Listings: Nov 2011

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Poet Laureate Ted Hughes called November “month of the dead dog”, but as we've discovered, there's a lot more to it than that. From a burlesque circus to killingly funny theatre, via High Tea and London's 19th French Film Festival, there's plenty of exciting stuff to do, and this month we've given it a French twist: so make the most of Autumn in London with our guide to November's events.

Until 31st December, 10pm Wed/Thu only, £15 – Recipe for a Perfect Wife @ Charing Cross Theatre, Villiers Street

50s-themed comedy stage show in which five ladies compete to become Britain’s best housewife on live TV. Hosted by husband and wife duo Betty and Bertie and  singing trio ‘Kitty and Her Cats’, no stone is left unturned as the contestants fight it out to be the most beautiful, obedient cake-baking spouses the world has ever seen … Includes post-show 50s-themed party in the theatre bar, with free cake and dancing until late. See: http://newplayers.whatsonstage.com/

1st November, 7pm, £10 – Tales of Terror: Granta Horror issue launch @ The Last Tuesday Society, 11 Mare Street, London E8 4RP

Join Granta for an evening of chilling tales and a chance to explore the macabre curiosities at Viktor Wynd’s little shop of horrors. Enjoy dramatic readings of a never-before-heard story by Stephen King and other pieces from Granta 117: Horror. In association with the Hendrick’s Lecture Series and Liars’ League. Each ticket includes a copy of the magazine. See: www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org

1st November, 7.30pm, £4/5 – YARN presents The Special Relationship @ Concrete, Lower Ground Floor, 56 Shoreditch High Street London, E1 6JJ

Featuring your hosts Sam Taradash and Jarred McGinnis, plus Irish-Nigerian writer Gabriel Gbadamosi and the indescribable Gavin Inglis. Prepare yourself for stories, poetry, comedy, music and silliness at this East London literary mash-up. See: www.yarnfest.com

3rd & 5th November, 7pm, prices vary – ELO Impro/Get Fingered @ Lumiere, 88 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LS

London’s quirkiest cocktail bar presents lip-smacking cocktails and events this month, including, on Thursday 3rd November, LIVE music hosted by ELO (French musicians-performing incredible free improvisation), Sat 5- Get Fingered – arts performance + installation event  (French arts based performance and installation) and a secret gig from the rather encroyable world tour completing band, Orchestra Elastique. Contact: [email protected]

4th November, 7pm (£15) & 10pm (£20), Circus Burlesque @ Volupté, 9 Norwich Street, EC4A 1EJ

The House of Burlesque brings Volupte a rare treat this month: a chance to view up close and personal a taster of their sold-out, 5 star, award winning Circus Burlesque, guest starring Betsy Rose. Combining the air and grace of Marlene Dietrich with the elegance and technique of Cyd Charrise, Betsy is sure to wow any eye that gazes upon her. Classically trained and performing “en pointe”, this is one vintage darling sure to deliver pure glamour and sex appeal. See: www.volupte-lounge.com

8th November, 7.30pm, £5 – Liars’ League: Might & Right @ The Phoenix, 37 Cavendish Square, W1G 0PP

Liars’ League’s company of professional actors reads five stories of strength and justice – or injustice. Elephants, despots, squaddies, rioters and high-end cookware feature: to find out how, come along! See: www.liarsleague.com

9th November to 5th December, times & prices vary – 19th French Film Festival @ Cine Lumiere, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT

This cultural festival presents an unparalleled selection of cinéma français, with a wealth of genres to suit all tastes and impressive performances from an array of household names and emerging talents. Highlights includes writer-director Xavier Durringer’s political farce The Conquest, which chronicles President Nicolas Sarkozy’s rise to power, and Jacques Perrin’s breathtaking documentary Oceans. See: www.frenchfilmfestival.org.uk

10th November, 7pm, £5-7 – Necropolis: London & its Dead, at Paradise by Way of Kensal Green, 19 Kilburn Lane, Kensal Green, London, W10 4AE)

From Roman burial rites to the horrors of the plague, from the founding of the great Victorian cemeteries to the development of cremation and the current approach of metropolitan society towards death and bereavement (including more recent trends to displays of collective grief and the cult of mourning, such as that surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales) Catherine Arnold offers a vivid historical narrative of this great city’s attitude to going the way of all flesh. See: www.thehendrickslectureseries.co.uk

13th November, 11am, prices vary – Special screening of Romantics Anonymous, Electric Cinema, 191 Portobello Road, W11 2ED

France’s latest big film asks what happens when a man and a woman share a common passion? They fall in love. And this is what happens to Jean-René, the boss of a small chocolate factory, and Angélique, a gifted chocolate maker he has just hired. Will they manage to get together, join their solitudes and live happily ever after? See: www.electriccinema.co.uk

17th November, 7.00pm, £10-15 – French Passions: Felicity Lott on Hugo @ Institut Francais, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT

Not only does Felicity Lott read Victor Hugo … she also sings his poems! Born in Cheltenham, Felicity Lott is an English soprano who has appeared at all the great opera houses of the world and worked with the greatest conductors (Andrew Davis, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Jurowski, Carlos Kleiber, Antonio Pappano and Simon Rattle) and received many honorary doctorates, including from the University of Oxford. Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor of The Independent, will chair the talk. See: www.institut-francais.org.uk

18th November, 8.30pm, £5/6 – Spirit of Play @ The Comedy Pub, 7 Oxendon Street, W1

Want to know what a band composed of members of the editorial staff at the Times Literary Supplement sounds like? Well, wonder no more – just head down to Spirit of Play’s latest gig, where they will be spanking the plank and tinkling the ivories until late. Expect old songs, new songs, and a dubstep cover of Another Day in Paradise (well, maybe not …) . No website or online booking, just turn up!

26th November onwards, Mon-Sat 7.45pm, prices vary – The Ladykillers, Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6BA

The 1955 classic Ealing comedy is brought back to life this autumn on the stage in London’s West End. The show tells the story of the eccentric old lady Mrs Wilberforce who lives alone with her parrots in a strange house in King’s Cross, before the days of Eurostar. Her life is turned upside down by the arrival of Professor Marcus and his four friends, who between them make up the most unlikely group of criminals. Featuring some of the finest comedy actors including Peter Capaldi, James Fleet, Ben Miller and Marcia Warren. See: www.theladykillers.co.uk

27th November: 3pm, FREE – Storytails @ The Drop, 175 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0LH

The Sunday afternoon literary event returns in November 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: www.storytails.org

29th November, 3.30pm, £15, Cordon Bleu High Tea @ The Mandeville Hotel, Mandeville Place, London, W1U 2BE

Students from Le Cordon Bleu’s Patisserie Diploma will showcase their incredible skills and creativity at a stunning high tea held at The Mandeville Hotel. For only £15 a person, guests can relax in the grandeur of the Mandeville Hotel in central London and sample the impressive array of traditional pastries such as Paris Brest, Tarte aux Fruits and Strawberry and Champagne Mousse, all hand-crafted to perfection. See: www.mandeville.co.uk

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