Unmissable Things to Do In London in December 2019

Unmissable Things to Do In London in December 2019

Ding Dong Merrily on High! Our list of unusual Things To Do in London for December takes an unapologetically festive turn – but for the Scrooge’s in our midst, there’s plenty of tinsel-free fun to be had too!

🎄🎄🎄 Step Into Christmas! 🎄🎄🎄

Cabaret & Variety

OPIA Lates: XMXS Party | Brew By Numbers | 14 December | 6:30pm | From £8

An immersive night of storytelling through music, poetry, visual art, comedy and theatre from fresh talent in the capital.

Drag Syndrome at Christmas | Queen Elizabeth Hall | 15 December | 6pm | FREE

2019’s best drag troupe invite special guests including Justin Bond (Shortbus) to their free festive soiree.

The Legends & Legacies Yuletide Special | Queen Elizabeth Hall | 21 December | 4:30pm | FREE

Xnthony presents a high-heeled, glitter-strewn festive extravaganza of talent from older people.

Comedy

Sh!t Actually | Camden People’s Theatre | 3-21 December| 7:15pm | £15

Seminal Richard Curtis smushfest Love Actually is the source material for the wunderkinds at Sh!t Theatre to do their shittiest with.

Weirdos Save Christmas . . . And the local highstreet pub | Bloomsbury Theatre | 9 & 10 December| 8pm | £20

The weirdos are a grassroots comedy collective unlike any other. Miss this Xmas oddity at your peril.

Video Roulette – Xmas Birthday Edition | Ace Hotel London Shoreditch | 13 December| 7pm | FREE

Bonkers VHS crate digging cult bonanza.

Christmas LOLS | Queen Elizabeth Hall | 20 December| 9:45pm | FREE

The LOL word – an LGBTQIA+ women and non-binary comedy collective – present a free festive showcase at Southbank Centre.

Film & TV

Black Christmas (1974) | Prince Charles Cinema | 9 December | 9pm | £10

A bloody massacre of a Christmas eve. Forget the remake(s), this is the original and best festive gore fest.

Better Watch Out | Herne Hill Station Square | 12 December| 8pm | FREE

Better Watch Out replaces the Home Alone fantasy with horrific ‘someone’s out there’ scares. Fun stuff!

Panto & Theatre

Joan of Leeds | New Diorama Theatre | 3-21 December| 7:30pm | £16

Joan of Leeds

Pioneering performance ensemble BREACH premiere their obscene medieval mystery play at the New Diorama.

Christmas Carol – A Fairytale | Wilton’s | All Month | 7:30pm | From £12.50

We’re in love with the premise of this refresh (with a gender-swapped central role: “Scrooge. As you’ve never seen her before…”), so Christmas Carol looks to be the ultimate festive treat – and if you haven’t already, you really need to discover the wonders of Wilton’s Music Hall!

Bonus Ball

Winterfest 2019 | Wembley Park | All Month| FREE

Pretty light installations in the fast-growing cultural quarter of Wembley.

😡😡😡😡 Stop The Cavalry 😡😡😡😡

(Some Xmas Elements May Be Unavoidable…)

Cabaret & Variety

Werk: An End of Year Showcase | Roundhouse | 5 December| 7:30pm | £10

Xnthony/The Glory’s werk in progress night gets a one-off special at the gorgeous Roundhouse in Camden.

The Cocoa Butter Club Demolition Party | Ovalhouse | 12 December| 8pm | £16

London’s most lavish and spectacular queer party comes to celebrate the demolition of one of London’s most outrageous and loved venues, Ovalhouse. (Don’t worry, it’s moving to Brixton)

Comedy

Lucy Hopkins: The Unknown | The Bill Murray | 15 December| 4:15pm | Pay What You Want

Winner of To Do List’s Unsung Hero award, Lucy Hopkins is a comic talent unlike anything you’ve seen before. Discover her new show and pay what you want.

Circus & Dance

The Travelling Circus | Mercato Metropolitano | 7, 21, 22, 28 December| Times Vary | From £10.30

Circus Raj have come all the way from Jaipur in Rajasthan to present a special pop-up show featuring sword-swallowing, traditional songs and high-wire stunts.

Queer Tango on the Thames Winter Special | Royal Festival Hall | 26 December | 2pm | FREE

Queer Tango

A celebration of same-sex tango – perfect Boxing Day fare!

Exhibitions & Art

FLOP: 13 Stories of Failure | UCL | All Month | 9am – 5pm | FREE

UCL celebrate the flop with 13 stories of failure, including a sword swallower’s oesophagus fatally punctured in an occupational accident (and the sword itself).

Film & TV

The Street | The Castle Cinema | From 6 December| Times Vary | From £5

A timely portrait of Hoxton’s gentrification and the people making their lives in east London.

Music

Rough Trade Recommends: Yeule + Charlotte Spiral + Blue Bendy | Rough Trade East | 4 December| 7:30pm | £6

A 5-star line up of new bands curated by Rough Trade, including the dreampop magic of Yeule.

No Bra: Love & Power Album Launch | ICA | 5 December| 8:30pm | £12

No Bra defies categorisation – and it’s nice to see some live music back at the ICA.

Tracks On Tap | Streatham Space | 5 December| 8pm | £5

A space for up-and-coming artists and supporters help each other in order to grow.

AGAMA | Rough Trade East | 10 December| 7pm | FREE

Celebrate Cassandra Gurling’s earthy voice, and her new multi-instrumental project Agama, with this gig at Rough Trade.

Freek – Live in London | Rich Mix | 21 December| 8pm | £10

Freek is a Somalian MC, rapper, director and record producer from Abu Dhabi – and this is your rare chance to see him at RichMix.

Theatre & Musicals

Ubu! a Singalong Satire | Shoreditch Town Hall | 4-21 December | 7:30pm | £25

Kneehigh’s new take on the anarchic UBU is sure to delight. We’ll be reviewing it very soon!

Bonus Balls

Talking Together | Rich Mix | 11 December| 7:45pm | FREE

A night of story-fueled fun discussing mixed-status relationships.

Forest Uprising | Leyton Sports Ground | 13-15 December| 5-10pm | FREE

The epic end to a wonderful year of Waltham Forest being Borough of Culture. Light’s aplenty, so go fill your Insta feed!

Burning the Clocks | Brighton | 21 December| 6:30pm | FREE

A pagan-style festival to lift your spirits on the darkest day.

Did we miss any offbeat things to do in London? Leave a comment below…

Rupert & Stuart

About 

Occasionally the To Do List team are forced to work together.

Rupert likes: free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.

Stuart likes: nice pubs, film marathons, not doing real marathons, bad comedy, plays/musicals with shorter second halves, and the Oxford comma.