Guide to what’s on in London in April 2013

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

The place to be: The Southbank will play host to a lot of festivals and exhibitions (and hopefully some sunshine!)

March was pretty disappointing due to the weather, which unfortunately may have affected the popularity of some outdoor events. However, let’s hope Spring is finally sprung with the arrival of April. Of course, the first two weeks of the month are Easter Holidays so expect a lot of families and children in general at attractions or around town.

  • 2 April : Candlelight evening opening at Sir John Soane’s Museum

The former home of 19th century architect Sir John Soane is a treasure trove of sculptures, painting and antiquities which he collected over his lifetime. Once a month, the museum is open on the first Tuesday of the month for an evening candlelight opening Bookings are not taken in advance, with tickets only issued to the first 200 people. Open from 6-9pm, however tickets are issued at 5.30pm. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP. Nearest tube: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John Soane website.

  • 6 April : World Pillow Fight Day

Celebrate World Pillow Fight Day by taking a (soft!) pillow you don’t mind being destroyed to Trafalgar Square. From 3pm until 4pm and free. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information and the rules, visit World Pillow Fight Day website.

  • 7 – 9 April : Wonder Street Fair at Barbican Centre

Open your mind and expand your knowledge with this three day fair, featuring free performances, interaction, demonstrations and drop-in activities. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS. Nearest tube: Barbican. For more information, visit the Barbican website.

  • 8 April : Night Safari @ Natural History Museum

A special evening tour of the museum’s Central Hall, where scientists will bring out specimens not usually on show to the public. You can find out about research into extinct organisms and how scientists are working towards preventing the extinction of endangered species. Following the tour, there will be the chance to drink in the Central Hall and chat to the NHM scientists. 7-10pm, door open 6.30pm. Tickets: Non-members £28, members £25. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information, visit the National History Museum website.

  • 8 April : Sebastian Faulks in conversation at British Library

The acclaimed author will talk to Steven Gale about his work and influences, with a focus on his novel A Week In December. Tickets: £7.50. British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest tube: Euston, or King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information and to book tickets, visit the British Library website.

  • 11 – 14 April : The New Chelsea Art Fair

This year’s fair is having a relaunch with visitors having the chance to buy art starting from £500 upwards. Among the galleries included are Scottish Art Portfolio, Francis Isles, Muse The Sculpture Company, Wren Gallery, The Contemporary and Fine Art Gallery Eton, The Lighthouse Gallery and Neville Contemporary Art. Art from Mary Fedden, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, John Piper and Lelia Pissaro will also be shown. Free entry if you sign up via the website in advance, or £6 on the door. Chelsea Town Hall, Kings Road, SW3 5EE. Nearest tube: Sloane Square or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Chelsea Art Fair website.

  • 12 – 25 April : Alchemy Festival

A festival of music, dance, film and performance from India, the UK and South Asia, featuring Raman, Hariharan, Anoushka Shankar, Daksha Sheth Dance Company, Harshdeep Kaur and Ash King. Prices range from free to £20. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 12 April – 14 July : Udderbelly Festival

Udderbelly returns to the Southbank for a fifth year, featuring three months of comedy, circus, cabaret and family shows at affordable prices in an inflatable upside down cow venue. Jubilee Gardens, off Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Udderbelly website.

  • Now until 14 April : Manet at the Royal Academy

First ever retrospective dedicated to the portraiture of French painter Édouard Manet. Includes 50 paintings. Booking in advance is highly recommended. Tickets £15 adults, £10 students, £6 12-18 yr olds. The Royal Academy, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest tube: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Royal Academy website.

  • 18 – 28 April : Pick Me Up

Graphic arts festival at Somerset House’s Embankment Galleries, showcasing and selling original graphic art, design and illustration. Daily 10am-6pm, late nights on Thursdays until 10pm. Tickets: £8, concessions £6. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple. For more information, vist the Somerset House website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Festival fun: Trafalgar Square will play host to the St George’s Feast and World Pillow Fight Day

  • 20 April : Feast of St George

Celebrate the patron saint of England’s feast day with a day of fun and fare in Trafalgar Square. Includes free tastings, food, banqueting area, like cookery demonstrations, food workshops and live music and dance. 12-6pm. Free. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information London.gov.uk website.

  • 21 April : Virgin London Marathon

Cheer on an estimated 36,00 runners raising money for charity in the world’s biggest marathon. The 26 mile marathon starts in Greenwich/Blackheath and ends in The Mall. Free. For more information and spectator maps, visit the Virgin London Marathon website.

  • 25 – 28 April : Sundance London Festival

The Sundance Film Festival comes to London to showcase the best of American independent movies. O2 Arena, North Greenwich, SE10 0DX. Nearest tube: North Greenwich. For more information and tickets, visit the Sundance London website.

  • 25 – 28 April : London Coffee Festival
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Celebrate caffeine at the Coffee Festival

A celebration of coffee for the capital’s caffeine lovers at the Old Truman Brewery, featuring food, music and – of course – coffee. Visitors will even have the chance to make perfect coffee at home from some top baristas. The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL. Nearest tube: Shoreditch High Street (overland) or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the London Coffee Festival website.

  • 26 – 28 April : Bowie Weekender

A celebration of all things Bowie, including talks, films, music, workshops, special activities and themed events for all ages, including Bowie-themed DJ and Bowie makeovers. Many events are free, but some require booking in advance and entrance fees. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL. Nearest tube: South Kensington.  For more information, visit the Victoria & Albert Museum website.

  • 26 – 28 April : Cheese & Wine Festival

A celebration of Britain’s best ethical and artisan produce featuring lots of stalls to buy and try from. Free. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Cheese & Wine Festival website.

  • 26 April – 3 May : New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival

A film festival run and staffed by volunteers offering free screenings in venues around New Cross and Deptford. Classics such as Cinema Paradiso and ET will be screened alongside independent films by new and local talent, including the premiere of Arthur Sleep: A Broken Romance In Three Parts and a talk by local historian on the history of film in Lewisham. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website.

  • 27 – 28 April : Vogue Festival

Two days celebrating fashion and the bible that is Vogue. Featured speakers include Victoria Beckham, Donatella Versace, Alexa Chung, Anya Hindmarch, Christopher Kane, Mario Testino, Alber Elbaz and Natalie Massenet. Tickets are very likely to be sold out so book ASAP. Nearest tube: Waterloo. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and tickets visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • Now until 6 May : Light Show @ Southbank Centre

An exhibition of sculptures and artworks which use light in a different way at the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank. Is proving hugely popular so recommend booking in advance. Tickets: £11 (inc £1.50 booking fee for non-members) Concessions £9. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective is on at Tate Modern until the end of May

  • 30 April – 6 May : Sci-Fi-London Film Festival

Independent film festival showcasing the latest sci-fi films. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XT. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Sci-Fi London website.

  • Now until 6 May : Park In Progress Tour of the Olympic Park

A behind-the-scenes tour to see how the Olympic Park is being transformed into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Includes a bus trip into the park and the chance to climb The Orbit for spectacular views. Tickets start from £7 and must be booked in advance. For more information and booking, visit the NoOrdinaryPark.com website.

  • Now until 12 May : Lifework: Norman Parkinson’s Century of Style

Photography exhibition at the National Theatre of fashion photographer Norman Parkinson’s work. Covers all aspects of his long career, from the 1930s up until his death in 1990. Free. National Theatre, Upper Ground  Southbank, London SE1 9PX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information, visit the National Theatre website.

  • Now until 27 May : Lichtenstein: A Retrospective

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective is the first full-scale retrospective of the pop art pioneer. The three-month long exhibition at the Tate Modern features 125 of his paintings and sculpture. Tickets £14. Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. Nearest tube: Southwark, Blackfriars or St Paul’s. For booking and more information, visit the Tate Modern website.


To find out what’s going on in London in May, read MOAMG listings here.

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About LondonMetroGirl

Media professional who was born, brought up and now works in London. My blog is a guide to London - what's on, festivals, history, restaurant reviews and attractions, as well as the odd travel piece. All images on my blog are © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl, unless otherwise specified. Do not use without seeking permission first.

Posted on 31 March 2013, in Activities, Festivals, Grub, London, Tourist Attractions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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