrating contemporary choreography and a weekend takeover of Croydon's newly refurbished Fairfield Halls.


Dates: 08th - 27th October 2019


One of the world's leading dance festivals, Dance Umbrella returns for its 41st year, bringing new and fascinating dance to venues across London. In 2019 Irish dancer Oona Doherty makes her London debut with two London premieres: Hard to be Soft, her searing evocation of the city streets of Belfast, at the Southbank Centre; and Hope Hunt at The Yard. Celebrated dancer and choreographer Gregory Maqoma presents rousing dance theatre work, Cion, at the Barbican. The weekend Takeover of Croydon's newly refurbished Fairfield Halls brings dance, pop-up events, performance-parkour, workshops and mayhem to the heart of Croydon. In the evenings LA-based Mythili Prakash, selected by Akram Khan as his 'choreographer for the future', is one of the artists taking over. At various venues, especially for children aged six and over, Lausanne-based choreographer Philippe Saire directs Hocus Pocus, a dreamlike spectacle set to music from Grieg's Peer Gynt. With dance events taking place across London, it's time to go beyond your usual tube stop and explore the city.


London Horror Festival

Paranormal investigations and monsters are unveiled through more than 30 spine tingling shows.

The Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, Camden Town, London, EC1V 4NJ

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 08th October - 02nd November 2019


The London Horror Festival returns to London this October extending to two venues and three theatre spaces as the Pleasance Theatre joins the Old Red Lion Theatre. Between them they host over 30 productions of horror in the performing arts. The UK's biggest festival of horror is jam-packed with theatre, puppetry, cabaret, spoken word, body horror, clowning and comedy as well as mummies, zombies, ghosts and vampires. Show highlights include the world premiere of a new play by David Pinner, the author of the novel that inspired The Wicker Man, the Knock Knock Club's show based on paranormal investigations into the 600 year old pub and Nicholas Vince who brings his first one-man I AM MONSTERS!, to the Pleasance stage. You can expect a comedy about demonic milk-deliverers, Horror Cabaret, drag slasher panto, House of Macabre's new shocker What The Dolls Saw and frightening tales of Late Night Horror.


Boiler Room Festival

A four-day music festival championing underground sounds.

Copeland Park, 133 Copeland Road, London, SE15 3SN

Tube: Denmark Hill Station


Dates: 09th - 12th October 2019


Just because summer is over doesn't mean the festival fun has to end. Launching this October, the brand-new Boiler Room Festival champions underground sounds with four days of live performances, parties and communal experiences across London and a Basecamp in Peckham's Copeland Park Estate. With no headliners, the festival offers a platform for emerging artists and collectives. Each day will be focused on one of the UK's most exciting underground scenes, covering Jazz, looking at the contemporary movement around jazz; Rap, providing a platform for the champions of the scene; Bass, covering everything from jungle to dubstep; and Club, highlighting the vibrancy of electronic music in the UK today.


Baby Reindeer

The debut play from Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Richard Gadd.

Ambassadors Theatre, West Street, London, WC2H 9ND

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


Dates: 02nd April - 02nd May 2020


The debut play from Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Richard Gadd, who performed his hit show Monkey See, Monkey Do while running on a treadmill, Baby Reindeer comes to the Bush Theatre this autumn. The play tells the story of a man who offers a free cup of tea to a stranger in what appears to be a trivial interaction. However, the consequences are far greater than he ever thought. Olivier Award-winner Jon Brittain, who worked on Rotterdam, directs the piece.



A thrilling adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's cult science fiction novel.

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

Tube: Hammersmith Station


Dates: 10th October - 02nd November 2019


As part of Rachel O'Riordan's first season as Artistic Director, the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre stages Solaris, a new play by David Greig adapted from the cult science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem. Set on a space station orbiting Solaris, the play focuses on three scientists who have made contact with a new planet but strange things are starting to arise - could it be that the planet is, in fact, studying them? After being sent from Earth to investigate reports of abnormal activity on board, Kris Kelvin arrives to discover one dead crew member and two who are seeing things that they cannot explain. This psychological thriller questions who we are when we're forced to confront our deepest fears.


Inspired By The East: How The Islamic World Influenced Western Art

500 years of artistic interaction between the east and western artists.

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station , Russell Square Station, Holborn Station


Dates: 10th October - 26th January 2020


Covering five centuries of artistic interaction, Inspired by the east: how the Islamic world influenced western art explores how western artists have long been inspired by the Islamic world. The diverse selection of objects includes ceramics, photography, glass, jewellery and clothing and finishes with four contemporary reactions to the imagery of Orientalism by Middle Eastern and North African female artists. Discover how the representation of the east in western arts, known as Orientalism, reached its height during the 19th century but can trace its origins back much further, to the 1500s. See important works by Eugene Delacroix, John Frederick Lewis and Frederick Arthur Bridgman, as well as significant but less familiar pieces like Edmund Dulac's original illustrations for a 1907 edition of the Arabian Nights.


Bloomsbury Festival

An eclectic programme of artistic, scientific and literary events.

Various Venues, Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 1NX

Tube: Russell Square Station


Dates: 11th - 20th October 2019


Expanding from five to ten days in 2019, the Bloomsbury Festival offers an eclectic programme of more than 200 artistic, scientific and literary events, immersive exhibitions and performances in unusual locations, most of which are free. Inspired by the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's lunar landing, this year's festival takes the theme 'small steps and giant leaps' with events that celebrate endeavour, progress and pioneering achievements. It will pay particular attention to the radical imaginations, institutions and residents of contemporary Bloomsbury.


Hidden London: The Exhibition

Discover the secrets of disused Underground stations at this major new exhibition.

London Transport Museum, 39 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7BB

Tube: Covent Garden Station


Dates: 11th October - 01st January 2021


Experience an 'abandoned' Tube station and discover stories about Churchill in the Blitz at the London Transport Museum's exhibition, Hidden London. Revealing secrets of disused Underground stations, the exhibition explores what lurks beneath the busy streets of London by taking visitors on an immersive journey through some of the capital's most secret spaces within the oldest subterranean railway in the world. Learn how Churchill took shelter at the height of the Blitz, discover the story of the Plessey aircraft underground factory, which had 2,000 members of staff, and enter Aldwych station's recreated historic ticket office with an original ticket booth from the station dating from the 1930s. The exhibition also showcases a large number of rare archive photos, objects, vintage posters and secret diagrams, many of which will be shown for the first time.


Two Door Cinema Club

The Irish trio stop by The O2 to promote their fourth studio album.

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 11th October 2019


The Irish indie rock outfit from County Down fronted by vocalist Alex Trimble is coming to The O2 for one night only in October and LondonTown has got three pairs of tickets to give away. To be in with a chance of winning, go to LondonTown's competitions page. Two Door Cinema Club head back onto the road to promote their fourth studio album, False Alarm. The band's first album released in full collaboration with Prolifica Inc, False Alarm was recorded between London and LA with Irish producer Jacknife Lee - known for his work with U2, REM and The Killers - and sees the band reinvent themselves once again, this time stepping into the world of synthpop, electrofunk and psychedelia. Support on the night comes from Tom Grennan.


Royal Parks Half Marathon

Around 16,000 participants run 13.1 miles through central London.

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

Tube: Knightsbridge Station


Dates: 13th October 2019


The Royal Parks Half Marathon sees 16,000 runners passing through 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 a wonderfully autumnal 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. As much fun for spectators as the runners themselves.



Robert Lindsay reprises his role as Oscar-winning cinematographer Jack Cardiff.

Richmond Theatre, The Green, Surrey, London, TW9 1QJ

Tube: Richmond Station


Dates: 14th - 19th October 2019


Robert Lindsay, well known for starring in My Family on TV and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in the West End, reprises his role as cinematographer Jack Cardiff this October when Terry Johnson's Prism transfers to the Richmond Theatre following its sell-out world premiere in Hampstead. The play is based on the extraordinary life of the double Oscar-winning genius who was renowned for making women like Ava Gardner and Audrey Hepburn look exceptionally beautiful through is mastery of lighting. As a retired filmmaker, Jack has now swapped movie sets for the sleepy village of Denham in Buckinghamshire, but despite writing his autobiography, he would rather live in the past than remember it. "It's my King Lear" says Robert Lindsay.


The Royal Opera: Don Pasquale

Welsh bass-baritone and Royal Opera favourite Bryn Terfel plays a wealthy old bachelor.

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

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 14th October - 02nd November 2019


The Royal Opera presents a new production of Donizetti's comedy, Don Pasquale, a domestic drama about a wealthy old bachelor played by Welsh bass-baritone and Royal Opera favourite Bryn Terfel who makes his debut in the role. Italian director Damiano Michieletto, known for his modern stagings, is at the helm of this co-production between The Royal Opera, Opera National de Paris and Teatro Massimo di Palermo. Themes of love, intrigue and money are explored as we follow Don Pasquale who determines to disinherit his nephew Ernesto when he learns he intends to marry the impoverished widow Norina.



Brian Friel's modern classic returns to the National Theatre.

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

Tube: Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 15th October - 18th December 2019


Following a sold-out run last year, Brian Friel's modern classic, Translations, returns to the National Theatre. Ciaran Hinds once again leads a strong cast in this powerful account of nationhood, which sees the turbulent relationship between England and Ireland play out in one quiet community. Owen, the prodigal son, returns to rural Donegal from Dublin, working as translator for the British army and, "short-sightedly erasing his own country" (Independent). Tasked with creating a map of the area, the army officers set about replacing the Gaelic names with English ones...


Roundhouse Rising

Sonic artist GAIKA is joined on stage by a ten-piece jazz ensemble as headliner.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station


Dates: 15th - 29th October 2019


The Roundhouse Rising festival returns for its tenth year in 2019, offering a programme of gigs from emerging artists alongside a series of workshops and seminars aimed at 14 to 25-year-olds. This year political visionary GAIKA, described by the Guardian as "Britain's most vital rapper", headlines the festival on Tuesday 29th October, joined by a ten-piece jazz ensemble. The festival also brings AEMAK, West London Grime MC, Big Zuu and electro-beats luminaries, Colossal Squid - AKA Adam Betts and Kai Whiston - to the more intimate Sackler Space where Sinead O'Brien blends spoken-word and post-punk. Liverpool's electronic experimentalists Stealing Sheep is supported by Swedish-come-London urban pop artist and producer Eva-Lina in collaboration with The F Word, a female collective promoting gender parity in music. Indie music, rappers on the rise and soulful singer-songwriters as well as Roundhouse Resident Artist IORA are all part of the festival which celebrates emerging music and new musical talent.


Pre-Raphaelite Sisters

This new exhibition tells the untold stories of twelve women depicted in Pre-Raphaelite art.

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 October - 26th January 2020


A major new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, Pre-Raphaelite Sisters, tells the untold stories of twelve women depicted in Pre-Raphaelite art, 160 years after they were exhibited by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1849. Through a display of previously unseen works and new discoveries, the exhibition explores how the women were far more than just models, but rather creative influences and artists in their own right. Joanna Wells, for example, was a Pre-Raphaelite artist while Marie Spartali Stillman and Evelyn de Morgan helped shape the development of Pre-Raphaelitism alongside their male counterparts. An extraordinary collection of paintings, photographs, manuscripts and personal items will showcase the roles the women played as models, muses and helpmeets.


Affordable Art Fair Battersea

A fair for everyone from art connoisseurs to the merely curious.

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

Tube: Sloane Square Station


Dates: 22nd - 25th October 2020


A diverse line-up of artists display an array of affordable contemporary art in Battersea Park for the Affordable Art Fair, which has become a well-loved institution on London's art scene. It's an event that strips away the pretension of the art world and gives buyers a chance to pick up some really great work at fair prices, covering everything from contemporary paintings and limited edition prints to photography and sculptures, all ranging from £100 to £6,000. The specially curated Recent Graduates' Exhibition all provides the chance to see some fantastic emerging talent. A fun, family day out, the art fair is accessible to connoisseurs and the merely curious.


London Literature Festival

Discuss and digest the written word with a special line-up of writers, thinkers and cultural observers.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 17th - 27th October 2019


Tricky, Suede frontman Brett Anderson and broadcaster and novelist Elizabeth Day are at this year's London Literature Festival. Held over eleven days across Southbank Centre's 17-acre site, the festival features a packed programme of exclusive appearances, live readings, newly commissioned performances, talks, debates, poetry, visual displays, workshops, award ceremonies, book launches, free activities and family events. This year's festival opens with Poetry International with the theme 'poetry as disruption' while other highlights include Once Upon Our Times, a series of events exploring the contemporary retelling of fairy tales; exclusive appearances from Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels and Suede frontman Brett Anderson; and the London Literature Festival Writers' Day, providing networking opportunities and advice for writers from under-represented backgrounds. The festival coincides with Half Term week so there's a packed programme of literary events, some exploring fairy tales and folklore - including I Believe in Unicorns anda new take on old Russian folktale Baba Yaga - as well as a Young Adult Literature Day where YA fiction writers present their new work.


Nam June Paik

The UK's most comprehensive survey of the Korean artist's work.

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

Tube: Blackfriars Underground Station


Dates: 17th October - 09th February 2020


In what will be the UK's most comprehensive survey of the Korean artist's work, Tate Modern presents a major exhibition on Nam June Paik. The artist is renowned for his pioneering use of emerging technologies, and the exhibition will introduce visitors to the concept with an opening display of TV Garden 1974/2002, a large-scale installation featuring dozens of television sets seemingly growing within a garden of lush foliage - created as an exploration of the diminishing distinctions between the natural and the technological. The installation is just one of more than 200 works going on display in the exhibition, which includes early compositions, performance and video.


Art Licks Weekend: Interdependence

The free-to-attend art weekend sees 290 artists and 63 project spaces take part.


Dates: 17th - 20th October 2019


The free to attend Art Licks Weekend returns for its seventh year in 2019. The event is hosted by the Art Licks magazine and website, which was launched in 2010 to provide a platform for lesser-known creatives. For its seventh year, the festival takes the title and theme of Interdependence, exploring how artists across the country are responding to the increasing difficulties in starting a career due to growing economic and political pressures. The programme features exhibitions and events curated by 63 participating project spaces and collectives across London including Cypher, LUVA, Picnic and Dirty House, with 290 artists taking part. In addition, this year will see the Art Licks Weekend radio station broadcast daily throughout the festival with everything from in-conversations and reading group discussions to experimental music recordings.


War Horse

The National Theatre's hit World War I epic comes to Wembley Park.

Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, Fulton Road, Covent Garden, London, HA9 8TS

Tube: Wembley Park Station


Dates: 18th October - 23rd November 2019


The National Theatre's hit show, a moving adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's World War I epic, War Horse, comes to the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre for a six week run this autumm. When his beloved horse Joey is shipped off to the front lines, Albert, still too young to enlist, embarks on a mission to bring him home. The staging is hugely ambitious, using life-size puppets for the horses, but it's mostly very effective and a scene where a tank looms over the terrified beasts is incredibly intense. Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris' production is a genuine classic, packed with terrifying cavalry charges, gruff humour and moments of rich emotion that are more than capable of reducing entire first-year classes (and their teachers) to tears. Suitable for children aged 10 and over (as long as you're prepared for them to be completely grief-stricken).


Moving to Mars

Human inhabitation of Mars is a challenge for design as well as science.

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

Tube: High Street Kensington Station


Dates: 18th October - 23rd February 2020


Life on Mars could be more than just a TV show a few decades from now. Exploring how we could arrive, survive and thrive on the red planet, Moving to Mars envisages the three phases of life on Mars. It's an 8-month journey to one of earth's nearest planets and this exhibition examines everything from the spaceships we need to get there to the places people will live in. Human inhabitation of Mars is a challenge for design as well as science. Every detail from the food we would eat to the tools we use is thought through in this Design Museum exhibition through a combination of factual science and design fiction. You can even experience what it's like on the surface of Mars via an immersive installation.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019

100 striking images of animals, insects, plants and landscapes go on display.

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

Tube: South Kensington Station , Gloucester Road Station


Dates: 18th October - 31st May 2020


The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is a highlight of the year at the Natural History Museum, consistently showing fresh perspectives on animals, insects, plants and landscapes. The competition, running for over 50 years, is highly competitive with almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 95 countries. The shortlisted 100 images - including the winning pictures - are beautifully displayed on backlit panels for all visitors to enjoy. The 2019 exhibition provides the chance to see everything from a sleeping seal to a zombie beetle as well as an image of a turtle that provides a poignant reminder of the impact our waste can have on the ocean. The exhibition winners will be announced on 15th October 2019, just ahead of the exhibition opening on 18th October.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London


English National Opera: The Mask of Orpheus

Expect an ambitious staging and lavish costumes embedded with Swarovski crystals.

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: 18th October - 13th November 2019


A highlight of English National Opera's 2019-20 season is its "ambitious plan" (The Guardian) to stage Harrison Birtwistle's The Mask Of Orpheus, 33 years after the company gave the monumental work its premiere. ENO Artistic Director Daniel Kramer won the South Bank Show Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera with his Punch and Judy in 2008 and with this production he returns to Birtwistle's work, marking the composer's 85th birthday. Lavish costume designs by "England's most eccentric dresser" (Vogue) Daniel Lismore are embedded with Swarovski crystals while the cast includes regular ENO artists noted for their expertise in contemporary music.


Country Music Week

A week of live events across London in celebration of country music.


Dates: 21st - 27th October 2019


From the organisers of the popular Country to Country music festival comes Country Music Week, a week-long series of country music shows across several London venues. Danielle Bradbeery, Travis Denning, Chris Lane and Rachel Wammack kick things off at Cadogan Hall as part of Introducing Nashville before performances from the likes of Striking Matches at The Garage, Brandy Clark at Shepherd's Bush Empire and Charles Esten at the Royal Albert Hall. Under The Apple Tree will host a special session at Bush Hall, where the Country Hits Radio Hub will also take place across two nights.


Nigel Slater's Toast

A look back at Nigel Slater's childhood in 1960s suburban England.

Richmond Theatre, The Green, Surrey, London, TW9 1QJ

Tube: Richmond Station


Dates: 21st - 26th October 2019


Based on Nigel Slater's award-winning autobiography, Toast recreates suburban England in the 1960s as Nigel's childhood is told through the tastes and smells he grew up with. Not only can you see the drama on stage, you can also taste the nostalgia as samples of the dishes and tastes central to his story are offered to the audience during the show. The "bitter-sweet" (Independent) show was well received, earning four stars all round for its world premiere at The Lowry, Salford, in May last year and enjoyed a sold-out run at as part of Traverse Festival 2018 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Following a run at The Other Palace Theatre earlier in the summer, the production transfers to the Richmond Theatre in the year the venue celebrates its 120th birthday.


Bridget Riley

First museum survey of Riley's work to be held in the UK for 16 years.

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

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 23rd October - 26th January 2020


Best known for her visually arresting op art, 87-year-old British artist Bridget Riley is the subject of a major retrospective at the Hayward Gallery this autumn. Opening in October 2019, this comprehensive exhibition is the first museum survey of Riley's work to be held in the UK for 16 years. The exhibition, of early representational paintings, iconic black-and-white paintings of the 1960s and expansive canvases in colour, focuses on the origins of Riley's perceptual paintings, and traces pivotal, decisive moments in her career. As well as her best known canvases, the exhibition also includes the only three dimensional work that the artist ever realised, Continuum (1963), as well as new wall paintings made specially for the Hayward Gallery.


Mary Poppins

Zizi Strallen stars as the practically perfect nanny in Cameron Mackintosh's musical.

Prince Edward Theatre, 28 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4HS

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


Dates: 23rd October - 29th March 2020


Zizi Strallen stars as the practically perfect Mary Poppins in Cameron Mackintosh's musical production which returns to its original West End home at the Prince Edward Theatre from 23rd October 2019. The actress first caught the director's attention in Matthew Bourne's The Car Man. No stranger to Mary Poppins, Zizi took the title role in a touring version of the show in 2015. Opposite Strallen is Charlie Stemp as Bert, who became an overnight star almost straight from drama school in Half a Sixpence, playing opposite Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly on Broadway. Petula Clark, starring as the Bird Woman, and Joseph Millson as George Banks make a strong cast. So come on everybody, Step in Time and make your way to this Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious show.


Fujifilm: My Life Exhibition

Thousands of images provide a snapshot of what life is like in the UK today.

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

Tube: Aldgate East Station


Dates: 24th - 27th October 2019


Providing a snapshot of what life is like in 2019, My Life is a new exhibition from Fujifilm. Taking place at the Truman Brewery, the exhibition is one of the largest crowdsourced exhibitions in the UK and is made up of images sent in from young people across Britain in order to illustrate a far-reaching insight into real life today. Showcasing cultures, relationships and realities, the exhibition is split into six categories - My Everyday, My Fun, My Tribe, My Surrounding, My Truths and My Adventures - to explore everything from what people do in their spare time to how relationships can impact our lives. Further to the photography display, the event includes a number of free creative workshops and street photography walks in order to put the new Fujifilm X-A7 to the test.


On Bear Ridge

Rhys Ifans leads the cast in Ed Thomas' new play.

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

Tube: Sloane Square Station


Dates: 24th October - 23rd November 2019


Theatre writer and co-creator of TV's Hinterland, Ed Thomas, presents his new production, On Bear Ridge, starring Rhys Ifans, at the Royal Court Theatre. Co-directed by Thomas and Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone, the play is a semi-autobiographical story about the places we leave behind and the unreliable memories we hold onto. Despite customers no longer visiting John Daniel and Noni's country store, which sits in a quiet, long forgotten village, they remain, defiantly drinking whisky and remembering the good times. But what will happen when a dark figure starts making its way towards them? Ifans takes the role of John Daniel while Raki Ayola - best known as Kyla Tyson in BBC's Holby City - plays Noni. Further cast members include Jason Hughes of ITV's Marcella and Sion Daniel Young, known for his leading roles in War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.


Play Well

An exploration of the power of play and its important role in society.

Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE

Tube: Euston Square Station , Euston Station, Warren Street Station


Dates: 24th October - 13th April 2020


The Wellcome Collection explores the power of play and the important role it has in society for adults and children alike in its new autumn exhibition, Play Well. Split into three different sections - Nature/Nurture, Toys Like Us, and Rules and Risk - the exhibition delves into everything from the importance of play in childhood and its therapeutic abilities to the evolution of toys and the move from playing outdoors in the street to inside on the computer. As part of the exhibition, a group of young people aged 14-19 respond to the fears of safety and the rise of digital play with a series of games designed by them that explore loneliness, anxiety, commerce and teamwork in the digital sphere. Artist Adam James has created an accompanying commission that explores the role of play in the adult world; photographer Mark Neville shows how play can serve as a retreat from conflict with a series of photos depicting children playing in the aftermath of shelling in the Ukraine; and creative collaborative Toys Like Me looks at the power toys have when challenging stereotypes and changing attitudes.


Death of a Salesman

The adaptation transfers from the Young Vic with Wendell Pierce and Sharon D. Clarke reprising their roles.

Piccadilly Theatre, 16 Denman Street, London, W1D 7DY

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 24th October - 04th January 2020


Following the success of the Young Vic'c bold adaptation of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, the production transfers to the Piccadilly Theatre in autumn. Told through the eyes of an African American family, the adaptation gives a new meaning to the story. Revered director Marianne Elliott - renowned for putting contemporary twists on classics - is behind the production and Wendell Pierce of The Wire, Suits and Selma will reprise his role as Willy Loman, which saw him make his UK stage debut at the Young Vic staging. Olivier Award-winning Sharon D. Clarke also returns, once again taking on the role of Linda Loman.


Ghost Quartet

An intoxicating musical of love, loss and spirits is the opening production at the new Boulevard Theatre.

Boulevard Theatre, Walker's Court, London, W1F 0BS

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Leicester Square Station, Tottenham Court Road Station


Dates: 24th October - 04th January 2020


The brand new Boulevard Theatre in Soho opens to the public for the first time on 24th October with Ghost Quartet, an intoxicating musical of love, loss and spirits - of both the spectral and alcoholic kind. Bill Buckhurst reunites the creative team behind his sell-out production of Sweeney Todd, which transferred from a pie shop in Tooting, to the West End, and eventually to a sell-out New York run. Wildly inventive, this haunting song cycle is a story about stories themselves; how we tell them, how we hear them and how they evolve. As well as the drama on the main stage, London's newest theatre is the place to go for late-night and Sunday performances of cabaret, improv, jazz, comedy, classical music and poetry.



This major exhibition goes back to the beginnings of the religion.

British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

Tube: King's Cross Station , Euston Station


Dates: 25th October - 23rd February 2020


It has an estimated one billion followers across the world today, Buddhism is the subject of a major exhibition at the British Library in autumn 2019. Going back to its beginnings in north India in the 6th century BC, the display begins with the roots of one of the world's major religions and explores its philosophy and modern day relevance. Rare and colourful scrolls, painted wall hangings and folding books highlight the outstanding art found within Buddhist manuscripts and early printed works. Sacred scriptures written on tree bark are shown alongside calming ambient film and sound. You'll leave with a better understanding of Buddhism and its central role in developing writing and transmitting stories across Asia.


Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits

This major exhibition puts Freud's portraits in the spotlight.

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London, W1J 0BD

Tube: Green Park Station , Piccadilly Circus Station


Dates: 27th October - 26th January 2020


He's famous for his fleshy, unflinching portraits but in this Royal Academy of Arts exhibition Lucian Freud's subject is himself. Featuring more than 50 paintings, prints and drawings in The Sackler Wing of Galleries, Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits is the first exhibition to focus on his self-portraits. Executed over almost seven decades on canvas, paper and etching plate, the artworks here chart the trajectory through Lucian Freud's development as a painter as well as his life, from young boy to old man. In short, it amounts to a candid and an ongoing study into the process of ageing.


English National Opera: The Mikado

Gilbert & Sullivan's comic opera is transported to a typical English 1930s seaside hotel.

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: 28th October - 30th November 2019


Gilbert & Sullivan's comic opera The Mikado returns to the London Coliseum having first graced the famed West End theatre's stage for more than 30 years. Satirically transposing the topsy-turvy orientalism of the Town of Titipu to the ever so slightly seedy opulence of a typical English 1930s seaside hotel, this revival of a modern musical masterpiece stars Richard Suart as the scheming Ko-Ko (the pathologically list-making Lord High Executioner), Andrew Shore as Pooh-Bah (the Lord High Everything Else) and distinguished bass Sir John Tomlinson as the amiably grotesque Mikado. Elaine Tyler-Hall directs Jonathan Miller's inspired, much-loved and hilarious ENO production of one of the most frequently played musical theatre pieces in history.


Billionaire Boy

Another one of David Walliams' books is given the stage treatment.

Richmond Theatre, The Green, Surrey, London, TW9 1QJ

Tube: Richmond Station


Dates: 30th October - 02nd November 2019


The award-winning West End producers of Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie give another one of David Walliams' books the stage treatment with an adaptation of Billionaire Boy at the Richmond Theatre. With his own sports car, two crocodiles and £100,000 a week pocket money, Joe Spud is the richest boy in the country. However, what he's missing is a friend. In search of friendship, Joe leaves his posh school and starts and the local comp, but things soon take a turn when he tries to find what money can't buy.


BBC Music Introducing Live

Jo Whiley, Jamie Cullum and Huw Stephens are on this year's line-up.

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

Tube: Rotherhithe Overground Station


Dates: 31st October - 02nd November 2019


Pitched towards anyone aspiring to get into the music industry, BBC Music Introducing Live returns for 2019 with three days of talks, panels, performances, masterclasses and more. Hosted in partnership with Spotify, Marshall, Yamaha and Aim, and taking place at Tobacco Dock, the event will provide the chance to get involved in a number of practical activities such as song writing masterclasses, industry networking sessions and direct input A&R feedback sessions. A whole host of major artists, BBC DJs and producers, and top names from record labels will in in attendance, including the likes of Jo Whiley, Jamie Cullum, Huw Stephens and Giles Peterson. Also, new for 2019, the event will include The Album Masterpieces, hearing from the people behind some of the most influential albums and songs ever produced in order to gain a deeper understanding into their meaning.



A line-up of artists explore a world in which we are sleeping less and using technology more.

Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station


Dates: 31st October - 23rd February 2020


Every 12 minutes. That is the amount of time, on average, people in the UK check their smartphones. Examining this phenomenon and the non-stop nature of our modern lives, Somerset House presents 24/7, a new exhibition inspired by Jonathan Crary's book, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep. Bringing together a line-up of contemporary artists and designers, the exhibition presents a world in which we are sleeping less and allowing technology to exert control, with the lure of the screen disrupting our instinct to daydream and focus on the real world around us. Highlights include Tatsuo Miyajima's meditative isolation chamber that bathes users in the blue glow of LED light; Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg's immersive orchestration of a machine generated dawn chorus, highlighting how urban life is affecting bird populations; and Roman Signer's Bett, which sees the artist attempt to sleep with a drone helicopter hovering above his head.


Dear Evan Hansen

The Tony Award-winning musical about a teenage outcast comes to the West End.

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

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


Dates: 29th October - 27th June 2020


Michael Greif directs the Tony Award-winning musical about a teenage outcast who becomes a focal point for a community's grief under false pretences. With music by Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul - the Academy Award-winning composers of La La Land and The Greatest Showman - the show tells of a lonely teenager who inadvertently becomes a social media sensation. Young actor Ben Platt became a big hit star playing the lead role in the New York version of "this gorgeous heartbreaker of a musical" (New York Times). The West End run reunites the original Broadway creative team who won six Tony awards and the 2018 Grammy award for Best Musical Theatre Album.


A Taste Of Honey

Shelagh Delaney's taboo-breaking play is revived with direction from Bijan Sheibani.

Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, South Bank, London, SW1A 2DY

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 05th December - 29th February 2020


Covering race, class, gender and sexual orientation, A Taste of Honey was a great defining and taboo-breaking play of the 1950s, and this October it returns to Richmond Theatre for the first time in nearly 60 years. Written by Shelagh Delaney when she was just nineteen, it tells the story of seventeen-year-old Jo, who, after her mother runs off with a young lover, becomes impregnated by a black sailor. Once the sailor returns to sea, Jo finds lodgings which Geoff, a homosexual who takes the role of surrogate father. The 'kitchen sink' play was made into an award-winning film in 1961 and provided inspiration for "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" by The Smiths. This National Theatre production will see Bijan Sheibani (Barber Shop Chronicles) direct and Jodie Prenger (Oliver!, Abigail's Party) take the role of Helen.





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