Guide to what’s on in London in April 2016
Spring is well and truly in full swing, with the Easter Holidays kicking things off from the end of March. As the temperatures warm and the days get longer, the festival season is really starting to kick off. Here’s a guide to special events on in London this April.
For a guide to what’s on in London over the Easter holidays, click here.
- 1 – 10 April : London Games Festival
A new festival is bringing 15 fun events to 10 locations in the capital, including South Bank, Tobacco Dock and the Museum of London. The first three days of the festival features talks, workshops and an exhibition in Somerset House. For more information, visit the Games London website.
- 2 April : Prohibition Party
Step back to the 1920s with Bourne & Hollingsworth’s Prohibition Party, featuring fabulous costumes, gambling, cocktail making classes and more speakeasy fun. 8pm-2am. Tickets start from £30. The Laundry, 4 Sidworth Street, London Fields, E8 3FN. Nearest station: London Fields. For tickets, visit Prohibition 1920s website.
- Now until 2 April : Hung Up, Ripped Off @ Atom Gallery
An exhibition of artist David Shand’s screenprints of collages from photographs of decayed photos and adverts. Open 11am-6pm. Atom Gallery, 77 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 3EG. Nearest station: Finsbury Park. For more information, visit the Atom Gallery website.
- Now until 3 April : Easter Rising 1916 Sean Sexton Collection
Exhibition of the role of photography of keys events in the battle for Irish independence between 1840 to 1930s, including the Easter Rising in 1916. Opening hours vary. Tickets: £3/£2.50. The Photographers Gallery, 16–18 Ramillies Street, Soho, W1F 7LW. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit The Photographers Gallery website.
- Now until 3 April : Ideal Home Show
A place of inspiration for homeowners including interiors, fittings and gardens. Includes plenty of opportunities to buy things both big and small for the house. Tickets: £12 (weekday) or £14 (weekend). Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.
- 4 – 24 April : CircusFest
Three week festival of spectacular UK and international circus. Ticket prices vary. Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH. Nearest station: Chalk Farm. For more information, visit the Roundhouse website.
- 6 April – 4 September : Exhibitionism @ Saatchi Gallery
The Rolling Stones stage their first major exhibition to mark 50 years of rock ‘n’ roll. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: £21. Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s Square, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4SQ. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Saatchi Gallery website.
- 6 April – 4 September : Goosebumps Alive
This summer, another immersive theatre experience returns to the tunnels below Waterloo station. With two separate shows for adults or children inspired by the ’90s cult horror series. Take a journey through the dark, abandoned vaults and scare yourself silly as you try to escape the stuff of nightmares. Times vary. Tickets: Adults start from £32.50. Children from £15. The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For booking, visit Goosebumps Alive website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the production.
- 7 – 10 April : The Other Art Fair
Chance to buy art from 130 unrepresented artists, regardless of how experienced you are in purchasing artwork. Also features book signings, panel discussions, an immersive dining experience, film screenings, performance art and pop-up food and drink with DF/Mexico, First Aid Box and Meantime Craft Brewery. Tickets: £8.80 in advance. Victoria House, Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, WC1B 4DA. Nearest station: Russell Square or Holborn. For more information, visit the Other Art Fair website.
- 7 – 10 April : London 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. Tickets start from £14.40 (advance), £20 (on the door). The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the London Coffee Festival website.
- 7 April – 17 July : Udderbelly Festival
Udderbelly returns to the South Bank for an eighth year, featuring three months of comedy, circus, cabaret and family shows at affordable prices in an inflatable upside down cow venue. Ticket prices vary. Jubilee Gardens (off Belvedere Road), South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Udderbelly website.
- 28 April – 3 May : Roberto Grosso exhibition
London-based Italian artist Roberto Grosso is showcasing some of his limited edition art on metal, metallic paper and perspex. Space W10, 593 Harrow Road, Kensal Green, W10 4NJ. Nearest station: Kensal Green. For more information, check out the ArtSmart Contemporary website.
- 8 April – 31 May : Anarchy In The UK #PunkLondon exhibition
An exhibition of punk rock photography featuring classic and previously unseen images from the archive of photographer Richard Young. Opening hours Mon 11am-5pm, Tue-Thu 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-5pm. Richard Young Gallery, 4 Holland Street, Kensington, W8 4LT. Nearest station: High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the Richard Young Gallery website.
- 9 April : Vaisakhi
Celebrate the Sikh New Year with a one-day festival inside and outside City Hall. Activites include shabad kirtan (spiritual music), langar (food), turban tying, folk dance, martial arts and children’s activities. 1-6pm. Free entry. City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the London.gov website.
- Now until 10 April : Camberwell Free Film Festival
Ten day free film festival comes to SE5 featuring screenings, talks, and Q&As. Film screenings include Good Vibrations, Rocks In My Pocket, The Falling, 45 Years, Paddington, Bugsy Malone, Suffragette and more. At various venues including Longfield Hall, William Booth College, the Camberwell Arms, Camberwell Library. For more information, visit the Camberwell Free Film Festival website.
- Now until 11 April : London Handel Festival
Six weeks of concerts, talks and walks in venues, including Frederick Handel’s own parish church St Georges in Mayfair, as well as the Britten Theatre at the Royal College of Music, St George’s Hanover Square, the Foundling Museum, Grosvenor Chapel, Handel House and Wigmore Hall. For more information, visit the London Handel Festival website.
- 15 April – 6 September : Shakespeare In Ten Acts @ British Library
An exhibition to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, featuring how his plays were performed through history and how his reputation changed. Featuring the only surviving play-script in his hand, an authentic Shakespeare signature, the earliest printed edition of Hamlet and Shakespeare’s First Folio. Tickets: Adults from £12. PACCAR Gallery, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest station: Euston, King’s Cross or St Pancras. For booking, visit The British Library website.
- Now until 17 April : Alice In Wonderland exhibition @ British Library
Exhibition to mark the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice In Wonderland, including his original manuscript, hand-drawn illustrations, and an Alice In Wonderland pop-up shop. Opening hours vary. Free entry. The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest station: Euston, King’s Cross or St Pancras. To find out more, visit the British Library website. For Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition, click here.
- 17 April : Love Beer? Love Your Brewer
Beer festival giving drinkers the chance to try and buy over 100 beers from local, independent brewers. Also featuring live music, homemade food and X-box games. 10am – 6pm. Free Entry. Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, Battersea, SW11 5TN. Nearest station: Clapham Junction. For more information, visit the Battersea Arts Centre website.
- 17 – 30 April : Pillow Cinema
Watch one of your favourite films or newer releases in the comfort of your own giant pillow. Movies include Brooklyn, The Danish Girl, Joy, Selma and The Martian. Tickets: Gallery chair: £7.50. Beanbag for two: £27.50. Sutton House, 2 Homerton High Street, Hackney, E9 6JQ. Nearest station: Hackney Central or Homerton. For booking, visit the Pillow Cinema website.
- 18 April : The Graphic Gin Off
Sixteen of the world’s top gin brands will compete in the Graphic Gin Off in an evening of friendly competition. Guests will be able to try some inventive gin cocktails and decide on their favourite. 6-9pm. Tickets: £11.74. Graphic Bar, 4 Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9HT. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Graphic Bar website or for tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- Now until 20 April : Painting The Modern Garden
Exhibition of gardens portrayed in art from the 1860s to the 1920s, featuring works by Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Pissarro, Manet, Sargent, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Matisse, Klimt and Klee. Tickets: £17.60, Under 16s with fee-paying adult go free. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest station: Green Park. For booking, visit the Royal Academy’s website.
- 21 April : Tea Dancing Party @ St Katharine Docks
Celebrate British National Tea Day with a free tree dance. Featuring DJ and dance classes (12-2pm and 6-8pm) from renowned travelling tea dancers The Ragroof Players and special tea tasting through out the day (12-8pm). St Katharine Docks, 50 St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the St Katharine Docks website. For more on St Katharine Docks, read Metro Girl’s blog post.
- 21 – 24 April : The New Chelsea Art Fair
Thirty leading UK and international galleries will come to Chelsea Town Hall for potential buyers. Open Thu 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Free entry if you sign up via the website in advance, or £6 on the door. Chelsea Town Hall, Kings Road, SW3 5EE. Nearest station: Sloane Square or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Chelsea Art Fair website.
- 21 April – 2 May : 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 Wed and Thurs until 9pm. Tickets: £10, concessions £8. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple. For more information, visit the Pick Me Up website.
- 22 April – 3 May : New Cross & Deptford Film Festival
A free film festival run and staffed by volunteers offering free screenings in venues around New Cross and Deptford. Classics will be screened alongside independent films by new and local talent, including Withnail & I, The Lion King, Julius Caesar, Spice World The Movie, Romeo + Juliet and a bike-powered screening of Labyrinth. At various venues including the Golden Anchor, Deptford Lounge, Telegraph Hill Upper Park and more. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website.
- 22 April – 8 May : Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition
Showcasing the winning and shortlisted photographs from this year’s awards. Open: Mon-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat-Sun 10am-8pm. Tickets: £9.50. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.
- 22 April – 8 May : Bump Rollerdisco @ Canary Wharf
Mobile rollerdisco comes to Canary Wharf for two weeks, featuring quality DJ booth, disco lighting and a huge range of funky skates to rent. Opening hours vary. Tickets from £7.50/£10. Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 23 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 English farmer’s market, banqueting area, cookery demonstrations, family marquee and live music. 12-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Embankment or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 23 April : Pioneering Women Cycle Tour
Learn about some of Britain’s pioneering women on a history cycle tour of Westminster, featuring famous landmarks and monuments from the fight for women’s equality. Bring your own bike, but the tour will start by Santander bike docking station so you can rent one. 10am-12pm. Tickets £6. For more information, visit the Spokeswomen Tour website.
- 23 April – 25 September : The City Garden
Artist Rebecca Louise Law has created a new installation ‘The City Garden’, made from natural materials inspired by gardens within the City of London. Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Free entry. The City Centre, 80 Basinghall Street, City of London, EC2V 5AR. Nearest station: St Paul’s or Bank. For more information, visit The City Centre website.
- 24 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 spectators. For more information and spectator maps, visit the Virgin London Marathon website. For Metro Girl’s blog on a previous London Marathon, click here.
- 25 April : Pulp Fiction @ Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Café will be showing Pulp Fiction for their monthly film screening nights. Guests are invited to dress the part, pose in the themed photobooth and sip in limited-edition twisted cocktails and eat Kahuna burgers served by villains from the film before settling down to watch the Tarantino classic. Doors open at 6pm. Tickets from £10. Hard Rock Cafe London, 148 Old Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1QY. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For tickets, visit DesignMyNight.
- 27 April : Lost In Thought – Lates @ Science Museum
The theme of this month’s Wednesday Lates opening for adults is Lost In Thought. As well as talks and activities, there will also be live music, the Punk Science comedy show and silent disco. 6.45-10pm. Free entry. Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, SW7 2DD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Science Museum website.
- 27 April – 6 May : Sci-Fi London Film Festival
The 16th annual celebration of the sci-fi genre, featuring premieres, talks and screenings. At BFI Southbank, Stratford Picturehouse and Brixton Ritzy. For more information, visit the Sci-London Film Festival website.
- 29 April : The Goblin King’s Masquerade Ball
An immersive night of ‘mischief and revelry’, featuring live music, DJs, circus and cabaret. 9pm-4am. Tickets: £25. Coronet Theatre, 28 New Kent Road, SE1 6TJ. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For more information, visit the Goblin King website.
- 29 April – 1 May : Made London – Bloomsbury
A new companion show to Made London Marylebone, featuring craft and art from over 100 designers and makers. Open 10am-6pm (29 and 30 Apr), 10am-5pm (1 May). Tickets: £5 (early bird). Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, Bloomsbury, WC1H 9SN. Nearest station: Russell Square. For more information, visit the Made London website.
- 29 April – 2 May : Wellbeing Festival
Festival of wellbeing, featuring workshops, demonstrations and performances on the live stage, lifestyle studio and wellbeing spa. Tickets: £11-£13. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the MindBodySpirit website.
- 29 April – 29 May : Herne Hill Free Film Festival
Four week festival featuring free screenings in the Herne Hill area at various locations, including Prince Regent Pub, effraspace, Herne Hill Velodrome, Brockwell Lido and Rosendale School. Films include The Breakfast Club, Whiplash, Grease sing-a-long and 24 Hour Party People. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For more information and screenings, visit the Herne Hill Free Festival website.
- 30 April – 2 May : Canalway Cavalcade
A unique waterways and community festival at Little Venice. Features stalls, bands, kids’ activities, Morris dancers, a Real Ale bar, food and pageant of boats. 10am-6pm. Free. Nearest station: Warwick Avenue. For more information, visit the Inland Waterways Association.
- 30 April – 2 May : Morden Hall Country Show
Country show in the grounds of Morden Hall, featuring The Sheep Show, Terrier Racing, The Goat Show, birds of prey, Devilstick Peat children’s entertainment plus Circus Workshop, Historical Re-enactment with the Company of 1415 with static & arena displays, Ferret Racing, Morris Dancing, Brass Bands and arts, crafts, gifts and food marquees. Scale steam engines. 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £7.50, Children age 5-16 £3, Under 5s free. £2 per car for the car park. Morden Hall Road, Morden, Surrey, SM4 5JD. Nearest station: Morden or Phipps Bridge (tram). For more information, visit the Oakleigh Fairs website. For Metro Girl’s post on Morden Hall Park, click here.
- 3o April – 8 May : Grand Designs Live
Based on the Channel 4 TV series, the show features ideas and inspiration for your own grand design, including workshops, consultations, lectures and celebrity gursts. Tickets: Weekday £12, Weekend £15. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House (DLR). For more information and tickets, visit the Grand Designs Live website.
- Now until 7 May : Charlotte Brontë at the Soane
A new exhibition to celebrate the 200th birthday of novelist Charlotte Bronte. Although she lived mostly in Yorkshire, she made several trips to London to visit her publisher. Some of her possessions from her visit and her life in Yorkshire are on show. Free entry. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, WC2A 3BP. Nearest tube: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John Soane Museum website.
- Now until 22 May : Vogue 100 – A Century Of Style
An exhibition of the stunning photography commissioned by British Vogue since it was founded in 1916. Open 10am-6pm. Open late on Thursday and Friday until 9pm. Tickets: £17/£19, Concessions £15/50/£17.50. National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Leicester Square. For more information and tickets, visit the National Portrait Gallery website.
- Now until 15 June : Hard Rock Couture @ Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!
To celebrate the original Hard Rock Café in London’s 45th birthday, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not are showing a collection of Hard Rock’s pop and rock fashion memorabilia. Free entry to exhibition with all Ripley’s tickets. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, 1 Piccadilly Circus, Soho, W1J 0DA. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. To book tickets in advance and save up to 25%, visit Ripleys London website. For more information on the exhibition, read Metro Girl’s blog piece.
- Now until July : Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet With A Live Choir
Backyard Cinema are marking the 20th anniversary of Baz Luhrmann’s cult classic Romeo + Juliet with a screening accompanied by a live choir. Ice cream, bubbly and popcorn will be on sale. Tickets start from £20. St Mary’s Church, Wyndham Place, York Street, Marylebone, W1H 1PQ. Nearest station: Baker Street and Edgware Road. For booking, visit Backyard Cinema’s website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.
- Now until 9 October : Clangers, Bagpuss & Co Exhibition
Exhibition of vintage children’s TV characters including Bagpuss, The Clangers, Pogles Wood, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine. See the original puppets, sets and filming equipment. Open 10am-5.45pm daily. Free admission. Museum Of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PA. Nearest station: Bethnal Green. For more information, visit the Victoria & Albert museum website.