15 things to look forward to for the rest of the year
Art, theatre and lobster rolls
At the end of last year we published our ‘Things to Look Forward to in 2022’ issue, which featured ten exhibitions, ten shows and ten restaurant openings, all of which had a decent shot at happening over the next 12 months:
Now, as we edge closer to the (official) end of summer, we thought we’d do an autumn/winter version of that post, so you can start planning how to fill those chilly evenings (assuming you have some disposable income left after you’ve paid the heating bill).
As with all our Monday editions, this issue is public, so if you enjoy it please feel free to share it on whichever platform you like:
5 exhibitions to look forward to
There are actually two exhibitions we flagged back December that are still to happen: Lucian Freud: New Perspectives at the National Gallery and Tate Modern’s blockbuster Cezanne show. Both kick off in October. But beyond those big headline shows there are plenty of other things going on.
This year marks the 60th birthday of Koestler Arts, the charity that encourages “prisoners, secure patients and detainees” to participate in the arts. Every year, the organisation stages the Koestler Awards and for this anniversary edition they’ve got Ai Weiwei to curate the accompanying exhibition, which will be on at the Southbank from 27 October to 18 December. Apparently the Chinese artist and activist (who himself was detained by the Chinese government and spent 81 days in a secret prison on charges of tax fraud) visited Wormwood Scrubs and other UK prisons in preparation for the job.
The Zabludowicz Collection is a private art collection housed in a former Methodist chapel in Chalk Farm. It’s worth going just to see the building (restored in 2005 for the purpose of housing the collection), and it’s open to the public Thursdays to Sundays when there’s an exhibition on. This September, the Chinese multi-media artist, LuYang is taking over the space in a big away. This brand new commission, called LuYang NetiNeti (above), centres on DOKU, the artist’s digital avatar and uses motion tracking and CGI technology to create multi-media dance pieces that “combine ancient ideas of reincarnation with a contemporary exploration of the multiplicity of the self”.
We know the current state of the nation is already pretty horrifying, but The Horror Show! at Somerset House from the end of October, looks like it could actually be weirdly uplifting. Billed as “an exhibition from the dark side, celebrating our greatest cultural provocateurs and visionaries,” The Horror Show! is a whiz through the last 50 years of counter-cultural icons and hellraisers and includes works from people like Jake & Dinos Chapman, Cornelia Parker, David Shrigley, Derek Jarman, Marc Almond, and Rachel Whiteread.
The National Portrait Gallery might still be closed while they give the place a bit of a facelift, but that doesn’t mean that the The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize has to skip a year. Instead the exhibition (“celebrating and promoting the very best in contemporary photography”) will be presented at Cromwell Place in South Kensington and you’ll be able to see it from 27 October to 18 December. If you thought that photos of someone’s neighbour hanging up laundry in their back garden couldn’t be beautiful, then think again.
House of Gods, Animal Guides and Five Ways 2 Forgiveness is a new exhibition by the Korean-Canadian artist, Zadie Xa that’s coming to the Whitechapel Gallery in September. Xa’s work is is often inspired by her own background, and for this, her biggest London solo exhibition to date, she’s building a “large-scale structure inspired by a traditional Korean home” and then filling that with “hanging sculptures, ‘tricksters’ and ‘shapeshifters’” (N.B. While you’re there you’ll be bale to take part in Yoko Ono’s MEND PIECE for London).
5 restaurants to look forward to
We’re setting ourselves a challenge here: We’re going to try and pick five upcoming restaurants that aren’t in east London. No Dalston, no Hackney, no Shoreditch, and no sharing plates and natural wines. It’s harder than you think, but let’s go…
First up it’s the new venture by Michelle Eshkeri, the founder of Margot Bakery in East Finchley, famous for its sourdough challah. Sometime in the next few months Eshkeri is opening Holloway Model Bakery in an old metalworks on George’s Road N7 where she’ll be focusing on “sweet, leavened breads”. That’s all we really know for now - and it’s all we need to know to be honest.
While we’re talking north London bakeries, let’s talk about Good Things, which is due to open in Stoke Newington sometime next month. This one is from the same team behind The Good Egg and came about after the roaring success of their lockdown At-Home Bagel Kit venture, so expect a menu full of trout lox and schmear, pastrami and salt beef on those Montreal-style bagels.
Let’s go south of the river next, for some Sri Lankan cooking courtesy of Cynthia Shanmugalingam, who made a name for herself hosting pop-ups at places like Quo Vadis and Darjeeling Express, and has just published a cookbook that is going down a storm. That book is called Rambutan, which also happens to be the name of the restaurant that’s due to open in Borough Market in October (although you may have already visited the space to pick up some insanely tasty ice cream). The restaurant is going to make use of all the handy Borough Market produce and is promising a “daily-changing menu of street food snacks”.
If you’ve ever been to Boston then you have probably been in a Saltie Girl (stop giggling at the back). The seafood chain is famous for “one of the largest tinned seafood collection in New England” but they also serve food including that buttered lobster roll in the photo above as well as ‘fried lobster and waffles with sweet corn butter’ and chowder bisque. Their first London outpost is planned to open in Mayfair (just off Grosvenor Square) “in a couple of months”.
This last one is also in Mayfair and it may not even open this year (it’s still in the ‘planning stages’ apparently, even though it was originally due to open in 2021 ), but we’re going to include it here for one reason, which will become obvious in a second.
Mr Nice is a French/Mediterranean restaurant place coming to Davies Street, which will probably be flogging overpriced pasta dishes and croque monsieurs to people too botoxed to east them, but… The place is owned by Jean Philippe Kley, who is also the owner of the Nikita Members Club, which also happens to be on Davies Street. And the rumour is that Mr Nice will have a “secret tunnel” that guests can use to travel between the two. If you can resist the lure of a secret tunnel then you are made of stronger stuff than us.
Coming up on Wednesday 🧷
We speak to the author and journalist, Cathi Unsworth about the life and times of one of London’s most outrageous pop culture icons, the role that West London and the King’s Road had in creating punk, and whether Danny Boyle’s Pistol got it right or not.
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5 plays to look forward to
If hearing Kate Bush everywhere you went this summer has got you in the mood for a bit of Brontë action, then the Hope Theatre (found on the first floor of The Hope and Anchor pub in Islington) has got you covered. They’re staging a production of Jen Silverman’s The Moors, starting in October, and even though this is a period drama “inspired by the letters of Charlotte Brontë,” it’s also a “dark comedy with a queer thread running through its centre”. Perfect for the dark, autumn nights.
Something else with a queer thread running through it is Virginia Woolf's Orlando and the latest person to take on the titular, gender-shifting role is Emma ‘Princess Di’ Corrin. The Crown star is due to star in a new adaptation of the play is an as yet “unnamed West End theatre” sometime in the autumn. Corrin will be directed by Michael Grandage, who has just finished directing Harry Styles in the film, My Policeman. You’ll have to be quick on the mouse finger if you want tickets to this one.
The Crown’s cast are taking over London’s theatres this autumn. Starting next month, Erin ‘Princess Anne’ Doherty is starring in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (above) at the Olivier Theatre in the National, alongside Brendan ‘Harrag in Game of Thrones’ Cowell. Tickets only just went on sale for this one so you can still pick up £20 ones (the good thing about the Olivier is that it’s not huge, so there’s no real ‘nosebleed seats’).
Another classic, The Cherry Orchard, is coming to the Yard Theatre in Hackney from September, although we’re sure this is the first time Chekhov has been adapted by a Doctor Who screenwriter. True to form, Vinay Patel has put a science-fiction twist on his version, plus the production boasts an all-Asian cast. It only runs until Ocotber 22 though, so get in quick.
Finally, if you want to take the kids to something this Christmas that’s not just another panto’ starring someone that was in Eastenders four years ago, then your best bet looks to be Wilton’s Music Hall’s adaptation of Wind in the Willows. This version puts Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad in modern-day London and this time they’re ”tackling current climate issues” (but don’t’ worry, they’re still promising a “feel-good Christmas show”).
5 little bits
Shortly after the enormous Silvertown Tunnel cutter head was lowered into place last week, Sadiq Khan was still being urged by some to stage an “11th hour intervention” to stop the scheme and (according to Sian Berry) avoid not “only creating traffic and pollution across the wide area of London, but also avoid wasting money on a project that belongs in the last century.”
Ironically, on Friday the mayor was also handing out £4m “to deliver vital greening projects on the capital’s roads and public spaces in order to tackle the devastating impacts of climate change” as part of his Green and Healthy Streets Fund. The projects (including transforming “the Joe Strummer pedestrian subway at Edgware Road into rain gardens”) are designed to “help improve London’s resilience to flooding [and] provide attractive and wildlife-friendly spaces.”
The New York Times has an excellent article on Trellick Tower (along with some great photos) and the fight to “preserve the architectural quirks that have given Trellick its sense of community”.
Soho is getting a pop-up South Park shop to mark the 25th anniversary of the show. From this Friday until Sunday at 59 Greek Street you’ll be able to purchase “localised merchandise” as well as look at “original artefacts from the series”.
At the very beginning of this year we interviewed the writer Gemma Seltzer about her new book of London-based short stories as well as her myriad other projects, which includes Write & Shine, the morning writing workshops that Gemma runs:
Next week Gemma is hosting an entire week of workshops and talks as part of the Write & Shine Summer Salon. From the 15th to the 19th there will be evening talks from artists and poets on “living a creative life, ways of building and growing new projects, and how they keep ideas flowing,” followed by online workshops the next morning where they’ll “pick up the threads from the night before with an inspiring workshop on the same theme.” There’s a really good line up of guest speakers, that includes the graphic novelist, Sabba Khan whose work has focused on themes of “identity, belonging & memory within the East London Azad Kashmiri Muslim diaspora”. Details of the full programme and how to buy tickets are here.