The Resident’s pick of the best things to do this weekend in London from the London International Mime Festival to The Magic of Motown and a crystal grid workshop to Cirque du Soleil’s latest spectacular
Lead image: Running Woman from Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA (photo: Matt Beard)
1 The London International Mime Festival, various venues
8 January-2 February
The London International Mime Festival, back for its 44th year, is an annual showcase of the very best contemporary visual theatre, embracing cutting edge circus, dance, juggling, physical comedy and more. Highlights including This Time by Ockham’s Razor, showcasing spectacular new takes on trapeze routines; Romancing the Apocalypse by Thick & Tight, a subversive delight combining dance, mime and queer culture; The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel by Told by an Idiot, a hilarious and moving homage to two men who changed the world of comedy forever; and Dead Good by Vamos Theatre, a witty, wordless theatre show about two terminally ill friends who decide to embark on one final, death-defying adventure. Plus, workshops for 2020 include an exclusive course taught by faculty members from the École Jacques Lecoq, Paris, and a residential course celebrating 30 years of the David Glass Ensemble.
2 Cirque du Soleil Luzia at Royal Albert Hall
12 January-1 March
Cirque du Soleil return to the Royal Albert Hall with Luzia, a dazzling luminous spectacle playing in Europe for the first time. Luzia takes you to an imaginary Mexico, where light (‘luz’ in Spanish) quenches the spirit, and rain (‘lluvia’) soothes the soul. The show is like a waking dream, taking audiences from an old movie set to an undersea world, and from a cenote to a city alleyway, passing smoothly from an urban setting to the natural world, from the past to the present via fascinating Mexican mythology and traditions. Breathtaking acrobatic performances feature as standard, and water has been integrated into this year’s performances adding a level of acrobatic complexity never-before-seen under the Big Top at Cirque du Soleil. Tickets from £39.75.
Kensington Gore, Kensington SW7 2AP; royalalberthall.com
3 Saturday Night Comedy at Up The Creek, Greenwich
If you’re attempting Dry January, you’re going to need some laughs, so head into Greenwich for Saturday Night Comedy at Up The Creek, featuring some of the finest comedians on the circuit today. This Saturday it’s Ro Campbell, Kae Kurn, Matt Green and Simon Bodkin. You can also order fab burgers, chicken wings and veggie and vegan eats from Rox Burger, and once the comedy’s over, there’s an after party with music classics until 2am. Tickets £16. 8.45pm-2am (doors 7pm).
302 Creek Road, Greenwich SE10 9SW; up-the-creek.com
4 Disco Freaks: Disco 2020, at CLF Art Cafe, Peckham
Shake off the shackles of those January blues and join the Disco Freaks vinyl duo for a high-octane session on dance floor this Friday. Expect massive disco hits from the likes of Earth Wind & Fire, Sister Sledge, Odyssey and Chic, plus 70s & 80s funk and rare grooves – all played on beautiful vinyl. Over the last few years Disco Freaks have played huge festivals such as Bestival and Glastonbury, and packed out venues across the UK, Europe and New York. They’ve played alongside the likes of John Morales, Craig Charles and Roy Ayers. 10pm-5am. Entry from £5 in advance or £12 on the door. If disco’s not quite you scene, The South London Soul Train pulls into the Bussey Building the very next night.
133 Rye Lane; Peckham SE15 4ST; clfartcafe.org
5 The Magic of Motown, Richmond Theatre
The unstoppable Magic of Motown show hits the stage at Richmond Theatre this weekend. Celebrate the sound of a generation with the timeless sounds of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson and more, all sensationally recreated for you by a talented cast and band. The Magic of Motown has been seen by more than one million people all over the world and recently performed for the Royal Variety Performance 2016, so if you haven’t seen it yet, now’s the time. Tickets from £26.15. 7.30pm.
1 Little Green, Richmond TW9 1QH; atgtickets.com
6 Maidens, Myths & Monsters at Clapham Omnibus
Maidens, Myths & Monsters marks the debut of Nikita Gill’s mythological world Great Goddesses on stage. As well co-creating the play with director Thomas Moore, Nikita will also take to the stage in this spell binding world premiere. So what’s the story? Olympus is falling. The time of the Gods is almost over. But there is one more story left to tell – the greatest story of all. For millennia Hera sat atop Olympus watching and waiting while her family fought, her husband philandered, monsters were made, wars left their mark and stories were unwritten. She has been treated as a punch line to Zeus jokes for too long, but hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. 7.30pm. Tickets £16.
1 Clapham Common Northside SW4 0QW; omnibus-clapham.org
7 Intention Setting with Crystal Grids, Drink, Shop & Do, King’s Cross
Determined to make 2020 your year? Try Intention Setting with Crystal Grids, Drink, Shop & Do, King’s Cross. Crystal Grids are maybe the original vision board – master them and, in theory, you use them to attract what you want into your life. Ideal if you’re determined to stick to your 2020 new year’s resolutions, no? This fun, interactive workshop will start with a brief introduction to the healing properties of crystals and how they can impact your life – whether you want to attract love into your life, have a new business venture in mind, or are planning for a healthier 2020. Next, you’ll learn the background of crystal grids, discover how they can benefit us, and how and when to use them. Then you’ll create your first crystal grid. Tea and cake will be served before the workshop. Doors open at 10.30am, workshop starts at 11am and ends at 1pm. £35.
9 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross N1 9DX; drinkshopdo.co.uk
8 The Wonder Factory, Dalston
Until 9 February
The Wonder Factory is an Instagrammer’s dream. The interactive pop-up art exhibition, located in a 6,000 sq ft commercial space in Dalston, features 15 uniquely decorated rooms full of brightly coloured interactive installations. Highlights include a 250 sq ft marshmallow swimming pool, an outer space-themed mirror room full of lights to create the illusion of an infinite star field, an indoor beach with beach huts and candy pink sand, an orchard of blossom trees bearing coloured macaroons as their fruit, a three-meter wall of touch LED lamps that you can create works of art on, a confetti cyclone room, and a corridor filled with balloons levitating on streams of air. Tickets £23. Open Thursday-Sunday 12pm- 8pm (9am-9pm on weekends).
Unit B, Dalston Works E8 2FQ; thewonderfactory.co.uk
9 MELTDOWN: Visualizing the Climate Crisis at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill
Until 12 January
Unlike wildfires and flooding, glaciers are not part of the weather system and when looking at glacier mass loss over time, one can see the result of global heating, making glaciers key indicators of the climate crisis. Since 2008, climate change charity Project Pressure has been commissioning artists to document changes to vanishing glaciers, the consequences for billions of people, and efforts made to limit melting. These works have been brought together as MELTDOWN, which is broken down into three chapters: The Importance of Glaciers, Current Issues and Meltdown Consequences. The series of striking art works includes Richard Mosse’s photograph of the ice cave under the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland; and Noémie Goudal’s large-scale photographic installation mirroring the shifting glacial landscape. Entry is free.
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ; horniman.ac.uk
10 The Clash: London Calling at the Museum of London, Barbican
Until 19 April
The Clash’s groundbreaking London Calling was an album that rocked the music scene, serving as an anthem for London and for music lovers globally – and now you can go behind the scenes of its making. Released as a double album in the UK in December 1979 and in the US in January 1980, the Museum of London is celebrating the album’s 50th anniversary by showcasing personal objects, images, music and memories from the band’s history – some never seen before – in a free display. London Calling was driven by a fierce desire for social justice, and the album’s music and lyrics remain as relevant today as they were on release. Items on display include Paul Simonon’s broken Fender Precision Bass, smashed on stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21st September 1979, and Joe Strummer’s notebook from the period when the London Calling album was rehearsed and recorded. The exclusive exhibition also examines how the capital influenced The Clash as they became the most popular British band of the 20th century.
150 London Wall, Barbican EC2Y 5HN; museumoflondon.org.uk
11 Sleeping Beauty at Greenwich Theatre
Until 12 January
If you’re determined to cling on to the dying embers of those festive feels, Greenwich Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty is pretty much the last panto in town. Written and directed by panto-legend Andrew Pollard, this version of Sleeping Beauty takes panto fans on a time-travelling, continent-hopping, gravity defying adventure that’s out of this world (and since Greenwich Theatre celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, you can expect a few show-stopping events from 1969 thrown in for good measure). Tickets £30, concs £20, kids £15.50 (and they’re selling out rapidly, so move fast!).
Crooms Hill, Greenwich SE10 8ES; greenwichtheatre.org.uk
12 Garçon Style by Jonathan Daniel Pryce at South Place Hotel, Moorgate
Until 17 January
South Place Hotel is hosting an exhibition previewing photography from Amazon’s #1 best seller, Garçon Style, by award-winning photographer Jonathan Daniel Pryce (AKA GarçonJon). The London Edit by GarçonJon is an intimate exhibition of his work taken from his new book, Garçon Style, which features interviews with a host of street style icons including musician Paul Weller, artist Rainer Andreesen and editor Blake Abbie, with a special foreword from Sir Paul Smith. From impeccable tailoring to vintage finds, the evocative images capture the myriad ways in which men express themselves sartorially. Each of the book’s four chapters reveals the unique character of a fashion capital in the late twenty-tens. The award-winning photographer’s work will be showcased in the hotel’s gallery space adjacent to The Secret Garden.
3 South Place, Moorgate EC2M 2AF; southplacehotel.com
13 Double Your Bar Tab at Pergola Olympia, Pergola Paddington, Lost in Brixton & The Prince
Pergola Olympia, Pergola Paddington, Lost in Brixton and The Prince in West Brompton will be offering the chance to double your bar tab throughout January. The opposite to dry January, all four sites will be doubling the bar tab for groups who pre-order in advance, so you’ll get £100 worth of drinks for £50. Running Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with a pre-order minimum of £30 and max of £500. The drinks menu includes espresso martinis, margaritas, craft beers and quirky creations like a Pear Pisco Sour and Mexican Mule, which can be accompanied by dishes from the resident food traders. To book, email the venue direct on:
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com.
14 The Boy Friend at The Menier Chocolate Factory, Southwark
Until 7 March
The Menier Chocolate Factory is showing a major revival of Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend this month. Directed by Matthew White, Wilson’s all-singing all-dancing love letter to 1920s musical comedies is the first major London revival in over 10 years. Set in Madame Dubonnet’s finishing school in the south of France, these perfect young ladies burst into song at the least provocation, and forbidden boy friends are forever popping through the French windows to sing and dance with them. Since its premiere in 1953, this light-hearted soufflé of a show has delighted audiences worldwide and has become one of the most well-loved British musicals of all time.
53 Southwark Street SE1 1RU; menierchocolatefactory.com
15 ABBA: Super Troupers, The Exhibition at The O2, North Greenwich
Until 31 August
Let’s be honest, we’ve all sung along to Mamma Mia at some point in our lives and now you can celebrate ABBA’s incredible musical legacy at the O2 with this very special immersive exhibition. It has been conceptualised and curated by Jude Kelly MBE, former artistic director at The Southbank Centre, and it documents the Swedish band’s stellar rise to fame through personal items, photographs, costumes and lyrics.
Peninsula Square, North Greenwich SE10 ODX; theo2.co.uk