From ice skating to cocktail-sipping to balls of frenzied bees, this weekend is full of things to do in the capital.
SOHO PLACE THEATRE
It’s not every week you can visit a new West End theatre – in fact this is the first to open in more than 70 years. Located a stone’s throw from Tottenham Court Road station, this swanky new auditorium has space for more than 600 guests. The inaugural show is Marvellous, a play that follows the life of Neil Baldwin, who hitchhiked through 1950s England and became first a professional clown then the kit man for Stoke City.
• Visit sohoplace.org
SHANE MACGOWAN’S DOODLES
Shane MacGowan is famous for being the frontman for the Pogues, and for imbibing legendary amounts of alcohol. But he’s also a posterboy for cosmetic dentistry and, now, a bona fide visual artist. An exhibition dedicated to his drawings created while on tour in the 80s and 90s are strange, surreal scribblings filled with references to religion, sex and, of course, booze.
• Andipa Gallery, South Kensington
MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO
Studio Ghibli’s seminal My Neighbour Totoro has opened at the Barbican, with the Royal Shakespeare Company adapting Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved animation with a little help from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. If that combination of artists doesn’t have you salivating we suggest checking your pulse as you may be dead already. Whether you’re a veteran devotee of Studio Ghibli or want to introduce youngsters to his work, this accessible play is a surefire hit.
A DICKENSIAN HALLOWEEN
While City A.M. readers may be a little above dressing up as Liz Truss or Jeffrey Dahmer for Halloween weekend, you can still get into the spooky spirit. The Charles Dickens Museum is hosting a special To Be Read at Dusk exhibition exploring Dickens’ fascination with the supernatural, featuring photographs and musings on ghostly tales both famous and more obscure.
LONDON COCKTAIL WEEK
Time to bid farewell to Sober October by swigging cocktails made by some of the world’s top bar tenders. A £15 wristband will allow you to drink £7 cocktails at bars across London, with more than 300 venues taking part. Today is also National Mezcal Day, so get involved with Mexico’s finest export at bars including Los Mochis, Farzi Cafe and Isabel.
While it only seems like five minutes since it was 40 degrees and London was melting, we’re already into iceskating season, with Canary Wharf opening its rink tomorrow. As ever you can glide gracefully around the sizable circle before retiring to a log cabin to sip festive cocktails.
• Visit icerinkcanarywharf.co.uk
The always brilliant Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition returns to the Natural History Museum with more weird, wonderful and heartbreaking snaps of animals. There is a breathtaking breadth to the show, which ranges from insights into the world of insects – the winner was American photographer Karine Aigner’s shot of a frenzied ball of bees – to sobering examples of the impact of climate change on wildlife, such as Dmitry Kokh’s House of Bears, which shows two polar bears searching for food in an abandoned house.