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
London Literature Festival
Frieze Masters
Dear Evan Hansen
War Horse is at Wembley Park
Dance Umbrella
Decorex International
Bridget Riley
Gauguin Portraits
Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert
Moving to Mars


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.


Various Venues Dates: 1st to 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.


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: 2nd to 13th October 2019


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 programme has yet to be announced, but last year saw Steve McQueen's female-fuelled heist thriller, Widows, and Oscar-winning The Favourite on the line-up. As well as the red carpet glamour and opening gala razzmatazz there are events for everyone at the festival, from informal post-screening Q&As to films for families and guest appearances to workshops and masterclasses. Full line-up to be announced shortly.


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: 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Oct 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: 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Oct 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.


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: 4th to 13th October 2019


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 ten days. With over 300 London bars taking part, anyone wearing a special wristband will be able to enjoy £6 cocktails all across town. At the heart of the festival is the cocktail village on Brick Lane where there are more than 30 pop-up cocktail bars along with hands-on cocktail making, immersive experiences, street food and DJs. This year's line-up is yet to be announced but 2018 saw the likes of Benares, Aqua Shard, Boki, Madison and even the London Eye take part.


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: 4th, 5th and 6th 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: 4th October 2019 to 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.


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: 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Oct 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: 7th October 2019 to 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: 7th to 12th Oct 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.


Dance Umbrella

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


Various Venues Dates: 8th to 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.


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 to 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.


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: Sunday 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.


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: 16th October 2019 to 1st March 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.


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: 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th Oct 2019


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 to 27th October 2019


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


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 to 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).


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 2019 to 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 2019 to 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.


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 2019 to 7th March 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.

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