Things to do in London this October

There’s lots of things to do in London this October. Here’s our pick so far…

Photo: Massaoke

1 Oktoberfest at Vauxhall Beer Gardens, Vauxhall
The inner-city escape is set to be transformed into a bonafide Bavarian wonderland at the weekend throughout October. Expect long, traditional beer tables, miles of bunting, table hosts dressed in lederhosen as well as live music from a legit oompah band, which will serve up party classics and oompah specials. There’s also German sausage, steins and bottomless brunch and stein deals are available. Dress up is encouraged, and on Halloween, expect your Oktoberfest experience to be extra spooky.
Saturdays and Sundays during October; Saturday 11.30am-10.30pm, Sunday 11.30am-8pm; tickets from £15; 6a South Lambeth Place,
Vauxhall, SW8 1SP vauxhallfoodbeergarden.com

2 Mum by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm at Soho Theatre
Placed on stage by Francesca Moddy Productions, the producer of Fleabag and Baby Reindeer, and Olivier Award winning playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (Emilia) is this psychological exploration of early motherhood. Raw, and drawing on Morgan’s own experience of anxiety in early motherhood, the play centres around Nina who is having her first evening to herself since becoming a mum and journeys through sleep deprivation and isolation and her fears.
October 20 to November 2, tickets from £12; 21 Dean Street, Soho, W1D 3NE; sohotheatre.com

3 Summer Exhibition Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly
Coordinated by artist Yinka Shonibare, this year’s Summer Exhibition explores the theme of ‘Reclaiming Magic’, celebrating the joy of creating art. Showcasing prints, paintings, photography and works of film by the likes of Michael Armitage,  William Kentridge, Hade Montserrat, Njideka Akunyili, Rita Keegan and the Architecture Room is curated by David Adjaye.
On now until January 2; Tuesday to Sunday 10am-6pm; tickets from £20, concessions available; Main Galleries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD; royalacademy.org.uk

4 The Shark is Broken at Ambassadors Theatre, West End
On stage one year later than planned (thanks, Covid), is this comedy by actor Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon (Radio 4 comedy) that looks at the behind the scenes drama of one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. It’s Cape Cod, 1974, and the shooting on Jaws has stalled. The film’s lead actors – Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss – are stuck on a boat, at the mercy of foul weather and a faulty mechanical co-star. Awash with alcohol and ambition, they start to bare their teeth.
October 9 – January 15, 2022; tickets from £15; West Street, WC2H 9ND; thesharkisbroken.com

5 The Swingers Open, Swingers City
Teaming up with Tanqueray No. Ten, The Swingers Open returns this October as part of London Cocktail Week. Tee off with three of your pals for the chance to win a VIP party at Swingers for up to 10 people with cocktails, food. There’s also Tanqueray hampers for the runners up, so there’s no need to be a sore loser. Register your interest by emailing londonswingersopen@swingers.club
Tuesday, October 5; 6pm-12am; £20; Swingers City, 8 Brown’s Buildings, EC3A 8AL; swingers.club

6 OverCome at Battersea Arts Centre
BAC has launched its autumn programme featuring a season of uplifting and powerful works about being bold and working towards a unified future. Running until the end of the year, in October catch large-scale immersive show, We Are As Gods, Little Wimmin – a funny adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic, and The Body Remembers which is a cathartic approach to trauma recovery. BAC also has a Pay What You Can scheme for all its shows and socially distanced performances.
Runs September 23 – December 30; times and prices vary; full programme here; Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN; bac.org.uk

7 Massaoke Clapham Grand, Clapham or Electric Ballroom Camden Town
Not quite a choir, not quite karaoke, rather a mass of people belting out tunes, living their best lives. A festival event that has toured Glastonbury, Adelaide Fringe, Latitude and Edinburgh Fringe, songs are performed by a live band, as lyrics pop up onto a giant sing-along screen for you to follow. There’s also dancers, a confetti blaster and a whole lot of fun. At Clapham Grand, it’s Massaoke – Sing The Movies, and in Camden, it’s Sing the 80s.
October 8, 6.30pm-10pm; from £10; 184 Camden High Street, Camden Town, NW1 8QP; electricballroom.co.uk
October 22, 6.30pm-10pm; from £10; 21-25 St John’s Hill, SW11 1TT; massaoke.com; claphamgrand.com

8 London Craft Week, London-wide 
Craft week brings together more than 250 established and emerging makers, designers, brands and galleries from around the world. There’s talks, demonstrations, and exhibitions, as well as districts championing different crafty elements. The Mills Fabrica in Kings Cross has as focus on social and sustainable innovations, whereas Seven Dials, Pimlico and Sloane Square will showcase the craftspeople, artisans, curators and makers that make their individual areas buzz with creativity.
October 4-10; various locations, times and prices; londoncraftweek.com

9 Zadok Ben-David: Natural Reserve at Kew Gardens, Richmond
The artist and sculptor presents his first solo exhibition in the UK since 2008. Looking at the fragility of our natural landscape and the relationship between us and our natural environment, it includes Blackfield, a space-specific floor installation containing over 17,000 steel etched flowers assembled entirely by hand. While you’re at the gardens check out the Japan Festival. It is an immersion of Japanese art, plants and culture held in the Temperate House – the world’s largest surviving Victorian glasshouse – between October 1-31.
Exhibition on October 16 to March 27, 2022; gardens open 10am-7pm; exhibition is free with garden entry, tickets start from £17.50; Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE; kew.org

More things to do in October to come. Meanwhile, check out what foodie things to do are happening this October.