Monday, August 20, 2012

Little Miss Random Recommends – August Bank Holiday Edition

When summer arrives in London, it comes in a really big way. Hands up those among you who didn’t get sunburnt? All of you? Hah! I knew it. It’s always a tough balance when it gets so hot that you don’t want to do anything. Still, let’s enjoy it while we can. This may be your best chance to avoid a vitamin D deficiency!

Also, I am very much counting the days till the long weekend. Erk. I know I’ve only been working for just over two months, but it’s been hard going! Read on to find out what you ought to be doing this weekend.

School Nights

  1. Admit it. While watching Usain Bolt power through to two gold medals or Aly Raisman tumble gracefully through the air, you, even for just a split second, desperately wished you had some sort of talent so you too could shine on the world stage. Well, yearn no more, and take the opportunity to participate in the 16th Mind Sports Olympiad. And if you’re too shy to show off, you can always choose to be a spectator. Or join in one of the teaching sessions and learn a new game! Diving chess, anyone? Till Aug 27th, ULU, check website for times and prices
  2. The Camden Fringe, a festival of everything from puppet shows to opera to stand-up comedy, enters its fourth and final week this week. Choose from a plethora of shows including This Is Your Life, a comic play with music where the audience is invited to the recording of everyone’s favourite reality show to determine the eternal fate of a recently deceased contestant with three actors playing over 20 characters, and It’s Complicated, a comedy exploring a trans-Atlantic love story. Till Aug 26th, venues across Camden, check website for times and prices (between £5 and £12 per show)
  3. Paris is Burning, London’s main French gig and club night, presents The Luxe Basement Sessions where PiB invite old faves and new talent to play intimate showcases in an exclusive venue. This month’s session features an open mic session of young French artists, folk blues singer-songwriter Freddie Keen and “your future favourite band” French cut. Aug 21st, The Luxe, 7.00 pm to 11.30 pm, free
  4. Step into The Grinder, an augmented theatre production by Interzone Theatre exploring a reality in which The Grinder is nourised by our information, thoughts, tweets… everything that makes us, us. Everything within The Grinder exists in a constant state of permutation, that is, until a feat of hacking which has left The Grinder temporarily locked in one space. Participants are required to have an iPhone or an Android phone with a working headphone socket. Aug 22nd to 24th, secret East London location, performances run from 5.00 pm to 8.15 pm each night, £10/£8 (concessions)
  5. Bring a picnic and get into the spirit of summer as Canary Wharf presents a concert exploring the music of Michael Jackson in the final night of its Twilight Delights Series. Bring a picnic and some friends and enjoy the show. Heck, get up and dance a little. Remember, you can always Blame It On The Boogie. Aug 22nd, Canada Square Park, 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm, free
  6. Mark Stevenson, writer/comedian and expert in, intriguing enough, talking about the future, takes us on An Optimist’s Tour of the Future (his first book) in this month’s Science London talk. Aug 22nd, The Lamb, 7.00 pm (doors) / 7.30 pm (start), free
  7. The Royal Family of Strange People, self-described as the finest family of freaks ever assembled in London, sounds exceedingly interesting. I’ve grown up hearing about the circus but have never ever seen a sideshow, and this is probably the closest I’ll ever come to one. Hosted by the Space Cowboy, holder of 11 Guinness World Records, including the most number of swords swallowed in one go, this week’s show features The Lizard Man (considered by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not as the strangest man alive), Princess of Pain Zoe L’Amore, The Baron (Baawo from the Fire Tusk Pain Proof Circus) and the Great Voltini and Electra. Get two tickets for the price of one if you have an Oyster! Aug 23rd to 26th, Priceless London Wonderground, 9.00 pm, £14
  8. John Niven, author of Kill Your Friends, will be introducing his new novel Cold Hands at Jameson’s Whiskey & Words, an event aimed at giving book lovers the chance to meet some of the hottest new talent on the block. Additionally, Ned Beauman will be reading from his new book The Teleportation Accident, which was recently longlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. Live music will be provided by multi-instrumentalist Laura J Martin and hypnotic singer/songwriter L.A. Salami. Host for the evening is poet and performer Salena Godden. Aug 23rd, Rough Trade East, 7.00 pm (doors), free and RSVP only (e-mail for entry)

Long Weekend

  1. Explore darkness in the secret heart of the urban forest as London Dreamtime takes you through Heygate Estate, the first council estate built in England. Let Nigel and Vanessa entertain you with stories and songs as you wander through this forgotten, abandoned part of London. E-mail to book. Aug 24th, Heygate Estate, 9.00 pm to 10.20 pm, £2 (booking is essential)
  2. Wander through London looking for The Bartlett School of Architecture’s specially-designed installations for London 2012. Members of the innovative school have transformed Euston Square Gardens, Parliament Square, South Kensington tube station forecourt, Trafalgar Square and Victoria Park, installing a gazebo with locally bred algae, an urban garden of recyclable building cells, a house made out of 206 flags, a series of story-telling trees and an incredibly English enormous tea-making machine. Till Sep 10th
  3. Guilty Pleasures, arguably London’s biggest, cheesiest party, in collaboration with Time Out Live and MGM HD, bring us an utterly pop-tastic party with a huge dash of Madonna in Guilty Pleasures Cinema Party presents: Desperately Seeking Susan. The party sees go-go dancers, a “Back to the 80s'” dress-up box, “Many Madonnas” bad look-a-likes cabaret show, magic acts, and, of course, an 80s disco. Aug 25th, The Troxy, 8.00 pm (doors), £10 (rear and circle) / £18 (front section)
  4. The Disappearing Dining Club will be serving up food (including grilled lobster), drink, music and dancing at Do The Lobster Dance, a one-day-only event hosted in a stunning Victorian warehouse conversion in Shoreditch. Either join them for a four-course lunch, or swing by for a five-course dinner and stay for the dancing. Aug 26th, Shoreditch location, 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm (lunch) / 7.00 pm (dinner & dance) / 9.30 pm (dance only), £45 (lunch) / £55 (dinner) / £10 (dance only)
  5. Brought to us by the incredibly great party people behind The Book Club, Bookstock returns for the second year running. Performers include a live set by the Dub Pistols, instrumental cover band Bikini Beach Band, and compere DJ and blogger Reverend Milo Speedwagon. There’ll be a glow-in-the-dark ping-pong rave (as you do), a fancy dress competition, and food from Bukowski Burgers and Mussel Men. As with their other fabulous street parties, entry is free. You just need to get a free entry priority wristband from The Book Club in the days leading up to the party. Aug 26th, The Book Club, 12 noon to 8.00 pm, free entry (with wristband)
  6. secretsundaze, the self-proclaimed undisputed leaders of London’s daytime party scene, are throwing one heck of an all-day-all-night electronic music extravaganza over two incredible party venues. With a class line-up featuring Matthew Herbert, Four Tet and James Priestly among other big names, this is one bank holiday party not to be missed. Aug 26th, The Roundhouse (day) / Proud Camden (night), 12 noon to 10.30 pm (day) / 10.00 pm to 4.00 am (night), £24.75 (day) / £16.31 (night) / £39.05 (combined)
  7. If you’ve already made up your mind to attend the Notting Hill Carnival, then head over to Kensal Green for Lostbanhof’s 5th Notting Hill Carnival Afterparty featuring Fools & Rushmore, Mr. Beatnick & Claws For?, TK & Louis Not Lewis and Semtek & Ben Morris on the decks. LBH have been going from strength to strength, with this year marking their largest venue to date. Aug 26th, Canalot Studios, 8.00 pm to 2.00 am, £7 (tickets at the door)
  8. The Shoreditch Fringe draws to a close on bank holiday Monday, and it is going out with a bang. Bring a picnic mat or just find yourself a space on the grass and enjoy performances from some of the best street performers in Europe. Highlights include comic chaos courtesy of Leandre from Cataluna, French scooter duo Picto Facto, live music from the Trans-Siberian March Band and the Hackney-based Brass Roots and dancing from Swing Patrol. The Hoxton Apprentice will be providing barbecued food. Aug 27th, Hoxton Square, 12 noon to 7.00 pm, free

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