Listings: December–January 2012

EXHIBITIONS
 
Giorgio Morandi: Lines of Poetry
Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 16 January to 7 April 2013.
In 2013 the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art celebrates its 15th anniversary. To inaugurate this special year the museum is organising a career-spanning exhibition of around eighty prints, paintings and drawings by Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964). Lines of Poetry focuses on works on paper, including a large section devoted to the artist’s etchings. Also included in the show are a number of watercolours, works that are rarely seen in the UK, making this exhibition a truly unmissable occasion for any admirer of Morandi. 
Manet: Portraying Life
Royal Academy, 26 Jan – 14 Apr 2013
Including over 50 paintings spanning the career of the enigmatic Edouard Manet (1832-1883), this exhibition examines the relationship between Manet’s portrait painting and his scenes of modern life. Thematic groupings will explore Manet’s world and the landscape of late 19th Century Parisian society through depictions of his family, fellow artists, literary, theatrical and political figures.


Entertainment
 
Get Into London Theatre
Booking opens 11 December 2012 for performances 1 January – 15 February 2013.
Theatres all over the capital will soon be offering cut-price deals as part of Get Into London Theatre, the annual ticket scheme that allows the public to see some of the best shows in London for a fraction of the normal cost. Productions ranging from plays to musicals and opera to ballet will offer tickets from as little as £10 so everyone has the chance to experience the magic of London theatre. There is a host of shows to choose from including Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia! and One Man, Two Guvnors, alongside new-comers Loserville, Goodnight Mister Tom and Scrooge The Musical. Fans of opera and dance can enjoy Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, Midnight Tango and The Mikado, plus there are lots of family-friendly shows taking part such as Room On The Broom, Sooty In Space and The Snowman. It’s not just West End theatres taking part but a range of venues including the National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells and the Barbican. 
 
Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA
Royal Albert Hall, from 5 January 2013
Since its premiere in April of 2007, KOOZA has captivated close to 4 million spectators. Written and directed by David Shiner, KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil, combining two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show presents an unprecedented approach to the high wire and a breath-taking wheel of death – an act that Cirque du Soleil has never before presented under the big top. 
 
Quatermaine’s Terms
Wyndham’s Theatre, from 23 January 2013
Rowan Atkinson will star as the well-meaning but hopeless teacher St John Quartermaine in the first major West End revival of Simon Gray’s play ‘Quartermaine’s Terms’. Set in the 1960s in an English language school for foreigners, this tragicomic play is a humorous but ultimately moving account of several years in the lives of seven teachers.

In the Beginning was the End
Somerset House, 28 January – 30 March 2013
Acclaimed site-responsive theatre company dreamthinkspeak return to Somerset House with a new large-scale production, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, The Book of Revelation and the world of Mechatronics. Take a journey through the maze-like underground passages and unseen spaces of Somerset House and King’s College – into a world of calamitous accidents and divine revelations. 
 
The Captain of Köpenick

National Theatre, previews from 29 January, in repertoire until 4 April 2013.
Antony Sher plays the title role in The Captain of Köpenick, directed by Adrian Noble. Released after fifteen years in prison, petty criminal Wilhelm Voight wanders 1910 Berlin in desperate, hazardous pursuit of identity papers. Luck changes when he picks up an abandoned military uniform in a fancy-dress shop and finds the city ready to obey his every command. A nation heads blindly towards war as the misfit takes on the state in Ron Hutchinson’s savagely funny new version of Carl Zuckmayer’s play, first staged in Germany in 1931.

Flames of Desire
Peacock Theatre, 30 January – 24 February 2013
Argentina’s hottest dance company, Tango Fire, returns to the UK with their critically acclaimed show, Flames of Desire, as part of its second international tour. Flames of Desire takes the audience on a journey through the history of tango – tracing its roots in the dance halls of Buenos Aires before moving through the decades to showcase tango’s growing popularity as a contemporary dance form. The show features ten sensational dancers, including five world tango champions, with choreography by lead dancer German Cornejo, accompanied by the company’s quartet of brilliant musicians. Quarteto Fuego, the company’s resident music group, provides the live music on the traditional instruments of tango.


SHOPPING, RESTAURANTS & NIGHTLIFE
 
Exclusive Burns Night Supper at Marco
25 January 2013
The stylish Marco restaurant in South West London will be hosting a star-studded Burns Night in January 2013. The first time the restaurant has run a dedicated Burns Night, guests can enjoy a four course fine dining version of a traditional Burns Night feast in luxury surroundings. The menu, which has a Marco twist on the classic Scottish dishes, features smoked salmon, haggis, neeps and tatties, slow braised short rib beef and a whisky trifle dessert. Burns Night tickets are available for just £49 per person and include a four course dinner, half a bottle of wine per person, whisky toast, entertainment and special guest appearances. 
 
New Winter Club Sandwich
901 Restaurant, Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel, 1 January – 31 March 2013
Food designer Linda Monique has collaborated with the Andaz Liverpool Street’s pastry chef, Joseph Wagenaar, to develop the new, seasonal Winter Club Sandwich – available for a limited time only. Designed exclusively for the hotel by Monique, this latest creation is a sweet take on a savoury hotel classic, using seasonal flavours to perfectly complement each other: spiced poached pears, slow roasted apples, caramel curd, Earl Grey tea mayonnaise, lemon ‘fried egg’ and cinnamon fries. Whether guests feel like a sweet afternoon tea pick-me-up with a glass of champagne or a lavish pudding, the Winter Club Sandwich is a new alternative to traditional London afternoon teas.




Listings: November–December 2012

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—so we have a special selection of seasonal events and attractions for you to choose from this month, including a Santa’s Eye View of London, festive carols, seasonal menus, and of course, the traditional holiday pantomime.

Make Merry this Christmas at the EDF Energy London Eye
From November 2012 – 1 January 2013
Take in London’s spectacular Christmas lights from 135 metres above the city by booking the Mulled Wine and Mince Pie Private Capsule. Guests will also delight in the luxury by being served by a private host as they get into the festive spirit. And if you prefer a more glamorous celebration, why not treat yourselves to Christmas merrymaking with the London Eye’s Champagne Cocktail Capsule? Guests will be waited on by a host as they choose from a range of cocktails including peach bellini, Kir Royale or a classic Champagne cocktail, all whilst taking in the stunning panoramic views of the Capital.  

Robin Hood at the Greenwich Theatre
22 November – 6 January 2013
This all-singing, all-dancing pantomime is one for the whole family and follows in the tradition of last year’s spectacular production of Aladdin, making it one not to be missed.

The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre
28 November 2012 – 6 January 2013
The stage show based on Raymond Briggs’ classic book and its subsequent film has become a much-loved festive tradition at the Peacock Theatre, and returns for a record-breaking 15th year. Featuring Howard Blake’s Walking in the Air, performed by a live orchestra. This is the perfect Christmas treat for all the family with its wonderful mix of storytelling, spectacle and magic.

All Aboard the Liberty Express
Departs on 8 September 
The Liberty Christmas windows 2012 take inspiration from the Victorian age of the steam train and specifically Queen Victoria’s train carriage which was a decadent saloon designed for the most opulent of comfort. The Liberty Express departs on 8 September with the opening of the Liberty Christmas shop on the 4th floor. This year it has expanded to take over the central atrium of the 4th floor too which opens a week after the east atrium gallery. Themes for Christmas baubles reflect Victoriana with a strong Dickensian overture celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens this year.

Old Royal Naval College Carol Concert
2 December 2012
The Old Royal Naval College will launch its Christmas celebrations with a Christmas Carol Concert in the Chapel on Sunday 2 December. From 6.30pm, carol lovers can join Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice for a torch-lit procession by the Sea Cadets with carols led by the ORNC Chapel Choir. Tickets are priced from £20, which includes a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.

Carol Concert 2012 in aid of Blind Veterans UK
St Marylebone Parish Church, 4 December 2012
With readings and addresses by TV star Sarah Parish, former Defence minister, The Rt Hon Nicholas Soames MP, HRH Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Commodore Barry Bryant CVO RN and Blind Veterans UK member Billy Baxter. Music will be provided by Seraphim Trumpets.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink
From 2 November 2012
Set within the historic Victorian grounds of the Natural History Museum, the ice rink is decorated with 76,000 fairy lights that adorn the surrounding tall trees with a backdrop of one of London’s landmark locations. The impressive 1,000 square metre ice rink is one of London’s must-see winter attractions. Guests can warm up in the cosmopolitan and cosy Café Bar, offering a menu of sumptuous food, hot and cold drinks and entertainment for all to enjoy.

Skate at Somerset House
16 November 2012 – 6 January 2013
Somerset House ice rink returns for its annual season from, with a spectacular programme of activities on ice in a beautiful setting. This season’s highlights include, Club Nights with a glittering line up of DJs, a luxury pop-up shopping mall called the Christmas Arcade, Skate School and Penguin Club for the children, and a great selection of food and drink at Tom’s Skate Lounge, devised by Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens, and Fernandez & Wells café and bar, located in Somerset House’s East Wing.

Christmas at Mestizo, a Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar
1 – 23 December 2012
Head to Mestizo for a special Christmas celebration, with three authentic Mexican menus for you to enjoy. You can choose from the Christmas menus or stick with the authentic Mexican a la carte menu. The tequila bar displays over 230 tequila, and the tequila cocktail menu provides a selection of 40+ tequila & mezcal cocktails. With Mexican owners, chefs and staff, Mestizo is where Mexico meets London.

Taste of Christmas
ExCeL London, 7 – 9 December 2012
Taste of Christmas is the UK’s biggest Christmas food festival, a celebration of food, drink, restaurants and world-renowned chefs. To celebrate the world coming to London in 2012, this year’s Taste of Christmas will be launching a brand new feature called ‘Festive Flavours of the World’. This will showcase the best quality international festive cuisines and take visitors on a journey of discovery to find out how different countries and cultures celebrate Christmas. Alongside a mouth-watering international feast, the festival will showcase unique Christmas gifts, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations and expert master-classes in essential skills for Christmas dining, seasonal baking and festive decorations.




2012 Waterstones Book of the Year shortlist

Hilary Mantel recently won the Man Booker prize with her Tudor tome about Thomas Cromwell, Bring Up the Bodiesthe sequel to Wolf Hall, which also won the Man Booker in 2009. Her much-praised second win could yet again garner another award; it has made it onto the shortlist for Waterstones’ Book of the Year. The only other fiction title on the shortlist is HHhH by Laurent Binet, a thriller in which two men are on a mission to kill Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Nazi secret services.

The non-fiction books competing for Book of the Year includes The Old Ways, a journey through British landscapes; Polpo, the Italian cuisine book; On the Map, an examination of maps from the past, present and future; and Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure, a biography about a war hero and esteemed travel writer.

The winner will be announced on 29 November, and will receive major support from Waterstones during the important shopping month of December, and a case of champagne.

The shortlist:
HHhH, by Laurent Binet (Harvill Secker)
Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure, by Artemis Cooper (John Murray)
On the Map: Why the World Looks the Way It Does, by Simon Garfield (Profile Books)
The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, by Robert Macfarlane (Hamish Hamilton)
Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate) — read an excerpt
Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts), by Russell Norman (Bloomsbury)




Listings: October 2012

Bob Marley: Messenger
Mezzanine Gallery, 24 July – 24 October 2012
Following a successful run at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, where it was on display for over three months, the exhibit will now be available to audiences from Britain and around Europe. Visitors will witness Bob Marley as a private, spiritual man, as a powerful performer who used his lyrics to give a voice to the disenfranchised and as a legend who has inspired legions of fans in the years since his death.

Dickens and the Artists
Watts Gallery, 19 June – 28 October 2012
Dickens and the Artists will explore the significant connection between Charles Dickens and visual art. Dickens was interested in both contemporary artists and the art of the old masters which he viewed and commented on in his tours of Europe.

Bob Hope: A World of Laughter
Greenwich Heritage Centre, 13 July – 28 October 2012
The Heritage Centre will be the third institution to host the touring Bob Hope exhibition which has been produced by the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum with the support of the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation.

Tino Sehgal to create Turbine Hall commission for London 2012 Festival
Tate Modern, 17 July – 28 October 2012
Tino Sehgal has been commissioned to create a work for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall as part of London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. The artist’s new work is one of two projects which are part of the Cultural Olympiad, the other being the Tate Movie Project, supported by the Legacy Trust UK, BP and CBBC, the nation-wide film animation project for children which will culminate in the production of a fully animated film. The Tino Sehgal 2012 commission is part of The Unilever Series.

Summer at the National Theatre
National Theatre, June – October 2012
The National theatre is presenting two very special performances. Timon of Athens, as part of the World Shakespeare Festival, directed by Nicholas Hytner with Simon Russell Beale in the title role, will run from July to October; and The Last of the Haussmans, a new play by Stephen Beresford, directed by Howard Davies, will play at the Lyttelton Theatre from June to September.

Designed to Win
Design Museum, 25 July – 18 November 2012
This exhibition celebrates the ways in which design and sport are combined, pushing the limits of human endeavour to achieve victories of increasing significance and wonder. From the design of F1 cars to running shoes, racing bikes to carbon fibre javelins, the quest for enhanced performance and function is endless. By examining celebrated sporting moments and the sense of shared celebration and spectacle, the exhibition will look at, not just how design can influence sport, but also how sport has influenced design, art and culture.

Designers in Residence & This is Design
Design Museum, 29 August 2012 – 27 January 2013
The programme includes a series of events, offering designers the opportunity to interact and engage with the public, whilst using this platform as a test-bed for ideas, designs and innovations. Using key items from the collection, the display will also be supplemented with high-profile loans and new acquisitions.

David Nash at Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, 9 June 2012 – 14 April 2013
David Nash, one of the UK’s most prolific sculptors, will produce and exhibit his work across the Gardens. The exhibition will open to members of the public, with sculptures, installations, drawings and films in place throughout the Gardens, glasshouses, and exhibition spaces. Nash will work at Kew on a ‘wood quarry’—the first he will have done in ten years, creating new pieces for the exhibition using trees from the Gardens that have come to the end of their natural life.




Listings: September 2012

New St. James Theatre opens in London
St. James Theatre, the first newly built theatre complex in central London in 30 years, will open to the public this month. Rising from the site of the former Westminster Theatre at 12 Palace Street, in the heart of Victoria, the space will include a 312-seat theatre, a studio space, brasserie and bar. David Gilmore (Artistic Director) and James Albrecht (Assistant Artistic Director) will produce a varied programme to include musicals, comedies and classic revivals as well as offering a London venue to touring and regional productions. For more information, visit www.stjamestheatre.co.uk.

E17 Art Trail: 1-16 September
Art in all its forms will be popping up all over Walthamstow. Step inside neighbours’ houses or sample art on shop walls, hanging from trees, in estate agents’ windows, in galleries and gardens, on pavements and in pubs. Almost 3,000 people have contributed to this year’s programme of over 350 events to surprise, entertain and amaze residents and visitors to Walthamstow in the eighth annual E17 Art Trail. The full programme is available at www.e17arttrail.co.uk.

London Design Festival’s 10th anniversary: 14-23 September
This is one of the most important events on the global design calendar. This year, the Festival will present a programme that will more than equal the quality, imagination and innovation that it has demonstrated for the last decade. The inaugural Global Design Forum, a stimulating and intensive one-day event to set the global agenda for design, launches on 18 September at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Townhouse, another new feature of this year’s festival, will be located in a Georgian house in Belgravia, and will exhibit a rich diversity of contemporary design curated by Jan Withers. Other key Festival locations include: Trafalgar Square, Victoria & Albert Museum, and up to 250 smaller exhibitions, installations, talks and events. More at www.londondesignfestival.com.

Barbican presents Transcender Festival on 17 September
The Barbican’s contemporary music autumn season begins this month with a series of concerts that offers a look at transcendental, devotional, spiritual, hypnotic and psychedelic music. It explores music designed to transport the listener, to conjure trances or summon states of ecstasy. This year’s festival includes artists from Iran, the United States, Iraq and Armenia, and features a rare collaboration between Iranian maestro Hossein Alizadeh and one of Armenia’s greatest musicians, Djivan Gasparyan, a celebration of Iraqi music, the Sun Ra Arkestra led by Marshall Allen and a hypnotic multimedia collaboration featuring Oneohtrix Point Never, and Reliquary House at LSO St Luke’s. For more information visit www.barbican.org.uk/transcender.

Be Open Sound Portal (London Design Festival 2012)
Trafalgar Square project, 19-23 September
This year Be Open, the new global initiative to foster creativity and innovation, and the London Design Festival are co-producing a project in Trafalgar Square that focuses on the idea of “design you can’t see”. Taking as its basis the idea of sound as a means of conveying memory and evoking emotion, the Be Open Sound Portal will be an immersive space in the centre of the square that will take visitors on an intriguing journey. The Portal will transport visitors to inaccessible places and remote environments through a series of three-dimensional soundscapes created by leading musicians and sound designers. For more information visit www.beopenfuture.com.

South Place Hotel to open in London
South Place is an 80-bedroom, design-focused property, due to open this month. The hotel’s rooftop terrace will offer 7th-floor views of the City of London. South Place aims to bring something different to the hotel scene in London. Combining the buzz of D&D London’s restaurants, Conran-designed interiors and specially commissioned work by contemporary London artists, South Place looks set to be “more meet than sleep” than most London hotels. Handy for Liverpool Street commuters will be the two restaurants, including a brasserie on the ground floor, plus bars from hotel owner, the D&D London group, which also owns restaurants including London’s Bluebird and Coq d’Argent. www.southplacehotel.com.

James Cousins: New Adventures Choreographer Award showcase
Sadler’s Wells Theatre, 7 September.
Selected from hundreds, James Cousins is the winner of the inaugural New Adventures Choreographer Award (NACA). The evening features three world premieres. Cousins’ There We Have Been is a duet which takes inspiration from the climax of the 1957 novel, Jealousy, by Alain Robbe-Grillet; and Everything and Nothing is a dynamic collaboration between James Cousins, lighting designer Lee Curran and set designer Colin Falconer. The piece is performed to an original score fusing electronic and classical sound worlds by composer Seymour Milton. Visit www.sadlerswells.com.

Roald Dahl Day with Michael Rosen
Cottesloe BS, National Theatre, 8 September.
A morning of brilliant stories about Roald Dahl, celebrating his birthday and a new book about him, Fantastic Mr Dahl, written by the former Children’s Laureate and poet Michael Rosen. For more information, visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.

The Bartered Bride / A Night at the Chinese Opera
British Youth Opera, Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre, 8–15 September.
British Youth Opera celebrates its 25th anniversary with two new productions in association with Southbank Sinfonia. Smetana’s comic masterpiece, inspired by folk tales from his native Bohemia, tells of the Bartered Bride whose arranged marriage is thwarted by her true love’s cunning. A Night at the Chinese Opera is a colourful depiction of China in the time of Kublai Khan, Marco Polo and the “Orphan of Zhao”, whose tragic tale of military invasion and personal vendetta is mirrored by Judith Weir’s theatrically turbo-charged comic-opera-within-an-opera. For more information visit www.byo.org.uk.

Let It Be marks the Beatles’ 50th anniversary
Prince Of Wales Theatre, from 14 September.
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the world’s most successful rock’n’roll band, live in London’s West End. Let It Be is a spectacular theatrical concert jam-packed with over 20 of the Beatles’ greatest hits. Relive the Beatles’ meteoric rise from their humble beginnings in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, through the heights of Beatlemania, to their later studio masterpieces with live performances of early tracks including “Twist and Shout”, “She Loves You” and “All My Lovin’”, as well as global mega-hits “Yesterday”, “Hey Jude”, “Come Together” and, of course, “Let It Be”. For more information visit www.letitbelondon.com.

Private Peaceful
Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18–29 September 
Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful plays for a strictly limited 16 performances at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 18 September. Directed and adapted for the stage by Simon Reade, Private Tommo Peaceful is a young First World War soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn. During the night he looks back at his short but joyful past growing up in rural Devon; and the battles and injustices of war that brought him to the front line. Visit www.trh.co.uk.

The Tiger Lillies perform Hamlet
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, 18–21 September.
Eccentric three piece band The Tiger Lillies comes to Southbank Centre with the UK premiere of their new show, The Tiger Lillies perform Hamlet. Co-produced by Southbank Centre and Danish theatre company Republique, the show combines new music, circus acts, giant puppets and video projections to give a macabre twist to Shakespeare’s classic tale of the Danish prince. Visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk.

Jazz Nights in the Cafe in the Crypt
St Martin-in-the-Fields, Wednesdays through September 2012
Café in the Crypt St Martin-in-the-Fields plays host through September to some of the UK’s top jazz musicians and singers. Get ready for jazz, swing, ska and rock and roll. Zena James’ heartfelt, unpretentiousness and lustrous vocals giving a fresh interpretation to soul-laden jazz and Santi, a bright-toned and nimble trumpeter performing world-class improvisation. For more information visit www.smitf.org.

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde
Tate Britain, 12 September–13 January 2013
Combining rebellion and revivalism, scientific precision and imaginative grandeur, the Pre-Raphaelites constitute Britain’s first modern art movement. This exhibition will bring together over 150 works in different media, including painting, sculpture, photography and the applied arts, revealing the Pre-Raphaelites to be advanced in their approach to every genre. Led by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) rebelled against the art establishment of the mid-nineteenth century, taking inspiration from early Renaissance painting.

Art of Change
The Hayward Gallery’s new exhibition brings together some of China’s most innovative artists from the 1980s to the present including Chen Zhen, Yingmei Duan, Gu Dexin, Liang Shaoji and Wang Jianwei. It showcases some outstanding early examples from each artist, alongside more recent works and commissions. The acceptance that everything is subject to change is deeply-rooted in Eastern philosophy, and the artworks deal with themes of transformation, instability and discontinuity. The works on display all alter their appearance over time, or otherwise convey a powerful sense of volatility.

Everything was moving: photography from the 60s and 70s
Barbican Art Gallery, 13 September 2012–13 January 2013
This major photography exhibition surveys the medium from an international perspective, and includes renowned photographers from across the globe, all working during two of the most memorable decades of the 20th Century. everything was moving: photography from the 60s and 70s tells a history of photography, through the photography of history.  It brings together over 350 works, some rarely seen, others recently discovered and many shown in the UK for the first time.

Walking Home, Simon Armitage
British Library, 14 September
Part journal, part nature writing and part autobiography, Simon Armitage’s heroic and sometimes hilarious travelogue Walking Home: Travels with a Troubadour on the Pennine Way combines prose and poetry as Armitage recounts his 256-mile epic walk along the Pennine Way. Contemplative, moving and droll, it is a unique narrative from one of our most loved writers. For more information visit www.bl.uk.

The Book Show LIVE! on 22 September
The Book Show 2012 is a show for authors and publishers. This full-day event will be held on the 22nd September 2012 over three floors at The Hat Factory in Luton, Bedfordshire. Being overseen by the UK’s leading digital publisher, Andrews UK, The Book Show brings authors and publishers together in one space to talk, network and build relationships with one another. Come along and take part in a full day’s worth of panels with both authors and publishers; ask questions to digital and traditional publishers; meet other authors and like-minded individuals and find out about getting your work out there, whether through a publisher or going it alone with self-publishing; hear from people talking about their experiences of self-publishing and make up your own mind. With talks on PR and marketing, there’s a chance to hear the professionals explain how they do what they do and to speak to experts about the impact of social networking and other media. www.thebookshow.co.uk.




The 2012 Man Booker Shortlist Unveiled

Sir Peter Stothard, Chair of judges and Editor of the Times Literary Supplement has announced the six titles on this year’s Man Booker Prize shortlist, which includes literary giants Hilary Mantel and Will Self. Mantel previously won the prize in 2009 for Wolf Hall, and this year her hopeful sequel is Bring Up the Bodies, which tells the story of Anne Boleyn’s downfall. Will Self’s Umbrella is about the encephalitis lethargica sleeping sickness epidemic and the race to bring its victims back to consciousness.

The shortlist also celebrates new writers. Jeet Thayil and Alison Moore’s debut novels, Narcopolis and The Lighthouse respectively, have made it onto the list, as well as those of three small publishers: And Other Stories, Myrmidon Books, and Salt Publishing. So, will one of the heavyweights win? Or will the winner surprise us all?

The finalists’ works has seriously impressed Stothard. He said, “We (the judges) loved the shock of language shown in so many different ways and were exhilarated by the vigour and vividly defined values in the six books that we chose—and in the visible confidence of the novel’s place in forming our words and ideas.”

The winner will be revealed on 16 October at Guildhall, London.

The 2012 Shortlist:

Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)

Deborah Levy, Swimming Home (And Other Stories/Faber & Faber)

Hilary Mantel, Bring Up The Bodies (Fourth Estate)

Alison Moore, The Lighthouse (Salt)

Will Self, Umbrella (Bloomsbury)

Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis (Faber & Faber)

We recently reviewed Alison Moore’s The Lighthouse. The author also had a go at the Litro Proust questionnaire.



Get Lost in a Book Maze

The word “maze” usually conjures up images of verdant hedges perfectly pruned into sinuous shapes, but this is not true of the maze with the punning title, aMAZEme, at the Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World. Leafy walls have been substituted with over 200,000 old and new books in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall. Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo were both inspired by the fingerprint of the Argentinian poet and writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) to create this labyrinth, with walls 2.5 metres high. All tomes will be donated to Oxfam after its closing date.

You can watch a video of the assembling of the maze here.
Until 26 August 2012 at the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. More information here




Olympic Fashion for Non-Olympians

from the Adidas Originals X Opening Ceremony collection

The UK has gone Olympic crazy. Companies and their rather un-Olympic products are plastered all over television adverts, with babies in nappies recreating the triathlon and menstruating women hurdling over mother nature. Unsurprisingly, the fashion world has already jumped on the bandwagon.

Of course, the Team GB Olympic kit was designed by Stella McCartney and created by Adidas. Sportswear, when doing sports, makes sense. The McCartney kit serves a purpose: it’s designed for the athletes that will be representing the country. But what can be said about the many other designers who have also turned their creative eye to the biggest event of 2012, creating an Olympic theme for their summer collections, most of which won’t be seen anywhere near the stadium? For example, there is the latest line by Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld, Team Karl, which was launched at Selfridges on 24 July. You can’t really blame the fashion power houses for profiting from the Olympics—think of the fast food companies cashing in as official sponsors—but can sportswear ever be a trend suitable for the non-athlete?

Personally, the idea of “sportswear chic” bestows on me only fear and slight nausea. The last time I wore lycra was eleven years ago at a swimming lesson, and I can only assume that a khaki lycra suit (honestly, look at the new Adidas Originals X Opening Ceremony collection) would be less than flattering, a bit like wearing one of those dreadful mud in cling film-type body wraps in public. Yes, we’re all very excited about the Olympics, but are spandex playsuits really necessary? Of course, you could always don the official clothing for London 2012: a nice fleece, a t-shirt, or a cap, all branded with the Olympic logo; however, it’s nearly as expensive as the designer attempts, though lacking their status. It may be perfect for sweeping the kitchen (curling), running for the bus (the 100 metres) and Boris biking (track cycling).




Listings: July–Nov 2012

Summer Exhibition 2012
Royal Academy of Arts, 04 – 12 August 2012
The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is the largest open contemporary art exhibition in the world, drawing together a wide range of new and recent work by established, unknown and emerging artists. The Summer Exhibition is a unique celebratory showcase for art of all styles and media, encompassing paintings, sculpture, photography, prints, architectural models, film, and artist’s books. Historically, the exhibition has also provided an opportunity for Royal Academicians, many of whom are internationally renowned, to show their work. 
  
Henry Moore ‘Late Large Forms’
Gagosian Gallery, 01 June – 18 August 2012 
Gagosian Gallery, in collaboration with The Henry Moore Foundation, present an exhibition of monumental sculptures by celebrated British sculptor Henry Moore. For the first time, some of these monumental works are to be presented within the gallery rather than outdoors, offering the chance for visitors to experience their forms in a radical new way.  It was Moore’s intention that these large- scale forms be interacted with, viewed close-up, and even touched. 
  
David Nash at Kew 
The Royal Botanic Gardens, 09 June 2012 – 14 April 2013
David Nash, one of the UK’s most prolific sculptors, will produce and exhibit his work across the Gardens. The exhibition will open to members of the public, with sculptures, installations, drawings and film in place throughout the Gardens, glasshouses, and exhibition spaces.  Nash will work at Kew on a ‘wood quarry’ – the first he will have done in ten years, creating new pieces for the exhibition using trees from the  Gardens that have come to the end of their natural life. 
  
BT Artbox Project
Throughout London, 18 June – 16 July 2012 
Leading artists and designers from around the world have been invited to apply their individual talents to re-style that much-loved icon of British design, the traditional red telephone box. Each artist or designer will take delivery of a full-size, fibre-glass replica of the Sir Giles Gilbert Scott-designed original K6 telephone kiosk, which was introduced in 1936 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the coronation of King George V. Participating artists include 2002 Turner prize winner Keith Tyson, Romero Britto and Royal Academician Professor of Sculpture David Mach, along with fashion designers Giles Deacon and Zandra Rhodes. 
  
Dickens and the Artists
Watts Gallery, 19 June – 28 October 2012 
Dickens and the Artists will explore the significant connection between Charles Dickens and visual art. Dickens was interested in both contemporary artists and the art of the old masters which he viewed and commented on in his tours of Europe. 
  
Superhuman & Image Awards
Wellcome Collection, Euston, 20 June – 16 October 2012 
Superhuman is an exhibition which examines the extraordinary lengths people go to in order to improve or enhance their performance. It will explore how human ability has been enhanced in the past; contemporary approaches to the subject and what those working at the forefront of human enhancement anticipate for the future. The Wellcome Image Awards 2012 are being held on the 20th June and will recognise the creators of the most informative, striking and technically excellent images acquired by the Wellcome Images picture library over the last 18 months, as chosen by a panel of judges. Free.
  
The Developing City Exhibition
The Walbrook Building, 21 June – 09 September 2012
The Developing City exhibition highlights the relationship between the architecture of the City of London and its success as one of the most important global trading centres. A headline, free entry, event of the London Festival of Architecture, this landmark public exhibition takes place at The Walbrook Building, designed by Foster + Partners and is organised by NLA – London’s Centre for the Built Environment in association with the City of London Corporation.
 
BP Portrait Award 2012
National Portrait Gallery, June 21 – 23 September 2012
The BP Portrait Award is the most prestigious portrait competition in the world, promoting the very best in contemporary portrait painting. With a first prize of £25,000, the exhibition has proved to be the launch pad for the careers of a number of successful portrait artists. Free.
  
Jamie’s Union Jacks 
Covent Garden, July 2012 
Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant is located in the market Building and will occupy 3,500 sq ft, over two floors in the North Hall of the Market Building. The ground-floor dining room will seat up to 108 guests around an open kitchen so that diners can watch the chefs at work whilst the lower level will be able to seat a further 50 diners. 
  
Shakespeare: Staging the World
British Museum, July 2012 
The British Museum’s exhibition, Shakespeare: Staging the World, will provide a unique insight into the emerging role of London as a world city around 1612 seen through the lens of Shakespeare’s plays. Maps, prints, drawings, paintings, tapestries, arms and armour, coins and much more will retell Shakespeare’s stories to London in 2012 – a time when the whole world will once again focus on this truly global city. 
  
Designing 007- Fifty Years of Bond Style
The Barbican, 05 July – 05 September 2012  
This summer the Barbican marks the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise, from 1962’s DR NO to this year’s SKYFALL, by creating an unique exhibition designed by Ab Rogers, curated by the Barbican and guest-curated by fashion historian Bronwyn Cosgrave and costume designer Lindy Hemming. With unprecedented access to EON’s archive, Designing 007 – Fifty Years of Bond Style is a multi-sensory experience where screen icons, costumes, production design, automobiles, gadgets, special effects, graphic design, exotic locations, weapons, stunts and props combine to immerse the audience in the creation and development of Bond style over its auspicious 50 year history. 
  
Foto8
Foto8 Gallery, 07 July – 18 August 2012
Seeking work that communicates strong stories that help us to see the world differently the 150 most powerful images from photographers professional and amateur around the globe are then brought together for the highly anticipated, and free, summer show in London. Celebrated ‘Fake Take’ artist/photographer Alison Jackson is one of the judges for 2012 who will select a ‘Best in Show’ winner who receives £2000. 
  
Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 
National Gallery, 11 July – 23 September 2012 
Titian 2012 brings together a group of specially commissioned works by contemporary artists, poets, choreographers and composers in response to three of Titian’s paintings – Diana and Actaeon, The Death of Actaeon and Diana and Callisto – all inspired by Ovid’s poem Metamorphoses. In celebration of this occasion, every member of the ballet’s company – over 100 dancers – will participate in the project. A special performance at the Royal Opera House on the 16th July will be simultaneously relayed to the public on a large screen in Trafalgar Square. In addition, the National Gallery has commissioned a group of well-known poets to explore Ovid’s text and Titian’s mythological paintings, and to respond with their own poems. 
  
Bob Hope: A World of Laughter
Greenwich Heritage Centre, 13 July – 28 October 2012
The Heritage Centre will be the third institution to host the touring Bob Hope exhibition which has been produced by the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum with the support of the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation. 

Tino Sehgal to create Turbine Hall commission for London 2012 Festival
Tate Modern, 17 July – 28 October 2012
Tino Sehgal has been commissioned to create a work for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall as part of London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. The artist’s new work is one of two projects which are part of the Cultural Olympiad, the other being the Tate Movie Project, supported by the Legacy Trust UK, BP and CBBC, the nationwide film animation project for children which will culminate in the production of a fully animated film. The Tino Sehgal 2012 commission is part of The Unilever Series.
  
Bob Marley – Messenger 
Mezzanine Gallery, 24 July – 24 October 2012 
Following a successful run at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, where it was on display for over three months, the exhibit will now be available to audiences from Britain and around Europe.  Visitors will witness Bob Marley as a private, spiritual man, as a powerful performer who used his lyrics to give a voice to the disenfranchised and as a legend who has inspired legions of fans in the years since his death. 
  
Designed to Win
Design Museum, 25 July- 18 November 2012 
An exhibition which celebrates the ways in which design and sport are combined, pushing the limits of human endeavour to achieve records and victories of increasing significance and wonder. From the design of F1 cars to running shoes, racing bikes to carbon fibre javelins, the quest for enhanced performance and function is endless. By examining celebrated sporting moments and the sense of shared celebration and spectacle, the exhibition will look at not just how design can influence sport but also how sport has influenced design, art and culture. 
  
Another London: International Photographers capture City life 1930- 1980 
Tate Britain, 27 July – 16 September 
Brings together some of the most celebrated names in international photography, from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Eve Arnold, with less familiar photographers to explore the distinctive ways in which they saw and represented this unique location. Tate Britain will show over 150 classic photographs that depict the city and its communities from the 1930s to 1980s by photographers for whom London was a foreign city. Another London shows the city as a dynamic metropolis, richly diverse and full of contrast.  

I’m THE STORY SALON
London’s most intimate literary venue. A night of readings, conversation and wine.  Featuring award-winning writers Alison McCleod, Will Cohu and Hazel Osmond, hosted by Cathy Galvin. Saturday August 25th 6-8pm The Society Club, 12 Ingestre Place, Soho, W1F OJF.  £5 door.  Contact:  [email protected]

The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games
The Royal Opera house 28 July – 12 August 2012 
BP, the Royal Opera House and The Olympic Museum in Lausanne have joined together to create a free exhibition telling the Olympic story through the endeavours of ancient and modern Olympians. It will include artefacts, animation, film and audio from The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. 
  
Designers in Residence & This is Design
Design Museum, 29 August 2012 – 27 January 2013
The programme includes a series of events, offering the designers the opportunity to interact and engage with the public, whilst using this platform as a test-bed for ideas, designs and innovations. Using key items from the collection, the display will also be supplemented with high-profile loans and new acquisitions.

WWT Events
London Wetland Centre, June – September 2012 
Summer events include meeting the otters, joining experts for a dragon fly, samselfly and stag beetle walk, discovering record breaking animals, studying bats, creating traditional crafts and joining wetland warden team for a day. 

Festivals

London 2012 Festival 
All 33 London boroughs, 21 June – 09 September 2012  
The Festival, announced by London 2012, is a 12-week celebration of the world’s best music, theatre, dance, visual art, literature, film and fashion. In London, an unparalleled programme of free events is being planned by the Mayor’s Office in partnership with artists and performers, across all 33 boroughs, to create an unforgettable experience for anyone in the city during the Festival. 
  
St Martin’s Courtyard, July – August 2012 
Two festivals will be held over the summer. Global Food festival (14 July) is a feast of food, fun and frolics as all six international restaurants host tastings, demonstrations, cookery workshops and more in the courtyard. Silent Cinema is a mini international film festival with screenings taking place in August. 
  
BBC Proms
Royal Albert Hall, 13 July – 08 September 2012
Widely regarded as the world’s largest music festival, the BBC Proms will be a major part of Festival 2012. It will feature new music, international orchestras and many of the world’s leading soloists and conductors and there will be a particular focus on young performers and a celebration of music associated with London this year. For more information visit www.bbc.co.uk/proms
  
Sail Royal Greenwich
Gravesend to Greenwich, 25 July 2012 
The Arrival Parade takes place on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 when an entire flotilla of around 20 Tall Ships will sail in convoy into London to inaugurate the spectacular maritime event Sail Royal Greenwich 2012. The all-inclusive catering package includes a reception with appetizers, canapés, drinks package and dinner while enjoying the stunning views from the ship’s decks. 
  
Camp in London & Eat festival
Camp London, 26 July – 13 August 2012 
Camp In London is a camping festival running from 26 July 2012 – 13 August 2012, for the duration of the Olympics. It will provide value for money with affordable, well-located camping complimented by sporting tournaments and an entertainment zone that will house a large outdoor screen, bar, stage and two feature festivals. Eat Festival from 1st – 5th August will feature some of the finest and most diverse offerings from the United Kingdom. Quality produce from organic farmers, cheese, wine and cider makers, bakers and curers, will be amongst the offerings. 
  
London Live Headliner 
Hyde Park,12 August 2012 
Blur have been announced as the headline act for the BT London Live Closing Ceremony Celebration Concert in Hyde Park, a unique concert celebrating the climax of the city’s celebrations for the London 2012 Olympic Games. C
  
Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill, 26 – 27 August 2012
The award winning and internationally renowned Annual London Carnival rooted in the Caribbean tradition is a series of linked events from July to August that culminate in the large event on the streets of Notting Hill on August Bank Holiday. F
  
Entertainment, theatre and film
  
Nomad
Various locations, June – September 2012 
The pop- up cinema will return to some of its favourite open-air venues with not only the best kit but also the best atmosphere. No matter where The Nomad appears, it will embrace and enhance each venue, offering new ways of seeing an uplifting range of films, from silver screen classics to cult, noir and silent, to mainstream guilty pleasures. 
  
Summer at the National Theatre 
National Theatre, June – October 2012 
The National theatre is presenting two very special performances. Timon of Athens: World Shakespeare Festival, directed by Nicholas Hytner, with Simon Russell Beale in the title role, will run from July – October 2012 and The Last of the Haussmans: a new play by Stephen Beresford, directed by Howard Davies will play at the Lyttelton Theatre from June to September. 
  
Get Into London Theatre  
21 June – 09 September 2012
The popular ticket promotion Get Into London Theatre is returning with booking now open for a wide choice of musicals, plays, dance and entertainment, with tickets priced from £10. With more than forty shows available there is something for everyone.  
 
The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, West Side Story
Royal Albert Hall, 22 – 24 June 2012  
To celebrate fifty years since West Side Story’s release, the film returns to the big screen in high definition. Experience this classic romantic tragedy dramatically brought to life on stage by The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by Jayce Ogren. 
  
River Tour Service 
Westminster to Greenwich pier, 27 July – 09 September 2012
City Cruises has been working with the Olympic Delivery Authority to deliver a river cruise to the Equestrian events held at Greenwich Park. London 2012 spectators travelling with City Cruises downstream to Greenwich Pier can choose to embark at Westminster, London Eye (Waterloo) or Tower piers. 

The Retreat – City Festival
The Brewery, 27 July – 12 August 2012 
Ticket holders to these events can enjoy six exclusive areas – including a private outdoor park, fully transferable membership, an unlimited section of fine food and drinks, vintage cinema and large screens for Olympic viewing and late night DJ performances in the club.

Antony’s Meltdown 
Southbank Centre, 01 – 12 August 2012 
Audiences get the chance to encounter the musicians, performers and thinkers who have helped shape the life and art of Antony, lead singer with Mercury Award-winning Antony and the Johnsons. Antony’s Meltdown is part of Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World.   

Theatre Kids Week 
Various theatres, 01 – 31 August 2012
Kids Week is introducing young people to live theatre. During Kids Week a child 16 and under can go free to any participating show when accompanied by an adult paying full price. Shows include The Wizard of Oz, Shrek the Musical, Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain and The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Kids Week also offers a fantastic range of free activities, workshops and events.

Shopping

The Big British Bang in Store Entertainment
Selfridges, various weeks during the Olympic and Paralympic Games
Selfridges will bring together under one roof (and across its four stores) some of the walking and talking symbols of British culture. Pearly Kings and Queens, Morris dancers and other colourful characters will all be mixing with customers as they go about their shopping, sharing with them stories about their eccentric lives lived in their relevant part of British history.

ME London Hotel Opens
ME Hotel Aldwych, July 2012 
High-end experience-based personality hotels, ME has announced the opening of their flagship hotel – ME London – situated in Aldwych, the heart of the city. ME is a new concept for hotels which has taken the belief that each hotel should respond to the cultural landscape of the city with which it engages. Design, international cuisine, the latest technology and cutting edge music all have an important role to play. 
  
Safestay
Elephant & Castle, July 2012 
Setting a new benchmark in safe, stylish and affordable accommodation in London, Safestay will open its first in a line of new contemporary hostels. With prices starting at £18 a night, the 74 room, 407-bed hostel will be based at John Smith House, close to Elephant & Castle underground station and many of Central London’s tourist attractions. 
  
A Taste of Noma 
Claridge’s, Mayfair, July 2012 
René Redzepi, head chef of Noma in Copenhagen (twice voted best restaurant in the world), joins forces with the Mayfair hotel this summer. For 10 days, Redzepi will be creating a five course menu at Claridge’s which will reflect his signature flavours and dishes from Noma, using local, seasonal British ingredients.   




Preview: London Literature Festival, 3-12 July 2012.

It’s a big year for London. There’s the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics, and it’s about to get bigger still with the sixth annual London Literature Festival (part of the Festival of the World). Get your love of lit ready for this summer from 3 to 12 July at the Southbank Centre.

This year’s festival presents Capital Stories, an evening celebrating the festival’s urban scene with works by Stella Duffy, Alexei Sayle, Iain Sinclair, and Oscar Zarate as they delve into the reality of London’s back alleys and unknown corners. London: One Year On will feature a panel discussing the impact of the London riots and how those events have changed the city.

Saul Williams

This talent rally will not only appeal to the young-at-heart but also to the actually young, as events will orbit around Shake the Dust, an all-weekend bash featuring the biggest youth poetry slam competition in the country. Come along to hear Saul Williams, high up there in the realm of the spoken word, and Kate Tempest, one of the UK’s top rap battlers who’s been spreading her rhythm all over the capital since the age of 16.

Finally, in conjunction with Africa Utopia, a month-long festival of music, film, theatre, dance, and fashion, the London Lit Fest hosts a plethora of writers and performers from Africa, highlighting both seasoned contributors and those just starting out in the literary world. Join the guaranteed crowds to hear Nuruddin FarahNoo Saro-Wiwa, and Chika Unigwe, as well as five authors shortlisted for the 2012 Caine Prize read from their works. Africa Utopia’s host, Babaa Maal, and poet Lemn Sissay will work together with a host of other writers and poets to create a performance sure to make Africa proud.

Siri Hustvedt

Other guests include Siri Hustvedt, Tony Harrison, John Pilger, Clive Stafford Smith, Andy Kershaw, Will Self, and Mark Haddon, as well as children’s authors Michael Morpurgo and Andy Stanton.

Don’t miss the chance to witness the artistic brilliance of some of the world’s top names in literary history. This is bound to be another sparkly gem in London 2012’s crown of events.

Click here for more information and to book online.




Poetry You Can Eat

Two poetry events you should try to catch at the Southbank this summer:

The Poetry Takeaway
26 June – 1 July 2012; 12:00-5:00 p.m. everyday
You won’t be getting any unappetizing pickled eggs and soggy chips doused in dubious sauces at this takeaway van. Instead, the Poetry Takeaway caters to those hungry for a good portion of high quality literature to dig into. You can receive a bespoke poem from one of the Poetry Chefs in just ten minutes or less in the form of a poetry performance, with a written copy presented in a takeaway box. The literary chefs include Tim Clare and Hannah Walker.

Eat Your Words, Edible Poetry
30 June 2012, 3:00 p.m.
If you are still feeling peckish for yummy literary treats then join poet and performance artist Talia Randall’s imaginative workshop. Randall wants people to remember that words are physical objects, not just symbols on a piece of paper. After all, love is often described as “delicious”, and the expression “eating you inside” is often used when someone receives bad news. At this stall you can create beautiful poetry with chocolate letters and edible ink pens, and then—best of all—eat it.

At the Festival Pier, Southbank, London SE1 8XZ.
southbankcentre.co.uk




Until 9 Sep: Afternoon Tea & Cocktails Inspired by The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Aslan apple and almond slice, Fluffy Lucy lemon tart, Peter and the Professor peach tiramisu, white raspberry witches hat, Brownie wardrobe to Narnia… If you were mesmerised by C. S. Lewis’ story of four siblings entering a strange wardrobe and into the magical and frosty landscape of Narnia, you will be delighted to know that the book has inspired an afternoon tea menu at the Park Terrace Restaurant of the Royal Garden Hotel in London, for both adults and children. It costs £22 per person, or £32-36.50 with a glass of Canard-Duchêne champagne. You can see the full menu here. A special children’s menu is also available.

You can complement the pastries and cakes with a selection of Narnian cocktails (from £6.50) such as “Snow Storm”, made from indulgent double cream, orgeat syrup and zingy citrus fruits, and “White Witch”, a mixture of lime, blueberries, sugar cane, blue curacao and vodka.

For special occasions (or not), you can even order a Narnia birthday cake with Aslan, a pastel-hued hat and the famous wardrobe on top (£30–£96 depending on size and choice of sponge or fruit).

The Royal Garden Hotel is the official hotel partner for the new production of C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe directed by Rupert Goold in Kensington Gardens this summer.

Until 9 September 2012. Weekends and School Holidays from 2:00–5:30pm only.
Call 020 7937 8000 or email [email protected] to book.
Royal Garden Hotel is at 2–24 Kensington High Street, London W8 4PT.




Listings: Summer 2012

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
May – September 2012
Celebrating its 80th Anniversary in 2012, the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has become a London landmark and a firm fixture of summer in the city. At 1,240 seats, it is one of London’s largest playhouses. With stage and auditorium completely uncovered, the weather adds a thrilling contribution to every performance, making each visit a truly unique experience. For more information of the individual productions visit www.openairtheatre.org

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Kensington Gardens, 8 May – 9 September 2012
A dazzling and dramatic retelling of C.S. Lewis’ classic The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe opens in the historic grounds of Kensington Gardens this summer. In a unique collaboration this major new production is adapted by award-winning director Rupert Goold; staged by threesixty, who gained international acclaim for their first production, Peter Pan, and directed by Rupert Goold and Michael Fentiman. Staged in the state of the art threesixty theatre tent, this visually stunning live production will use threesixty’s ground-breaking surround video and enchanting puppetry to bring to life the magic of Narnia in one of the world’s best-loved stories

Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist
The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, 4 May – 7 October 2012
The largest ever exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s studies of the human body will be shown at The Queen’s Gallery. Leonardo has long been recognised as one of the great artists of the Renaissance, but he was also a pioneer in the understanding of human anatomy. He intended to publish his ground-breaking work in a treatise on anatomy, and had he done so his discoveries would have transformed European knowledge of the subject. But on Leonardo’s death in 1519 the drawings remained a mass of undigested material among his private papers and their significance was effectively lost to the world for almost 400 years

Expressions of Movement
The Grove, 1 May – 30 September 2012
London’s country estate, The Grove is opening its gardens and grounds this summer to celebrate and champion one of the most exciting and dynamic art forms – sculpture. The curator, Virginia Grub has invited 24 sculptors and artists, to create pieces which are loosely inspired by 2012’s two great events: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. The result is an engaging and surprising collection of 57 pieces together titled Expressions of Movement. Come and interact with the sculptures whilst enjoying lunch or tea at the Grove. All sculptures and paintings on display will be available for sale.

Universe of Sound
23 May – 8 July 2012
A virtual Philharmonia Orchestra will take up residence at the Science Museum. An immersive digital installation will employ the latest digital and interactive technologies to reveal the inner workings of each orchestral section and invite the public to interact, create and explore. The project will include a live performance of The Planets, the commission of a new work to allow the audience to develop their own musical journey, and workshops

Dickens on the Thames: a literary boat trip
Boat tour with the Museum of London, 5 May 2012
Spend an afternoon boating down the Thames, discovering Dickens’ London and the river at its heart. From Festival Pier to Greenwich and back, experts Alex Werner and Tony Williams (co-authors of Dickens’s Victorian London) will uncover the key sights of the author’s life and works – from the blacking factory he worked in as a boy to the Limehouse pub in Our Mutual Friend.

London’s Pleasure Gardens
Pleasure Garden’s, June 2012
For 200 years Pleasure Gardens were central to London’s social life. Long before the festivals of today, they were places where people converged to meet, debate, listen to music, watch shows, admire paintings and walk and drink. LPG will recreate this festival atmosphere as an ever-evolving creative playground for both young and old alike.

Sol Melia’s ME, The Strand
Opening May 2012
The ME London (a sub brand of Spanish company – Meliá Hotels International) is a cutting-edge, cool and contemporary hotel designed by British architect, Sir Norman Foster. ME London is located next to Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square, in the district of Holborn. Upon opening, the hotel will comprise of 157 rooms and suites, including 17 suites and 1 ME Suite, 1 ground floor bar and 1 roof top terrace club/ bar with amazing views across London. The hotel will have 2 fantastic restaurants including an offering from hot, American Steakhouse STK. The property will combine the historic facade of Marconi House with a new Portland Stone building and will feature a rooftop bar with views of Somerset House and the Thames.

Gangster Tour of London
Various Locations, June 2012
The tour explores real life and film locations associated with London’s criminal underworld. Actor Stephen Marcus guides this tour around the infamous Kray twin’s stamping ground. Highlights of the tour include seeing the pub used in The Krays which is smashed up by the Maltese boys and the location where Vinnie Jones’s had his first day of filming for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.v

Southbank Centre Summer Festival
Southbank Centre, 01 June – 09 September 2012
Hundreds of international artists will converge on Southbank Centre this summer for its Festival of the World. Highlights from the UK include Bryn Terfel’s uplifting four-day celebration of Welsh heritage and culture; and Unlimited, the largest single program of commissions by disabled and deaf artists ever undertaken in this country. Installations by artists from around the world include the reopening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall roof garden and weekly food markets

The Royal Observatory Greenwich, June 2012
The summer activities explore the historic, scientific and cultural relevance of transits and of humanity’s quest to comprehend and measure the true size of the Universe. The June instalment of the thought-provoking Spacetalk series sees Dr Lewis Dartnell ask one of the biggest questions in the Universe: are we alone? The Across the Universe show continues in the newly refurbished Peter Harrison Planetarium, whilst the Measuring the Universe exhibition also runs throughout the month. The planetarium also screens Coral: Rekindling Venus by Australian artist Lynette Wallworth as part of the London 2012 Festival. A very different type of show for the planetarium, it is a unique example of digital contemporary art exploring the beauty and fragility of the world’s coral reefs

David Nash at Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, 09 June 2012 – 14 April 2013
David Nash, one of the UK’s most prolific sculptors, will produce and exhibit his work across the Gardens. The exhibition will open to members of the public, with sculptures, installations, drawings and film in place throughout the Gardens, glasshouses, and exhibition spaces. Nash will work at Kew on a ‘wood quarry’ – the first he will have done in ten years, creating new pieces for the exhibition using trees from the Gardens that have come to the end of their natural life.

Dickens and the Artists
Watts Gallery, 19 June – 28 October 2012
Dickens and the Artists will explore the significant connection between Charles Dickens and visual art. Dickens was interested in both contemporary artists and the art of the old masters which he viewed and commented on in his tours of Europe

BP Portrait Award 2012
National Portrait Gallery, June 21 – 23 September 2012
The BP Portrait Award is the most prestigious portrait competition in the world, promoting the very best in contemporary portrait painting. With a first prize of £25,000, the exhibition has proved to be the launch pad for the careers of a number of successful portrait artists

Another London: International Photographers capture City life 1930- 1980
Tate Britain, 27 July – 16 September
Brings together some of the most celebrated names in international photography, from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Eve Arnold, with less familiar photographers to explore the distinctive ways in which they saw and represented this unique location. Tate Britain will show over 150 classic photographs that depict the city and its communities from the 1930s to 1980s by photographers for whom London was a foreign city. Another London shows the city as a dynamic metropolis, richly diverse and full of contrast.

Open Garden Squares
200 communal gardens around London, 09 June – 10 June 2012
Open Garden Squares Weekend is held throughout London every June and organised by the London Parks and Gardens Trust, Around 200 communal gardens, many that are not usually open to the public, will be taking part ranging from the historic to the traditional through to roof gardens and allotments. Among the green spaces open especially for Open Garden Squares Weekend will be many of the much loved and popular gardens such as HMP Wormwood Scrubs; Eaton Square, Bonnington Square, Cable Street Community Gardens, The Regent’s Park Allotment Garden, The Royal College of Physicians’ Medicinal Garden, The Kensington Roof Gardens, Canons Park – George V Memorial Garden – which will be celebrating its 75th Anniversary and the National Trust’s Carlyle’s House.

Celebrate the City
London, 21 June – 24 June 2012
Over the course of four very special days, thousands of people will be given the keys to the City of London, as the Square Mile opens its doors to reveal many of its secrets and treasures – it’s a unique opportunity to find out why it’s not as square as you might think! Events will include glittering exhibitions, City walks and talks, Livery Hall openings, family entertainment at the Cheapside Fayre, activities at the Barbican Centre and Museum of London, and music in the City’s churches. Play some tunes on one of the golden street pianos that will mark the opening of the 50th anniversary of the City of London Festival or take part in the Midsummer street party at the climax of Spitalfields Music Summer Festival.

London 2012 Festival
All 33 London boroughs, 21 June – 09 September 2012
The Festival, announced by London 2012, is a 12-week celebration of the world’s best music, theatre, dance, visual art, literature, film and fashion. In London, an unparalleled programme of free events is being planned by the Mayor’s Office in partnership with artists and performers, across all 33 boroughs, to create an unforgettable experience for anyone in the city during the Festival

Poetry Parnassus
Southbank Centre, 26 June – 02 July 2012
Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus is set to be the largest poetry festival ever staged in the UK, bringing together a poet from each of the competing Olympic nations. 205 poets will come to Southbank Centre and tour the UK for a week-long celebratory gathering which will include, readings, workshops and a final gala event with all the poets

London’s Pleasure Gardens
Pleasure Garden’s, June 2012
For 200 years Pleasure Gardens were central to London’s social life. Long before the festivals of today, they were places where people converged to meet, debate, listen to music, watch shows, admire paintings and walk and drink. LPG will recreate this festival atmosphere as an ever-evolving creative playground for both young and old alike.

Nomad
Various locations, June – September 2012
The pop- up cinema will return to some of its favourite open-air venues with not only the best kit but also the best atmosphere. No matter where The Nomad appears, it will embrace and enhance each venue, offering new ways of seeing an uplifting range of films, from silver screen classics to cult, noir and silent, to mainstream guilty pleasures

Summer of Love
Generator Hostel London, 08 June – 08 July 2012
Generator Hostel London will transform its social spaces into a pop up park with grass, deck chairs and sun loungers. City sightseers can enjoy a homemade smoothie on the inside green of Generator Hostel London, while relaxing from the hustle and bustle of the day’s activities. In addition, the famous Generator Bar will be transformed into an International Sports Bar during the summer.

Summer at the National Theatre
National Theatre, June – October 2012
The National theatre is presenting two very special performances. Timon of Athens: World Shakespeare Festival, directed by Nicholas Hytner, with Simon Russell Beale in the title role, will run from July – October 2012 and The Last of the Haussmans: a new play by Stephen Beresford, directed by Howard Davies will play at the Lyttelton Theatre from June to September

City of London Festival 50th Anniversary
Various locations, 24 June – 27 July 2012
City of London Festival, is celebrating 50 years in dramatic fashion with over 100 performances over 34 days in over 55 spectacular London venues. The Festival’s theme, City of London – Trading Places with the World will be brought to life in the City’s most iconic and historical spaces. Each event and performance acts as a new instalment in the story of the City taking the audience on journey that connects back to London’s heart.

Barbican Hall Upcoming Shows and Collaborations
Barbican Hall / Village Underground, 22 June – 05 July 2012
The Barbican Hall has announced four exciting new shows as part of its contemporary music summer season. The events are as follows: Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras meet The Congos, Van Dyke parks with Briten Sinfonia and special guests Robin Pecknold and Daniel Rossen, Paul Heaton’s The 8th and Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: World Cities 2012.




Preview: Words in the Park, 18-20 May 2012.

Dates: Friday 18 – Sunday 20 May 2012, from 11 a.m.
Venue: Opera Holland Park, London, W8 6LU
Tickets: Individual passes £12, day passes £50.

Buy online at www.operahollandpark.com, or call 0300 999 1000.

The full programme is available here.
Follow on: Facebook / Twitter

Ways With Words has been running festivals of words and ideas for over 20 years across the UK in Devon, Suffolk, Cumbria, and in Italy and France. This May, it will bring to London a new three-day literary celebration under the canopy of Opera Holland Park. Some of the UK’s finest writers and journalists are set to appear at the festival alongside broadcasters, historians, philosophers, fashion and design icons, foodies, actors and politicians.

Festival goers can hear crime veteran P.D. James in conversation with friend and fellow writer Penelope Lively, laugh at the hilarious life observations of actress Maureen Lipman, join John McCarthy on a journey into the complex Middle East as he discusses his travels in Palestine with Sandi Toksvig, be inspired as A.S. Byatt looks back on her best-loved novels with Culture Editor of the New Statesman Jonathan Derbyshire, and revel in the foodie tales of Sophie Dahl and Mary McCartney, who will be launching her debut cook book, Food. Political legend Tony Benn will speak with young author and agitator Owen Jones, and Chinese writer Jung Chang with critic Maya Jaggi, reflecting on China in the 21 years since the publication of her epic family memoir Wild Swans.

The Britain of yesterday, today and tomorrow will also be scrutinised by some of our sharpest and most renowned minds. Delving into history, Jeremy Paxman will investigate the effect of the British empire on our lives and Andrew Marr will discuss the astonishing reign of Elizabeth II as Jubilee fever mounts. Questioning the society in which we live, Evan Davis will shine a light on our current economic state, while politician and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow will discuss why democracy matters and parliament’s role in the 21st century, with author and political professor Matthew Flinders.

The changing face of the modern world and technology will be explored by a panel of high profile speakers in our Google keynote debate, including author, journalist and free speech campaigner John Kampfner, technology activist and ex-WikiLeaker, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Channel 4 News international editor, Lindsey Hilsum, and author and journalist Nick Cohen, debating the role of the internet in breaking down the barriers of establishment.

For audiences looking for comedy and controversy, A.A. Gill speaks with the comedian Jimmy Carr about his travels around the world, in what promises to be a lively event from two infamously acerbic wits.

And then philosophy: atheist Alain de Botton will argue why even the non-believer can learn from religion, television presenter and historian Bettany Hughes will explain how Socrates can help us live the good life, and Gavin Pretor-Pinney, the bestselling author of The Cloudspotter’s Guide and The Wave-Watcher’s Companion, will encourage us to spend more time looking skywards.

The festival will also offer audiences the chance to meet fellow literary enthusiasts, wander the beautiful park, enjoy excellent food and wine, browse the festival bookshop and meet the authors at book signings.

See you there!




Listings: Apr 2012

Attractions

The Cutty Sark reopens Spring 2012
The last and most famous tea-clipper, which broke all records for speed in 1885, closed to the public on 5 November 2006 in order to start work on the planned conservation programme. It is due to reopen with improved displays and access in Spring 2012.

Blue Badge Olympic Marathon Walk Launches 21 April 2012
Book your place on a new walking tour highlighting the route of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Marathon, the perfect tour for those planning to watch the London Marathon the next day. This is not the full 26 miles 385 yards, just a nine kilometre stroll taken during the course of a day and with a break for lunch. You will learn why marathons are always that particular distance, and the clue lies in the London Games of 1908. You’ll hear tales of the competitor who covered part of the course by carriage and of runners who were plied with champagne and brandy during the competition. Your Blue Badge Tourist Guide will help you pick the best spots from which to view this free event.

Camden Crawl 4 to 6th May, 2012 in pubs around Camden
As spring closes in, the annual May Bank Holiday Camden Crawl music marathon nears the completion of its 2012 line up. Litro will be in residence as the curators of the literary stage. The variety of highlights from this year’s event continues to mount up with the welcome return of Micachu & The Shapes to the live arena, a debut Crawl appearance by Turner Prize winning artist Martin Creed and his band, the groundbreaking dance floor highs from Rustie and the return of Veronica Fall’s alt pop brilliance and the sassy street smart grime of East London’s Mz Bratt. These sparkling gems are but a few of the following new additions just announced to appear at the North London festival. In traditional Camden Crawl form, major special guests will be revealed shortly prior to the event.

6th Annual Edition of London Burlesque Festival May 7-13 
Chaz Royal & Secrets in Lace Present, In the spirit of Litro‘s very own Katy Darby’s Whore’s Asylum, comes the WORLD BURLESQUE GAMES 2012. Presenting Sponsor SECRETS IN LACE www.secretsinlace.com. The World Burlesque Games 2012 Appears at various locations: www.worldburlesquegames.com. After the overwhelming sold-out success of London Burlesque Festival ’07-09, and the rebranding to London Burlesque Week in 2010-2011, SECRETS IN LACE (the world’s premier supplier of vintage inspired stockings and lingerie) partners up with veteran producer CHAZ ROYAL to present the greatest showcase and competition of international burlesque and variety talent, World Burlesque Games 2012. The biggest and best International Burlesque Festival, with 100 of the world’s top performers.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 22 – 26 May, Royal Chelsea Hospital
Gardens have been a great love of the world’s biggest writers, including Shakespeare, Goethe and the ancient Ovid. Come and get inspired at the greatest flower show in the world at London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea at Chelsea Flower Show, London. Every year the grounds of the Royal Hospital are transformed into show gardens, inspirational small gardens and vibrant horticultural displays that make up the world’s most famous flower show. The Chelsea Flower Show is attended by 157,000 visitors each year. The number is limited by the capacity of the 11-acre ground so tickets must be purchased in advance.

Exhibitions

Palaces
Science Museum, 2 April – 28 July 2012
Palaces is a participatory artwork made from thousands of milk teeth donated by children around the UK. Standing two metres high, the sculpture resembles a coral castle under water. Designed by artist Gina Czarnecki, the aim of the project is to raise questions about consent and the reuse of human tissues in medical research, as well as to draw attention to sources of stem cells in the body.

The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned
Hampton Court Palace, 5 April – 30 September 2012
This major new exhibition will shine a light on the decadence of the Baroque court at Hampton Court Palace. Exploring the hedonistic world of the royal court during the reigns of Charles II, James II, William III, Mary III and Anne (1660-1714), the exhibition will introduce visitors to the monarchs, courtiers and courtesans who illuminated Hampton Court in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

World Shakespeare Festival
Various London locations, 23 April – 9 September 2012

The World Shakespeare Festival, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, will run from 23 April to 9 September 2012, celebrating how the world performs, teaches and engages with Shakespeare, and will form part of the London 2012 Festival. In collaboration with many partners, including the Roundhouse, the Barbican, the National Theatre, and the BBC, we will welcome the world and celebrate Shakespeare as the world’s playwright, showcasing the best of UK and international creative talent, exploring Shakespeare’s place in the lives of young people and harnessing the energy and creativity of emerging artists and amateur companies.

Globe to Globe
Shakespeare’s Globe, 23 April – 9 June 2012

For the first time, 37 international companies present all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 37 different languages in a kaleidoscopic, six week festival starting on Shakespeare’s birthday. An opening weekend of celebrations includes an adaptation of Venus and Adonis by the Isango Ensemble from South Africa, a public open day at the Globe to celebrate Shakespeare and the worlds’ languages, and Ngākau Toa’s Troilus and Cressida beginning the festival with a haka. Globe to Globe is part of the World Shakespeare Festival and the Cultural Olympiad 2012.

The Botanical Afternoon Tea
InterContinental London Park Lane, from 1 April 2012

Celebrating its location overlooking the iconic Royal Parks, The Wellington Lounge at InterContinental London Park Lane is introducing The Botanical Afternoon Tea, which mixes peels, berries and herbaceous botanicals for a sensory experience. The Botanical Tea presents a contemporary twist on tradition and begins with a botanical pear drop that gently bursts in the mouth. Open-face sandwiches follow with nettle marinated asparagus rolled in sirloin of beef; and Scottish lobster and shrimp with caviar and fresh dill. Warm citrus peel scones are served with quince preserve and clotted cream along with a selection of stunning desserts. The tea is paired with a specially created gin-based cocktail from The Arch Bar, or a choice from The Wellington Lounge’s bespoke tea menu.

Russie Blanche at K Spa
K West Hotel, from April 2012

K Spa will launch Russie Blanche as its newest product and treatment range, and will be the first spa in the UK to offer Russie Blanche treatments. Russie Blanche was developed by former Miss USSR and fashion model Julia Lemigova. The new treatments will combine the traditions of a Russian “Banïya” with French refinement and know-how, plus all products are formulated using anti-stress Russian plants and 100% pure, natural essential oils. K Spa’s hot areas and Snow Paradise reflect accurately the ancient therapies and remedies performed in Russia.

Dickens on the Thames: a literary boat trip
Boat tour with the Museum of London, 5 May 2012

Spend an afternoon boating down the Thames, discovering Dickens’ London and the river at its heart. From Festival Pier to Greenwich and back, experts Alex Werner and Tony Williams (co-authors of Dickens’s Victorian London) will uncover the key sights of the author’s life and works – from the blacking factory he worked in as a boy to the Limehouse pub in Our Mutual Friend.

The Garden of Edible and Useful Plants
Chelsea Physic Garden, opening 23 May 2012

London’s oldest botanical garden is creating an inspiring new half-acre garden. The Garden of Edible and Useful Plants will display an extraordinary range of plant species on which humanity depends; from forest fruits and land restoration plants to super foods and plants used for hygiene, science and the arts. The new garden will showcase a diverse collection of productive and functional plants, incorporating both the beautiful and bizarre. Exciting new features include a compact vineyard, a living plant amphitheatre and a stone pier to view Robert Fortune’s tank pond.

Universe of Sound
23 May – 8 July 2012

A virtual Philharmonia Orchestra will take up residence at the Science Museum. An immersive digital installation will employ the latest digital and interactive technologies to reveal the inner workings of each orchestral section and invite the public to interact, create and explore. The project will include a live performance of The Planets, the commission of a new work to allow the audience to develop their own musical journey.

Build the Truce
Imperial War Museum, May – October 2012
At the first Olympic Games in 776BC an ‘Olympic truce’ was created in order to enable athletes from Greece’s warring cities to travel and compete in safety. Reinstated at the 1992 Games, the Olympic Truce continues to exist today. In 2009, IWM launched Build the Truce, a learning initiative which works with organisations and schools to explore the concepts of truce and conflict resolution. The intimate and interactive Build the Truce display at IWM London will bring the themes and discussion explored through this project to life. Visitors will be able to explore the concept of truce, from notions about the inevitability of war, through to truce as a method of conflict resolution.

Expressions of Movement
The Grove, 1 May – 30 September 2012

London’s country estate, The Grove is opening its gardens and grounds this summer to celebrate and champion one of the most exciting and dynamic art forms – sculpture. The curator, Virginia Grub has invited 24 sculptors and artists, to create pieces which are loosely inspired by 2012’s two great events: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. The result is an engaging and surprising collection of 57 pieces together titled Expressions of Movement. Come and interact with the sculptures whilst enjoying lunch or tea at the Grove. All sculptures and paintings on display will be available for sale.

Bauhaus: Art as Life
Barbican, 3 May – 12 August 2012

Exploring the world’s most famous modern art and design school, Bauhaus: Art as Life is the biggest Bauhaus exhibition in the UK in over 40 years. From its avant-garde arts and crafts beginnings the Bauhaus shifted towards a more radical model of learning uniting art and technology. A driving force behind Modernism, it further sought to change society in the aftermath of World War 1, to find a new way of living. This major new Barbican Art Gallery show presents the pioneering and diverse artistic production that makes up the school’s turbulent fourteen-year history from 1919 to 1933 and delves into the subjects at the heart of the Bauhaus – art, design, people, society and culture. For more information contact Ann Bern




Listings: Feb 2012

February: it's not just the season where we remember lost loves and new ones, but a chance to embrace a whole array of fantastic literary-inspired events, from Gothic dinners to getting lost in a pleasure garden. From festivals run by children to a new exhibition where all innocence is lost by one of the most controversial artists of all time.

Tropical Extravaganza Festival, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 4 February – 4 March 2012

Celebrate all things bright, beautiful and tropical at the Tropical Extravaganza Festival, where exotic orchids, tropical flowers and foliage displays will dominate the Princess of Wales Conservatory. The theme for this year’s festival is Forces of Nature, and how plants and fungi interact with the four forces of nature – earth, fire, wind, and water. Throughout the festival, there will be volunteer guides in the conservatory who will be on hand to answer questions on the displays and Kew’s global work.

The Barbican, 16 – 18 February 2012

In the first half of 2012, two of the Barbican’s International Associate ensembles come to the Centre for residencies: the New York Philharmonic’s first residency takes place in February 2012, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam’s first residency follows in April-May 2012. These residencies involve symphonic and chamber music concerts, family events, new commissions, and educational and outreach work. They also allow the Barbican to take the music programme directly to communities in East London.

Ongoing, She Stoops to Conquer @ The Olivier Theatre, National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX. 7:30pm daily. Tickets from £5

One of the great, generous-hearted and ingenious comedies of the English language, Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer offers a celebration of chaos, courtship and the dysfunctional family. A brilliant new production of a classic play. For more information, visit nationaltheatre.org.uk/68378/productions/she-stoops-to-conquer.

10th February, Dickens’ London: Bermondsey in Dickensian Literature @ Woolfson & Tay Bookshop & Gallery, Cafe, Gallery 12 Bermondsey Square, London SE1 3UN. 7pm. Tickets £5

Dickens was drawn to the character of London itself, all aspects of the capital from the coaching inns of his early years to the taverns and watermen of the Thames. Peter Clark has written a new book based on Dickens’’obsession with space and place. Focusing on five walks through central London, Clark illuminates the settings of Dickens’s greatest works, his life, his journalism and his fiction at the Woolfson and Tay Bookshop, a vibrant venue which has been shortlisted for Best Independent Bookshop of the Year. To book, visit woolfsonandtay.com/peterclark or ring 0207 407 9316.

10th February onwards, Drawings @ Paradise Row Gallery, 74a Newman Street, London W1T 3DB. 7pm-9pm daily. Free

Drawings is a group show based on the idea of drawing, drafting and illustrating stories. The show includes works on paper, moving image, photographic prints and light works by Diann Bauer, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Shezad Dawood, Margarita Gluzberg, Kirk Palmer, Guillaume Paris, Barry Reigate and Douglas White. For further information on the exhibition, visit paradiserow.com/exhibitions/67/overview.

Pleasure Garden Ball, Museum of London, 14 February 2012

Make a date for this night of dancing, drinking and decadence as the Museum of London recreates Georgian London’s quintessential pastime – dancing the night away in the pleasure garden – with a flirty Valentine’s twist. Learn to dance with an 18th-century girl band, hear saucy poetry by Write Queer London, discover fashion dandy-style, and design and wear your own alluring masquerade mask.

Imagine, Southbank Centre, 11 – 26 February 2012

With over 50 ticketed and free events over two weeks, including concerts, plays, comedy and appearances by many of the UK’s finest children’s authors, it will be the biggest Imagine festival yet. For six days, between 13 – 19 February, children take over the running of Southbank Centre, from managing the cloakroom to selling programmes and making sure shows start on time. Festival themes include a celebration of Roald Dahl and an exploration of children in care in literature. Imagine truly takes over every corner of Southbank Centre, from the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of The Jungle Book in the Royal Festival Hall and an audience with the legendary Jacqueline Wilson to intimate, one-on-one performances of The Incredible Book Eating Boy.

16th February, Kate Williams in Conversation with Suzie Feay @ The Gallery at Foyles, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB. 6:30pm-7:30pm. Tickets are free, but need to be reserved by emailing [email protected]

Historian Kate Williams, author of England’s Mistress and Becoming Queenapplies her expertise in the Victorian era to her scintillating first novel, The Pleasures of Men. Kate will be in conversation with Suzi Feay, literary journalist and blogger, as they discuss the challenges of turning from fact to fiction and the enduring literary appeal of the slums, smogs and scoundrels of 19th century London. For details visit foyles.co.uk.

Fancy Dress Carnival, Bavarian Beerhouse, 18 February 2012

To bring the carnival spirit to London, Bavarian Beerhouse is organising a traditional carnival fancy dress party, featuring imaginative outfits, a DJ, dancing and a general atmosphere of boisterous fun. Fancy dress is a big part of the carnival in Cologne – every year, the city parade attracts millions of guests who celebrate and dance in the streets. In true Carnival spirit, guests at the Bavarian Beerhouse will be encouraged to dress as outrageously as possible for the night. Whether you’re a pirate, a cowboy or a little devil, all fancy dress will be welcome.

Picasso and Modern British Art, Tate Britain, 15 February – 15 July 2012

In February 2012 Tate Britain will stage the first exhibition to explore Pablo Picasso’s lifelong connections with Britain. The exhibition will examine Picasso’s evolving critical reputation here and British artists’ responses to his work. The exhibition will explore Picasso’s rise in Britain as a figure of both controversy and celebrity, tracing the ways in which his work was exhibited and collected here during his lifetime, and demonstrating that the British engagement with Picasso and his art was much deeper and more varied than generally has been appreciated.

23rd February, Literary Supper with Simon Callow: Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World  @ St Pancras Grand Brasserie, Upper Concourse, St Pancras International Station, London N1C 4QL. 6:30pm-10pm. Tickets are £40, including a three-course meal and a welcome drink

In association with the Museum of London, this is Foyles’ first literary supper of 2012. As London celebrates the Dickens bicentenary, beloved actor, director and writer Simon Callow will discuss his biography of the literary legend. In discussion with the Museum of London’s curator Alex Werner, Callow will look at Dickens’ life through the lens of the theatre, reflecting on the importance of the stage for such a master storyteller. To reserve for this event please call 0207 870 9900 or email [email protected]. For more information visit foyles.co.uk.

25th February, Dickens Day @ Foyles, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB. 10:30am-5pm. Tickets £10, concessions £8

A host of celebrated writers including Deborah Moggach, David Kynaston, Sarah Wise, Alex Werner, Sarah Phelps (who wrote the recent BBC screenplay for Great Expectations) and Michael Rosen will discuss all things Dickens in honour of the centenary of the great man’s birth. The day will also include an ‘I Never Knew That About Dickens’ quiz, hosted by Christopher Winn, and all ticket holders will receive a goody bag with a free Vintage Classics book. For more information, visit foyles.co.uk.

28th February, Double Dutch Festival @ The Serpentine Bar and Kitchen, Hyde Park 10:30am-6pm and The Kensington Gore Hotel, 6pm onwards. Free

In partnership with the Dutch Embassy, Litro presents the first event in our 2012 Litro Live! Season, a free day & evening festival in celebration of the Netherlands and the impact it has on the world through literature, sports and the arts. Guest speakers include David Winner (journalist and author of Brilliant Orange), Simon Kuper of the Financial Times, Ramsy Nasr, award winning writer Abdelkader Benali, novelist Sanneke van Hassel, award winning Flemish writer Chika Unigwe and writer and comedian Ben Moor. For more information, visit litro.co.uk.

14th – 18th March, Rozalie Hirs at StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival

StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival (14-18 March 2012),  ), famous for celebrating poetry in all its forms, welcomes Dutch poet and composer Rozalie Hirs her music has been described by one critic as having “a hint of hard-hitting Dutch Minimalism”. Over 60 poets will be taking StAnza, including Kathleen Jamie, Jackie Kay, Christopher Reid, Matthew Hollis, Lavinia Greenlaw, Michael Symmons Roberts, Joe Dunthorne, plus poets from the USA, Macedonia, Sweden, Poland, South Africa and Palestine. Tickets are now on sale. For programme and booking details visit our website.

Compiled by Alex James and Robin Stevens




Words Words Words at Selfridges

The pop-up library in Selfridges

The seriously stylish department store, Selfridges, has opened their very own pop-up library until March 1st. The 15,000-book library set up in the UltraLounge space in the basement area of Selfridges Oxford Street was curated by publishers Faber, Penguin, Tashen and Thames & Hudson. It aims to promote the beauty and power of the written word, and to reinforce the importance of libraries at a time when many libraries are being threatened by cuts and closures. Shopaholics can enjoy handwriting analysis sessions, storytelling workshops, Penguin Classics book clubs, audio books, reading material on iPads and a game of Scrabble on interactive screens. Plenty of celebrities are also joining in the celebration, such as Sophie Dahl and Thandie Newton, sharing their most treasured reads with the public.




Listings: Dec 2011

December is a month of celebration. There are feasts and festivities wherever you turn, and our December issue is all about giving in to the temptation of food. In December’s Litro Listings we bring you the best and brightest of all the weird and wonderful events that a London Christmas has to offer – without leaving your wallet in too much pain.

Ongoing, Christmas Market @ South Bank Centre, Queensway. Daily 11am – 8pm (10am – 10pm weekends). FREE

Enjoy a traditional German Christmas market on the banks of the Thames – shop for presents and Christmas ornaments, ride the carousel, enjoy some Gluhwein or just see the sights! For more information visit christmasmarkets.com/UK/london-southbank-christmas-market.

Ongoing, Howl’s Moving Castle @ Southwark Playhouse, Shipwright Yard SE1 2TF. 7:30pm Monday – Saturday, Tickets £16/ £14 concessions

Southwark Playhouse’s Christmas show looks like a real treat – a magical stage adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’s fantastic children’s novel. Fusing live action and pioneering projection and featuring the ever-brilliant Stephen Fry as the voice of the Narrator, it’s a cut above most Christmas family fare. For information and tickets visit southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/the-vault/howls-moving-castle.

Ongoing, Underground Film Club @ The Dorman Hub, Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road NW1 8EH. Five nights a week, adult tickets £9.90

The team behind Rooftop Film Club strike again to bring you a film experience that’s distinctly above the average. Watch cult classics on the big screen from comfy seats with the added bonus of wireless headphones. A classy and below-the-radar night out. For this week’s listings see undergroundfilmclub.com.

Ongoing, Skating @ Somerset House, The Strand. Daily, tickets from £7.50

Christmas in London wouldn’t be complete without ice skating, and there’s nowhere better to do it than in the glorious Somerset House courtyard under a rather fancy Tiffany’s tree. Skating’s open from 10am each day – or, if you’re brave enough to hit the ice after a drink or two, there are club nights that run from 8 to 11:30pm. For more information visit somersethouse.org.uk/ice-rink or somersethouse.org.uk/ice-rink/club-nights.

Ongoing, Cinderella @ The Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, E8 1EJ. Six days a week, tickets from £9.50

Enjoy the glitter and kitsch of panto with the cream of this year’s crop. Expect Ugly Sisters, pumpkins, Dames and very vocal mice. For more information and tickets visit hackneyempire.co.uk/cinderella.

2nd December onwards, A Rake’s Progress Revisited @ Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP. Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm (closed 24th-27th). FREE

Sir John Soane’s Museum is one of London’s maddest and most marvellous sights, and this exhibition, a selection of Henry Hudson’s grand scale reinventions in plasticine of William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress sketches promises to be just as strange and delightful as its venue. For exhibition details and information about the museum visit soane.org/exhibitions.

3rd December, The Great Christmas Pudding Race @ Covent Garden. 11am-1pm. FREE

Fancy something a bit different to start off your December? It doesn’t get weirder and more wonderful than the Great Christmas Pudding Race, in aid of Cancer Research UK. Watch people in fancy dress fighting their way through a foam-spattered obstacle course while carrying Christmas puddings. You might spot a celebrity or two and you’ll certainly have a good time. Don’t forget to donate. See: xmaspuddingrace.org.uk.

3rd and 4th December, The East London Design Show @ Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street EC1V 9LT. 10am – 6pm. Admissions £5/ Concessions £3

Get your Christmas shopping done early at the fantastic East London Design Show. Over 100 homeware, jewellery and product designers will be showcasing their affordable and creative pieces all weekend for you to browse at your leisure. More information at eastlondondesignshow.co.uk.

3rd December onwards, Noises Off @ The Old Vic SE1 8NB. 7:30pm nightly except Sundays. Prices vary, but 100 £12 under-25s tickets are available for each performance

Want to have some fun at the theatre but think you’re too old for pantomime? This might be the show for you. Michael Frayn’s brilliant play-within-a-play is side-splittingly farcical, and this production (as you’d expect from the Old Vic) features some of the best British talent around, including Celia Imrie and Jamie Glenister. Should be one of the theatrical highlights of December. For information and to book tickets visit www.oldvictheatre.com/whatson.

4th December, Glogg & Art @ Debut Contemporary Gallery, 82 Westbourne Grove W2 5RT. 12pm-4pm. FREE

View artwork by Swedish artists Agnetha Sjögren and Manuela Vintilescu while you celebrate a traditional 2nd Advent with Swedish Glögg and ginger cookies. Bring friends and family and have a look at their fun limited Christmas edition of prints and a Christmas Hamper which includes a free bottle of Champagne. The Debut Contemporary website is at saloncontemporary.com.

5th to 22nd December, Carols for a Good Cause @ Trafalgar Square. FREE.

Trafalgar Square at night is a spectacle in itself, and with the addition of Christmas lights, a 25 foot tree courtesy of the Norwegian people and beautiful carols from some of London’s best choral groups the result is almost disgustingly festive. Sure to get you in the Christmas spirit, and it’s for a good cause. For details see london.gov.uk/carol-singing.

Saturdays until Christmas, Venn Street Market @ Venn Street, SW4. 10am-4pm. FREE

Get into the festive spirit with this open-air market near Clapham Common. An ideal place to shop for gloriously luxurious Christmas foodstuffs, from biodynamic turkeys from Jacob’s Ladder Farm to giant mince pies from Saint of Sugar. facebook.com/pages/VENN-STREET-MARKET/194850213498

7th December, Camden Crawl Christmas Party from 6pm, Beginning @The Star of Kings, York Way N1 0AX. FREE

The Camden Crawl presents an all-night extravaganza of festive fun. Beginning with the Moshi Moshi Pub Quiz (6.45pm) and featuring Engine Earz Experiment, top notch comedians Dan Antopolski and Tiernan Douieb, with Urban Nerds DJs taking it through until midnight. And, of course, it’s all for free! Event page at facebook.com/events/234109993321620.

7th December, The Complete Beethoven @ The Forge & Caponata, 3-7 Delancey Street NW1 7NL. Doors 6:15pm. Tickets £10/ Concessions £8

A feast for the ears as well as the stomach! Enjoy delicious Italian food at Caponata restaurant before you go on to hear beautiful Beethoven sonatas at The Forge, one of London’s most exciting small music venues. This is the third concert in a major series of eight that will feature all 35 piano sonatas composed by the great master of sonata form and three early works never before performed in a Beethoven cycle. For more information visit forgevenue.org.

Friday 9th December, The Future Now @ Egg, 200 York Way N7 9AX. 10pm-6am. £10 B4 £12.30, £15 after; NUS free before 11pm, £7 B4 12.30, £10 after

The Future Now returns for another forward-thinking night at Egg on Friday December 9th with headliner Hannah Holland joining cutting edge talents Dexter Kane and Palace (who will be launching new single ‘Mandy/Armageddon’). Expect the best with rooms offering indie, dance, electro, UkFunky, Garage, House, Dubstep and music so fresh it hasn’t even had time to get labelled yet. Info at egglondon.net and thefuturenow.info.

From 9th December onwards, Dickens and London Exhibition @ Museum of London, Barbican. Monday to Sunday, 10am-6pm (closed 24th-26th), Adults £8/Concs £6 (£7/£5 advance booking)

Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens in the first major UK exhibition for over 40 years. Follow in the great man’s footsteps as you explore the relationship between Dickens and London, the city that he described as his ‘magic lantern’. Highlights include original manuscripts, paintings, photographs and even the desk and chair in which Dickens wrote many of his novels. museumoflondon.org.uk

10th December, Amnesty International’s Write for Rights @ Your desk. FREE

Don’t just give Christmas presents to your family. This month, Amnesty is asking you to go back to a simpler time, pick up a pen and paper and take five minutes to make a real difference to the life of a political prisoner. Find out more and pledge to take part at amnesty.org.uk.

10th and 11th December, Ponti’s Italian Food Christmas Market @ Ponti’s Restaurant, Oxford Circus W1G 0JN. 9-6 Saturday and 10-6 Sunday. FREE

In celebration of the festive season, Ponti’s Italian Kitchen are very proud to be able to bring you Oxford Circus’s first Italian Christmas Food Market. With Amaretto, biscotti, Panettone, chocolates, ice-cream, pasta, Lavazza coffee, fine wines and much more on offer, and freshly made pastries to enjoy while you browse, you’ll be in foodie heaven. Event details can be found at facebook.com/events/288789951160202/.

19th to 21st December, Late Night Shopping @ Foyle’s Bookshop, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0EB. 6pm – 10pm. FREE

Finish off your Christmas shopping in style at Foyles’ flagship Charing Cross store. Enjoy mulled wine and mince pies as you browse the fabulous selection of books on offer. For more information visit foyles.co.uk.

Events compiled by Alex James and Robin Stevens




George Condo Short Story Competition

“The Psychoanalytic Puppeteer Losing His Mind” by George Condo

There is no shortage of advice for writers about how to generate new ideas. This advice can range from reading other writers to taking long baths, listening to music or reading the morning pages. One of the most useful ones, in my experience, is art and photography – either visiting a gallery or actually going out with a camera or sketchbook and creating your own art. Visual stimulation is a great way to get your imagination going. As regular readers would know, we frequently provide Photo Inspirations to inspire you.

Now the Hayward Gallery is also providing inspiration for writers. To coincide with Mental States, an exhibition by George Condo being held at Gallery, organisers are inviting the public to write 300-word short stories inspired by Condo’s portraits. The submissions will be judged by both George Condo and Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff, with the best stories being published on the Hayward Gallery blog. The overall winner will also receive limited edition George Condo playing cards, a signed catalogue and other prizes.

Spanning three decades of Condo’s work, this exhibition looks like a great way to inspire yourself. Mental States runs until January 8th. The competition closes on December 18th, so there is plenty of time to stroll around the exhibit, notebook in hand.

For more information on the competition see the Hayward Gallery’s Facebook page.

Update: The winner is Clare Hill with her story On The Edge.




Listings: Nov 2011

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