things to do in london may 2016

Things To Do in London in May 2016

May is possibly the greatest month of the year (not just because it is the month of Eurovision & this editor’s birthday).

London is your oyster with these unusual things to do in London & beyond including an African Market, the campest night out ever & more chances than ever to see emerging DIY talent.

Festivals

London Wonderground | 5 May-25 September | Various Prices

Our favourite festival of cabaret & circus returns for it’s 5th triumphant year. Shows that caught our eye in May include:

  • The Raunch (From 5 May-12 June): ‘A whip-cracking, high-flying, all-twerking, rodeo-rocking night out’ featuring the extraordinary talents of Empress Stah (read our interview here) & Fancy Chance.
  • Dusty Limits: Black Dogs (Of Death) (Sat 7 May): Dusty Limits confronts the darker thoughts we all have with some touching & funny songs.
  • Replay: There are chances to see our faves – the anarchic punk gameshow Miss Behave’s Gameshow (Sat 28 May) & a new show from an old fave Southern starlet Tina C in Eating Country (Weds 11 May).

Fragility Takeover at Wandsworth Arts Fringe | The Cat’s Back, Putney | 6-22 May | Various Prices

A chance to see the next generation of DIY performance legends before the Edinburgh fringe picked by the awesome Fragility. Highlights for us include:

ZURICH MEETS LONDON

Zurich Meets London | 17-21 May | Various Times & Prices

‘“Zurich meets London — a Festival of Two Cities” is a part of a series of festivals designed to engage Zurich in a fertile dialogue with the most inspirational cities in the world.’

Theatre & Shows

follow the faun

Follow the Faun | Arts Theatre | 2-7 May | Various Times | £20/10 conc.

We saw this cult show in 2015 Ed Fringe and described it as ‘a hypnotically hedonistic, rave-fuelled ritual led by a faun in heels’.

sex workers opera

Sex Workers’ Opera | Pleasance Theatre, Caledonian Road | 17-29 May | Various Times | £15/10

Learn more about the lives of sex workers through sound art, projections and poetry.

now 16 festival

NOW ’16 Festival | The Yard Theatre | 10 May-11 June | 7:30pm | £12

A dangerous festival of new ideas for the stage, NOW always takes risks and encourages you to think differently.

Music & Nights Out

brooklyn brewery the MASH tour

Brooklyn Brewery presents The Mash Tour | Various Venues | 11-15 May | From FREE

The Mash Tour comes to London and brings a free gig with METZ at St. John at Hackney Church as well as free feasts & nights out.

camposphere

Camposphere | Resistance Gallery, Bethnal Green | Sat 7 May | £6 before 10.30 / £9 afterwards

A FUNdraiser night of intergalactic camp featuring a stellar cast of alt drag darlings DENIM & the future of funk in the guise of Chiara Hunter.

lush

Lush | Roundhouse | Fri  6 & Sat 7 May | From £27.50 + fees

Everyone remembers Pulp, Suede and The Divine Comedy as 90s britpop kings but Lush were the ultimate sparky pop indie band. Just listen to their album Lovelife here.

Events & Markets

african market

The African Market | RichMix, Shoreditch High Street | Mon 2 May | 12-5pm | FREE

Africa comes to Shoreditch by way of some incredible design, fashion & crafts.

degree shows

Degree Shows | Various locations, times & days | Free

The degree show season begins with some ace shows at Central Saint Martins giving you a free look at next generation creative talent.

DIY cultures 2016

DIY Cultures 2016 | Richmix, Shoreditch Town Hall | Sun 29 May | 12-7pm | FREE

Radical creators, writers and change-makers converge for a mini fest of ideas, stalls & events.

Urban Village Fete | Greenwich Peninsula | Sun 15 May | 12-7pm | FREE

A nice chance to discover there is more to North Greenwich that the O2 with top local talent, all set against a range of established design stalls, music, DJ’s, dance, art & design workshops and food trucks with an international flavour.

Escape London

derren brown's ghost train

Derren Brown’s Ghost Train Opens | Thorpe Park, Staines | From 6 May

A world first ride experience with VR technology combined with the twisted mind of Derren Brown opens this May at the adrenaline junkie mecca of Thorpe Park. Stay tuned for our review…

Brighton is Festival City in May

May is the best time to discover Brighton’s charms with The Great Escape music festival, Brighton Festival & Fringe so much is going on the streets throng with energy.

Did we forget anything for our top things to do in London in May? 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.