Totally Thames

Throughout the whole of September, Totally Thames celebrates the river that flows through London. There are lots of exhibitions and events happening and I thought these two looked good.

On 1 September enjoy The Long Good Friday Revisited walk. In the 1980 classic thriller The Long Good Friday, Bob Hoskin’s character, Harold Shand had strong views about the future of the Docklands. This walk visits many of the east London locations from the film; some of which are recognisable, some of which have changed beyond Harold’s wildest dreams.

And every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month you can Discover A Roman Waterfront Residence hidden beneath office buildings. Billingsgate Roman House and Baths was once the riverside residence of a wealthy Londoner. The Bathhouse was discovered in 1848 having survived 2,000 years of building, fires and bombings. During these open weekends there are 45 minute guided tours available to help us gain fascinating insight into ancient life in the City.

River Thames

Open House

Open House London is a wonderful architecture festival where buildings not usually open to the public open their doors for us to go inside. On 16 and 17 September all London boroughs are participating so you can explore locally or visit a new area of London.

Simpson Haugh & Partners’ One Blackfriars tower is not finished but is offering guided tours of its basement area and a show apartment on the Southwark building’s 32nd floor. And the Metropolitan Police’s newly refurbished headquarters is also on the list.

This is the 25th year of Open House London and landmarks such as the Gherkin and the BT Tower are included among a further 800 locations.

Open House London

Akram Khan’s Giselle

Akram Khan’s Giselle for English National Ballet is at Sadler’s Wells from 20 September to 28 October. Khan’s reimagined Giselle is one of a community of migrant workers cast out of their jobs in a condemned garment factory.

Since its world premiere last year, Khan’s first full length ballet has been seen by over 40,000 people in the UK, won the 2017 South Bank Sky Arts Award for Best Dance Production and was nominated for Best New Dance Production at the 2017 Olivier Awards.

The production has set and costume designs from Academy-Award winning designer Tim Yip, known for his work on the hit film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and an adaptation of the original score performed live by the English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Akram Khan's Giselle

Stina Quagebeur and Alina Cojocaru in Akram Khan’s Giselle © Laurent Liotardo

Nature Morte

Opening on 7 September at the Guildhall Art Gallery, Nature Morte is a touring exhibition based on Michael Petry’s Nature Morte: Contemporary Artists Reinvigorate the Still Life published by Thames & Hudson. It brings together historic still-life paintings and contemporary artworks that seek to use the language of the past for modern concerns.

Explore the transience of time and the problem of mortality as the 16th-century tradition of still life meets modern art. The exhibition features work by major international contemporary artists including Michael Craig-Martin and Gabriel Orozco, as well as art from London-based artists and the City’s own historic collection.

Mr Smith, 2009

Mr Smith, 2009


Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical Follies is staged for the first time at the Olivier Theatre (National Theatre) from 12 September. The cast of 37 include Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton.

Set in New York in 1971, there’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves.

Featuring a 21-piece orchestra, this dazzling new production includes classic songs such as Broadway Baby, I’m Still Here and Losing My Mind.


Jane Eyre

Also at the National Theatre, this time in the Lyttelton Theatre, is Jane Eyre from 26 September. This innovative reimagining of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece is a collaboration between the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic.

Directed by Sally Cookson, the classic story of the trailblazing Jane is as inspiring as ever. This bold and dynamic production uncovers one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfillment on her own terms. Jane Eyre‘s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart.

JANE EYRE UK Tour 2017

Boom for Real

This is the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960­-1988), one of the most significant painters of the 20th century. Basquiat: Boom for Real opens at the Barbican Art Gallery on 21 September and runs to 28 January 2018.

Basquiat came of age in the post-punk underground art scene in Lower Manhattan in the late 1970s. Basquiat’s vibrant, raw imagery springs from an impressive erudition, seen in the fragments of bold capitalised text that abound in his works — offering insights into both his encyclopaedic interests and his experience as a young artist with no formal training.

Drawing from international museums and private collections, this exhibition brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works, many never before seen in Britain. Paintings, drawings and notebooks are presented alongside rare film, photography, music and ephemera in a design that aims to capture the dynamism of Basquiat’s practice. These exhibits are brought together for the first time in 35 years, allowing visitors to understand how Basquiat so quickly won the admiration of his fellow artists and critics.

Jean-Michel Basquiat - Untitled, 1982

Jean-Michel Basquiat – Untitled, 1982
Courtesy Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo: Studio Tromp, Rotterdam


Musicity London is all about music inspired by the buildings of Southwark and is on from 8 to 10 September. From Borough Market to the Finnish Church, Peckham Library to the Shard, the area is in the midst of dramatic architectural transformation.

Musicity is a new kind of travel guide to a city, exploring the ways in which cities influence the culture that emerges from within them and the melodies and stories inspired by our personal experiences of architecture. The plan is to build soundtracks of cities – with compilations of the tracks eventually being released as a physical box set.

Musicians with strong connections to the area are making music to be collected by exploring the streets with the Musicity app; and the buildings themselves will become venues for live performances and discussions.

The project is not limited to London; so far, 43 tracks have been created across 7 cities, including, Oslo, Tokyo and Singapore.


Even More

If you would like even more ideas for this month have a look at the Things to Do in London in September 2017 from Kensington House Hotel, our sister hotel.


The next annual site-specific commission for the Turbine Hall is unveiled at Tate Modern on 3 October. Danish collective Superflex are producing it and are best known for playfully subversive installations and films offering engaging, and often humorous, perspectives on the social and cultural concerns of our age.

A major new production of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution opens on 6 October. It’s being performed in a unique court room setting in The Chamber in County Hall on the South Bank. It’s a gripping tale of justice, passion and betrayal, with the audience thrillingly placed in the thick of the action. This will be the first major London production of a play written by Agatha Christie to open since the 1960s.

And get ready for the ‘Age of Aquarius’ as Hair is celebrating its 50th anniversary year. This iconic tribal rock musical is at The Vaults in Waterloo from 4 October.


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 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.

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