55 Things to Do in London: December 2018

Lead image: Camberwell Arts Open Studios

1 Christmas by the River, London Bridge
29 November-2 January
London Bridge City welcomes back the iconic Christmas by the River, with 68 chalet-style stalls selling gifts, food and drink against the beautiful backdrop of Tower Bridge. Running between the Pier and Tower Bridge, it’s one of London’s most picturesque Christmas markets, with frosted cabins and twinkling fairy lights. As well as a great array of boutique vendors peddling artisan Christmas gifts, there will also be a mouth-watering assemblage of pop-up food and drink stalls to make for an unforgettable festive experience. Throughout December, the market will also host events and workshops to get you set for the holiday season, from food and drink tastings to glittery arts and crafts and storytelling. 11am-10pm.
London Bridge SE1 2DB; londonbridgecity.co.uk

2 Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studio, Deptford
30 November-2 December

Buy direct from independent makers at Deptford’s Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studio. Expect ceramics, homewares, jewellery, shoes, glass and more crafts, alongside delicious food by Hand Made Food cafe. There’ll also be a prize draw with vouchers to spend with the Cockpit makers at stake. Cockpit Arts is an award-winning social enterprise and the UK’s only business incubator for craftspeople, housing up to 170 small businesses at their two centres (the other is based in Holborn).
18-22 Creekside, Deptford SE8 3DZ; cockpitarts.com

3 UK Jewish Comedy Festival, Finchley Road
29 November-4 December
The UK’s only Jewish Comedy Festival returns for the fifth consecutive year featuring performers from around the world. From faith leaders doing stand-up to the annual search for the best New Jewish Comedian of the Year, there’ll be plenty to get you giggling. There’ll also be a Stand-Up Comedy Workshop, where you can learn the basics of joke-telling, write your first set and then perform it before the group in a friendly and accepting atmosphere.
341-351 Finchley Road NW3 6ET; jw3.org.uk

4 Greenwich Advent Windows
1-24 December
Greenwich’s Advent Windows have become a beloved Christmas tradition. Run every year by St Alfege Church, the event, now entering its 12th year, brightens up the town centre with 24 unique windows in shops, homes, schools and pubs. This year’s theme is Field of Dreams, and contributors use their imagination to create a unique window display using paper, paintings, models and light installations and paintings. A new window will be revealed on each day of Advent (1-24 December) in different parts of Greenwich, and once all 24 Advent Windows have been opened, a walking tour of them all usually takes around three hours on foot. The windows will stay up until Wednesday 2 January 2019 and a map will be available in late November.

5 Blackheath Village Day
1 December
The first Saturday of December sees The Blackheath Society turn on the village’s Christmas Lights accompanied by music at The Crown and a series of festive events at the Halls and Age Exchange. The highlight of the day involves the Big Smoke Brass band leading a procession of lanterns from the Blackheath Halls to Montpelier Green for the big switch on led by a secret yet-to-be-confirmed celebrity. Thankfully, you can get your lantern at the lantern making workshop held at The Conservatoire at 1.30pm on Saturday 1 December, with lanterns costing only £10. 11am-8pm.

6 Alexandra Palace Theatre and East Court Relaunch
1-2 December
Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust (APPCT) will reopen its Theatre and East Court on 1 December with a series of events that encapsulate the vision for the venue. The reopening follows the completion of the three-year East Wing Restoration Project. On 1 and 2 December, Ally Pally will open its doors to the public with a weekend of free events and celebrations to launch its Christmas Carnival. On 1 December, the BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Singers will curate a day of music and interaction (see bbc.in/2F6boIs) while Haringey Music Service will invite its choirs, made up of young people from across the borough, to rehearse and perform in the theatre on 2 December, followed by a free finale performance from Haringey Music Service’s Symphony Orchestra.
Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY; alexandrapalace.com

7 House of Hackney Sample Sale at The Box, Hackney
1-2 December
The House of Hackney sample sale is back at The Box! Just in time for Christmas, the brand is offering up to 70% off their maximalist fabrics, wallpapers, cushions, kitchen accessories, fashion and gift items, such as wash and cosmetic bags, mugs and glassware. A variety of their bold, beautiful prints will be available by the metre, plus popular items such as lamp stands and fringed cushions will be in store for a fraction of their normal price. Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm.
4-6 Ram Place, Hackney Walk E9 6LT; thebox-london.com

8 Peckham Levels First Birthday Weekenders
1-2 & 7-9 December
Marking a year since opening, Peckham Levels has curated a two-weekend celebratory line-up of events including DIY markets, open studios, screen printing and DJ sets by local artists. During the Winter Open Studios (1-2 December), you can take a sneak peek into the creative hub, try your hand at t-shirt printing for free at 3rd Rail Print Space, and enjoy performances from award-winning community dance empire The Movement Factory. The first of two DIY Markets will also take place on this weekend, with a 30-trader strong DIY Makers Market taking over Level Six. The following weekend (7-9 December), Peckham Levels will host a three-day birthday party with creative experiences and performances at GHOSTNOTES and Near & Far, plus workshops and a Pop Chic Xmas Bonanza hosted by Wasted Chic and Pop Tart, with over 50 designers selling their bespoke and vintage designs.
Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Lane SE15 4ST; peckhamlevels.org

9 Camberwell Arts Christmas Market & Open Studios
1-2 & 8-9 December
Camberwell Arts is hosting a triple-whammy of events this winter. As well as the Made in Camberwell Arts Market on Saturday 1 December – where you can buy from 40 arts market traders at three different venues (The Joiners Arms, The Tiger Pub and Butterfly Walk Arcade) – there are two open studios events. The first takes place at various studios in east Camberwell (including Vanguard Court) on 1-2 December, and the second at various studios in west Camberwell (including Coldharbour Studios) on 8-9 December. Meet the makers and discover inspirational gifts for all.

10 Austentatious, Savoy Theatre
2, 9 & 16 December

In need of a laugh during the cold dark winter season? Enjoy an improvised comedy play, starring a cast of the country’s sharpest comic performers, who conjure up a ‘lost’ Jane Austen novel based on a title given to them by the audience. Whether you’ve read all of Jane Austin’s novels or none, the play is entertaining for all. Performed in full Regency costume, with live musical accompaniment, Austentatious’s past works include Bath to the Future, Strictly Come Darcy and Mansfield Shark. No two shows are ever the same! Tickets start at £15.
Savoy Court, Strand WC2R 0ET; austentatiousimpro.com

11 Marylebone Gin X New Quebec Street takeover
3-17 December
From Monday 3 December, New Quebec Street will be home to Marylebone Gin’s first ever pop-up bar, dedicated to the locally-distilled British spirit. The Marylebone Gin X New Quebec Street takeover will feature an exciting programme of masterclasses, talks and a special Saturday brunch throughout its two-week duration. Celebrate the party season in a botanical wonderland inspired by Marylebone’s fashionable 18th Century pleasure garden. In addition to a drop-in gin bar, there will be a host of experiences to enjoy that shine a spotlight on Britain’s favourite spirit, including a Gin at Home masterclass, the chance to learn about the History of Gin and Wednesday gin tastings.

12 Richmond Art Society’s Winter Art Exhibition
3-9 December
Richmond Art Society presents its Winter Art Exhibition at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College. Launching on Saturday 1 December, the exhibition will then run from Monday 3 until Sunday 9 December, from 10am to 5pm. You can expect to see paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, art and ceramics on display from artists like Laura Parker, Jude Wild and Nataliya Zozulya. During the exhibition, a special raffle will be held in aid of the local charity REACT, which raises funds for Rapid Effective Assistance for Children with potentially Terminal illness. Raffle tickets are £5 each.
Parkshot, Richmond TW9 2RE; richmondartsociety.com

13 Games at Arcola Theatre, Dalston
4-22 December
The year is 1936. Europe is fractured. Economies are faltering and right-wing populism is surging. Fencer Helene Mayer has been selected as the Nazi’s token Jewish athlete for the Berlin Games, but the event is threatened with a boycott and she is about to discover that she’s fighting for more than just gold… Based on a true story, Games – written by three-time Fringe First winner Henry Naylor – is a cautionary tale for our troubled times.
24 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL; arcolatheatre.com

14 Bloomberg New Contemporaries at South London Gallery
5 December-24 February
New Contemporaries returns to the South London Gallery for the first time since it was last presented in 1999. The major new exhibition has welcomed a number of guest selectors like Katy Moran and Keith Piper to help choose the line-up of 57 artists for the annual open submission exhibition. Showcasing some of the most dynamic work being made today, the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018 will be presented across both of the South London Gallery’s sites, including the newly converted fire station. You can expect to see work from artists like Agil Abdullayev, Kobby Adi, Louis Bennett and Faye Claridge.
65-67 Peckham Road, Camberwell SE5 8UH; southlondongallery.org

15 Brick House Indian Supperclub, East Dulwich
6, 7 & 8 December
Brick House, the award winning East Dulwich bakery specialising in San Francisco-style slow fermentation sourdough, is opening its doors in the evenings this December for a family-style Indian supper club. Founders Fergus and Sharmin Jackson have created a feasting menu with Head Chef James Mossman featuring chaat, the classic street food staple with spiced potatoes, coriander chutney katchumber and more, followed by lamb shank rogan josh, pilau rice, tandoori broccoli, raitha and sourdough naan. For dessert there’s a coconut payasam and jaggery roasted pineapple. Tickets are £42.51.
Zenoria Street, East Dulwich SE22 8HP. To book see eventbrite.co.uk

16 Homelessness Charity Streetsmart Supper Club
7 December
Billy & Jack (Masterchef 2016), Eyal Jagermann (The Barbary) and chef and food writer Alexandra Dudley have teamed up for a one-off supper club to raise funds for homelessness charity Streetsmart. Taking place at Spitalfields co-working space Benk & Bo, you’ll be welcomed with a cocktail, before taking your seat as each chef takes turns to create an exclusive dish, drawing on Middle Eastern influences and flavours. All courses will be accompanied by an optional wine pairing from Benk & Bo (available at an additional cost). Established in 1997, StreetSmart has raised a total of £8.8 million with the help of restaurants and diners by adding a voluntary £1 to diners’ bills during the festive months, with all proceeds being distributed to charities, hostels and projects that help those living on the streets and in unsuitable accommodation. Tickets are £40. From 7pm.
4-6 Gravel Lane, Spitalfields E1 7AW. To book see billetto.co.uk

17 HSDY Big Xmas Disco Ball, Blackheath
8 December
HAVEN’T STOPPED DANCING YET! – the London 70s & 80s soul, funk and disco night featured in Time Out and on BBC Radio 4 – is bringing the boogie back to the recently re-opened Blackheath Halls. As well as choreographer-led dance routines to the likes of Carwash, Love Train and, of course, Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet, the pop-up club night features DJs Da’Lynne and Auntie Maureen on the decks, a best outfit catwalk competition, eco-friendly glitter face painting and free retro sweets. HSDY offers an unashamedly retro night for ‘people who remember the tunes first time round and still want to party’. Tickets are £15 in advance (£18 on the door) and 10% of profits go to Cancer Research UK. 7.30pm till midnight. Look out for the Big Xmas Disco Ball at Islington Assembly Hall on 15 December, too.
Blackheath Halls, 23 Lee Road SE3 9RQ; haventstoppeddancingyet.co.uk 

18 Spitalfields Music Festival, east London
1-9 December
Spitalfields Music has been putting music at the heart of east London for over 40 years. Spitalfields Music Festival, curated by André de Ridder, returns this month to celebrate the best of the area’s musical talent. Highlights include Heart and Breath by Riot Ensemble – which features Grammy Award-winning Arcade Fire band member Richard Reed Parry – on 5 December at Trinity Buoy Wharf, award-winning composer Shiva Feshareki performing Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite on the turntables on 6 December at St John on Bethnal Green, and Richard Reed Parry premiering his new album Quiet River of Dust on 8 December, also at St John on Bethnal Green.

19 Winter Art Fair at The Lovely Gallery, Sydenham
8 December
The Lovely Gallery in Sydenham will be launching their Winter Art Fair this month with a collection of painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics and original prints. Opening on the 8 December from 4-7pm, you can expect to see work from a number of extremely talented, and many of them local, artists including Emma Somerset Davis, Anna Lovely, Patrick Lovely and Stella Cardew. There will also be a selection of ceramics from artists like Jill Rutter, who will be showing her ‘Brexit Bowls’ and sketches from the likes of John Atkinson. A much-loved local gallery, The Lovely Gallery is all about putting the artist first, whether they are well-established or up-and-coming.
140 Sydenham Road SE26 5JZ; thelovelygallery.com

20 Identity at Zebra One Gallery, Hampstead
Until 9 December
Zebra One Gallery challenged 10 artists to explore body dysmorphia and self-image for Identity, a powerful group exhibition exploring our often distorted self-perceptions. It features never-before-seen images of Lady Gaga, who suffered from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) in her teens alongside works by Derrick Santini and Daniel Martin. A percentage of monies raised from the exhibition will go to The BDD Foundation, the only charity in the world that is dedicated to alleviating the suffering that BDD causes.
1 Perrin’s Court, Hampstead NW3 1QX; zebraonegallery.com

21 MadHouse Thursdays at Tonteria, Chelsea
Every Thursday

Tonteria, the mad Mexican tapas lounge and Tequila nightspot on Sloane Square that has welcomed A-listers and royals like Tom Hardy, Jessie J, Cressida Bonas, Prince Harry and Princess Beatrice, recently introduced MadHouse Thursdays. Tuna tacos and churros soon give way to trains of tequila chugging their way around the club, incredible male and female dancers and performers until the early hours. Alain Dona, the main partner of Tonteria, is greatly influenced by political trends, pop culture, viral videos and music icons. So from ET to Michael Jackson Thriller tributes and Britney Spears shaving off her head, it’s always wise to expect the unexpected on a Thursday night…
7-12 Sloane Square, Chelsea SW1W 8EG; tonteria.co.uk

22 Animalis at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Every Sunday 
Accompanying Dulwich Picture Gallery’s enormously popular exhibition Ribera: Art of Violence, renowned choreographer Dane Hurst has created a new show. Running every Sunday in the intimate setting of the Gallery’s mausoleum, Animalis is performed by a dance trio in this powerful interpretation of the human suffering in Jusepe de Ribera’s paintings. Until 27 January. Entry is free with a Sunday ticket to Ribera: Art of Violence (£16.50).
Gallery Road, SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

23 Tootsmas, Tooting
8-9 December
Tootsmas, Tooting’s very own winter fair and little sibling to Tootopia, the epic summer celebration, returns for its third annual festive celebration. As well as the epic Street Food Takeover with hot, gooey winter eats from the likes of Da Ja Streetfood, Cheeky Burger, Crust Issues, and Simmons Creperie, there will be the Tootsmas’ Foodie Trail and Thirst Quest. Tooting Tram & Social will host the Tiny Dancers Festive Family rave, and a screening of Home Alone, there’ll be the Handmade Fair, where you can browse limited-edition prints, ceramics and art, Christmas cooking workshops with a strolling Santa, live gigs, DJs and Christmas trees available to buy. 12noon until late. See the website for timings and venue details.

24 Shadowtracks by W11 Opera, Hammersmith
8-9 December
W11 Opera for Young People is re-staging SHADOWTRACKS, an original opera by Julian Grant and Christina Jones, at POSK Theatre in Hammersmith. This acclaimed composer and librettist has collaborated extensively, creating works for both young people and adults alike, and W11 Opera will once again bring this piece to life with a cast of nearly 70 young people this year. Under the watchful eye of the station clock commuters rush to catch the last train home, but in the empty station, moonlight reveals shadowtracks gently vibrating with the arrival of the Necropolis train, bringing ghosts and memories back down the line…
238-246 King Street, Hammersmith W6 0RF; w11opera.org

25 London Santa Dash, Clapham
9 December
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is challenging Londoners to swap their sofas for Santa suits and join the London Santa Dash. The optional 5k or 10k fun run takes place around Clapham Common and all money raised by participants goes to the GOSH charity, which funds the wards and medical facilities that care for seriously ill children. The event is open to children and adults alike and participants get a free Santa Claus suit to wear for the run. A Samba band playing festive hits should keep you going and afterwards you can relax with a mulled drink and mince pie in the event village. Entry is £20 for adults and £12 for children under 16.
Clapham Common, Windmill Drive SW4 9DE; gosh.org

26 Mariah Carey at The O2
11 December
What’s Christmas without Mariah? The All I Want For Christmas Is You Tour, which received dazzling audiences last year and getting rave reviews from critics and fans alike, stops at The O2 on Greenwich Peninsula on Tuesday 11 December. The Daily Telegraph called it a ‘brilliantly camp, irresistible delight’, so go on, give in to the festive season’s omnipresent soundtrack, release you inner diva and get yourself to the O2! Mariah’s holiday opus, ‘Merry Christmas’, is the perennial bestselling global holiday album, having sold over 14 million copies worldwide to date, FYI. Tickets £53.75-£142.75 including fees.
Peninsula Square SE10 0DX; theo2.co.uk

27 The Dickens Christmas Carol Walk, Bank
15-31 December
Ebenezer Scrooge’s encounter with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, not to mention with that of his dead partner, Jacob Marley, is one of the most famous Christmas stories ever told. Richard’s Dickens Christmas Carol walk explores the very alleyways stomped by the tight-fisted covetous old sinner, Scrooge. Richard, who will be suitably attired in Victorian costume, will welcome you to Dickens London and will provide a brief account of how Dickens, faced with the prospect of mounting debts, conceived the idea for a ‘Ghostly little book’ that he vowed would strike a ‘sledge-hammer blow…on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child’. Tickets £10. Check the website for dates. Meet outside exit three of Bank Underground Station.

28 Cutty Sark’s Christmas at Sea with Merry Opera
16 December
Enjoy a seafaring extravaganza with Merry Opera – a professional opera company of exciting talent and bold performances – under the gleaming copper hull of Cutty Sark. The concert will feature music by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini and Gilbert & Sullivan, as well as some very apt sea shanties. There will also be a reading of Robert Louis Stevenson’s much loved poem Christmas at Sea, which is 150 years old this year. So cosy up under the Cutty Sark and get in the festive spirit with Merry Opera, described as a ‘veritable cocktail of light party fun with a hint of Christmas and a tang of sea air’ by Opera Now. Tickets are £25 and include a mulled cider and a mince pie slice (non-alcoholic options available). Doors open 7pm, show starts at 7.45pm.
King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9HT; rmg.co.uk

29 South East Christmas Feast, Peckham
13, 14 & 15 December
The South East Christmas Feast by street food and catering aficionados Mike + Ollie is an evening of sumptuous feasting, live entertainment and festive cheer. You will be greeted with a boozy festive cocktail, before being seated for a bountiful three-course sharing feast of whole-roasted, spiced vegetables, delicately cured fish, wild and sustainably-sourced meats, fresh salads, pickles and their signature flatbreads. Quality wines will also be available and vegetarians and vegans will be plentifully catered for. Tickets £39
Copeland Gallery, 133 Copeland Road, Peckham SE15 3SN; mikeandollie.co.uk

30 Whose Line Is It Anyway? 30th Anniversary Christmas Show, Royal Albert Hall
15-16 December
Channel 4’s much-loved improv show celebrates its 30th birthday with three live shows at the Royal Albert Hall this month. The specials feature a stellar line-up of guests including Colin Mochrie, Josie Lawrence, Greg Proops and Brad Sherwood, who will join the iconic comedy show’s original host, Clive Anderson. There’ll be classic and new improv games – some of which will involve participation from brave members of the audience. Tickets from £30.
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington SW7 2AP; royalalberthall.com

31 Hip Hop Karaoke Christmas Special, Queen of Hoxton
20 December
Queen of Hoxton is hosting a bumper Christmas special Hip Hop Karaoke evening on Thursday 20 November. Expect all the usual, plus Hip Hop Santa and a bumper sack of rap songs, presents for performers (including free entry to future events), and a ‘wrap’ battle that will see two rap wannabes attempt to wrap their Christmas presents while rapping live on stage. Over the years Hip Hop Karaoke, which takes place every Thursday, has established itself as a true bucket list experience, with thousands of amateurs and more than a few celebs taking to the stage. Tickets £5.
1 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3JX; queen-of-hoxton.eventcube.io

32 Teenage Cancer Trust Christmas Party at The Hurlingham Club
20 December
This year’s Teenage Cancer Trust fundraiser at The Hurlingham Club, titled Smooth Santa’s 70s Christmas Party, will feature drinks, dinner, shopping and dancing. Santa Claus has decided that all you want for Christmas this year is live pop and disco bangers by Wham!, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Phil Collins, Bee Gees, Toto, Oasis and many more, washed down with champagne, beer and cocktails. The Tomicks will also be playing a four-hour live set throughout the evening. From 7pm. Sleighs at 1am. Tickets are £50 per person or £500 for a VIP table for 10.
Ranelagh Gardens, Fulham SW6 3PR; tomcridland.com

33 Yayoi Kusama exhibition, Islington
Until 21 December
THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE features new paintings, works from Yayoi Kusama’s iconic My Eternal Soul series, as well as painted bronze pumpkin and flower sculptures. The exhibition also marks the debut of INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – MY HEART IS DANCING INTO THE UNIVERSE, an immersive mirrored room full of suspended paper lanterns covered with polka dots, which conveys the illusion of being unmoored in endless space. Continuing to address the twin themes of cosmic infinity and personal obsession, Yayoi Kusama’s new works are testament to an artist at the height of her powers as she approaches her 90th birthday. 
16 Wharf Road, Islington N1 7RW; victoria-miro.com

34 Selfridges Ultralounge Cabaret Club
Until 22 December
Sequins. Big hair. Bigger vocals. These are some of the key ingredients of Selfridges and Bisthroteque Ultralounge Cabaret Club. Located on the lower ground floor of the department store goliath, the club is the brainchild of Sink the Pink founder Glyn Fussell and will be hosted by British comic Jayde Adams. Weekly special guests include Jonny Woo, Figs In Wigs and Le Gateau Chocolat. Wednesday to Saturday. Tickets £25.
400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB; selfridges.com

35 Open Gate Brewery Experimental Taproom, Brick Lane
Until 22 December
Open Gate Brewery is launching an Experimental Taproom in London on 29 November, bringing a taste of the Emerald Isle’s innovative beers to the capital. Popping-up for one-month, the taproom invites beer lovers to enjoy a pint of Open Gate Brewery’s exciting beers – dreamed up at the iconic Dublin site, where there has been an experimental brewery for over 100 years – like American West-Coast style Citra IPA and hopped, crisp and clean tasting Pilsner. There’ll also be a range of exclusive and special brews, including a chilli-flavoured stout and festive Christmas beer, as well as a series of workshops and tastings every Wednesday throughout December and tasty treats from some of east London’s hottest food vendors.
Shop 11, Dray Walk, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane E1; ogbtaproom.eventbrite.co.uk

36 The Greatest Snowman, Bethnal Green
Until 23 December
Immersive theatre and dining experts Funicular is inviting you to board a luxury train carriage for an evening of good tidings. But all is not as it seems, because Santa’s agents are coming to intercept the train. Notorious whistleblower Ed Snow is onboard, spreading rumours that Santa isn’t real, and you must embark upon a secret mission to help Ed believe again and rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Along the way, you’ll be treated to a four-course meal curated by BBC MasterChef: The Professionals Finalist Louisa Ellis. Returning to Pedley Street Station following rave reviews for her Journey To The Underworld menu, she has designed an indulgent four-courses of caramelised cauliflower celouté, delicious varieties of Jerusalem artichoke, a three bird roast (or mushroom Wellington), and poached pears. Tickets from £57 (plus £2.65 booking fee).
Pedley Street Station, Arch 63 Pedley Street E1 5BW; funicularproductions.com

37 Winterville, Clapham Common
Until 23 December 2018
Winterville, London’s alternative festive experience returns to Clapham Common for its biggest year yet! Alongside big screen favourites Backyard Cinema, who will open their Christmas Labyrinth every week for special festive screenings, there’s Plonk Golf, an ice rink, Twisted Wheels Roller Disco, top notch eats by Street Feast, fair ground rides and the Solo Craft Fair for some serious Christmas shopping. The Spiegeltent will host some of the biggest and best every Friday and Saturday night – all for free – including the likes of Norman Jay MBE, Jazzie B, The Cuban Brothers and South London Soul Train. Pop heavyweights Guilty Pleasures and Bugged Out will also be providing dancefloor fillers every weekend, while sing-a-long dons Massaoke will be at the reigns every Thursday, and Karaoke Hole on Saturdays, plus some of the biggest names in the LGBTQ+ scene every Sunday.
Clapham Common SW4; winterville.co.uk

38 SETH at Dorothy Circus Gallery, Marble Arch 
Until 24 December
Dorothy Circus Gallery inaugurates the new permanent location of its London gallery while presenting Street Artist SETH’s Chambrum Rangeam, his first double solo exhibition in both Rome and London. Paris-born Julien Malland, alias SETH, began painting murals in the 20th arrondissement of Paris in 1972. He made himself known among Parisian graffiti artists by creating characters that stood out from the classical iconography of French Urban Art. Seth draws simple characters, mostly children, dwelling in imaginary environments that, like in a Trompe l’oeil painting, belong to our reality while also opening up to a new visionary dimension. The exhibition is curated by Stefano Antonelli.
35 Connaught Street, Marble Arch W2 2AZ; dorothycircusgallery.uk

39 The Selfish Giant, Clapham’s Omnibus Theatre
Until 24 December
Oscar Wilde’s much-loved short story The Selfish Giant is being made into an enchanting new production this month at Clapham’s Omnibus Theatre. Presented by family theatre-makers Soap Soup Theatre and Tessa Bide Productions, the new production will combine storytelling, puppetry and enchanting music to tell the classic tale. It follows Grinter the giant, who lives happily alone in her huge snow-covered house before one day a group of children find a chink in the giant’s wall and climb through, changing the course of all of their lives forever.
1 Clapham Common Northside SW4 0LH; omnibus-clapham.org

40 Peter Pan Cup Christmas Day Swimming Race
25 December
Huddle on the sidelines with a warming drink and watch on as brave souls from the Serpentine Swimming Club plunge into the waters for the annual 100-yard swimming race. Sub-40°F water temperatures mean that this historic race, instigated in 1864, is strictly for hardy pros, so join the spectator fun and combine it with a brisk lap of Hyde Park. 9am. Free.
The Serpentine Lido, Hyde Park W2 3XA; serpentineswimmingclub.com

41 The Skateroom at The Last Supper, Battersea
Until end December
The Last Supper art gallery hosts The Skateroom this month, an exhibition showcasing artwork on skateboards by the likes of Jean Jullien, Jeremyville and Steven Harrington. Continuing with The Skateroom’s business model, along with the artists and THE LAST SUPPER, 20% of the turnover of sales will be donated to Make Life Skate, a non-profit organization that creates community-built concrete skateparks around the world, for their latest project, Suli Skatepark in Iraq.
42 Webbs Road, Battersea SW11 6SF; the-lastsupper.com

42 After Dark at Chiswick House and Gardens
Until 30 December
Chiswick House and Gardens is hosting a brand new night walk and light display to transforming the historic property this winter. A series of modern light installations will illuminate the 18th century gardens and architecture, giving visitors the chance to enjoy a very different park after dark. The trail weaves through the grounds, while a projected light show set to a curated soundtrack lights up Chiswick House itself. Treat yourself to a bite to eat from one of the food traders in the walled garden and, if you’re looking for something extra special, book a table at the exclusive Supper Club. Running Thurs-Sun. Early bird tickets from £9.
Chiswick W4 2QN; after-dark.co.uk

43 The Made in H&F Pop-Up Shop, Hammersmith
Until end December
The Made in H&F pop-up in Kings Mall shopping centre includes work from local painters, jewellery makers, hat makers, t-shirt designers, artists, craft makers and more. The latest addition to the shopping centre is a great place to get a head start on your Christmas shopping with some unique items on offer, from artist Darren Azgard whose artwork adorns the new Westfield expansion, to Indonesian-inspired designs from Tia Hannaford of Immy London. Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm and Sun 11am-5pm.
Kings Mall Shopping Centre, King Street, Hammersmith W6; lbhf.gov.uk

44 Hungry Heart Christmas Special, Shepherd’s Bush
14 December
London’s only bumper-to-bumper Bruce Springsteen night is back for a Christmas Special on Friday 14 December. Join the Hungry Heart crew and the capital’s craziest Springsteen fans for a liberating, life-affirming night of hit after hit from Bruce’s back catalogue, from big hits like Thunder Road and Born to Run to Dancing in the Dark, plus a few niche live versions. This month, the event takes place in one of London’s most legendary music venues, Bush Hall, a former dance hall that has welcomed the likes of Amy Winehouse, The Who and Paul Weller. 7pm-1am. Tickets from £10.
310 Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush W12 7LJ; hungryheartevents.com

45 Harrods x CHANEL London Studio
Until 4 January 
CHANEL London Studio stages a celebration of all things red on the fifth floor of Harrods this December, from richly pigmented lipsticks to personalised gifts. Beauty professionals from the CHANEL School of Makeup will be on hand to help attendees master the key makeup looks of the season, or to advise on how to fine tune a signature day-to-day style.
87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge SW1X 7XL; harrods.com

46 Christmas at Kew
Until 5 January
Christmas at Kew is back and it’s more spectacular than ever with over a million sparkling lights and thousands of laser beams. Wander beneath unique tree canopies drenched in Christmas colour, step into a Laser Garden where refracting lines of light playfully bounce across the branches (new this year), watch the festive flotilla of hundreds of glowing boats boning about on the lake, then glimpse the sculptural Fire Garden as it flickers and crackles in the distance, whilst the much-loved pea-lit tunnel is re-imagined as a vast Canopy of Light. Finally, watch the Palm House Pond finale spring to life with bright colours, water screen projections and jumping light jets that dance to seasonal classics.
Richmond TW9 3AB; kew.org

47 Dazzle Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition, Oxo Tower Wharf
Until 6 January

Dazzle Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition returns to London for the 37th year and its 6th year at gallery@oxo. Get your Christmas shopping done early at Dazzle’s Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition, which champions innovation and experimentation, showing a mix of exciting new talent hand picked from graduate shows alongside established international designers. This year is no different for innovation, experimentation and pushing the sector’s boundaries working with new mediums such as 3D printing. There’s even a Dazzle Extra section, which includes handmade leather bags by award-winning Steven Harkin and merino wool shawls and scarves by the St Martins’ design duo Green Thomas.
Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank SE1 9PH; dazzle-exhibitions.co.uk

48 Of Gods, Rainbows and Omissions at Somerset House
Until 6 January
Of Gods, Rainbows and Omissions is the first major solo UK exhibition from South African artist Athi-Patra Ruga, opening at Somerset House this month. In it Ruga reveals a mythical world which challenges perceptions of cultural identity in post-apartheid South Africa, addressing ideologies, social and state structures, and the politics of gender inequality. The result is an incredibly vibrant and striking body of work featuring photography, film, sculpture and hand-crafted petit point tapestry. Born in Umtata, Ruga has been seen as a figurehead for a new generation of artists in South Africa who are using myth and alternate realities as a contemporary response to social issues. 
The Strand WC2R 1LA; somersethouse.org.uk

49 Space Shifters, Hayward Gallery
Until 6 January
Space Shifters is amajor new exhibition exploring how artists disrupt our sense of space and surroundings. Featuring work by more than 20 international artists, the interactive exhibition highlights how different pieces and installations can create responses in audience members, focusing attention on perspective and perception. Expect reflective and translucent materials used in interesting ways, pioneering sculptures from the 1960s, ambitious architectural interventions and site-specific installations. Highlights include Richard Wilson’s 20:50, Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror, Blue and Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden.
Southbank Centre, 337-338 Belvedere Road SE1 8XX; southbankcentre.co.uk

50 Yamal: The Stream of Life at The Horniman Museum, Forest Hill
Until 6 January 
The Horniman Museum is hosting Yamal: The Stream of Life in their newly unveiled World Gallery this month. Showcasing beautiful photographs from life in the Yamal region of north west Siberia, captured by esteemed British photographer Bryan Alexander, the works capture aspects of traditional life, and how it has been affected by the changes taking place in the region socially, culturally and environmentally. Highlights include this image of residents Neseynya Serotetto and Tyurko Puyko taking a selfie while dressed in traditional Nenets reindeer skin clothing. The exhibition coincides with a larger programme of events at the museum, including an installation of life-size crochet animal sculptures on display.
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ; horniman.ac.uk

51 Ribera: Art of Violence at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Until 27 January 
One of Dulwich Picture Gallery’s most anticipated exhibitions of the year, Ribera: Art of Violence, opened in late September. Exploring the work of Spanish Baroque artist and printmaker Jusepe de Ribera, the show brings together some of his best, and most shocking, work in the first major UK exhibition dedicated to him. It has been curated to explore the theme of violence in his paintings and sketches as a form of artistic expression as he often used the art of human suffering as an inspiration in his creations. Visitors will be able to see the exclusive selection of 45 works on show at the gallery until 27 January 2019.
Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

52 100 Figures: The Unseen Art of Quentin Blake, King’s Cross
Until 27 January
This month the House of Illustration is celebrating a side of Sir Quentin Blake that we haven’t seen before, with an exhibition of his large-scale paintings. The illustrator is widely known for his work bringing the characters of Roald Dahl’s books to life, but has also pursued a lifelong practice of figurative drawings in his career. Entitled 100 Figures: The Unseen Art of Quentin Blake, the showcase features works created between 1950 and 2000, which experiment with a more sculptural treatment of form and use of broad strokes.
2 Granary Square, King’s Cross N1C 4BH; houseofillustration.org.uk

53 Klimt / Schiele at The Royal Academy
Until 3 February 
This year marks the centenary of the deaths of two of the most celebrated and pioneering figures of early 20th century art: Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) and Egon Schiele (1890-1918). As a result the Royal Academy of arts presents Klimt / Schiele: Drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna, which is the first exhibition in the UK to focus on the fundamental importance of drawing for both artists, from the origins of their academic training to their unconventional explorations of the human figure expressed through line. The exhibition will be on in The Sackler Wing of Galleries from 4 November 2018 until 3 February 2019.
Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair W1J 0BD; royalacademy.org.uk

54 Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, The V&A
Until 24 February
The V&A’s latest exhibition Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt explores the medium of gaming, which has dominated many of our lives over the last few decades. The exhibition tries to provide a unique insight into the design processes behind the massively popular pasttime, exploring a selection of contemporary videogames from the drawing board right through until final play, as well as looking at origins in places like classical art. Visitors to the new exhibition can expect to see different kinds of concept art and prototypes of some of the best loved games of our current time. As well as this, there will also be several large-scale immersive installations and interactives on display to allow people to get stuck into the process of creating games.
Cromwell Road, South Kensington SW7 2RL; vam.ac.uk

55 Astronomy Photographer of the Year, National Maritime Museum
Until 5 May
Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition celebrates 10 years of outstanding images shot by astrophotographers around the world. The 31 spellbinding winning images of the cosmos from this year’s competition will be on display alongside a selection of 69 of the best photographs from previous years, in a special exhibition hosted at the National Maritime Museum. From distant galaxies to our very own Milky Way and neighbouring planets, the entries reflect our enduring fascination with the night sky. Images on display include the winners from the nine main categories, as well as two special prize winners. Tickets £10.

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