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11 TO SEE AT THE CITY OF LONDON FESTIVAL

The City of London Festival, running from 22 June-10 July 2015, is guaranteed to not disappoint. There are over 150 events scheduled, but here’s our top 11 picks

1 For fitspiration… Betty Brawn: Strong Lady Show, 23 June at New Square Street

As you watch the lovely Betty Brawn demonstrate a ridiculous amount of strength with the grace and poise of a lady, your cheeky feminist side will certainly be tickled. You can expect a fair amount of audience interaction (she’s known for calling men up onto the stage for a little pick up), and reminding everyone that women will always be the stronger sex, Betty pulls apart steel chains and performs several other crazy feats that will surely entertain.

2 For the whole family… Kwabana Lindsay: Fiddler on the Rope, 24 June at Broadgate Circle

A violin, actually. Circus-style entertainer Lindsay delights audiences with his old school clown garb and ability to shock, amuse, and excite by performing some insane tricks while playing his violin on a tightrope. Bringing his trademark act to the festival, Lindsay is prepped to take things a little further. You’ll see some extreme aerial stunts and fire displays. Perfect for old and young alike.

3 For music buffs… Singapore Sounds: MICappella, 26 June at Paternoster Square

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Kwabana Lindsay: Fiddler on the Rope

The Singaporean singers will be getting music enthusiasts pumped up before their big performance. Join the talented group as they perform amazing medleys by combining English and Mandarin chart-toppers. The fusion group were runners-up in Chinese TVs biggest reality music show in 2009 and have blown up the Asian music scene since. Check out their YouTube channel to watch their cover of Pharrell Williams’ Happy set right here in London.

4 For day out… Hampstead Heath Family Day, 28 June at Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath

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MICappella

If you’re looking to keep the kids occupied on a Sunday or just want to spend a nice day outdoors, the Hampstead Heath Family Day is a great option. Your day will be filled with a plenty of fun and cultural programmes, including a Rajasthani brass band, a gospel choir, and a dance fitness session. Our pick of the day has to be the Tit for Tat: Most Dangerous Cup of Tea segment that we’re sure will be as thrilling as it is fiery. The day concludes with the little ones parading around the Green in their handmade carnival headdresses. Adorable.

5 For a work out… Swing, Salsa, Tango: City Academy, 2 July at Paternoster Square

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Prepare for plenty of fun on Hampstead Heath

Spice up your lunch break with a hint of salsa! The folks at the City Academy will be holding classes for adults during the fest, and promise a lively atmosphere with plenty of fun. If you’ve always wanted to check out the craze, this is your chance to do it. Since it takes two to salsa as well, bring a friend along or if you’re feeling super social, go and find a partner there. It’s a great way to meet a new people.

6 For some you-time… Whose Social Justice Is It Anyway?, 6 July at Bishopsgate Institute

There are some great talks that will be held at the festival, featuring some very accomplished panellists, but this particular one seems just the ticket. The debate will question changing attitudes towards social justice, the role of economic growth in reducing inequality, and the trade-off between trade and aid. Tough stuff, but will definitely lead to some thoughts to discuss at the dinner table.

7 For a group of mates… City Beerfest, 8 July at Guildhall Yard

Get this: more than a dozen breweries serving up their most popular selections of ale, which is all yours to enjoy whilst listening to the tropical musings of Malphino, The Kansas Smitty House Band’s sweet jazz, We Banjo 3’s upbeat sounds, and Omar Puente Sextet’s melodies. We doubt you need any more convincing, so glasses at the ready.

8 For a work outing… How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, 9 July at Guildhall Great Hall

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City Beerfest takes place on Guildhall Yard

This musical is a hilarious satire on the American workplace and is set to be performed right here in London with some of the West End’s best talent. The Tony award-winning musical puts a modern twist on the quintessential rags to riches tale, with an ambitious window washer working his way up the corporate ladder with the assistance of a self-help book. Theatre buffs need not fret, the tickets are pretty reasonable (something that would delight the appearing Nick Hewer).

9 For a night out… Max & Ivan, 9 July at ClubTEN

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Nick Hewer will help us all to get ahead in business

Trust us, these two will have you in splits. The comedy duo take to the stage to recount a hilarious tale about a small town’s apocalypse day. The comedians, Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez, gained a lot of recognition with their Radio 4 detective parody sitcom and have since been raved about by critics and audiences alike. Give them a listen, and once you’ve composed yourself after an imminent laughing fit, hurry and book your tickets because they’re selling out super fast.

10 For the kids… Festival Children’s Parade, 10 July starting at Guildhall Yard and ending at St. Paul’s

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Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez

We are staunch believers in supporting the community, and so the fact that this year’s parade aims to make use of tonnes of the City’s recyclable waste makes this event an absolute must. The child in you will be thrilled to know that this year’s theme is ‘Myths and Legends’. We strongly recommend that you get into the spirit of the parade by dusting off your old knight’s Halloween costume and giving your tiara a good polish. A fun time is guaranteed!

11 For dance enthusiasts… Etta Ermini: Bar Story, 23 July at Finsbury Avenue Square

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The children’s parade is always a colourful event

Great for anyone looking for a unique experience, Bar Story is an interpretive dance and acrobatic show set, appropriately, in a bar. The audience participates in a story that goes through the evils associated with binge drinking, filled with intensity, emotion, and pyro-techniques. Beers will spill and bottles will change colours as the one-of-a-kind performance captures your senses.

Words: Maryam Rasheed

See the full listings at colf.org

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