What a fabulous long weekend. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, despite the fact that I spent most of it freezing and getting rather wet.
As always, there seem to be far too many interesting events going on in London, so here are my picks for this week, just to help all of you overwhelmed by what’s going out there. Let me know what you think!
- Take in some of Magnum photographer Eve Arnold’s greatest works at All About Eve, The Photography of Eve Arnold. The exhibition includes her portraits of Marilyn Monroe, a beautiful image of a tired, young working girl resting in a bar in Havana, and photos of Malcolm X, and a photo taken of the Queen back in 1968. Art Sensus, till Apr 27th
- Catch Philip Ridley’s Shivered during the last few days of its run at the Southwark Playhouse. Set in a fictional town in Essex, Shivered looks at the crumbling lives of two families over the span of 20 years. The sad story’s told out of sequence, rendering it all the more emotional. Southwark Playhouse, Apr 10th – 13th, 7.45 pm, Apr 14th, 3.15 pm, £18
- Venture into the wonderful world of Brains: The Mind As Matter at the Wellcome Collection’s new free exhibition. Brains features over 150 artefacts, including real brains, and looks at the brain as a physical object, rather than what we’ve accomplished by using it. There’s even a Brain Jar workshop where you can “learn how to channel your inner zombie” or see whether you’d cut it (pun intended) as a neurosurgeon. Wellcome Collection, till Jun 17th, free. Brain Jar, Apr 14th, 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm, free
- Spanish street artist Pez, creator of the iconic ‘smiling fish’ logo in the streets of Barcelona, brings his work to Tony’s Gallery for his first UK solo exhibition, Smiling Since 1999. While you’re in the area, see if you can spot some of his work out on the streets of Shoreditch! Tony’s Gallery, till May 6th, free
- Cinema Suitcase presents a night of the best short films and animation from around the world at 93 Feet East. The full title of the event (“Filmmaking not through construction but through intimacy with the subject and through self-narration”) may be a bit of a mouthful, but don’t let that put you off from supporting independent film. 93 Feet East, Apr 11th, doors open at 5.00 pm, show starts at 8.00 pm, free
- As part of the Alchemy Festival, the Southbank Centre will be producing its very own Bollywood film in the span of seven days, using the venue as its film set. Wander through the site and you just might get to see actors running through the market or fight sequences among the skateboarders. Who knows? You might even get a chance to participate by learning a dance sequence or two! Southbank Centre, Apr 12th, 10.00 am to Apr 22nd, 11.00 pm, free
- If you, like me, are a bit of a rave-head, and missed out on watching The Chemical Brothers’ Don’t Think during its very limited run recently, then head over to Rough Trade East to catch not just a screening of the film, but also a Q&A with director Adam Smith. Rough Trade East, Apr 13th, 6.30 pm, free (wristband required for entry, collect one hour prior to screening, one per person)
- Tempt fate by catching Friday the 13th at The Yard in Hackney, “probably the only warehouse-cinema in London.” The Yard, Apr 13th, 8.00 pm, £9
- Dance the bad luck away to rock & roll, blues, funk & soul at Itchy Feet. Judging from their tumblr, it promises to be one heck of a party. Concrete, Apr 13th, 10 pm, £6 (adv)
- Head over to Brixton and brace yourself for Ukulele Slamdown, an awesome onslaught of ukuleles courtesy of the Dulwich Ukulele Club, “a big band with tiny guitars.” The band plays original material. Prince Albert, Apr 13th, 9.00 pm, free
- If you have to watch one opera a year, it should be a good one, or that’s what I tell myself, and trust me, I am not really a fan of classical music. I’d make an exception for the Met Opera’s production of La Traviata. I’ve not seen Natalie Dessay play Violetta, but I did catch her as Marie in La Fille Du Regiment at The Royal Opera House in 2009 and she was a joy to behold, all fantastic vocals and boundless energy. Tickets still available at selected Curzon and Picturehouse cinemas, Apr 14th, 6 pm, £25 to £30
- East London’s alternative gay festival Fringe! presents Dragersize, an hour-long muscle toning cardio class conducted by instructor Sharon Husbands who will kick your ass into shape. Alternatively, try out Voguing, a highly stylised house dance which evolved out of the Harlem Ballroom scene in the ‘60s. Or double-up and go for both! It’s for a good cause too! Half of the proceeds go to Breast Cancer Care. Market Sports, Bateman’s Row, Dragersize: Apr 14th, 2 pm, Apr 15th, 4 pm. Voguing: Apr 14th, 4 pm, Apr 15th, 2 pm. All classes are £5 each.
- Take part in Robot Lego Night. Get a team together and build a robot out of lego, preferably under the influence of a couple of cocktails. Rules state that your creation must have a name and a special ability to compete with, so take the time between now and then to come up with something totally awesome. Go forth and build, my friend. Go forth and build. Drink, Shop & Do, Apr 14th, free
- Relax on the seventh day and get brunch at Salvation Jane, Lantana’s new cafe/bar in Shoreditch, clearly the centre of the universe. The cafe offers breads and pastries from Gail’s bakery, the corn fritters Lantana is so famous for (as well as duck leg confit and beef burgers), and the intriguing but somewhat threatening-sounding Patterson’s Curse cocktail. Salvation Jane, open Mon to Sun.