No Man’s Land
A London-based play with an incredible cast, No Man’s Land is well worth seeing. Starring Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart this is Harold Pinter’s darkly comic drama about an evening of drinking which turns sour.
On at The Wyndham’s Theatre on Charing Cross Road until 17 December, No Man’s Land reunites these two legendary British actors, seven years on from their collaboration in the hit Broadway play Waiting For Godot.
The tense power games play out on a summer’s evening when two ageing writers meet in a north London pub. The drinking continues through the night at one of their homes and, as the pair grow increasingly inebriated, their stories become increasingly unbelievable. Pinter has left a sinister plot line that will have you guessing right to the end.
The Night Tube
Some London Underground lines have started running through the night on Friday and Saturday nights and that now includes the Jubilee Line which stops at London Bridge. The Jubilee Line Night Tube has trains about every 10 minutes across the entire line.
The Night Tube is starting on the Northern Line on 18 November (but it will be on the Charing Cross branch). The Central Line and Victoria Line also already have the Night Tube, and the Piccadilly Line will get the service later this year.
Lord Mayor’s Show
At 11am there’s the street procession that starts from Mansion House and goes to the Royal Courts of Justice for the new Lord Mayor to swear allegiance, before returning at 1pm along the Victoria Embankment.
The Lord Mayor’s first day in the new role is rounded off nicely with fireworks on the river at 5pm. This year’s display should be even better than ever because we’re celebrating 350 years since the Great Fire of London.
The City of London really does make the day special as you can also visit St Paul’s Cathedral for free (small charge for galleries). And the normal ‘no photography’ rule is relaxed for the day too. To really make the most of a visit, why not stay for Evensong at 3.30pm? There will be popular hymns and it’s a beautiful setting to enjoy the Cathedral Choir.
The Bank of England Museum is also open for free for the day (normally closed at weekends) with a special Wind in the Willows family day. Step into the world of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Mr Toad as the author Kenneth Grahame was a former Secretary of the Bank of England. Professional face painters will transform young visitors into one of the well-known characters from the book.
Museum of London After Dark
Late-night parties, artist’s commissions, live performances and secret bars are part of a week-long series of events happening at The Night Museum at the Museum of London from 29 October to 4 November. Everything is free but you need to book tickets to attend.
Visitors to The Night Museum will have the museum to themselves, including the permanent galleries and Punks, a temporary display celebrating the 40th anniversary of punk crashing its way into the London scene.
Saturday 29 October: The Museum of Lost Sounds
This late night public event explores the dark and lost borders of music, sound, art and film, in partnership with Illuminations Festival.
Wednesday 2 November: The Museum of Dark Places
The Night Museum will break out of the museum and invite nocturnal visitors on a programme of night walks, readings and performances – a journey of discovery into the dark heart of the city.
Friday 4 November: The Museum of Last Parties
For one night only The Museum of Last Parties celebrates the history, diversity and excitement of nightclubbing. Join Wayne Hemingway and a host of DJs in the last nightclub on earth ‘The Disco Apocalypse’, visit Jonny Trunk’s Space Age chill-out room, sip cocktails at the Candlelight Club’s 1920’s soiree, or dare to explore the dark and illicit music hall in the Victorian Walk.
London Jazz Festival
The 10 days of the London Jazz Festival deliver a world class line up of over 2000 artists playing in 50 venues around London from 11 to 20 November.
This is the 24th year for the Festival and it has a deserved reputation for bringing world-class music to the capital throughout its long history, and this year is shaping up to be no exception.
There are lots of artists performing at the Barbican and its neighbouring venues. This year includes Wordless! on 11 November, an ‘intellectual vaudeville show’, with celebrated cartoonist Art Spiegelman putting on an innovative hybrid of slides, talk, and musical performance created in collaboration with acclaimed jazz composer Phillip Johnston.
An Inspector Calls
This highly acclaimed Stephen Daldry production of An Inspector Calls returns to the London stage this month. The National Theatre’s landmark production of J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls is on at the Playhouse Theatre from 4 November to 4 February.
This classic thriller is about an unwelcome guest at The Birlings house as Inspector Goole interrupts their dinner party to investigate the death of a young woman.
The Radical Eye
Tate Modern has a modernist photographic show of work from the collection of Sir Elton John called The Radical Eye opening on 10 November. The show is drawn from one of the world’s greatest private collections of photography and presents an unrivalled selection of classic modernist images from the 1920s to the 1950s.
Featuring over 150 works from more than 60 artists the exhibition consists entirely of rare vintage prints, all created by the artists themselves. It showcases works by seminal figures such as Man Ray, André Kertész, Berenice Abbot, Alexandr Rodchenko and Edward Steichen, offering the public a unique opportunity to see remarkable works up close. It also marks the beginning of a long term relationship between Tate and the Sir Elton John Collection.
While there, do also see the new Turbine Hall installation called Anywhen by French artist Philippe Parreno. The commission constructs a series of situations as the hall’s lights are controlled and activated according to different sequences. Oh, and there are inflatable fish.
Tower of London
The Tower of London Ice Rink opens on 16 November in the dry moat providing one of the country’s most atmospheric skating destinations. Skate in the heart of the City while enjoying the majestic views of the Tower, before heading to the on-site café for warming refreshments.
There are also special after-hours Nightwatchers events on 3-5 and 10-12 November evenings. You get to enter the shadowy world of state surveillance in this immersive experience where messages and phone calls lead you around one of history’s most notorious prisons. Consider this your induction into the art of covert investigation.
Drawn at the Tower with Art Macabre is on 16 November (and 12 December). This popular creative collaboration between Historic Royal Palaces and Art Macabre returns to invite those of all artistic abilities to use drawing to explore stories from the Tower’s remarkable 1,000 year history.
And on Sundays throughout November (and December) there are Twilight Tours. Join the Tower’s Yeoman Warders on an exclusive twilight tour of the Tower. Take in world famous sights such as Traitor’s Gate, the scaffold site and the Bloody Tower, and be appalled and amazed by tales of prisoners and past residents.
Rodin & Dance
Rodin & Dance: The Essence of Movement at The Courtauld Gallery is the first major exhibition to explore Rodin’s fascination with dance and bodies in extreme acrobatic poses. It focuses on the series of small scale experimental sculptures known as the Dance Movements, which were found in the artist’s studio after his death. These sculptures serve as a fascinating insight into a modern master and the radical new dance forms emerging in Paris at the time.
These leaping, twisting figures in terracotta and plaster are presented alongside a series of drawings depicting performers from the Royal Cambodian dance troupe that enthralled France in 1906 as well as models that posed for him in the privacy of his studio.
The Dance Movements were not exhibited during Rodin’s lifetime or known beyond his close circle. Alongside the associated drawings they show a new side to Rodin’s art in which he pushed the boundaries of sculpture, expressing themes of flight and gravity.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of Irvine Welsh and Danny Boyle’s iconic, generation defining film Trainspotting, and ahead of the 2017 release of its sequel, a no-holds-barred immersive theatrical adaptation opens at The Vaults in Waterloo. To further mark the anniversary, twenty tickets at £20 will be available for every performance. Trainspotting is on for eleven weeks from 3 November to 15 January 2017.
Against a dynamic soundscape of 80s dance music, the stories of a group of friends living through the Edinburgh heroin scene – Renton, Tommy, Sick Boy, Begbie and Alison – are brought to life with humour, poetry and provocatively graphic scenes across 75 intense, immersive minutes.
If you would like even more ideas for this month have a look at the Things to Do in London in November 2016 from Kensington House Hotel, our sister hotel.
Another reason to visit Tate Modern is to see the Robert Rauschenberg exhibition that opens on 1 December 2016. It’s the first retrospective of this pop artist’s work since his death in 2008, and it will include his goat that hasn’t been seen in the UK for 50 years. I’ll explain more next month!
From 17 December to 2 January 2017, Million Dollar Quartet is on at Southbank Centre. It’s a musical inspired by the recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll grandees Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. Million Dollar Quartet brings the night to life, featuring a score of rock hits including ‘Blue Suede Shoes‘, ‘Fever‘, ‘Great Balls of Fire‘, ‘Walk the Line‘, ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On‘, ‘Hound Dog‘ and many more.
Do check out the latest offers as London Bridge Hotel has weekend rates from as low as £99. You can sign up for special offer alerts here. And when you can’t be at the hotel, you can try making the Quarter Bar’s cocktails with these recipes.
Laura Porter writes AboutLondonLaura.com and contributes to many other publications while maintaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.