Listings: Jul-Aug 2011

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From opera for beggars to dance for Latin-lovers, via festivals, comedy, Prohibition, classic film, free theatre and live literature.

JULY

Until 23rd July: The Beggars’ Opera, Regents Park Open Air Theatre, £17-44.
A musical comedy of highwaymen, hangmen and harlots comes to the Open Air Theatre this summer. Join Macheath and his partners in crime in John Gay’s ageless comic opera. See: openairtheatre.com

1st to 2nd July: Hop on The Farm, Kent, prices vary.
A stunning lineup of literary and music genius – including headliners the Eagles and Morrissey alongside the likes of Iggy & The Stooges, Bryan Ferry, Newton Faulkner and Brandon Flowers, this event offers a relaxed vibe set against the stunning backdrop of the Hop Farm Country Park in Kent. It’s run by former Mean Fiddler (Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury etc) chief Vince Power and came about after festival fans became disillusioned with the mainstream events. See: hopfarmfestival.com

2nd July: Velvet Lounge, secret private venue, Dalston, see website for prices.
The Baron Von Sanderson invites you for one night only to “The Velvet Lounge” a night of easy listening, champagne cocktails and live beat poetry. This is a one off pop up eventt, dedicated to the easier face of 60’s pop music encompassing sounds from Burt Bacharach to Jimmy Webb via the swinging sounds of the French Ye Ye beat.  Ladies put on those maxi dresses and diamanté, boys take that velvet suit to the cleaners. Throw your car keys into the onyx ashtray and swing like it’s 1968, but don’t tell your parents. See: diefrechemuse.co.uk

7th July: Between the Lines – Bill Harry Mersey Beat 50th Anniversary, O2 Bubble.
A special evening is in store as Mersey Beat creator Bill Harry recounts the beginnings of Mersey Sound magazine and how it helped shaped rock journalism 50 years ago. Liverpool legend and childhood friend of John Lennon, Bill Harry was the creator of Mersey Beat, the hugely influential and significant music paper of the 1960’s. Launched in 1961, Mersey Beat focused on the booming Liverpool scene and successfully built relationships with the Mersey bands, especially the Beatles. See: theo2.co.uk

12th to 16th July: Slapdash at the Old Vic Tunnels, London, £11/6.
Slapdash is London’s festival of impro, featuring 15 of the country’s best improvisation groups in a weeklong celebration of the spontaneous. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching and always totally unpredictable, impro is theatrical alchemy. Each night, three groups show off their individual styles, before coming together at the end of the evening for the infamous Slapdash Jam! See: slapdashfestival.co.uk

14th to 17th July: Latitude Festival, Henham Park, Southwold, prices vary.
Latitude offers an amazing line-up of the best in music, literature, film, theatre, cabaret and comedy as ever, including Paolo Nutini, Suede, Eels, Omid Djalili, Duckie, Ralph Fiennes, Tim Key, and the intriguingly named Modern Toss Activity Centre in Pandora’s Playground. Bust out your bikini, don’t forget your wellies, and head to Suffolk. See: latitudefestival.co.uk

15th to 24th July: Shoreditch Festival, Regent’s Canal and surrounding spaces.
Shoreditch Festival is an annual highlight of the East London cultural calendar that celebrates the network of canals linking communities from Shoreditch and beyond through to the Olympic Park. The festival will bring to life the waterside with film screenings, live music, dance performances, art commissions, fashion, literature and spoken word, health hubs, theatre shows, heritage trails, podcast expeditions, food markets and plenty more. See: shoreditchfestival.org.uk

23rd July: Prohibition, Grand Hall, Euston, £15.
Prepare to step back in time as we revisit the roaring twenties! Swigging cunningly concealed cocktails and contraband liquor from teacups is the order of the day as we strive to evade the ever-beady eye of the law and indulge in a spot of illegal drinking, gambling and Charleston dancing. Live bands and cabaret acts are at hand to entertain even the most particular of cads and good time girls. See: prohibition1920s.com

21st to 24th July: Port Eliot Literary Festival, Port Eliot, Cornwall, £35 to £140.
One of the most beautiful literary festivals in the world, Port Eliot is a weekend in Cornwall with a varied line-up of big names in music, fashion, food, film and literature. The open-air cinema is curated by Martin Scorsese, and includes classics The Red Shoes and The Leopard. Music comes from the likes of British Sea Power  and Hannah Peel; the word line-up features John Cooper Clarke and Hanif Kureishi. The Idler Academy is organised by Tom Hodgkinson, and includes a playwriting class from Jerusalem author Jez Butterworth. See: porteliotfestival.com

JULY & AUGUST

All July to September: Rooftop Film Club, Queen of Hoxton, £10.
An exciting outdoor film experience showing classic, cult and recent film releases on the rooftop of the Queen of Hoxton. Our big screen, wireless headphones and comfy chairs will mean you can sit back, relax and experience film like never before in this completely unique urban environment, until September, five nights a week. For full film listings, tickets and further information see: thequeenofhoxton.co.uk

2nd July to 5th August: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, St Paul’s Churchyard, £15/10.
A promenade production of Shakespeare’s magic-and-faeries romantic comedy. See: actorschurch.org or iristheatre.com

27th July to 7th August: Film 4 Summer Screen, Somerset House, £16-20.
Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for July and August 2011, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital. The enormous open air screen takes up the whole of the fountain square in front of the Somerset House facade, and shows an inspired range of movies with something to please everyone. DJs will also be playing some of the best in new music, plus there are behind the screen talks hosted by BAFTA. See: somersethouse.org.uk/film

AUGUST

2nd to 6th August: Great British Beer Festival, Earls Court, £6-23.
Get some yeasty culture at this annual Beer Festival, and sup the UK’s finest ales from small breweries to some of Britain’s best-known beers. See: gbbf.camra.org.uk/home

3rd August, 7.30pm : YARN presents The Special Relationship, Concrete Bar, Shoreditch, £5.
The Special Relationship literary variety night features turns from regulars Jarred McGinnis and Sam Taradash, plus guests Nii Ayikwei Parkes and award-winning cartoonist Harry Venning, who will be teaching audience memebers … well, how to be a cartoonist. See: yarnfest.com

4th August to 4th September: Free Theatre at The Scoop, South Bank, FREE.
Get your thesp on at The Scoop throughout August 2011 when both kids’ and adults’ shows are put on every week, including Brecht’s The Mother and Around the World in 80 Days. Lucky theatre-loving Londoners can catch free shows at The Scoop as part of the More London Free Festival. See: morelondon.co.uk/scoop.html

19th to 29th August: London Latin Festival, various venues and prices.
Celebrate the passion and excitement of Latin dance at this ten-day festival, featuring everything from salsa to bachata, via Latin Hustle and Zouk-Kizomba-Lambada … See: thelondonlatinfest.com

28th August: 3pm, Storytails, The Drop, Stoke Newington, FREE.
The Sunday afternoon literary event returns in August with readings of short stories and novel extracts from up and coming London authors you’ll wonder why you haven’t heard of. The vibe is relaxed and entry is free, so just turn up and enjoy. See: storytails.org

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