September in London 2018

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The Second Violinist

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The Second Violinist
Hacienda Classical
Boy Blue Entertainment
The Great River Race
The London Design Festival
Open House London
Christian Marclay: The Clock
I Object: Ian Hislop's search for dissent
London Brunch Fest

© Patrick Redmond

Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo are at the National, the V&A offers a 'hands-on' Videogames experience and Shard architect Renzo Piano is the first to be shown at the new Architecture Studio at the Royal Academy of Arts. LondonTown has the best London events starting in September 2018.

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ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company: Sylvia

This dance piece brings to life the struggles of Suffragette Sylvia Pabkhurst.

Old Vic Theatre, 103 The Cut, London, SE1 8NB

Tube: Waterloo Station , Southwark Station, Lambeth North Station


Dates: 1st to 22nd September 2018


Dance, hip hop, soul and funk combine to bring to life the struggles of Sylvia Pankhurst, a leading figure in the Suffragette movement, in a dance drama co-written by Kate Prince and Priya Parmar with original music by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde. Sylvia is a co-production between the ZooNation dance company, Old Vic and Sadler's Wells, co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW.


Antony and Cleopatra

Sophie Okonedo plays the Egyptian queen while Ralph Fiennes portrays Roman ruler Mark Antony.

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

Tube: Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 1st September to 1st October 2018


Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo play lovers Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre as Simon Godwin follows the success of Twelfth Night with another Shakespeare production in the Olivier. Hotel Rwanda actress Okonedo starred opposite Damian Lewis in 2017 and now squares up to another A-list leading man, playing the Egyptian queen while Ralph Fiennes, star of the English Patient, portrays Roman ruler Mark Antony. With design by Hildegard Bechtler.


London Brunch Fest

A festival dedicated to breakfast in bread, smashed avocado and the full English.

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

Tube: Aldgate East Station


Dates: Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd September 2018


A food festival dedicated to our favourite weekend meal, somewhere between breakfast and lunch, London Brunch Fest takes over The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, on the first weekend of September. The Barge House, famous for their breakfasts in breads - a sourdough loaf hollowed out and packed with all your breakfast favourites - Urban Pantry (runner-up in Time Out Love London Awards 'Most Loved Local Brunch Spot'), and The Dayrooms Cafe are just three of the restaurants serving up their best brunch menus. As well as the headline restaurants there's a marketplace full of brunch and breakfast related treats plus a programme of talks and events. Love brunch? Check out our favourite [London Brunch]{} spots.


The Second Violinist

Enda Walsh and Donnacha Dennehy's modern opera - a foreboding story of a life falling apart.

Barbican Theatre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station , Moorgate Station


Dates: 6th, 7th and 8th September 2018


The latest collaboration between Irish playwright Enda Walsh and composer Donnacha Dennehy, The Second Violinist is a modern opera that tells the foreboding story of a life falling apart. The drama at the Barbican unfolds as Martin, an orchestral violinist, is consumed by social media platforms, morbid fantasies and violent video games. Seeking solace in the music of Italian Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo, his inner turmoil becomes ever more apparent as he searches for beauty in a dark world. Concluding its five star reviewThe Guardian said, "Like its recurring filmed image of a murmuration of starlings, it soars."


I Object: Ian Hislop's search for dissent

Symbols of protest, these objects have been used to mock the powerful and give a voice to the people.

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

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


Dates: 6th September 2018 to 20th January 2019


Journalist, historian and Have I Got News For You regular Ian Hislop has been on a mission to find stories of dissent, subversion and satire hidden within the vast collections of the British Museum for I Object, the museum's new autumn exhibition. Exploring how people have used objects to subvert official ideology and to mock the powerful throughout history, the display highlights handpicked objects associated with dissent - like the suffragettes of the Edwardian era, and the work of outspoken Chinese artists. Often anonymously created, the pieces give a voice to those who would otherwise be without one. From a defaced Roman bust to 18th century satirical prints to modern African cloth, each object has been chosen because of the subversive or satirical message it carries. A highlight of the exhibition is an artwork by Banksy, a hoax piece called Peckham Rock which was secretly 'installed' by the artist in the museum in 2005.


An Adventure

Award-winning writer Vinay Patel presents a new work.

Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ

Tube: Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line) , Goldhawk Road Station, Shepherd's Bush Station (Central)


Dates: 6th September to 20th October 2018


Renowned for his BATA Award-winning BBC drama Murdered by My Father and the critically acclaimed True Brits, Vinay Patel returns to the Bush Theatre with An Adventure. An epic and technicolour love story, it starts in 1954 with a woman who's just discovered that, having been told she's doomed to marry one of five men, she might end up with the person she'd been hoping for all along. Following headstrong Jyoti and her suitor Rasik, it takes audiences on a journey through the fall of the Empire, travelling from the shores of post-Partition India to the forest of Mau Mau Kenya and then the industrial upheaval of 1970s London.


Phoenix Season

The centre celebrates the reopening of its Grand Hall with this special season.

Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TN

Tube: Clapham Common Station


Dates: 6th September 2018 to 28th January 2019


Three years since the Grand Hall at the Battersea Arts Centre was devastated by a major fire, the hall reopens with great fanfare with a dedicated Phoenix Season. The series will be made up of shows that celebrate people's determination and creativity, giving platforms to artists and leaders of the future. With its run interrupted by the fire back in 2015, Missing by physical theatre company Gecko will be the opening production of the season while other shows include Adam, the true story of a young Egyptian trans man; I'm A Phoenix, Bitch, Bryony Kimmings' first solo show; and Superblackman an exploration of power, mental health and representation.



This major new show looks at the complexity of video games and their importance in the design field.

Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 8th September 2018 to 24th February 2019


Embracing the current renaissance in Videogames, the V&A presents a major new show this September. The first show to fully consider the complexity of video games as an important design field, it will look at how a new wave of designers, players and critics are pushing the medium's boundaries. Exploring the design and culture of the medium since the mid-2000s - when fast-tracked technology increased access to the internet - the exhibition will investigate groundbreaking contemporary design work and rebellious player communities, as well as the political conversations that define this movement. Visitors will be able to explore large-scale immersive multimedia installations and take part in hands-on interactive experiences. Object-based displays will also be present, providing a glimpse of design materials from leading studios.


The Great River Race

The rowing equivalent of the London Marathon, with over 330 boats taking part.

River Thames, , London, WC2H 7BP

Tube: Vauxhall Station , Pimlico Station


Dates: Saturday 8th September 2018


Regarded as the rowing equivalent of the London Marathon, the Great River Race gathers over 330 boats for a 21.6 mile race from the Isle of Dogs in east London to Ham House west of London. Bursting with colour, spectacle, intense competition and casual fun, the race challenges crews to row from the industrial cityscape of Docklands all the way along the Thames to the idyllic semi-rural Richmond shores. Since launching in 1987, entries have snowballed from a mere 72 entrants to a massive 330 boats carrying over 2,000 competitors, racing for 35 trophies. Festivities along the river at Richmond begin at noon with live music, a children's beach, donkey rides and food and drink stalls, finishing with a spectacular riverside party at Ham.



Squeeze headlines on Saturday and Paloma Faith tops the bill on Sunday.

Blackheath Common, Shooters Hill Road, London, SE3 0UA

Tube: New Cross Station (East London line closed. Bus service operates)


Dates: Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September 2018


Music and food festival OnBlackheath returns this September for its fifth year with Squeeze headlining on Saturday and Platinum-selling British artist and fellow Londoner Paloma Faith top of the bill for Sunday. Billy Bragg, The Divine Comedy, Corinne Bailey Rae, The Lightning Seeds, De La Soul, Craig Charles Funk and Soul and Huey Morgan are just some of the acts announced in the first round of confirmed artists. There's more jazz-funk from the James Taylor Quartet, Mexican music by The Mariachis and snooker legend Steve Davis takes to the decks with collaborator Kavus Torabi. As well as the music, there's street food, bars and fun family entertainment.


Boy Blue Entertainment: Blak Whyte Gray

Boy Blue's critically acclaimed piece returns to the Barbican.

Barbican Theatre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station , Moorgate Station


Dates: 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th Sep 2018


Boy Blue's critically acclaimed Blak Whyte Gray returns to the Barbican, following its Olivier Award nomination in 2017. Created by Boy Blue's founders Kenrick 'H2O' Sandy and Michael 'Mikey J' Asante, the piece pairs hip-hop dance with the rhythmical groove of music and moves evoking Africa. Giving expression to experiences of contemporary life in a world in flux, Blak Whyte Gray is infused with an unexpected abstract quality. There's a "rich and melancholy joy" says The Guardian of Blue Boy's dance piece, as the company tackles "the nature of identity in an awesome three-part show".


Christian Marclay: The Clock

Marclay's unique 24-hour installation goes on display for free.

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

Tube: Blackfriars Underground Station


Dates: 14th September 2018 to 20th January 2019


Sees Christian Marclay's unique installation, The Clock, at Tate Modern this autumn. Twenty-four hours long, the mesmerising piece is a montage of thousands of film and televisions images of clocks, edited together to show the actual time. Several years of rigorous and painstaking research and production led to the piece, with the final result showcasing a vast range of narratives, settings and moods with the space of a few minutes. Visitors will be able to see the installation for free during the day while once a month the gallery will remain open throughout the night to allow the full 24-hour installation to be shown.


Renzo Piano

The Shard architect is the subject of the first exhibition in the RA's Architecture Studio.

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

Tube: Green Park Station , Piccadilly Circus Station


Dates: 15th September 2018 to 20th January 2019


He has designed some of the most striking buildings in our modern cities, from the Pompidou Centre in Paris to The Shard in London and the new Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In September 2018, Renzo Piano is the subject of the first annual architecture exhibition in the Royal Academy of Arts' newly refurbished galleries in Burlington Gardens. The first survey exhibition on the 'starchitect' in London for almost 30 years, the display will document his early days as a young architect working with Richard Rogers and move on to more recent projects. See his landmark buildings through rarely displayed drawings, models and full-scale maquettes in an exhibition which reveals the process behind his best-known creations.


The London Design Festival

Hundreds of events and landmark projects form the 16th festival.


Various Venues Dates: 15th to 23rd September 2018


Celebrating London as the gateway to international design, the London Design Festival returns for a 16th year in 2018 with hundreds of events and landmark projects. The annual festival takes in sectors as diverse as fashion, architecture, retail, typography, photography and textiles in an ambitious city-wide project. Over nine days in September, cultural institutions like the V&A, Somerset House and the Design Museum take part and the city is divided into eight design districts - there are hubs in Brompton, Chelsea, Clerkenwell, Islington, Queens Park and Shoreditch. Events vary from product launches in tiny boutiques to massive trade shows including designjunction and 100% Design. Look out for headline grabbing landmark projects in the city and at the V&A.


Open House London

Go behind the doors that are usually closed to the public.


Various Venues Dates: Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd September 2018


One weekend a year we get to go behind doors which are, for the rest of the year, closed to the public and see inside London's architectural landmarks. The fantastic, free Open House London allows access to more than 800 of the city's sites and buildings. This year's list has yet to be announced but last year's highlights included the revamped New Scotland Yard, London's latest tower, nicknamed 'the vase', an urban farm in Waterloo, an exhibition by starchitect Norman Foster and the gargantuan Francis Crick Institute at King's Cross. There's a wealth of architectural gems to choose from, old and new including favourites like the BT Tower and William Morris's Red House and City of London icons, the Cheesegrater and 'The Gherkin' . You can also get inside some of the grandest private homes in your own neighbourhood - it's a voyeur's dream come true. For the more serious students of contemporary design, this is a chance to visit spaces by famous modern architects, some of whom give talks and tours of the buildings they've designed. Entry to some houses is only permitted via pre-booked tickets acquired through the website You're advised to bring booking confirmation with you.


Turner Prize 2018

The most notorious prize in the world of contemporary art.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

Tube: Pimlico Station


Dates: 25th September 2018 to 6th January 2019


Set up in 1984, the Tate's Turner Prize has been courting controversy ever since. The most notorious prize in the world of contemporary art, carries a large cash prize - there's 25,000 in the pot - and instant fame for the winner who must be a British artist and have staged an 'outstanding' exhibition of work completed within the year. The shortlist always seems to feature conceptual art of the most difficult-to-understand sort. But despite the uproar from stuffier elements in the tabloids, this show is always great fun. Since 2011 the Turner Prize exhibition has been staged somewhere other than at Tate Britain which now plays host every other year and in 2018 it's back in London.



A new take on Stephen Sondheim's play.

Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 26th September to 22nd December 2018


Marianne Elliott - best known for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and War Horse - directs a new take on Stephen Sondheim's Company at the Gielgud Theatre. Staged this September, it will re-cast the lead, Bobby, as a 35-year-old woman named Bobbi, played by the award-winning Rosalie Craig. In this adaptation, Bobbi rebels against her married friends, who all think it's high time she settled down. Broadway star and Olivier Award-winner Patti LuPone returns to the West End for the first time in 25 years to star as Joanne.


Hacienda Classical

"Probably the best rave since 1997" - NME

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

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 28th September 2018


Pioneering DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering perform alongside the Manchester Camerata orchestra and special guests for a performance of Hacienda classics. Hacienda Classical won rave reviews after its first Royal Albert Hall visit, NME called it "Probably the best rave since 1997" and Mixmag termed the event, "a near two hour blend of house music's greatest players with an audience dancing and singing from the off". Now coming into its third year, 2018's show will keep the best bits of the previous two shows while adding new songs and guests.


Measure for Measure

This very modern adaptation brings gender fluidity to the West End.

The Donmar Warehouse, 41 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9LD

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


Dates: 28th September to 24th November 2018


Bringing gender fluidity to the West End, Josie Rourke's adaptation of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure sees Hayley Atwell and Jack Lowden alternate the roles of powerful Deputy and powerless Novice. The plot is centred around Angelo, who uses ancient rules to sentence citizens to death, and Isabella, the sister of a man facing such fate. When Isabella continues to plead for her brother's release, Angelo agrees to save him if Isabella agrees to sleep with him. With the role switch taking place within each individual showing, this production will explore how these roles are perceived when played by different genders. Additionally, this modern adaptation will be set in the year of the play's original performance, 1604, and also in 2018.



This exhibition marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Arts.

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

Tube: Green Park Station , Piccadilly Circus Station


Dates: 29th September to 10th December 2018


Exploring themes of voyaging, place-making and encounter, Oceania marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Arts, founded in 1768,the same year Captain James Cook set sail on his first expedition from Plymouth on the Endeavour. The first major survey of Oceanic art to be held in the United Kingdom, this ambitious exhibition celebrates the art of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, encompassing the vast South Pacific region from NewGuinea to Easter Island, Hawaii to New Zealand and bringing together exceptional works from the ancient past through to the present day.


Soft Cell

Marc Almond and Dave Ball reunite for a one-off 40th anniversary show.

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: Sunday 30th September 2018


The sound of the '80s, synth-pop pioneers Soft Cell reunite for one last time at The O2 on Sunday 30th September 2018. "It will be a real statement and send off, and thank you to every fan" promises Marc Almond. He is back with Dave Ball for a one-off show, 'Say Hello, Wave Goodbye', their first in the UK for 15 years. Hugely influential, their unique brand of electronic music can be heard on well known tracks like Tainted Love (1.35 million copies sold, and counting) and across five albums, book-ended by their debut, 1981's 'Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret', and 2002's 'Cruelty Without Beauty'. Not one to miss, "This last ever final show will be the best ever ending" says Marc Almond.

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