Your Weekly Agenda | 17th – 23rd February
Main image: The Little Orchestra
Craig David’s going to have to revise his plans for the week. Because the next 7 days in London are stuffed with slices of time (in an art gallery), wine speakeasies with live music, hidden jazz clubs, pizza festivals, pop up bakeries, and around 5,000 or so orchids…
Diaries at the ready…
Looking for things to do this weekend (14th-16th February)? It’s all in your Weekend Guide…
Walk Through a Kaleidoscope of Colour
Famed artist Emmanuelle Moureaux has unveiled an exhibition all about the past, present, and future quite appropriately over in Greenwich. And it’s completely free. However it’s been so ridiculously popular, that you’ll need to book a time-slot in advance (do that here). Last entry this Monday is at 7pm.
Details: Until 19th April 2020 | NOW Gallery, The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, SE10 0SQ | Free
Listen to live Motown at The Jazz Cafe
After a couple of sell-out shows, The Jazz Cafe have decided to furnish us all with some mo’ Motown, courtesy of their live band. Expect The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Supremes, The Temptations and Smokey Robinson to all be there (spiritually).
Details: 17th February, 7pm-11pm | The Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, NW1 7PG | £16
Go Celeb-Spotting at the Reopening of Gymkhana
Michelin Star celebrity magnet Gymkhana, which was gutted by a fire last year (thankfully nobody was hurt), is swinging its doors open once again this week. The place has had a facelift and a menu overhaul. It’ll still maintain those clubhouse-inspired interiors with leather booths, old photographs and metallic accents, while the jewel-box bar below will boast new cocktails and a ‘gin map’…
Details: Reopening 18th February | 42 Albemarle Street, W1S 4JH
Watch About A Boy at a Cocktail Bar Cinema
The first-rate shoreditch cocktail joint TT Liquor is screening About a Boy in their on-site cinema this Tuesday night. You’ll get a complimentary cocktail as standard, and a chance to see Nicholas Hoult – the hunky heartthrob who dated Jennifer Lawrence for five years – play a nerdy, socially awkward 12 year old.
Details: 18th February, 6.30pm-9pm | TT Liquor, 17B Kingsland Road, E2 8AA | £15 (or x2 for £20)
See Behind the Scenes in a Playwright & Director’s Head
Listen to playwright April De Angelis and director Melly Still talk about bringing the classic Neapolitan coming-of-age novels My Brilliant Friend to the stage at the National Theatre.
Details: 18th February, 6-6.45pm | National Theatre, Upper Ground, London SE1 9PX | £9
See Kubrick’s First Grown-Up Movie
Ciné Real was founded by a pair of film enthusiasts: one an Oscar long-listed director, the other a projectionist who owns a shop in Hackney, shelves piled high with old film reels. Once a month, they select a film to screen on original 16mm celluloid, in all its flickering, reel-changing glory, in the plush refurbished surrounds of The Castle Cinema. And for this Wednesday, they’ve picked The Killing: a thrilling heist movie that Kubrick considered his first mature film.
Details: 19th & 23rd February | The Castle Cinema, 64-66 Brooksby’s Walk, Hackney, London E9 6DA | £10
Eat Your Way Around the Literary World
Passepartout is completely new to the supperclub scene, but it sounds like it has an intriguing concept for its debut dinner: seven courses of seafood, each from one of the seven seas, and each inspired by a different quote. Witness Haruki Murakami’s take on the Japan Sea, or Lewis Caroll’s musings on the Atlantic, or Vincent Van Gogh’s thoughts on the Mediterranean. Then eat their words.
Details: 18th February | St. Paul Islington, 274B St Paul’s Rd, N1 2LJ | £40
Nerd Nite London
Taking place every month, Nerd Nite sees three speakers talk in (very specific) 18-21 minute time-slots on wide-ranging subjects. This Wednesday, they include Lydia Thornley on the lost letters of the English alphabet; Reinier Zeldenrust on how centuries of art can help us design buildings; and Jens Koed Madsen on the use and abuse of personal data and the psychology of persuasion in influencing democracy.
Details: 19th February, 7.30pm | The Backyard Comedy Club, 231 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 0EL | £7.50/£10 with charity donation
Drink Cocktails and Listen to Beethoven
DUH DUH DUH DUUUUUUUUUH. That was the opening of Beethoven’s fifth symphony, as played in your head by three letters of the alphabet.
Now imagine it played by an actual orchestra. Specifically, The Little Orchestra, who’ll be just a few feet away from you, for a spine-tinglingly intimate experience in a gorgeously atmospheric space… READ MORE
Details: 20th-22nd February | Porchester Hall, Porchester Road, London, W2 5HS | £5-45 for a sofa
Hit the Three Sisters (W)R.A.P Party
A huge music and spoken word party at the National Theatre, celebrating the end of an acclaimed three month run of Inua Ellams’ take on Chekhov’s Three Sisters, reimagined in 1960s Nigeria. There’ll be poetry performances on the themes of sisterhood and feminism, Afrobeat DJs, and food from Angry Black Kitchen.
Details: 20th February | National Theatre, Upper Ground, London SE1 9PX | £10
Check out the Soft Launch at Chuku’s
Coming from brother-sister duo Emeka and Ifeyinwa, Chuku’s is hoping to shine a light on Nigerian cuisine through the medium of small plates. They’ve popped up across the capital to great acclaim, and now they’re finally opening a permanent spot of their own. And this Thursday, they open on soft launch with 50% off food… READ MORE
Details: 50% off food 13th-19th February (Bookings are now full, but they’ll be taking walk-ins.) | 274 High Road, Tottenham, N15 4AJ
See the Late Opening of the New Steve McQueen Exhibition
For most people, directing an Academy Award-winning film like 12 Years A Slave would be the apex of anyone’s career. But artist and director Steve McQueen has been making ground-breaking films for over two decades, netting the Turner Prize in 1999 and branching into photography and sculpture while he’s at it. Today, the Tate Modern opens its first major exhibition of his work in over 20 years, featuring 14 inspiring works – including the first film he shot on a Super 8 camera.
And this Friday? The exhibition opens until 10pm.
Details: Until May 11th | Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG | £13
Go In Search of Black History with Bonnie Greer
Playwright and broadcaster Bonnie Greer will be exploring the history and importance of the Caribbean and its global diaspora, with a panel of cultural commentators and experts.
Details: 21st February, 6.30-9pm | British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG | £12
Sing-a-Long to Grease at The Prince Charles Cinema
If you’ve got chills that are multiplying, or perhaps you’re even looooooosing control, then we’ve got the event for you: the Prince Charles Cinema are going to hold a sing-a-long screening of Grease. Dressing up is encouraged. Singing is basically mandatory.
Details: 21st February | The Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BY | £17
Go to an Underground Wine Speakeasy
In English folklore, the leaves of an aspen tree are said to grant the wearer the ability to visit the underworld and – importantly – return safely. Which in a fairly literal way is what you can do at Bar Aspen. Because it’s a subterranean natural wine speakeasy, popping up for just one day a week (Fridays) in a hidden Camden cellar. And it’s got live music. READ MORE
Details: Fridays until 28th February | The Cellars at Music & Beans, 82 Camden High St., NW1 0LT
Steal a Couple of Priceless Artefacts
As we’ve suspected for some time now, the old tunnels beneath Waterloo station are a hotbed of criminal activity.
At least, they are on Friday nights between 10.50pm and midnight.
See, that’s when you can join the Moonlight Hustle. One of many great shows taking place at this year’s VAULT Festival, it’s a fast-paced interactive dive into the city’s underbelly of organised crime… READ MORE
Details: Fridays until 20th March | The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN | £17
Dance a Raucous Ceilidh in a Brewery
Given how notoriously difficult it is to organise things in breweries, Fiddle Paradiddle have kept things simple – so just a full night of Scottish dancing for 50 people, a rambunctious live band, callers to teach you the steps, and a wealth of beers on tap that have been brewed in the very same room.
Details: 22nd February | Southwark Brewing Company, 46 Druid Street, London, SE1 2EZ | From £20
Go to an Ugly Supperclub
Ironically, the Ugly Supperclub is looking quite good.
It’s a Thai-inspired banquet from the man behind the Ugly Duck street food stall (which tends to swan around in Bermondsey). You’ll find it at the Holy Trinity Church in south east London, and you’ll get seven courses of regional Thai food including short-rib curry with wild ginger; green mango salad; aged steak larb; and charred sugar snaps.
Details: 22d February | Holy Trinity Church, 66 Lennard road, SE20 7LX | £35
Eat So, So Much Pizza
What do you get when you bring together ten of the city’s finest pizzerias? A leaning tower of pizza. Or, if you’re as organised as Hawker House, a huge festival of dough-toppers, pitting London’s best pizza traders against each other in a two-day extravaganza. For your part, you’ll need to sample each of their wares (available by the slice, with plenty of vegetarian & vegan options on offer) before picking your top of the toppings.
Details: 21st & 22nd February | Hawker House, Canada Street, London, SE16 7PJ | £8-15
Find the Hidden Jazz Club
Jazz bars are, by their nature, pretty hard to keep quiet…
But the Hidden Jazz Club seems to have managed it, appearing all over the world in unusual settings and venues. And this Sunday, they’ll be appearing somewhere in Shoreditch…
Details: 23rd February | A Secret Location | £18
See 5,000 Orchids
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew
Indonesia has over 5,000 different species of orchid scattered across its 17,500 islands. And Kew have done a pretty good job of squeezing most of them into one of its greenhouses. They’ve been putting on an orchid festival for a quarter of a century, so they’ve got the flower arranging down to a fine art. And on a couple of evenings, they’re opening their doors after hours, when you can walk through boughs of orchids with a drink in hand, before sampling Indonesian cooking and watching traditional dance performances.
Details: Until 8th March | Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond TW9 3AB | From £16.50
Visit Puff The Bakery
F**k magic dragons.
If you’re going to check out Puff anything, it should be the bakery popping up for three Sundays in February at Passo in Shoreditch. Why? Caramel, vanilla & choc mille feuille, frangipane tarts, hot rice pudding, and Viennoiserie pastries. That’s why.
Details: Sundays until 1st March | Passo, 80 City Road, EC1Y 2AS
Looking for more things to do in London? See what else is coming up in Your Monthly Agenda