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Street food sellers at Eat and Drink Festival
Eat and Drink Festival

Things to do in London this week

Discover the biggest and best things to do in London over the next seven days

Rosie Hewitson
Written by
Rosie Hewitson
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After weeks of miserable weather in the capital, it looks like London is finally going to be bleassed with some sun this week. In fact, it might even be time to fetch a light jacket out from the depths of your wardrobe, because by Wednesday we’ll be enjoying balmy temperatures of 13 whole degrees. You’ll be succumbing to mild heatstroke while queuing for the portaloos at your favourite London festival in no time at all.

But before that, there’s loads of great things to do in London this week, starting with a bunch of cracking International Women’s Day celebrations across the city, ranging from a free exhibition at UCL to a big party at Ridley Road Market Bar, and of course the Southbank Centre’s longstanding IWD tradition, Women of the World Festival

You could also head to a gig as part of Lewisham Borough of Culture’s month-long music festival Love is Attention, meet some top telly chefs at Eat and Drink Festival or head to the mega Ideal Home Show expo at Kensington Olympia for some tips on transforming your pad into your dream home.

RECOMMENDED: The best things going on in London this month

  • Art
  • Barbican

The Second World War changed art in a big way. This major exhibition at the Barbican examines the work of 48 artists who were trying to make sense of an altered world through art in Britain, including David Hockney, Frank Bowling, David Hockney, Gillian Ayres, Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud.

  • Music
  • Music festivals
  • London

Lewisham's first big event as Borough of Culture is a month-long celebration of local musical talent, and it looks banging. It's curated by Deptford's own son and Mercury Prize nominee Dave Okumu, who's overseeing a programme that mixes big names with grassroots artists. As well as a host of exciting one-off gigs from the likes of Moses Boyd and Jessie Ware, legendary local group Steam Down Collective will be showcasing Lewisham’s diverse musical talents each Wednesday at Matchstick Piehouse. We Are Lewisham website for full info on the cracking gig series, and grab a ticket as soon as you can as they usually sell out pretty swiftly when released each week. 

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  • Things to do
  • Festivals
  • South Bank

Billed as ‘the world’s biggest, most comprehensive festival celebrating women, girls and non-binary people’, WOW – Women of the World returns IRL at the Southbank Centre this weekend, bringing together activists, musicians, comedians, writers and other distinguished speakers for three days of invigorating conversations, workshops and performances. This year’s lineup is as impressive as ever, with Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, ‘The Guilty Feminist’ podcaster Deborah Frances-White and revered poet Warsan Shire all booked to appear, while legendary activist Angela Davis will also join the festival on Sunday evening via a live link-up from San Francisco. As usual you can either purchase tickets to individual events or buy a day pass that will give you access to a whole bunch of different things. 

RECOMMENDED: Find more great ways to celebrate International Women’s Day in London

  • Film
  • Action and adventure

If ‘dark, rain-soaked superhero reboot’ sounds done to deathThe Batman may not be for you. Director Matt Reeves brings apocalyptic doominess to DC’s brooding house style in this latest rendition, which has Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight on the hunt for a serial killer who has been offing Gotham’s political classes, leaving riddles in his wake. The Riddler (Paul Dano, somewhere beneath the latex) skulks the city in fetishwear, laying bare the city’s corruption and building a following among Reddit types. The brooding R-Batz is forced to turn gumshoe, leaving him to holster his core skill set (kicking, punching, swooping) in favour of cerebral puzzle-solving that traps him in the one place he most hates being: his own mind. It’s a fresh dynamic for the character on screen, made moreso by the addition of Zoë Kravitz’s cat burglar Selina Kyle. And Pattinson? He’s solid enough, but the role seems to stifle his usual eccentric charisma. Hopefully next time he’ll be able to find the fun.

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  • Things to do
  • Consumer shows and conventions
  • West Kensington

Flex those tool-wielding muscles, because it's time to embark on a brilliant but ambitious DIY project once more, or at least consider one, thanks to inspiration from the Ideal Home Show. Dedicated sections focus on home improvements, interior décor, gardens, gadgets, food and homeware. This year, you can gawp at the ‘Future Living House’, which claims to be the the world’s most integrated and technologically advanced home’, featuring all the latest smart devices. If you're a tiny homes nut, you'll be obsessed with the Conker House, a spherical living pod. And there's also the chance to hear from big names including financial expert Martin Lewis (who'll presumably advise you not to buy anything from the exhibitors), chef Rosemary Shrager, and presenter Phil Spencer. 

  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Islington

These nine short plays from Francesca Beard, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Josh Elliott, Annie Jenkins, Eno Mfon, Nessah Muthy, Danusia Samal, Yomi Ṣode, and Molly Taylor pay tribute to the keyworkers of Islington in an echo of medieval mystery cycles. They’re performed in three parts of three: Part One is ‘Assembly: The Teachers’ Play’, ‘The Full Works: The Funeral Directors’ Play’ and ‘Face the Music: The Social Care Workers’ Play’; Part Two is ‘Waste: The Refuse Collectors’ Play’, ‘Smiles Behind the Masks: The Midwives’ Play’ and ‘The Essence of the Job is Speed: The Delivery Drivers’ Play’; Part Three is ‘More than We Can Bear: The Womens’ Centre Workers’ Play’, ‘Next Please! The Supermarket Workers’ Play’ and ‘Stand Clear: The TFL Worker’ Play’.

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  • Things to do
  • Film events
  • London

Taking place half at the ICA and also streaming on the much-loved BFI Player, the 20th iteration of Kinoteka lands in London on March 9. If you’ve never heard of it, Kinoteka is a brilliant film festival which annualy screen some of the best new Polish cinema. This year you can expect no fewer than 26 brilliant movies Juliusz Machulski’s classic ‘Sexmission’, the award-winning ‘Identification Marks: None’, Andrzej Wajda’s Oscar-nominated ‘The Young Ladies of Wilko’ and the cult science fiction masterpiece ‘On The Silver Globe’. 

  • Museums
  • History
  • Barbican

Taking over The Barbican’s Curve gallery as part of the London institution’s fortieth birthday season, this installation highlight 40 key moments in London’s queer history over the last 40 years through objects and media sourced from the Bishopsgate Institute’s vast collections. The exhibition focuses on protest, so you can check out artefacts ranging from OutRage! banners opposing Section 28 to a truncheon seized at a demonstration by gay rights activist Mark Ashton, who founded Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. And there’s also a packed programme of events coinciding with the exhibition, including a screening of seminal sex education documentary ‘The Gay Man’s Guide to Safer Sex’, a Young Barbican Night titled ‘The Archive is Permanently Under Construction’ and talks with Switchboard Co-Chair Tash Walker, activist Dan Glass and Bishopsgate Archives Manager Stef Dickers. 

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  • Things to do
  • Consumer shows and conventions
  • West Kensington

Legendary TV chef Rosemary Shrager, ‘Great British Bake Off’ winner John Whaite and Michelin-starred British-Indian chef Atul Kochhar are among the celebrity chefs on hand to show you their tips and tricks at this huge food fest in west London. It’s not just about live demos, though. There’s also a huge array of street food stalls to explore and all manner of artisan producers selling delicious food and drink items for you to take home. Plus, tickets get you free entry to the Ideal Home Show. 

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

Cast your mind back a year or so (yes, we know it’s physically painful) and everyone was talking about telly series ‘Bridgerton’: the fashions, the tunes, the totally ridiculous storyline (which revolved around a certain young lady’s utter ignorance of how babies are made). Well, now it’s time to revisit that fevered obsession, thanks to Secret Cinema’s new show, which will use actors to recreate choice scenes from the much-loved series.

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