Lead image: Neverland London, Fulham’s new urban beach (photo: arronphoto.com)
1 Visit Fulham’s new urban beach, Neverland London
Neverland London – a BYOB alfresco drinking and street-food dining experience with its very own white sandy beach – has just opened. With palm trees, pastel painted beach huts, deck chairs, swings and daybeds, the 20-metre Thameside beach is perfect for London’s sun worshipers. Street food traders include Le Rac Shack, The Duck Truck, Taco Dave along with churros and ice cream. Create your own cocktails from the Unleaded Bar or have mixologists compose drinks via the ‘Beach Butler’ service. Beach huts can be booked for up to 8 people (£40) or a daybed for groups of 12-25, seated and standing (£60). Entry starts at £5 (basically the corkage fee), giving entry and access to any of the free seating from feasting tables to deckchairs. Limited tickets can be purchased on the door or jump the queue by pre-booking ticket on the Neverland London website. Opens Weds-Fri 6pm-11pm, Sat12pm-11pm and Sun 12pm-9.30pm.
Albert Wharf, Fulham SW6 2TY; neverlandlondon.com
2 RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Discover nine Show Gardens, five Fresh Gardens, nine Artisan Gardens and more than 100 floral displays as the Chelsea Flower Show returns. Among the experts and thrilling displays, the Great Pavilion will again be the jewel in the Chelsea Flower Show crown, a 12,000 sq ft marquee big enough to park 500 London buses, featuring the very best from the world’s finest nurseries, growers and florists.
3 20in20: A fundraising guided tour marathon
Help raise £20,000 for MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Trust in a 20-hour guiding marathon, which involves leading as many people as possible on walks, bike rides or tours of the City. Thirty walks for 20 people at a time, at £20 per person, will raise £12,000. Fifteen exclusive tours for 15 people at a time, at £35 per person, will raise £8,000. The event takes place between sunrise and midnight, during which time 45 guides will provide a choice of walks to 800 people or more. The event is open to all — young, old and families — and is tailor-made for people who are visually impaired or in a wheelchair. Kicks off at 6am at Smithfield Market.
4 Annie, Piccadilly Theatre
From 23 May
Multi award-winning comedy writer, actor and author Miranda Hart will make her West End debut as Miss Hannigan in Annie, opening at the Piccadilly Theatre. This is the latest take on the classic story of brave young Annie, and it will be interesting to see Hart’s approach to spiteful Miss Hannigan.
5 KERB, Southbank
KERB returns to the Southbank for the third year running to transforming the space behind Royal Festival Hall into a rambunctious raft of spice and heat! As part of Southbank’s Alchemy Festival, KERB does Alchemy sees 27 traders cooking up street food dishes from across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Returning guest traders include Bun Kabab, Chaatit, The Indian’s Next Door, Zouk, Curry Cookhouse, The Peckish Peacock, Gupta’s, Ladle and Skillet and Ethiopian Coffee Co, accompanied by six brand new discoveries Rola Wala, Chaigaram, The Cheeky Indian, The Curry Shack Indian Street Kitchen and Khao Karachi. Open Mon-Weds 12noon-8pm, Thurs-Fri 12 noon-9pm, Sat 11am-9pm and Sun 11am-7pm (Bank Holiday Monday 12noon-7pm)
Royal Festival Hall, South Bank SE1 8XX; kerbfood.com
6 The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains, V&A
From 13 May
To mark 50 years since Pink Floyd released their first single, Arnold Layne, the V&A presents The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains. Experience a spectacular and unparalleled audio-visual journey through Pink Floyd’s unique and extraordinary worlds, chronicling the music, design and staging of the band, from their debut in the 1960s through to the present day. Highlights include the famous ‘Animals’ album cover art by Roger Waters from 1977. Open daily 10am-5.30pm with lates on Friday until 9.30pm. Tickets £20-£24.
7 Free Film Festival, various locations
Until 29 May
FFF moves around various locations across south east London from Catford and Deptford to Herne Hill and Peckham, but also pops up in Ealing and Streatham. This weekend you can enjoy La La Land at Herne Hill Velodrome (Friday 26 May, 9pm, doors 7.30pm), Arrival at Evelyn Grace Academy (Saturday 27 May, 9pm, doors 7.30pm), a triple-bill of Charlie Chaplin, Charley Chase and Laurel and Hardy with the UK’s leading silent film accompanist and local resident, Neil Brand, tinkling the ivories in Herne Hill Station Square (Sunday 28 May, 9pm, doors 8pm) and Something Better to Come at The Lido Cafe (Monday 29th May, 8pm, doors 7.15pm). All films free on a first-come, first-served basis).
Upper Park, Kitto Road SE14 5TY; freefilmfestivals.org
8 Magnum: 70 at 70
15 May-11 June
Magnum: 70 at 70 is an exhibition of 70 iconic images from 70 years of Magnum Photos. Taking place at London’s Kings Cross station, the 90 m-long light tunnel features iconic photos shot by Magnum photographers, celebrating the diversity of the agency and the photographers who have born witness to the major events of the last 70 years. The exhibition includes early photography by Magnum’s founding fathers, the introduction of colour photographers such as Harry Gruyaert and Bruno Barbey, through to the contemporary practice of photographers working in a more art-like medium, such as Alec Soth and Alessandra Sanguinetti.
King’s Cross Foot Tunnel, 1 Pancras Square, King’s Boulevard N1C 4TB; magnumphotos.com
9 The Black Cat Cabaret
From 20 May
The Black Cat Cabaret, a Parisian-inspired cabaret spectacular, launches its Summer Season at Underbelly Festival on 20 May. On entering the glorious mirrored surroundings of the Underbelly spiegeltent, guests will encounter a merry band of high-kicking showgirls, jaw-dropping acrobats, comic street singers, a fire-breathing siren and daredevil aerialists – all bound together with a belle époque sense of giddy abandonment. The Black Cat has made a name for itself as the place to experience modern cabaret in all of its wondrous forms – from the sacred to the profane, the lyrical to the downright louche. Performances take place on Saturday 20 May (9.15pm), Friday 2 June (9.30pm), Saturday 8 July (9.15pm), Saturday 5 August (9.15pm) and Friday 22 Sept (9.30pm).
Underbelly Festival, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX; theblackcat.info
10 East London Comics and Arts Festival present The Island by Icinori
19 May-25 June
Greenwich Peninsula’s NOW Gallery is collaborating with East London Comics and Arts Festival (ELCAF) to present The Island. Opening on Friday 19 May, The Island is a site-specific interactive storytelling experience for all ages, imagined and created by French illustrator duo Icinori. The installation will explore the possibilities of storytelling, giving subtle nods to the importance of imagination and flights of fancy.
The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square SE10 0SQ; nowgallery.co.uk
11 All Creatures Great & Small, The Fan Museum, Greenwich
23 May-16 September
All Creatures Great & Small at The Fan Museum is a celebration of humorous and curious fans decorated with animal subjects. Animals have been a source of inspiration for fan painters throughout the centuries. Nearly all manner of beasts appear in this display of fans dating from the 1700s onwards, including an early 18th-century Dutch fan delicately painted with pheasants, parrots and turkeys. There are also a number of pieces from the 20th century, when animal subjects became a distinct trend in fan art. Entry £4.
12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich SE10 8ER; 020 8305 1441; thefanmuseum.org.uk
12 Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, V&A
From 27 May
This month the V&A will open the first ever UK exhibition exploring the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga and his profound and continuing influence on modern fashion. Rather than a retrospective, the exhibition will focus in detail on the latter part of his career in the 1950s and 60s, arguably one of his most creative periods. Tickets £12.
13 David Hockney Exhibition at Tate Britain
Until 29 May
This once-in-a-generation show at Tate Britain, opening on 9 February, will bring together six decades of David Hockney’s work for the first time. Major loans from private collections – including works never displayed in public before – will be united with iconic paintings from museums around the world. The retrospective will include vibrant new paintings of the artist’s home in Los Angeles, which will be united for the first time with earlier works depicting the same subject across 35 years.
14 The Cactus House at Hignell Gallery
11 May-3 July
Contemporary sculpture specialist Hignell Gallery is proud to announce The Cactus House, sculptor Ben Russell’s debut exhibition with the gallery, to coincide with The RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Curated by director Abby Hignell, The Cactus House presents Russell’s hand-carved sculptures, set against an immersive display of greenery designed by Conservatory Archives. While working at his leafy Dorset studio, heritage conservator and sculptor Ben Russell was inspired by the way light passes through the flesh of a cactus. Having long been influenced by nature and organic forms, Russell, who won the prestigious Duke of Gloucester award for carving and stone masonry in 2012 and has worked in heritage conservation on historic buildings and façades such as The Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament, works with the translucent properties of alabaster to recreate the effect in sculptural form.
Hignell Gallery, 12-14 Shepherd Street W1J 7JF; 020 7499 4528; hignellgallery.com
15 Pani at The Horniman
20 May-26 November
Pani is the word for water across parts of South Asia. In this thought-provoking display, artist Daksha Patel explores the relationships between people and water. Using vibrant maps and symbols on terracotta, he draws attention to environmental threats, and the challenges encountered by the people and wildlife that depend on this precious resource.
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ; 020 8699 1872; horniman.ac.uk