15 great things to do in London this weekend from Tooting’s Tootopia to Bruce Springsteen’s 70th birthday party and freaky new immersive theatre from Darkfield
Lead image: The Wolf of Wall Street (photo: Michael Wharley)
1 DARKFIELD, Canary Wharf
Unique British theatre concept, DARKFIELD, brings its latest enigmatic production, COMA, to Canary Wharf this month as part of a triple-whammy that also features SÉANCE and FLIGHT. DARKFIELD, which heads to London after completing a third consecutive run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, stages all its shows take in shipping containers in total darkness, using binaural 360-degree sound to immerse audiences into scenarios played out through headphones. The absence of any visuals provokes every emotion possible and transports you beyond the realms of reality. The newest of DARKFIELD’s concepts, COMA invites you to take part in a mass experiment, lying down together and slipping into a collective dream for 30 minutes. In SÉANCE, a 24ft container is transformed into a Victorian séance room to explore the psychology of a group who have been bombarded with suggestible material. FLIGHT takes visitors on a disconcerting journey of peril at 35,000ft, presenting two parallel worlds and two realities – with two possible outcomes. Tickets £5-£7.50.
Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf E14; canarywharf.com
2 Tootopia, Tooting
Tootopia, the end-of-summer extravaganza, returns to salute all that is great about vibrant Tooting. Discover local landmarks, exquisite eateries, and secret watering holes or get stuck exciting activities, workshops and outdoor parties curated by local businesses and venues, including Tootopia Kids. Take the Tooting Food Trail and discover the latest foodie additions to Tooting’s burgeoning foodie scene, or head for the Street Food Takeover for great eats and beats with a line-up of DJs and live acts. Highlight’s include Bayou Bar’s crawfish boil from noon till 10pm on Sunday 22 September, where you can enjoy a tray of crawfish, corn, potatoes, dipping liquor, corn bread and a drink while you soak up the party atmosphere within the market.
3 Totally Thames Bascule Chamber Concerts, Tower Bridge
Totally Thames, running 1-30 September, brings the river to life via an exciting season of arts, cultural and river events down the 42-mile stretch of water. This week, catch one of the popular Bascule Chamber Concerts, an atmospheric concert featuring renowned and upcoming performers in a cool subterranean space by Tower Bridge – all performing at each concert. As well as performances from world-renowned new music ensemble Apartment House, there’ll be Alex Ho’s new commission for solo percussion, performed by Fiona Foo Pui-Yee using ‘found objects’ from the Thames itself, Birdspeed’s new poetry commission exploring the black Tudors, and new music for string quartet and electronics, with Egidija Medekšaitė making use of the atmospheric acoustic of the huge, brick-lined Bascule Chamber. Tickets are £30.
South Bascule Chamber, Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, SE1 2UP; totallythames.org
4 Safari Supper at Eccleston Yards, Belgravia
Eccleston Yards, the Belgravia hub for independent retail, wellbeing and co-working, is hosting a one-week dynamic dining experience at Jones Family Kitchen during London Design Festival. The Safari Supper, part of Eccleston Yards’ LDF-inspired ShedFest – where five emerging UK artists who have been selected to decorate each shed within the courtyard – will offer guests a different course in each shed. Starting with pre-dinner drinks in the first shed, you’ll then move on to the next shed for a starter, continuing through the sheds to enjoy a main course, dessert and then post-dinner drinks. Each of the seven evenings will offer different menus catering to a variety of palates, from meat-free dishes to marinated lamb, and ranging in price from £30 to £45. Diners can book in groups of four via [email protected], online here or in person at Jones Family Kitchen.
Eccleston Yards, 21 Eccleston Place, Belgravia SW1W 9NF; ecclestonyards.com
5 The Wolf of Wall Street Immersive Experience, the City
From 19 September
The Wolf of Wall Street has had the immersive treatment. The high anticipated production launches with previews from 5 September, taking over a 2,000 sq m landmark building in the City this month complete with four floors and 25 rooms. The building will be transformed to recreate 90s New York and the world of infamous stockbroker Jordan Belfort, whose life was depicted by Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s movie of the same name. This new production, from the creators and producers behind The Great Gatsby – the longest-ever running immersive show in the UK – will see a cast of 16 play multiple characters from Belfort’s memoirs, plunging audiences into a world of greed, power and excess in a night of top-notch entertainment. Stratton Oakmont is hiring. The FBI is closing in. You’re either with him or you’re against him… Tickets from £59.95. Currently booking until 19 Jan 2020.
5-15 Sun Street EC2N 2PT; immersivewolf.com
6 Hungry Heart: Bruce Springsteen’s 70th Birthday Special, Bethnal Green
Hungry Heart – the world’s only Bruce Springsteen-dedicated club night – is gearing up for its biggest night to date, celebrating the iconic musician’s 70th birthday. Sing, sway and air-guitar the night away to seven hours of bumper-to-bumper Springsteen tracks, from classic album hits to rare B-sides and original live versions dating. The 70th birthday event will also feature a huge 6ft birthday card for you to send salutations to Bruce, photobooths, a sign-making station so that you can request you favourite songs – just like at a live Springsteen gig – and tributes to the legendary E Street Band. As well as coming fresh off the back of a sold-out UK & Ireland tour, Hungry Heart was selected by Columbia Records to hold an exclusive launch party for Springsteen’s new album, Western Stars, this summer – the first time Springsteen has put an album launch in the hands of his fans. 8pm-3am. Tickets £17.50.
Oval Space, The Oval, Bethnal Green, London E2 9DT; hungryheartevents.com
7 Urban Food Fortnight, various locations
19 September-6 October
Urban Food Fortnight connects restaurants and retailers with London’s edible gardens and small producers to showcase the best food and drink on offer in the city with special menus, one-off events, workshops and supper clubs. Run by London Food Link, the fortnight throws the spotlight on the hidden delights of the capital’s good food scene, from Tottenham made cheese to Stratford sourced fish, Enfield reared lamb and Hackney grown salad. Highlights include Exploring Future Foods with River Cottage chef and author Rachel de Thample and Six Legs Farm at The Table Café on Southwark Street, where you can learn to make a dukka and protein ‘cricket’ balls, and then dine on a tasty vegan meal by The Table’s Shaun Alpine-Crabtree (30 September, 6pm-9pm, tickets from £25).
8 #IlluminatedRiver, various locations
Celebrate London’s historic bridges over the Thames with Illuminated River’s continued events programme. The public art commission, which will see 15 of London’s bridges gradually lit up by 2022, has seen London Bridge, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium Bridges already illuminated. Highlights in late September include an Illuminated River Open Boat Tour for Open House with the architects behind the project on 21 September (9pm-9.40pm, tickets £6), New Music for the Illuminated River Bridges: A Live Orchestral Performance on 24 September (7.30pm-9.30pm, tickets £15), an Illuminated River Walking tour led by Team London Bridge on 25 September (6.45pm-8.15pm, free), and Night Mudlarking with Mud God and Foreshore Pirate Steve Brooker on 28 & 29 September (7.30pm, tickets £10, kids go free).
For further details and to book see illuminatedriver.london
9 Beer and Cheese Experience at The Chesterfield Mayfair
Join an expert from Neal’s Yard Dairy for an evening of cheese tasting in the beautiful library at The Chesterfield Mayfair, paired with some of the UK’s finest craft beers. Neal’s Yard is renowned for its select farmhouse cheeses from the UK and Ireland, and during your session, you’ll taste Stichelton (a Stilton-recipe blue cheese known for its soft and creamy texture and long-lasting flavours), Riseley (a washed-rind sheep’s milk cheese with hints of smoky bacon), Sinodun Hill (with a yoghurt flavour and light texture), and St Cera (an intense and melting cheese). Each cheese will be accompanied by snacks and beers from England’s most notable regional breweries and cider makers. 6.30pm-8.30pm. £50 per person.
The Library at The Chesterfield Mayfair, 35 Charles Street, Mayfair W1J 5EB. To book see designmynight.com
10 A Woman of No Importance at Richmond Theatre
Until 21 September
‘One can survive everything nowadays, except death, and live down anything except a good reputation.’ An earnest young American woman, an unscrupulous English Lord and an innocent young chap join the festivities at a lavish estate in the English countryside. Should a mother tell her son the truth and risk social ruin? A Woman of No Importance is Oscar Wilde’s moving, compelling and funny exploration of innocence and morality, satirising English upper-class society with Wilde’s typically glittering wit and masterful use of language. Tickets from £13.
Little Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ; atgtickets.com
11 Little Wing Film Festival, Walthamstow
The 3rd Little Wing Film Festival is headed for Waltham Forest, London’s 2019 Borough of Culture. Taking place at Walthamstow’s historic Mirth, Marvel and Maud – a Grade II* listed building housing a pub, cinema and cultural centre – the grass roots film festival will be screening a host of brilliant films from the UK and beyond’s most talented emerging filmmakers touching on subjects to make you laugh, cry, and criticize. The event will also feature an exciting line-up of panels, networking events and workshops. Plus, the festival has several thousands of pounds worth of prizes to give to its winning filmmakers, including one-to-one advice sessions with BBC Films, with the aim of providing sustainable compensation for young artists trying to get their foot in the door.
186 Hoe Street, Walthamstow E17 4QH; littlewingevents.com
12 Edward Alleyn’s Gift – Celebrating 400 Years of Dulwich history: 1619–2019 at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Until 29 September
This exhibition will take you on a journey through Dulwich’s local history, covering the highlights of the last 400 years, from the origins of Edward Alleyn’s 17th century foundation to the present day, including a short film by Simon Purin and an interactive map for visitors. The exhibition is presented by The Dulwich Estate to mark the 400 years of the founding of the College of God’s Gift at Dulwich. Free entry, subject to closure for other gallery events using the Linbury Room. Take a tour of The Colour Palace before it closes on 22 September, too.
Gallery Road, Dulwich Village SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk
13 Elmer’s Big Art Parade, Elephant & Castle
Until 30 October
Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, David McKee’s beloved children’s character, has arrived at Elephant Park, the new housing and community development by Elephant & Castle train station. An interactive trail of sculptures celebrating diversity and inclusivity have been installed to mark the popular elephant’s 30th birthday. Hunt out all the elephants, solve each one’s special anagram and enter them online at the Elephant Park website for a chance to win a special Elmer prize pack. Organised in conjunction with Wild in Art and Andersen Press, this is the first time an Elmer trail has been located in London, with 10 specially-commissioned Elmer sculptures designed by local community groups and artists. A special 30th birthday celebration day takes place at Elephant Park on Thursday 29 August with free activities including performances from the Blue Elephant Theatre, an Elmer-themed tea party and craft activities, as well as the chance to meet Elmer himself.
Elephant Road, Walworth SE17 1UB; elmersbigartparades.co.uk
14 Anno’s Journey: The World of Anno Mitsumasa at Japan House London, Kensington
Until 27 October
This family-friendly exhibition showcases the life’s work of award-winning illustrator Anno Mitsumasa, who has been producing picture books and imaginative paintings for over 50 years. Mitsumasa, born in 1926, trained as a primary school teacher in Yamaguchi and worked in Tokyo before becoming an illustrator, mostly of children’s book. ‘Anno’s Journey’ depicts a small figure journeying through the cultural and literary landscapes of Europe, with scenes from London, Windsor, the Cotswolds and beyond on display, and you’re invited to hunt out famous places and characters hidden among the detailed landscapes. This is his first UK exhibition. Free admission. Open Mon-Sat 10am-8pm, Sundays 12pm-6pm.
101-111 Kensington High Street W8 5SA; japanhouselondon.uk
15 The So Extra So Chic Suite at The Curtain Hotel Shoreditch
Until 29 October
Hotels.com has unveiled the So Extra So Chic suite – the world’s first half and half hotel suite split right down the middle of the bed, where one side of the room is a maximalist’s paradise, full of colour, plants and golden accessories, and the other side is minimalist’s dream, dominate by sleek lines and the minimum of fuss. The battle of the designers see ‘so extra’ stylist Johnny Wujek, the powerhouse behind the likes of Katy Perry and Mariah Carey’s iconic looks, take on ‘so chic’ minimalist fashionista Kaitlyn Ham at The Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch. Wujek’s maximalist décor features clashing prints, layered colourful rugs, bright wallpaper, plenty of plants, a flashy cocktail trolley, brass palm and monkey lamps, mirrors and a bold sofa full of cushions. On the other side of the room, Ham’s minimalist décor features clean lines, calm monochromes a classic Eames lounge chair dominate, arched floor lamp and neat little desk finish the look. Available to book for one night at a time from now until 29 October from £250 per night.
45 Curtain Road, Hackney EC2A 3PT; uk.hotels.com