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What’s on in London this Summer

From al fresco films to unmissable exhibitions, London is looking lively this summer. Here we round-up the local events you really won’t want to miss.

From al fresco films and classic theatre to music festivals and unmissable exhibitions, London is looking lively this summer. We’ve done our research and rounded up the very best of what’s on during the warmer months across the capital. These are the events you really won’t want to miss.

 
Central London West London South West London
Prime Central London North & East London South East London
   

Central London

Toruk - The First Flight
26-30 June
O2 Arena

For the first time in the UK Cirque du Soleil will be performing their production TORUK - The First Flight, based around the record-breaking film AVATAR and created in conjunction with James Cameron. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, with a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score.
cirquedusoleil.com

Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic
Until 15 September
Wellcome Collection

Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic is the first exhibition of its kind to focus on the relationship between magic and psychology with artefacts from the world of magic from the likes of Derren Brown, Tommy Cooper and Paul Daniels. Through spirit photography and magic props, the exhibition will seek the truth about deception, ask how bias and suggestion affects our senses and consider what it is that makes us believe in magic.
wellcomecollection.org

First night of The Proms
19 July
Royal Albert Hall

The BBC Proms returns to the Royal Albert Hall this summer for its 125th season. It all kicks off with Our Classical Century series, a spectacular event which will see Janáček’s monumental Glagolitic Mass, steeped in Moravian rhythms, heard alongside Dvořák’s fairy-tale tone-poem and new work that marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s mission to the Moon.
royalalberthall.com

War & Peace
Royal Opera House
23 - 24 July

The Welsh National Opera returns to the Royal Opera House with a piece of Russian history in David Pountney’s new production of Prokofiev’s opera. With all the love, heartbreak, drama and death of Tolstoy’s novel, this ambitious production portrays the grandeur of 19th-century Russian society through epic sets, video projections and stunning costumes.
roh.org.uk

Top Girls
National Theatre
31 May - 20 July

For the first time, the National Theatre stages Caryl Churchill’s wildly innovative play about a country divided by its own ambitions. Top Girls follows Marlene, the first woman to head the eponymous agency. But she has no plans to stop there. With Maggie in at Number 10 and a spirit of optimism consuming the country, Marlene knows that the future belongs to women like her.
nationaltheatre.org.uk

Kaleidoscope: Immigration and Modern Britain
Somerset House
12 June - 8 September

This unmissable new photography exhibition at Somerset House delves into identity and immigration in modern Britain. Featuring stills and moving image, Kaleidoscope showcases the works of ten photographers born or based in Britain, exploring what it means and how it feels to live as an immigrant, or a descendent of immigrants, in Britain today.
somersethouse.org.uk

 

West London

Hampton Court Palace Festival
6-22 June
Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court’s annual festival returns with a series of open-air summer concerts in the spectacular Tudor courtyard. Now in its 25th year, the event invites world-class acts to the stage, including Busted, Jools Holland and Caro Emerald.
hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com

Sound & Singers Annual Summer Concert
Landmark Arts Centre
18 July

The Landmark’s two resident community choirs join forces for their annual summer concert under the direction of their Choral Tutors Charlotte Brosnan and Charles MacDougall. With both choirs studying a wide repertoire, the Sound & Singers Annual Summer Concert promises a wonderful evening packed with traditional folk songs, world music, jazz, pop and much more.
landmarkartscentre.org

Noises Off
27 June - 27 July
Lyric Hammersmith

Premiering in 1982, Michael Frayn’s play quickly became recognised as an iconic British comedy. Now, 37 years later the play is returning once again. A company of actors come together to form a production of technical brilliance and fabulous comedic timing. Noises Off has been deemed one of the funniest plays of all time, this time round will be no different.
lyric.co.uk/shows/noises-off/

Fulham Beach
Ongoing
Wandsworth Bridge Road

Officially back for the summer months, Fulham Beach brings an urban jungle paradise to south west London. Taking inspiration from the tropics, the vibrant indoor and outdoor space is a lush and colourful summer paradise, where you’re invited to eat, play, dance and drink the summer away. Expect refreshing cocktails, bottomless rosé, beach brunches, top street food vendors and live music.
neverlandlondon.com/

 

South West London

Balham Literary Festival
13-19 June
Various locations

Balham’s Literary Festival returns for a fourth year running with a focus on Balham and south London. From fictional depictions of the area to speakers who have strong links to the area, the festival showcases all that is great about this side of the Thames. Expect talks, readings, author specials and workshops.
balhamliteraryfestival.co.uk

Country Music
29 May - 23 June
Omnibus Theatre

From the writer of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night comes Country Music, a subtle yet powerful play set in 1983 Gravesend. Jamie has committed a crime. What he doesn’t know is that this event will shape the next 20 years of his life. Country Music is a play about atonement and protection, but also about how our experiences can define who we are.
www.omnibus-clapham.org

Catherine Rayner
1 June - 16 July
Will’s Art Warehouse

Primarily an illustrator of children's books Catherine Rayner has shown work in galleries throughout the UK. She has work in private collections throughout the world and in several public collections including The Centre for Children's Books in Newcastle.
wills-art.com

 

Prime Central London

Beyond the Road
From 12 June
Saatchi Gallery

Beyond the Road is a ground-breaking, fully immersive exhibition developed by the team at Punchdrunk creatives, merging the world of visual arts, music and film. Inviting visitors to leave behind their modern day lives and lose themselves in a multi-sensory world led by sound, the exhibition features works by multi-Oscar winning director and producer Alfonso Cuaron, award-winning perfume designer Azzi Glasser and contemporary artist David Nicholson.
beyondtheroad.saatchigallery.com

Food: Bigger than the Plate
Until 20 October
V&A

From the writer of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night comes Country Music, a subtle yet powerful play set in 1983 Gravesend. Jamie has committed a crime. What he doesn’t know is that this event will shape the next 20 years of his life. Country Music is a play about atonement and protection, but also about how our experiences can define who we are.
vam.ac.uk

First night of The Proms
19 July
Royal Albert Hall

The BBC Proms returns to the Royal Albert Hall this summer for its 125th season. It all kicks off with Our Classical Century series, a spectacular event which will see Janáček’s monumental Glagolitic Mass, steeped in Moravian rhythms, heard alongside Dvořák’s fairy-tale tone-poem and new work that marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s mission to the Moon.
royalalberthall.com

 

North & East London

Backyard Cinema LA Nights

Summer 2017 saw Backyard Cinema transport its guests to Miami Beach. It went down so well that they’ve decided to bring back the beach. They’ve built an enormous West Coast beach cinema at Camden’s Roundhouse, and will be throwing the ultimate sing-a-long beach parties complete with sand, giant cocktails and of course, a fantastic selection of cinematic screenings including The Greatest Showman and Bohemian Rhapsody.
backyardcinema.co.uk/lanights/

Movies on the River
4 June - 3 August
Tower Millennium Pier

Cinematic viewing is turned on his head this summer as Time Out Live joins forces with City Cruises to present London’s first ever cinema on the Thames. Each night throughout June and July, a movie boat will offer a food and drink-fuelled sunset cruise, playing all manner of classic movies on the open-air top deck.
citycruises.com

Lee Krasner: Living Colour
30 May - 1 September
Barbican

A key figure in American art and a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism, Lee Krasner’s energetic work reflects the spirit of possibility in post-war New York. Discover Krasner’s spirit for invention – from striking early self-portraits to her acclaimed ‘Little Image’ paintings from the 1940s to a selection of her most impressive large-scale abstract paintings. Explore nearly 100 works, many of which are being presented for the first time in the UK.
barbican.org.uk

 

South East London

The Colour Palace
12 June - 22 September
Dulwich Picture Gallery

During the warmer months, the Dulwich Pavilion returns with the Colour Palace, a magnificent structure, free and open to the public, fusing West Africa with influences from Europe. Created by Pricegore architects and designer Yinka Ilori, the structure embodies the buzz of fabric markets in Lagos, Nigeria, while showcasing the symmetry, curves and right angles of Sir John Soane’s iconic 1811 design of the gallery.
dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

Mighty Hoopla
8 June
Brockwell Park

For the ultimate pop extravaganza, head to Mighty Hoopla, a summer festival packed with plenty of pop music, fun and games on south London’s sunny Brockwell Park. This year’s headline set comes from Chaka Khan. This disco and funk queen will be joined by All Saints, Jamelia and Liberty X.
mightyhoopla.com

Footloose
Southwark Playhouse
25 July - 3 August

Southwark Playhouse presents one of the world’s most iconic musicals, Footloose. It follows Ren as she moves with her mother from Chicaho to a small farming town, where a ban on dancing has been instituted by the local preacher. It quickly falls on Ren to help guide the town with a warm heart and an open mind. Expect a rockin’ and rollin’ marathon of nostalgia, joy and youthfully exuberant dancing with classic songs such as Holding Out For A Hero and Footloose!
southwarkplayhouse.co.uk

 

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