Timely London Suggestions.
August 19, 2012 8:02 AM   Subscribe

[visiting London post-Olympics filter] Is there anything in London this week that is not to be missed?

Last year I managed to line up and get very cheap standing room tickets to Danny Boyle's Frankenstein on the advice of a friend the night before. I also went to a fantastic gastropub in Farringdon on the advice of another friend. Both of those friends have been too busy to give me an updated list- So....any Metafilterians out there with any ideas? Also, should I try to make a meet up? I'm there for a very short time.

Oh, I am definitely going to go to see Damien Hirst at the Tate and am also definitely going to Borough Market. So...all the things listed are basically my interests...obviously!:) Plus..walking. A lot.
posted by bquarters to Travel & Transportation around London, England (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Time Out London is a good place to start. Friends of mine walked over the Millennium Dome/O2 Arena last week.
posted by Leon at 8:09 AM on August 19, 2012

I've just been on Time Out London and am kicking myself for not booking Matilda tickets when I first heard about the show....have definitely made lists from Time Out's lists and appreciate the suggestion.
posted by bquarters at 8:27 AM on August 19, 2012

Londonist is another useful resource.

This is not specific to this week, but it's worth doing: if you'll still be here Friday lunchtime, you could go and see the Rolling Bridge curl up. Two guys come and test it every Friday, at or slightly after midday. Top tip: find it on a map before you go, as it's not signposted, it's very small, and searching frantically around a smart business district, camera in hand, during a busy weekday lunchtime can make you feel pretty silly. Ask me how I know.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 8:32 AM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Check out the proms.
posted by toerinishuman at 9:22 AM on August 19, 2012

I was visiting London week before last and I have some recs!

This is a really qualified recommendation, but consider going to see Mack & Mabel at the Southwark Playhouse. I can't recommend the play itself, exactly (it's a musical from the 1970s about the early days of film, based on a true story, and the true story is pretty weak), but the theater space is amazing (it's in a disused railway tunnel!) and it's a bizarrely intimate way to see a West End/Broadway type musical (the night I went, there were maybe 60-75 people in the audience and 15 on stage, plus an off-stage pit orchestra).

I also really liked the Superhuman exhibition at the Wellcome Collection.

Oh, and for non-temporary stuff, my friends took me to CellarDoor, a tiny cabaret bar in a former toilet in Covent Garden (why is it that two of my recs are converted underground spaces?) which was pretty fun. Make sure you use the toilet.
posted by mskyle at 9:26 AM on August 19, 2012

Things may be back to normal now, but I had a lot more luck with walk-up theatre seats last week than I've ever had before...
posted by cromagnon at 9:26 AM on August 19, 2012

Also don't forget the Camden Fringe.
posted by toerinishuman at 9:27 AM on August 19, 2012

My SO was in town for the Olympics and had a great night of Shakespeare at the Globe.

Does anyone know if any nations are keeping hospitality houses open ahead of the paralympics?

The new oil tank galleries at Tate Modern are supposed to be worth a visit, as is the current installation in the turbine hall.
posted by biffa at 10:47 AM on August 19, 2012

I've been to London several times (albeit not since 2005) but unfortunately didn't hear about the Dennis Severs' House until my last visit and it wasn't open any of the days I had available. Here's more info from the Wikipedia article. I hope to get back someday just to visit this museum or art installation or whatever you want to call it.
posted by kaybdc at 2:03 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, if you're at the Tate or Borough Market, then the Globe is a must. I've seen the Henry V and it was fun.

Meanwhile, there are Things Happening at the South Bank Centre. The usual stuff includes a little food market on Fri/Sat/Sun from noon till late outside the Royal Festival Hall and a books-and-prints market under Waterloo Bridge by the National. If you go upstairs, outside the Hayward Gallery are all kinds of fun little art installations. The National has an Astroturf stage out front with deck chairs and random things happening, and it has also set up an outdoor bar made of bits of set from their recent production of She Stoops To Conquer. Oh, and there's a psychedelic sandpit. And a Spiegeltent full of cabaret, circus, and comedy performances.

As far as shows go, I would highly recommend London Road at the National. After the serial murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich, the residents of the road the murderer lived on were interviewed, as well as others affected by the story (journalists, sex workers, etc.) The show was put together using their words, and the music was composed directly from the rhythm and cadence of their speech. As unlikely as it sounds, it's an amazing show, with moments of unexpected humour and songs that are still bouncing around in my head a week afterwards.
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:05 PM on August 19, 2012

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