What's On in London October 2014
The Big Draw
Dates: 1st October to 2nd November 2014
One of the world's largest drawing festivals prompts scribbling across the city.
Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2RL
The Big Draw takes place nationwide throughout the month of October and museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, schools and parks all play host to a variety of events encouraging people of all ages to discover how drawing can connect them with their surroundings and communities. Put together by the Campaign for Drawing, a charity which aims to eradicate the words, "I can't draw", London institutions like the British Museum, National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Wellcome Collection, the British Library and Discover children's centre are all hosting events so there's a good chance something will be going on at a venue near you.
English National Opera: The Girl of the Golden West
Dates: 2nd October to 1st November 2014 - 7.30pm
The Gold Rush in California provides the backdrop for Puccini's 'American' opera.
London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES
Keri-Lynn Wilson conducts Puccini's 'American' opera, The Girl of the Golden West (La fanciulla del West), set during the California Gold Rush. It's a story of true love and second chances involving the love triangle between a wanted bandit, the Sheriff and Minnie (sung by internationally acclaimed soprano Susan Bullock), the girl who runs the saloon. Richard Jones has enjoyed recent
Dates: 3rd October to 29th November 2014
Phyllida 'The Iron Lady' Lloyd brings an all-female production of Shakespeare's Henry IV to the Donmar.
The Donmar Warehouse, 41 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9LD
Following on from 'The Iron Lady' Phyllida Lloyd's 2012 all-female production of Julius Caesar which placed the play in a women's prison, the director now takes on Shakespeare's Henry IV in the second instalment of what will be a trilogy of works at the Donmar. If Julius Caesar is anything to go by - which stunned audiences on both sides of the Atlantic - this women-only production is set to be a sell-out success. In Henry IV, which reunites the director with Harriet Walter (who played Brutus in Lloyd's 2012 production of Julius Caesar and who returns to take on King Henry), Lloyd asks 'what makes a King?' and 'what makes a father?' bringing the heart of family, duty and country to the fore in Shakespeare's monumental history play. Clare Dunne (playing Hal) and Jade Anouka (playing Hotspur) also return to the Donmar having previously appeared in Phyllida Lloyd's production of Julius Caesar.
Stand Up For Cancer: London 3 Peaks
Dates: Sunday 5th October 2014
Londoners are invited to climb three of the capital's tallest buildings in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The Gherkin or 30 St Mary Axe, 30 St Mary Axe, London, EC3V 1LP
The inaugural London 3 Peaks, the capital's first endurance and adrenaline event of its kind, takes place in October 2014. Organised by Cancer Research UK, the event invites Londoners to Stand Up To Cancer by being sponsored to take part in this gruelling event. The event will see participants climb the steps of three of London's tallest buildings, running in between each location (a total of 5k) and abseiling 56 metres down the third tower for a truly dramatic finale. The Gherkin, which celebrates its 10 year anniversary this year, is the first of the three buildings, followed by Salesforce Tower London (formerly known as Heron Tower) and 200 Aldersgate. The three buildings combined have a total of 2,000 steps, meaning this will be a true test of stamina, courage and determination. Those who think they've got what it takes must pay a £75 entry fee and raise £900 in sponsorship for Stand Up To Cancer.
London Cocktail Week
Dates: 6th to 12th Oct 2014
If you like Tom Cruise in 'Cocktail' you'll want to sample some of these expertly shaken drinks.
Seven Dials, Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9DD
If you've ever seen the 1988 film Cocktail and wished you had the ability to mix and pour drinks with the style and rhythm that Tom Cruise does, then you're in for a treat at London Cocktail Week. Taking place at more than 100 cocktail bars across London, Cocktail Week offers cocktail lovers tasting sessions, tours, pop-up events, parties and master classes in the art of pouring the perfect concoction. Cocktail lovers simply have to purchase a wristband from the official website to be treated to a number of deals and bespoke drinks. Last year saw 17,451 wristbands collected, eight pop ups temporarily set up shop in Seven Dials, 176 bespoke events and activities, and 163 bars on the cocktail tours. Let's see if they can top that this year.
The BFI London Film Festival
Dates: 8th to 19th October 2014
Screening 245 films and welcoming more than 600 filmmakers over 12 days.
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, South Bank, London, SE1 8XT
Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Brad Pitt come to London this October for the star-studded BFI London Film Festival when 16 world film premieres are staged over 12 days. Knightley and Cumberbatch are in town to promote 'The Imitation Game' the historical thriller based on the life of code breaker Alan Turning which opens the famous festival when 245 films are screened at the BFI Southbank and selected cinemas across London. Bjork, Sienna Miller and Brad Pitt are all expected to put in an appearance at the 58th festival which, under Clare Stewart, director since 2012, will include gala screenings, premieres and A-list stars on the red carpet. Festival closes on 19th October with David Ayer's Second World War drama 'Fury' which stars Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf.
International Ballroom Dancing Championships 2014
Dates: Thursday 9th October 2014 - 5.45pm
Dance floor experts, both amateur and professional, compete at the Royal Albert Hall.
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP
The Royal Albert Hall welcomes a select group of 360 consummate dance floor experts, both amateur and professional, for the 58th annual International Ballroom Dancing Championships. Spectators will have the chance to see the pros compete in Latin class (Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive). The amateurs, as well as dancing Latin, will go foot-to-foot in standard class, giving us a demonstration of the timeless classics (Slow Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot and Quickstep). The popular TV show Strictly Come Dancing has raised interest in dancing to unprecedented levels, and the standard here will be exceptional.
Sigmar Polke: Alibis
Dates: 9th October 2014 to 8th February 2015
More than 250 astonishingly wide-ranging works by the German artist at Tate Modern.
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street, London, SE1 9TG
Tate Modern presents an opportunity to see over 250 works by Sigmar Polke (1941-2010), one of the most experimental artists of recent times and a key figure in the generation of German artists who first emerged in the 1960s. An opportunity to see the astonishingly wide-ranging scale of his art, Sigmar Polke: Alibis displays paintings, films, photographs where Polke played with double-exposure, sculpture, drawings, prints, television productions and a film of his stained-glass windows for a Zurich church. An artist who "was trying to exceed the limits of painting" Polke's ambition "was to make extraordinary meaningful art" according to Burlington art magazine.
London Restaurant Festival
Dates: 8th to 27th October 2014
London's finest chefs and top restaurants take part in this city-wide celebration of food.
Various Venues London, London, W1J 9LN
The London Restaurant Festival is a celebratory and all-encompassing food affair, showcasing a huge variety of events at venues across the capital. The annual festival takes place during October and incorporates over 800 different restaurants from around the capital.
Africa on the Square
Dates: Saturday 11th October 2014 - 12noon-6pm
A brand new event celebrating African culture.
Trafalgar Square, Central, London, WC2N 5DS
A brand new event from the Mayor of London, Africa on the Square is a free festival celebrating African culture with performances by African drummers and a live talent show in Trafalgar Square. In addition to the stage shows there will be family workshops where you can try everything from batik to mosaic making.
Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon
Dates: Sunday 12th October 2014
Runners tackle 13.1 miles through four of central London's best loved parks.
Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH
The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon takes in four of central London's best loved parks, an iconic stretch of the Thames and some of the capital's most famous landmarks. What's more, at 13.1 miles, it's a manageable run for those still daunted by the colossal feat of a full marathon. Starting and finishing in Hyde Park, runners pass Buckingham Palace, St James's Park and the Houses of Parliament before following the river to Blackfriars Bridge and back. The next leg takes them under both Admiralty and Wellington Arch, through Green Park, all around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens(through avenues of beautiful autumnal trees) before passing the Royal Albert Hall and across the finish line. There's also the Pulse 3K run for 11-16 year olds and for those who don't fancy breaking into a sweat, there's always the Hearts and Heritage Walk.
Dates: Sunday 12th October 2014
Free celebration of the festival of lights in Trafalgar Square.
Trafalgar Square, Central, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DS
Known as the festival of lights, Diwali has religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and is celebrated by many of the capital's South Asian communities. Diwali on the Square gives Londoners a chance to come together and celebrate at a free concert with backing from the Mayor's office. This annually occurring event in Trafalgar Square has become a major fixture in London's calendar with colourful decorations, Indian music and theatrical displays all adding to the sense of occasion. Contemporary and traditional dances including the energetic Garba and Dandia are traditionally performed to celebrate Diwali and people of all faiths are welcome at this celebration of the victory of light over darkness.
Dates: 14th to 31st October 2014
An 18 day, city-wide festival celebrating and showcasing dance.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Holborn, London, SE1 8XX
One of the world's leading dance festivals, Dance Umbrella has been bringing new dance experience to London since 1978 and in 2014 under new Artistic Director Emma Gladstone the festival celebrates its 36th anniversary. Highlights of the 18-day festival include 'Le Patin Libre', a show by Canadian collective which reinvents ice skating at Alexandra Palace; 'Bosque Ardora' by world-renowned flamenco dancer Rocio Molina who performs at the Barbican; Ivan Blackstock presenting a Harlem-set hip hop show at the Young Vic; and Beijing-based choreographer Tao Ye who brings TAO Dance Theatre to Sadler's Wells. The festival of contemporary dance takes place across fourteen venues including The Albany, Artsdepot, The Unicorn, Stratford Circus and Watermans, beginning with Jerome Bel at the Shaw Theatre and culminating with La Veronal at Southbank Centre.
I due Foscari
Dates: 14th October to 2nd November 2014
Domingo makes Verdi's I due Foscari at the Royal Opera House a must-see.
Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD
Placido Domingo takes on the title role of the Doge Francesco Foscari in Verdi's I due Foscari, the first new production of the 2014/2015 opera season at the Royal Opera House. Directed by American director Thaddeus Strassberger, this production reunites Domingo with Royal Opera Music Director Antonio Pappano, the pair having last worked together on Simon Boccanegra in July 2010 when Domingo sang his first baritone role for The Royal Opera. The dramatic story sees the son of the Doge of Venice, Jacopo Foscari convicted of murder and treason.
Rembrandt: The Final Years
Dates: 15th October 2014 to 18th January 2015
Blockbuster exhibition at London's National Gallery in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DN
Approximately 40 paintings, 20 drawings and 30 prints from Rembrandt's final creative period are featured in Rembrandt: The Final Years, a blockbuster exhibition at London's National Gallery staged in autumn 2014. Organised by the National Gallery in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, it's the first ever in-depth, focused exploration of Rembrandt's late works. Works from the final years of his life, from the 1650s until his death in 1669, show how Rembrandt showed no signs of complacency. In fact, his later works are among his best and its this period that defines our image of Rembrandt the man and the artist.
Frieze Art Fair
Dates: 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th Oct 2014
The most prestigious contemporary art fair in London comes to Regents Park in October.
Regent's Park, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4NR
As the country's leading contemporary art fair, the Frieze Art Fair draws the world's most influential art buyers to Regent's Park each October. Specially commissioned art works are exhibited alongside curated exhibitions as well as the pieces for sale presented by over 150 of the most highly respected contemporary art galleries in the world. Among the paintings and installations in Regent's Park there's an amazing jumble of the comical, the beautiful and the shocking. You can expect site-specific projects, short films, a prestigious talks programme and an artist-led education schedule all presented in a captivatingly chaotic atmosphere. It's packed into a vast temporary structure in the park with work by around 1,000 contemporary artists crammed in. Frieze Masters, a showcase of Old Masters and art up to the 20th century, is expected to return this year following its successful inaugural show last year..
Dates: 17th October 2014 to 12th April 2015
Explore the world of Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional super sleuth.
Museum of London, 150 Wall, London, EC2Y 5HN
Likely to be one of 2014's most popular exhibitions, Sherlock Holmes at the Museum of London will be the largest exploration of the fictional detective in over 60 years. Drawing on the museum's Victorian and Edwardian collections, as well as material from across the globe and costumes and props from the recent BBC series, the exhibition will ask searching questions such as who is Sherlock Holmes and why does he still hold such fascination.
Lady Gaga: The Artpop Ball Tour
Dates: 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th Oct 2014
The Lady Gaga circus rolls back into town this October for a good old fashioned rave.
The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB
The Lady Gaga circus rolls back into town this October playing at The O2 on Thursday 23rd October, returning to the UK capital after her hugely successful sell-out gig at Twickenham Stadium two years ago where she played to a 55,000-strong crowd. This time the multi-million album selling star is bringing her artRave: The Artpop Ball tour to London, which is supporting her number album Artpop.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Dates: 24th October 2014 to 30th August 2015
The popular photography competition celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new 'People's Choice Award'.
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 5BD
Some photographers wait for weeks in order to catch that one great action shot, some set up elaborate timing mechanisms. Others have simply seen an opportunity, grabbed a camera and produced a unique picture of the natural world. The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum consistently shows fresh perspectives on animals, insects, plants and landscapes - capturing brilliantly across a number of categories the most colourful and heart-warming collection of images on display in the capital. This year the competition celebrates its 50th anniversary and has introduced a new 'People's Choice Award' which invites the public to vote for their favourite from a selection of 50 images. This can be done through the Natural History Museum website and each person can only vote once. The overall winner and the people's choice winner will be announced in October 2014 and the images, alongside other commendable entries, will be on display at the Natural History Museum exhibition.
Giovanni Battista Moroni (c.1520-1579)
Dates: 25th October 2014 to 25th January 2015
Portraits and paintings by one of the most important painters of the Northern Italian Renaissance.
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London, W1J 0BD
Portrait paintings by the 16th-century Italian artist Giovanni Battista Moroni, known as a contemporary of Titian, go on display at the Royal Academy of Arts this autumn. One of the most important painters of the Northern Italian Renaissance, Moroni is widely regarded as one of the greatest portraitists of all time - writing in The Guardian, Jonathan Jones names Moroni's 'The Tailor' as "one of the best paintings in the National Gallery". He's "the kind of obscure genius it's a delight to discover", he continues, describing Moroni as an "incredible colourist" whose "portraits are stupendous evidence of how Renaissance ideas spread far beyond Florence". The exhibition in the Sackler Wing will present Moroni not only as a distinctive portraitist but also his lesser-known religious paintings.
Women Fashion Power
Dates: 29th October 2014 to 26th April 2015
150 years of women's fashion told through iconic figures in politics, fashion and business.
Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London, SE1 2YD
Exploring how influential women have used fashion to define and enhance their position in the world, Women Fashion Power at the Design Museum brings together clothing, photography, archive footage and interviews. Twenty-five high-profile women - including Naomi Campbell, Roksanda Ilincic, and Princess Charleen of Monaco - have contributed a personal item to the exhibition, and each shares their style philosophy. The event also explores the last 150 years of women's fashion, delving into the eras of flappers, screen goddesses, hippies, punks and power dressers through unique items including a punk wedding dress by Zandra Rhodes, the blue Mansfield suit worn by Margaret Thatcher when she was elected leader of the Conservatives, and the Jacques Azagury dress worn by Princess Diana on her 34th birthday.
The Ski & Snowboard Show London
Dates: 30th Oct, 31st Oct, 1st Nov and 2nd Nov 2014
This show turns Earls Court exhibition centre into a giant snow dome.
Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, Earls Court, London, SW5 9TA
Planning to hit the slopes next winter? Before you take off for snowier climes you'd be wise to put in some pre-ski prep work at the Ski & Snowboard Show which turns Earls Court Two into a giant snow dome. This snow show, which has been running for 40 years, is almost as much fun as the real thing and makes for a great day out for friends and families. As well as the chance to buy all the latest gear and clothes, there are bargain ski trips, ice skating, ice sculpting and practical advice on how to juggle your passion for skiing without giving up the day job. Centre stage is the main slope - where expert skiers perform and compete. It's a great spectator sport. Take the kids along - anyone under 11 goes free and there's a free creche as well as ski lessons, penguins and a pop up cinema.