Now, I don’t get paid for this, nor do I get free entry to any events I write about. Well, I did, once, but it was after I’d written about the event, and not before, so there you go.
- Adam Torel, owner of Third Windows Films, one of the leading distributors of Asian films in the UK, will be presenting not just his favourite Japanese film, but his favourite film of all-time at the Asian Movies Meetup night. While the film’s title has yet to be revealed, the clues are: it’s a film which was made in the 80s and has never been shown in Japan or released on DVD in the UK. It sounds oh-so-secret and intriguing that I really wish I didn’t have plans for this night already! Aug 13th, Roxy Bar & Screen, 7.00 pm (start, but be advised that you should arrive early as this often gets busy), free
- Ice-T, widely recognised as the godfather of Gangsta Rap, takes us on a deeply personal journey into the world of rap in his documentary, The Art of Rap. Featuring interviews with close to 50 of his peers, as well as some of the greatest moments the hip hop world has even seen, this is, as the film’s creator put it, “a love letter to hip hop”. Till Aug 16th, Prince Charles Cinema, check website for times, £2.50 (members) / £10 (non-members) – seeing as membership costs £10 per year, it’s probably best to get a membership!
- Salon, a regular event which showcases specialists from the worlds of science, art and psychology aimed at the intellectually curious crowd, and which has been featured in this series more than once, has put together a three-nighter event of spectacular proportions. Future Victorians, an event asking us to imagine the world in 2062, focusing on Future Cities on the first night, Future Taste on the second night and Future You on the third and final night. Aug 15th to 17th, Marylebone Pleasure Gardens, 7.30 pm to 11.00 pm, £12 per night
- Comedian Ruby Wax previews her new show about how learning to be mindful can help us cope with the pressures of modern life, sharing what she’s learnt about why burn-out occurs and how this relates to the workings of our brains, and how learning mindfulness can help. This event is raising funds to support Action for Happiness. Aug 15th, Conway Hall, 6.30 pm, £15 suggested donation (but more or less is welcome, depending on your circumstances)
- The charmingly-named Ronnie Scott’s Rejects, fronted by vocalist Hazel Holder, will be entertaining at the More London Free Festival, playing tunes from the 1930s and 40s. Beginners’ swing dance lessons will take place prior to the performance. Aug 15th, The Scoop, 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm, free
- If you’ve seen the those curious, colourful, construction worker-monsters all around London and always wanted to see more, then check out artist Nathan Bowen’s first solo show. I’m told he’s even been featured in BBC’s Apprentice Series 8 (whether you like that in a street artist is an issue to be debated another day). Aug 16th to Sep 1st, Curious Duke Gallery, 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm (Aug 16th, private view, e-mail email@example.com for details), free
- Paul Sinha, qualified-doctor-turned-stand-up-comic and “crusher of dreams” on ITV’s quiz show The Chase, tells us – oh, fine, the people in the audience – about the events in his life which have shaped his journey thus far in Last Christmas. Aug 16th to 18th, Soho Theatre, 7.45 pm, £10 (Thurs) / £15 (Fri and Sat)
- Traces, immersive-theatre-experience-cum-art-show, takes a neglected old building and brings it alive with the smells, tastes, touches and sounds of days gone by. Its location is secret, naturally, and the public is invited to come along and discover these histories by piecing together a series of clues relating to the location, era and characters which will feature in the show. The clues will be sent out in the run-up to the opening with the first clue now available on Traces’ website. Aug 17th to 19th, secret location, 12 noon to 8.00 pm (Fri and Sat) / 11.00 am to 6.00 pm (Sun), free
- Sarah Campbell, writer for Have I Got News For You and Russell Howard’s Good News, presents Experiments in Fun, a work-in-progress show about not enjoying the things you’re supposed to and vice versa. Aug 17th to 19th, The Camden Head, 6.30 pm, £5
- The London MexFest, a three day celebration of Mexico featuring documentaries, filmsm exhibitions and panel discussions, takes place this weekend. I don’t know about you, but, personally, I’m looking forward to the sci-fi films on offer, such as The Ship of Monsters (about Venus needing men), The Planet of the Female Invaders (about the female inhabitants of a faraway planet plotting to invade Earth so as to harvest human lungs) and Santo vs. The Martian Invasion (about “the fate of the universe hangs in the balance after extraterrestrials land on Earth. Silver-masked wrestler Santo to the rescue!”). Aug 17th to 19th, Rich Mix, various times, £5 (concs) / £7 (adults) / £15 (day pass)
- Enjoy a free alfresco festival of music at the Canary Wharf Jazz Festival with a line-up delving into every facet of the jazz genre. Aug 17th to 19th, Canada Square Park, 7.00 pm (Fri start) / 1.30 pm (Sat and Sun start), free
- HouseProud, a new party dedicated to the sounds and the vibes of the Balearics, lauches with a Saturday afternoon party featuring Oh Death, Stuart Rodell (of the Streetlife DJs, Britain’s answer to 2ManyDJs, and called “two people you would most want DJing at your house party” by the legendary The End), Aaron James and Alex Ellis (both of Future History). There will be BBQ and shisha, and large bed areas to kick back and chill. Aug 18th, Proud2, 2.00 pm to 11.00 pm, £5 (advance) / £8 (door)
- Dingwalls, London’s longest running rock & roll club, is 26 years old. How better to celebrate than 11 hours of the finest in rock & roll music? Music and entertainment will be provided by live bands Voola and the Jayhawks and The River Rhythm Trio and the club’s in-house DJs. Aug 19th, Dingwalls, 2.00 pm (doors), £10