Lucky enough to live here or maybe planning your holiday – there is so much going on in London in October that you’ll be spoiled for choice. The BFI Film Festival, Comic Con, and Harry Potter – not enough? Okay, now you do sound a bit spoiled. Well fine, we’ve thrown in theatre, music and drinking, too. Happy now? More?
Hillary Clinton and Tom Hanks. Boom.
The Beast Guide to October events in London
Proper Theatre – Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing through 14th October
“The Real Thing” is playing at the lovely Rose Theatre in Kingston, and while a modern classic, it might not be a great choice for a first date. Infidelity is the topic du jour. Well, on second thought, if you’re wanting to get his/her take on cheating and midlife crises right off the bat, maybe it is. Laurence Fox stars in this revival of the multi-award winning play, directed by Stephen Unwin.
More Proper Theatre – Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle through 6th January 2018
The fantastic stage and tv actress Anne-Marie Duff and Kenneth Cranham, whom I’m sure is happy to be recognised for Hellbound: Hellraiser II, star in the UK premiere staging of Simon Stephens’ new drama, at Wyndham’s Theatre. Written by “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”’s Stephen Simon, this drama about two strangers connecting has nothing to do with Walter White.
Spooky Theatre – The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 4th October – 7th October
Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, adapted by Nick Lane, will be touring the UK through the winter but Londoners can catch it at Greenwich Theatre from Wednesday 4th to Saturday 7th October.This is a unique take, using ensemble story-telling, unusual physical theatre and movement and a new major female character, Eleanor. Hmm, is that cheating? Let’s she what he brings to the proceedings.
Film Nerd Paradise – BFI London Film Festival 4th October – 15th October
get to the website for all of this info – there is a lot to sift through, all of it a delight. The BFI rolls out the red carpet once again, festivities kicking off with an Opening Night Gala of Breathe, the directorial debut of motion-capture king Andy Serkis; and wraps up with the Closing Night Gala of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, the new comic drama from In Bruges director Martin McDonagh. In between, loads of stars, premieres and exclusive screenings. We do love a gala or two!
Canadian Harmonies – The Good Lovelies 4th October
Art You Can Afford – Frieze Art Fair 5th October – 8th October
Over 160 contemporary art galleries in the world brought together in Regent’s Park – class up your weekend with some serious browsing and sculpture-viewing.
Party Like it’s WW2 – Cahoots Underground Knees Up 6th October
Following its event onboard HMS BELFAST last year, the team at Cahoots are inviting you down to Waterloo’s most interesting venue, The Vaults, for an evening of rip-roaring celebrations, including jazz and Veuve Cliquot, that will transport guests back in time. Appropriate dress seems a necessity.
Reasonably Priced Drinks – London Cocktail Week 8th October
Finally, we can swap our pints for smart cocktails and still afford the cab home. Over 200 bars across the city serving £6 cocktails for anyone wearing a special wristband. You might even stumble into a venue without even knowing in advance, and there is talk of a cocktail village with a monkey wheel and a Finnish sauna, so, grab that bargain wristie.
More Highlights: London, October 2017
Chrissie’s in Town – THE PRETENDERS 8th October
Fourteen UK dates and only one in London? No surprise this gig at the Apollo in Hammersmith is sold out, but show up on the day and see what happens. They are off to Australia and New Zealand in the fall.
Real Fake Radio – Kurupt FM 10th October – 11th October
West London’s premiere pirate radio players, and stars of BBC3’s “People Just Do Nothing”, Kurupt FM will play the Roundhouse main stage. We have no idea what will go on. www.roundhouse.org.uk
Go a Little Country – Lady Antebellum 11th October
A bit last minute perhaps due to Gaga cancelling, but crowd-pleasing trio Lady Antebellum play The O2 on Tuesday 11th, promoting their latest single “You Look Good”, before heading to South Africa and then back to the States. These guys are great live.
Latin in London – CASA 2017 through 28th October
Lots to see, again we will push you to the website link here, because there is much you will want to see. CASA 2017 has five new shows, free play readings, celebratory parties, and much more in this celebration of Latin American artists in the UK. Highlights include “Stardust” by Colombian Miguel Hernando Torres Umba & Blackboard Theatre, digging into the human costs of the coca leaf, and “Where to Belong”, a touching and funny story of a gay Lebanese Brazilian man finding his way. That old chestnut. Check out Southwark Playhouse for details.
Smart Reads Part 1 – London Literature Festival 13th October – 1st November
The 2017 festival follows the theme World on the Brink, exploring how literature can help us make sense of a world increasingly caught between extremes. The likes of Tom Hanks (yes, that one) Philip Pullman, Annie Leibovitz and Karl Ove Knausgard will all attend. Oh, and what’s her chops, pictured over here to the right.
Smart Reads Part Deux – Bloomsbury Festival 18th October – 22nd October
More than 200 events, most of them free, in various wonderful venues in the legendary literary district of London. One highlight marks the 70th anniversary of The Indian Independence Act (mazeltov, India!) with educational workshops, and an installation celebrating 100 years since the Russian Revolution (and to you, former Soviet Union). Did we mention free (mostly)?
Bittersweet Drama – Insignificance 18th October – 18th November
This is the first London revival in over 20 years of “Insignificance”, and staged by two-time Olivier Award winner Terry Johnson. Ever wonder what would happen if Einstein met Marilyn Monroe in a hotel room, only to be c-blocked by Joe DiMaggio? Throw in politics in the form of fourth guest, Senator Joe McCarthy, and you have a tensely comedic evening. @arcolatheatre
20 Years Already? Are We That Old? – Harry Potter: A History of Magic 20th October – 28th February
An exhibition to celebrate the goddamned how did that happen 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone . Take the kids and the grownup nerds to see a mixture of real treasures from the British Library and imagined textbooks and tomes from Hogwarts. The displays will combine centuries-old British Library treasures with original material from Bloomsbury’s and J.K. Rowling’s own archives. See if you can tell which is real.
From Pacman to the Latest – Power UP 20th October – 31st October
Hands on gaming at the Science Museum, from the cute beginnings of the time-sucking hobby to now, when you‘re not even expected to go outside again. Ever.
The Art of the Bummer – Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11 26th October through late May
A look at artists’ responses to war and conflict at the Imperial War Museum. Sadly, seems the genre is growing.
Biggest in the UK – MCM Comic Con 27th October – 29th October
MCM London Comic Con October 2017 – an intimate gathering of over 130,000 people dressed like American heroes and various mutants. Some even in costume.
Main image from “Stardust” presented at the Southwark Playhouse by Miguel Hernando Torres Umba & Blackboard Theatre
A former ABC National, Dallas and Atlanta radio personality, Martina O'Boyle is now making movies and covering culture in London, Dublin, and as far in Europe as the cheapie flights will take her, for Pop Culture Beast.