August in London 2017

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Matisse in the Studio

Henri Matisse, Gourds Issy-les-Moulineux, 1915-16 (c) The Museum of Modern Art

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Matisse in the Studio
King Lear
Regent's Park Open AIr Theatre - Jesus Christ Superstar
Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House
South West Four
London Craft Beer Festival
Foodies Festival, Alexandra Palace
BBC Good Food Festival
Camden Fringe
The Great British Beer Festival
Eastern Electrics Festival
London Wing Fest
London Beach Rugby


August sees the return of many favourite London music and food festivals, including South West Four and the London Craft Beer Festival. Also on the line-up: Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House, Jesus Christ Superstar at the Open Air Theatre and Matisse in the Studio at the Royal Academy of Arts. LondonTown highlights the best London events in August 2017.

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Camden Fringe

The festival returns with more than 250 productions.


Various Venues Dates: 31st July to 27th August 2017


Bringing together comedy, theatre, poetry, dance and much more, the Camden Fringe boasts over 250 different productions and (some very odd) shows across 25 venues in north London borough throughout August. Whether you want to catch some of the edgiest stand-up around or witness a new twist on Shakespeare or watch a group of OAPs rap, the Camden Fringe has become the metaphorical David, ready "to challenge the Edinburgh Goliath" (The Guardian). The rapidly growing four-week festival is offering fresh opportunity for both new and established acts to get themselves noticed in a creative environment outside Edinburgh. Rather than being centred around the High Street venues cover the whole borough of Camden, from Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate Village to the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden and include the Etcetera Theatre - where the first Camden Fringe took place in 2006.


English National Ballet: Romeo and Juliet

Rudolf Nureyev's award-winning production comes to the Southbank Centre.

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

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 1st to 5th Aug 2017


Created especially for English National Ballet in 1977 to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee, Rudolf Nureyev's award-winning Romeo and Juliet comes to the Southbank Centre Royal Festival Hall this summer. Performed by the English National Ballet, it brings together Shakespeare's heartbreaking love story with Nureyev's passionate choreography and Prokofiev's exhilarating score performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic.


Kids Week

Children aged 16 or under go for free to a raft of top West End shows.

The West End, , Soho, London, WC2H 7BP

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


Dates: 1st to 31st August 2017


It's now over a decade since the excellent idea of Kids Week was first conjured up. A truly inspired summer treat for families, Theatreland is available for free to excitable tots and teens for the whole month of August. Children aged 5 to 16 can see an awesome selection of dazzling West End hits gratis - as long as an adult pays the full price - and another two children can go half price. Tickets for the most popular shows go fast, so it's best not to make any promises until you've booked. Aside from the shows themselves, there's a whole raft of free children's activities. Kids can peek backstage, participate in workshops, dabble with make-up, learn to dance, scribble a few lines in writing classes and even sing with the cast. It's a fantastic initiative and one which can only inspire kids' enthusiasm for the stage in later life.


London Beach Rugby

The fun al fresco sporting event returns for another year.

Potters Fields Park, City Hall, 110 The Queens Walk, Covent Garden, London, SE1 2AA

Tube: London Bridge Station


Dates: Friday 4th and Saturday 5th August 2017


Returning for a fifth year, London Beach Rugby moves to Potters Fields Park this year. Creating a special sand pitch, 5-a-side teams play for seven minutes with players allowed up to three touches/tackles before the ball is turned over to the opposition - and given the size of the pitch (just 25m by 18m, and surrounded by an inflatable perimeter) it's very much a game of skill, attrition, tactics and speed - as well as a good way to raise money for charity. Sponsored by the delightful refreshing Cornish ale Doom Bar, the tournament is free for the public to watch and also includes a sports stand and the Doom Bar Experience where you can race on rowing machines or just sample some beer.


London Craft Beer Festival

With over 40 breweries and a new venue in Hoxton Square.

Shoreditch Electric Light Station, Coronet Street, Hackney, London, N1 6HW

Tube: Old Street Station


Dates: 4th, 5th and 6th August 2017


The London Craft Beer Festival returns for its 5th year in 2017 and is moving to a new venue in Hoxton Square. The Shoreditch Electric Light Station - a beautifully converted old power station, which is now the UK's leading circus school - will play host to over 40 breweries and more than 300 beers for the event. There will be beers from across London, the UK and the US, inviting visitors to enjoy the kaleidoscope of tastes and flavours modern beer has to offer. Breweries include Buxton Brewery, Mikkeller, Other Half and The Kernel. In addition to the beer, there will be food from street food specialists KERB and music from the festival's resident DJs.


Matisse in the Studio

See the Matisse's treasured personal objects and the works they inspired.

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

Tube: Green Park Station , Piccadilly Circus Station


Dates: 5th August to 12th November 2017


The Royal Academy of Arts invites you to step into the studio of Henri Matisse this summer, where you'll be able to witness objects that were treasured by the artist and played an important role in his work. Offering a rare glimpse into the artist's personal collection, Matisse in the Studio includes objects from the far corners of the world: Buddhist statuary from Thailand, furniture and textiles from North Africa and Bamana figures from Mali. Despite rarely being of material value, the objects were precious and appear in his work in different guises across multiple decades, each time being given a fresh reinvention. This exhibition will bring together the objects alongside the paintings, sculptures and drawings they inspired in order to reveal the stem of Matisse's masterful vision.


Eastern Electrics Festival

One-day dance and techno party with an Ibiza summer vibe.

Secret Location, , London, XX1 0LL



Dates: Saturday 5th August 2017


Returning to a central London location for the first time since the first Eastern Electrics Festival, back in 2012, the one-day dance and techno party will be easier to get to for Londoners. What hasn't changed is the scale or the calibre of music talent. Expect an Ibiza summer vibe, lasers and smoke cannons, upfront house and techno, big beats and a crowd of around 17,000 people up for a party. The 2017 festival welcomes new additions Knee Deep In Sound, iconic label Defected Records, plus the long awaited return of Skreamizm, Rinse FM, Viva Warriors, Star of EE, the infamous Tropical Tea Party and a super special VIP area hosted by Jocks and Nerds.


Visions Festival

A one-day festival with intimate London venues hosting live gigs.

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

Tube: Walthamstow Central Station


Dates: Saturday 5th August 2017


Taking place at several intimate venues around London Fields, Visions Festival returns for 2017 with another one-day music line-up. This year welcomes Benny Mails, Blanck Mass, Frankie Cosmos, Goat Girl, Helada Negro, Ider, The Men, Noga Erez amongst others. Further to the music, there's also a craft beer and a food festival. Be quick, however, it's proved popular and sold out quickly the past few years.


London Wing Fest

The capital's best poultry purveyors battle it out to be named best chicken wing.

The Printworks, 1 Printworks, Surrey Quays Road, London, SE16 7PJ

Tube: Canada Water Station


Dates: Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August 2017


A celebration of the chicken wing, the London Wing Fest is inspired by the National Buffalo Wing Festival that's held annually in New York and sees 2.4 million chicken wings consumed over two days. Created by the team at Randy's Wing Bar, the London version brings together 16 of the capital's best poultry purveyors in an attempt to find the best buffalo wing, a traditional, unbreaded wing, and best wild wing, a category that has no rules. Taking place at The Printworks, it welcomes the likes of Absurd Bird, Joe's Southern Table & Bar, Le Bun, Mother Flipper, The Joint and Wing Box to battle it out. Visitors will be able to sample the goods and vote for their favourite in each of the two categories. There will also be a traditional eating competition hosted by Frank's Red Hot, smoking BBQ demonstrations, live music and craft beer.


The Great British Beer Festival

A celebration of our national drink, with over 900 tipples.

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

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station


Dates: 8th to 12th Aug 2017


Over 66,000 people flock to this massive celebration of our national drink, which features over 900 real ales, ciders, perries and beers from around the world. There are over 350 different British breweries featured at the Great British Beer Festival and with the brewery boom across the country, and in London in particular, being chosen for the festival is a real privilege. Although it sounds like a fun event, don't be surprised to see a lot of very serious faces and concentration; some real ale experts are genuinely obsessive - and for them this isn't merely an occasion to get sozzled. Tutored tastings are on offer for anyone who wants to learn the subtleties of what makes a great beer. For the rest of us, though, this is a jolly day out with some delicious brewed drinks. Besides the amber nectar, there's a load of activities to keep you interested, including traditional pub games, live music and, to soak it all up, some hearty traditional pub snacks.


King Lear

Director Nancy Meckler makers her Globe debut.

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London, SE1 9DT

Tube: Mansion House Station


Dates: 10th August to 14th October 2017


Best known as artistic director of Shared Experience for 22 years, director Nancy Meckler makes her Globe debut in 2017 with Shakespeare's King Lear. The emotionally wrought drama sees King Lear take the bold decision to divide his kingdom among his three daughters. However, he doesn't anticipate the terrible consequences of his actions and how his generosity will be cruelly repaid.


Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

This year's line-up includes Moonlight, Cruel Intentions and All The President's Men.

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

Tube: Temple Station


Dates: 10th to 23rd August 2017


Possibly the most famous of all the open air film events to take place in London, Summer Screen returns to Somerset House in association with Film4 to bring cinema lovers a truly eclectic mix of movies. Highlights of the 2017 line-up include political surveillance drama All The President's Men, '90s teen movie classic Cruel Intentions, Academy Award Winner Moonlight and family fantasy My Neighbour Totoro. Ahead of each film, DJs will play sets inspired by the upcoming movie, providing the perfect soundtrack to pre-film al fresco picnics. There will also be live introductions from familiar faces from the film world and a series of Behind the Screen talks from illustrious industry talent.


Jesus Christ Superstar

The smash hit production returns for another run at the Open Air Theatre.

Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4NR

Tube: Regent's Park Station


Dates: 11th August to 16th September 2017


Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's seminal musical returns to the Open Air Theatre once again this year, concluding the 2017 season. "A gorgeous, thrilling, heavenly musical" ran The Guardian headline above its four-star review back in 2015 and it's proved just as popular ever since. Over 45 years after Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar was first staged, Timothy Sheader's new production introduces a new generation to legendary hits like I Don't Know How to Love Him, Gethsemane and Superstar. This time it's reimagined as a rock festival under the musical direction of Tom Deering with choreography by Drew McOnie and Tom Scutt's "rusty, rough and ready set, with its cruciform walkway".


The Majority

The audience play a major role in this timely production about democracy.

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

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station


Dates: 11th to 28th August 2017


Writer and performer Rob Drummond follows on from his acclaimed production Bullet Catch with another audience-dependent show this August. The Majority, staged at the National's Dorfman Theatre, is a timely show about democracy that sees Rob navigate the Scottish Independence Referendum, Brexit, Trump and whatever else today's turbulent political scene brings. Much like Bullet Catch, the show changes each night dependent on the audience, who are given the task of deciding its path by pressing buttons at their seats.



The world premiere of Christopher Shinn's gripping new drama.

Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, London, N1 1TA

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 12th August to 30th September 2017


Ben Whishaw, who has appeared as Q in the Bond films, in London Spy and The Hour and who won a BAFTA for the BBC adaptation of Richard II, returns to the Almeida following his acclaimed performance as Dionysos in Bakkhai. In Against, Christopher Shinn's gripping new drama set in Silicon Valley, he plays Luke, an ambitious aerospace billionaire who sets out to change the hi-tech landscape. A world premiere, this production is directed by former Royal Court boss Ian Rickson, who also directs Damian Lewis in Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? staged in the West End earlier this year.



A dazzling new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's musical.

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

Tube: Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 22nd August to 4th November 2017


Imelda Staunton, Tracie Bennett and Janie Dee play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's musical featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21. Staged at the National Theatre for the first time, the musical is set in1971 New York. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies showgirls gather in a Broadway theatre, due for demolition, to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Classic songs as Broadway Baby, I'm Still Here and Losing My Mind are part of the appeal in this A-list production directed by Dominic Cooke (Ma Rainey?s Black Bottom).


Gin Festival

The UK's largest gin event returns this summer.

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

Tube: Rotherhithe Overground Station


Dates: 25th August 2017 to 27th August 2018


After a sell-out show in February, the Gin Festival returns to Tobacco Dock this summer. The UK's largest gin event, the festival has over 100 gins to showcase and gives visitors the chance to sample exclusive and new gins from a variety of producers. You'll be given a special Gin Festival glass and a brochure detailing information about each of the gins and producers, with a suggest garnish for each. As well as the gin, there will be live entertainment, talks from gin industry experts and food.


South West Four

Deadmau5 headlines on Sunday, back in London for the first time in three years.

Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, London, SW4 9DE

Tube: Clapham South Station


Dates: Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August 2017


Now a firm favourite on the London festival calendar, South West Four is back for two days of dance music and big names over the Bank Holiday weekend. This year's Saturday headliner is Pendulum with further performances from Eric Prydz, Sigma, MK, and Maya Jane Coles and Heidi. Sunday, meanwhile, welcomes Deadmau5 to headline, back in London for the first time in three years, as well as Marco Carola, London duo Dusky, Gareth Emery, Gavin Lynch aka Matador, and Dutch maestro Nicky Romero. SW4 has proved a great success over the past thirteen years, filling Clapham Common with revellers united in the knowledge that they don't have to slum it in a tent and that there's no work the next day - so the party can go on and on. The music may finish around 11pm but there are after-parties for those keen on all-night revelry.


Foodies Festival, Alexandra Palace

Festival of food, top chefs and pop up restaurants over the Bank Holiday weekend.

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

Tube: Bounds Green Station


Dates: 26th, 27th and 28th August 2017


The Foodies Festival is back at Alexandra Palace this summer, taking place on the Bank Holiday weekend. This year's line-up features a range of culinary elite, including Ed Baines, Rakesh Nair, Matt Hill, Will Stayner and Jane Devonshire as well as MIC favourite Jamie Laing. There will also be pop up restaurants, shopping opportunities, a BBQ arena, chilli eating competition, cake and bake theatre, street food avenue and feasting tent. Drinking events include a wine and champagne masterclasses, vintage cider tent, Pimm's tea pot, Appleton Estate rum bus and a bar bus.

Foodies Festival London 2017 dates: Syon Park 27th-29th May | Blackheath 7th-9th July | Alexandra Palace 26th-28th August


BBC Good Food Festival

Top chefs, live entertainment and circus performers in the palace grounds.

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, London, KT8 9AU

Tube: Richmond Station


Dates: 26th, 27th and 28th August 2017


Taking place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the BBC Good Food Festival comes to Hampton Court Palace giving visitors a great selection of food to sample and expert tips from well known cooks and chefs. Last year's event included baker Paul Hollywood, Le Gavroche chef Michel Roux Jr, resident chef on ITV's Lorraine John Whaite and winner of the second series of the BBC's The Great British Bake Off Jo Wheatley so we can expect a similar stable of chefs this year. Book in at the summer kitchen to see top chefs doing their thing, enjoy live entertainment and see circus performers roaming around the palace grounds throughout the day. A great family day out.


Notting Hill Carnival

The world famous carnival returns for another year.

Notting Hill, , London, W11 3AG

Tube: Holland Park Station


Dates: Sunday 27th and Monday 28th August 2017


Held since 1966, the Notting Hill Carnival was originally a local affair for west London's homesick Caribbean community, this has evolved into Europe's biggest street party. Carnival sets London on fire in a blaze of Caribbean spirit as extravagantly costumed dancers, calypso and soca musicians, giant sound-systems and steel bands are joined by over a million revellers of all ages. Sunday is officially children's day, but there are loads of kids on both days enjoying the bright colours of the floats and the dancers' feathered costumes. Adults can shake their booty at dozens of stages and there are tunes for all tastes, from house to hip-hop. It's a huge area, and can get very crowded, so be prepared for an exhausting day out, but for anyone who loves a party, carnival remains the absolute highlight of the London summer.

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