Things To Do in London in April 2016

Things To Do in London in April 2016

April is the gateway to warmer times, when outdoor London starts to come alive!

With April Fools Day out of the way, you can rest assured that these are some of the very best things to do in London in April.

Festivals

CircusFest 2016 | Roundhouse, Camden | 4-24 April | Various Prices

The high flying circus festival is back in the big top unlike any other. Highlights for us include:

  • Transfiguration – the awesome photo exhibition, by Ben Hopper.
  • Super Sunday – the headline offbeat circus spectacular by Finnish funsters ‘Race Horse Company’.
  • Kin – the new show from the team which brought us ‘Bromance’ also includes a sneak peek of a new kind of circus experience fusing music, narrative, circus, and fashion. From the makers of ‘Some Like it Hip Hop’, ‘A Harlem Dream’ and Kylie’s ‘Showgirl Tour’.
  • Light Up – a free show in Queen’s Crescent Estate where 11-14 year olds have created a mind-blowing blend of circus, spoken word, parkour and digital wizardry.

Udderbelly Festival | 7 April-17 July | Various Prices

The South Bank is awakened with the arrival of Daisy the giant purple cow, who houses a feast of comedy, entertainment & circus this Spring/Summer. Shows that caught our eye in April include:

dare festival

Dare Festival | 30 April | Shoreditch Town Hall | £6

A one-day festival of work in development, featuring work from Zodwa Nyoni, James Blakey, Fairbeats and more, plus a preview of Upstart Theatre’s October 2016 show, Phone Home – a Europe-wide theatre project about refugees and migration.

The Rebel Man Standard Festival

The Rebel Man Standard Festival | Guest Projects, Sunbury House | 12-24 April | Various Prices

A festival of dance, workshops, discussions and exhibitions from dance artists Jamila Johnson-Small, Hamish MacPherson and Zinzi Minott, which aims to explore the political potentials, and potential ramifications, of dance and choreographic practice.

Theatre & Shows

The Beanfield

The Beanfield | Battersea Arts Centre | 5-21 April | 8:45pm | £10-£12.50

Breach Theatre present a multimedia show about state violence and national heritage, inspired by the brutal police crackdown at the Stonehenge Free Festival in 1985.

Wail

WAIL | Battersea Arts Centre | 5-23 April | 7:30pm | £12.50-£15

To Do List favourites Little Bulb Theatre (Operation Greenfield, Squally Showers, Orpheus) return to the BAC with this typically lo-fi part gig, part lecture investigating why wales sign and humans wail…

Goosebumps Alive

Goosebumps Alive | The Vaults | 6 April – 5 June | 7pm (1:30pm Matinees) | £25-£32.50

Goosebumps Alive is an immersive, promenade experience based on R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps series.

They Say: Equal parts terrifying and riotous, the hottest ticket in town puts you in the centre of chilling macabre tales.

Christine Bovill's Piaf

Christine Bovill’s Piaf | Wilton’s Music Hall | 12-16 April | 8pm | £15-£20

Christine Bovill takes a journey through the world of French Song with the life and works of Edith Piaf.

They Say: No glamour. No gimmicks. No pretence. Nothing but a voice, singing of life’s triumphs and tragedies. Piaf is both a personal narrative and a powerful musical homage to one of France’s most endearing icons.

The Passion of Lady Vendredi

The Passion of Lady Vendredi | Soho Theatre | 12-30 April | 7:15pm | £10-£17.50

“Mythopoetic super heroine and voodoo priestess popstar” Lady Vendredi, backed by her band The Vendettas, will take you on an immersive musical theatre journey into “a world of palpable sensuality, staggering insight and intriguing myth-making”. Intrigued much?

They Say: Imagine Grace Jones in a live futuristic blaxploitation movie where she has nothing to lose but her soul.

RUFF

RUFF | Barbican | 14-16 April | 7:45pm | £16

Performance artist Peggy Shaw pays tribute to the family, friends and performers who have inspired and kept her company over the years, following the stroke she had in 2011. A “freewheeling monologue with deadpan humour and arresting honesty.”

The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger | Southwark Playhouse | 22 April – 21 May | 7:30pm | £14-£25

We can’t wait for this European premiere production of The Toxic Avenger at Southwark Playhouse, based on the 1984 cult classic film.

They Say: The citizens of Tromaville are crying out for a hero – enter Melvin Ferd the Third, an aspiring earth scientist determined to clean up the toxic waste problem. But when a corrupt Mayor and her government goons try to stop this heroic feat, Melvin is tossed into a vat of toxic waste and transformed into The Toxic Avenger, New Jersey’s first superhero!

Comedy & Cabaret

Gabriel Bisset-Smith

Gabriel Bisset-Smith Tells the Most Original and Funny Joke in the Universe! | Soho Theatre | 29 & 30 April | 8:45pm | £12.50

One half of To Do List favourites Guilt & Shame, Gabriel Bisset-Smith promises to “take you on a journey of intergalactic travel, strange sexual positions, bizarre dance routines, Kanye West and unhinged murder to deliver you ultimate hilarity.”

Events & Exhibitions

Celebrating Free Events for All

Free: Celebrating Free Events For All | Bargehouse | 6-10 April | FREE (Obviously)

Eventbrite hosts a multimedia exhibition celebrating free public events in London and across the UK, focusing on the role free events play in providing access to cultural experiences for everyone, and their unifying effect on communities. Featuring over 300 pieces of rarely seen photography, audio, video and posters that commemorate the history of free events.

Artsadmin Youth Board: Pre-Show // Degree Show

Artsadmin Youth Board: Pre-Show // Degree Show | Toynbee Studios | 21 April | 7:30pm | FREE

A chance for audiences to see new work from across the country and get a first look at what is to come in the Summer before the degree show deluge.

What Is Ireland?

What Is Ireland? | Red Gallery | 22 April | 7pm | £12

Red Gallery hosts a one-off exploration of contemporary and futuristic Irish art and culture, headlined by electronic act Le Galaxie & “game-changing entertainer” Kormac, with DJ sets by Arveene and Cici Kavanagh.

Food & Drink

Tacu Tacu

Tacu Tacu Kitchen Takeover | Grow, Hackney | 7 April – 1 May

Latin America street food outfit Tacu Tacu take up the kitchen residency at Hackney Wick’s Grow bar. Fill your face with Chocolate Beef Tacos, Banana Bread French Toast with Margarita Whipped Cream, Mojito Cheesecake, Peruvian Octopus Burger and more!

Singha Beer: Thai New Year

Singha Beer Presents: Songkran Festival | Carousel | 14 & 15 April | 7pm | £35 (Includes 2 Singha Beers and 3 northern Thai dishes)

Singha Beer present a recreation of Thailand’s legendary Songkran Festival (Thai New Year) downstairs at Carousel.

They Say: Guests will be transported to downtown Chiang Mai for the night, with its myriad shops and bars and the unmistakable aroma of street food in the air… With DJs playing Thai inspired tunes, spicy dishes, flowing Singha and a sprinkling of water-based fun.

The Stable

The Stable | 16-18 Whitechapel Rd | From 21 April

Handmade pizzas and a selection of more than 80 ciders will be on offer when The Stable opens its doors in Whitechapel on the April 21st.

We’ve been known to eat the occasional pizza (HA!), so it’s unlikely we’ll be able to resist this new pizza joint just a short Overground journey from To Do List HQ…

Film

Punx Not Dead - The Hunger

Punx Not Dead: The Hunger | ICA | 19 April | 6:30pm | £3-£6

Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie star in Tony Scott’s classic story of a beautiful couple with a dark secret: they are vampires, teaching music by day and preying on young rock n’ rollers at night!

LOCO Film Festival

LOCO London Comedy Film Festival | Various Venues | 20 April – 1 May

The LOCO London Comedy Film Festival returns to BFI Southbank and selected cinemas, the UK’s only international comedy film festival. This year, LOCO “have been inspired by The Wizard Of Oz to look for new comedy films with brains, heart and courage, with ideas to think about, characters to care about and films that take creative risks.”

Did we forget anything for our top things to do in London in April? Leave a comment below with your thoughts…

Rupert Dannreuther

About 

I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.