Unmissable Things To Do in London in 2018

Unmissable Things To Do in London in 2018

2017 Is Dead, Long Live 2018!

Even-numbered years are always better right (ok, forget 2016) – and 2018 is looking set to be a great year for cabaret, circus, theatre, comedy, festivals, exhibitions, food, fun and frolics galore!

Cabaret & Circus

Crowley & Co.’s The Night | Brasserie Zédel | First Monday of Every Month | 9:15pm | £10

See up-and-coming cabaret acts in the opulent surroundings of Brasserie Zédel’s cabaret room, The Crazy Coqs.

Bodies (broken 4 u) | Camden People’s Theatre | 30 January | 9pm | £12

The rebellious MEGANDALEX challenge the Catholic Church’s flagrant misogyny with choreography, sickly-sinful confessions and an explosive Eucharist.

Duckie Family Presents: Legacy | Rich Mix | 17 February | 8pm | From £4

Alt. performance purveyors Duckie explore forgotten histories of Queer People of Colour, via the medium of fabulous cabaret (of course)!

CircusFest 2018 | Various Venues | 3 April – 6 May | Times Vary | Prices Vary

CircusFest returns to the Roundhouse in Camden with some high-flying treats including Ellie Dubois’ feminist Edinburgh hit No Show.

Effigies of Wickedness

Effigies of Wickedness | Gate Theatre | 3 May – 2 June | Times Vary | From £7.50

A very exciting collection of degenerate and ‘shockingly prophetic’ songs as banned by the Nazis in the 1930s. A treat for fans of Weimar cabaret.

Circa’s Peepshow | Underbelly Festival Southbank | 27 June – 18 August | Times Vary | From £11.50

Australian circus powerhouse Circa light up the Southbank with their new show. Let’s hope it’s a bit lighter than their last few shows…

Comedy

Evelyn Mok: Hymen Maneouvre | Soho Theatre | 5-7 February | 7:15pm | From £10

The award-winning ‘Swedish Amy Schumer’ explores first-generation guilt, intersectionality and adult virginity at our favourite London comedy venue, Soho Theatre.

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette | Soho Theatre | 5 February – 3 March | 5pm, 7pm | From £14

2017 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Hannah Gadsby brings her last ever show to the Soho Theatre. Nanette “is a show about learning how you can thrive as a ‘not normal'”.

NAYTS Top of the Bill | Rich Mix | 11 February | 7pm | From £10

A perennial fixture in the To Do List social calendar, the NATYs (New Act of the Year) aims to find the performers “that can, in their own unique way, present a five minute showcase of a longer comedy piece, which represents a bookable, twenty minute routine, and displays a commitment to original comedy performance.”

David Hoyle: Diamond | Soho Theatre | 17-21 April | 9pm | From £10

The indescribably unique David Hoyle returns with “a celebration of survival against overwhelming odds”. Diamond charts David’s rise from gay adolescent in Blackpool, to famous Channel 4 Anti-drag queer cult phenomenon.

The League Of Gentlemen Live Again! | The O2 | 23 September | 6pm | From £35

Fresh from their successful return to the TV schedules, the League of Gentleman bring their frighteningly funny troupe of hideous yet hilarious characters back to the stage.

Exhibitions

Andreas Gursky | Hayward Gallery | 25 January – 22 April | From £14.50

Gursky reopens the newly renovated Hayward Gallery with his epic photographs.

T-SHIRT: CULT – CULTURE – SUBVERSION | Fashion and Textile Museum | 9 February – 6 May | From £9.90

The history of the T-shirt is explored from its roots as underwear to a rebellious rock and roll symbol.

Joan Jonas | Tate Modern | 14 March – 5 August | £13.30

Experimental unsung hero, performance & visual artist Joan Jonas has her first UK retrospective.

Videogames | V&A | From 8 September | Times TBC | Price TBC

Far from retro Pacman exhibits, this exhibition considers the groundbreaking and complex artistic worlds that videogames have created from the mid-2000s to now.

Festivals

Lumiere London | Multiple Locations | 18-21 January | Times Vary

London’s festival of extraordinary light installations returns for a second outing.

VAULT Festival 2018 | Waterloo | 24 January – 18 March | Times Vary | Prices Vary

Discover the Vaults under Waterloo station and discover hot upcoming talent in London’s very own underground version of the Edinburgh Fringe.

All Points East Festival - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

All Points East | Victoria Park | 25 May – 3 June | Times Vary | Prices Vary

An intriguing lineup from AEG’s new takeover of Hackney’s Victoria Park including Yeah Yeah Yeahs (pictured above at their gig in Brooklyn’s King’s Theatre), Björk and Lorde.

Film

Darkest Hour | 12 January

Gary Oldman is getting plenty of awwards buzz for his transformative performance as Winston Churchill, in this historical drama-cum-thriller from director Joe Wright (Atonement).

Downsizing | 24 January

Director Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) returns with this satirical sci-fi set in a near-future where people can have themselves shrunk to live a better life…

Annihilation | 23 February

A sci-fi horror from Ex Machina director Alex Garland, which sends a group of unprepared explorers into an environmental disaster zone. And they’re not alone.

Proud Mary | 23 March

Taraji P. Henson is Mary Goodwin, a hitwoman who makes an unlikely friend when a hit goes wrong.

Isle of Dogs | 30 March

It feels far too long since Wes Anderson’s last film (2014’s Grand Budapest Hotel), so hopefully this stop-motion animation about a group of dogs in a dystopian future Japan will be worth the wait.

Don’t miss our upcoming 2018 Film Preview for more unmissable films in, erm, 2018!

Food & Drink

Veganuary – A Middle Eastern Vegan & Gluten Free Feast | East Finchley | 19 January | 7pm | £27.50

New kids on the pop-up wagon Gouldfingers are two sisters on a mission to bring beautiful vegan food to your plate.

Launches & Openings

Hackney Arts Centre

Hidden deep in Hackney lies an abandoned Art Deco cinema. We hope that 2018 is the year it is reopened – to inspire a new generation – as Hackney Arts Centre.

East Wall (part of LIFT 2018) | Tower of London

World-renowned choreographer Hofesh Shechter is let loose directing a new spectacular featuring new talent at the Tower of London. The show is part of London International Festival of Theatre 2018.

Boxpark Wembley

Shoreditch’s ‘pop-up’ mall concept Boxpark adds another satellite (after Croydon), bringing the British swagger of street food and boutiques to the outdated American ‘mall’ concept.

Music

The Whitney Houston Show | Eventim Apollo | 17 April | 8pm | From £29.50

Celebrate the music of soul diva Whitney Houston with Belinda Davids accompanied by the sensational 30-piece National Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

Theatre & Performance Art

Songs for Nobodies | Wilton’s Music Hall | 21 March – 7 April | Times Vary | From £20

Linking 5 ordinary ‘nobodies’ and the legendary songs of Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas, Bernadette Robinson is bound to blow the roof off Wilton’s Music Hall.

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical | Aldwych Theatre | From 21 March | 7:30pm (2:30pm Matinees) | From £10

The official Tina Turner jukebox musical gets its world premiere in London.

Coraline | Barbican Theatre | 29 March – 7 April | 7pm (2pm Matinees) | From £10

Mark-Anthony Turnage adapts Neil Gaiman’s offbeat tale of Coraline.

Mark Thomas: Showtime from the Frontline | Theatre Royal Stratford East | 10-21 April | 7:30pm (2:30pm Matinees) | From £10

Agit-pop comedian Mark Thomas reflects on creating a comedy club in the heart of Palestine.

Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) | Barbican – The Pit | 15-19 May | 7:45pm | £18

A tour de force by alt. performance pioneers Split Britches (Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw). The show will ‘combine a Dr Strangelove-inspired performance with a daring forum for public conversation, explore ageing, anxiety, hidden desires and how to look forward when the future is uncertain.’.

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Curios

Late Night Library Club – The Line of Beauty | Sutton House | 3 February | 7pm | From £21.50

The National Trust’s Sutton House hosts an exploration of The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst with queer tours, Starkers Life Drawing and a Q&A with Alan Hollinghurst himself.

Did we miss the perfect 2018 event or opening? Let us know and we’ll do our best to add it in!

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.