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48 awesome things you should be doing this autumn

September 14

Wings, Young Vic

Emily, a fiercely independent aviator and wing walker, suffers a stroke that destroys her sense of reality. Fragments of her life come together as she struggles to find her voice and her self. Juliet Stevenson takes on another extraordinary role. To November 4

September 16

Open House, London

Open House celebrates its silver anniversary by throwing open the doors of buildings usually locked behind security. Available to view and with special tours are New Scotland Yard and the Francis Crick Institute. Closer to home, there’s the Thames Barrier, Abbey Mills Pumping Station and Limehouse Town Hall. To September 17.

September 18

Auguste Rodin, Canary Wharf

The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin

The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin

Coinciding with the centenary of Auguste Rodin’s death in November 1917, the exhibition aims to underline his enduring sculptural legacy with 30 significant works ranging from the early years to his late abstracted figures. To Nov 10. See page 46

September 19 

Foo Fighters, The O2

As part of the Greenwich venue’s 10th birthday celebrations, the Foo Fighters showcase their ninth studio album Concrete And Gold, fresh from a headline set at Glastonbury

The White Bike, Space

One Tuesday morning, Isabelle packs her lunch box into her pannier, kisses her daughter goodbye and sets off on her bike through Hackney. What happens along the way is at once shocking, inconceivable and terrifyingly ordinary. To September 30.

Private Lives, Greenwich Theatre

Brought to Greenwich by leading UK touring company London Contemporary Theatre, Noël Coward’s most popular and enduring stage comedy sees strong passions and stronger personalities set the stage for a classic battle of the sexes. To September 23.

September 21

Drawn In, Crossrail Place Roof Garden

An office drone is sucked through his computer screen into a locked room. To help him escape, he has a pen, a board, and a cryptic set of instructions. Anything he draws is magicked into reality. His imagination is freed, but at what cost?

September 23

British Fast5, The O2

The British Fast5 All-Stars Championship will bring the world’s most exciting format of netball to centre-stage as the top eight teams in the UK Superleague compete in a thrilling fast-paced format with a record-breaking £100,000 prize fund.

September 24

British All Stars Basketball, The O2 

Barry Hearn enters the fray in basketball introducing a new, entertaining take on the fast-paced game. Five players per team, including the London Lions, will take to the court in shorter-timed matches and other exciting innovations in front of the Sky TV cameras.

September 26

Jane Eyre, National Theatre

This bold and dynamic production of the classic Charlotte Bronte story uncovers one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment on her own terms. Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal.

September 28

New Scientist Live, Excel

New Scientist Live comes to the Excel

New Scientist Live comes to the Excel

Rooted in the biggest, best and most provocative science, New Scientist Live will touch on all areas of human life. The show will feature five immersive zones covering Humans, Engineering, Technology, Earth and Cosmos, plus a main stage and VIP area. Speakers include Alice Roberts, Chris Packham, Tim Peake and Margaret Atwood and there’ll be hands-on displays. To Oct 1.

September 30

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, The O2

The band are on an eight-week European tour with the only London date at The O2. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds remain one of the most critically acclaimed and influential acts working today and have sold over five million albums worldwide.

October 4

Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites, National Gallery

One of the most celebrated paintings in the National Gallery, Jan van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait, will be exhibited for the first time alongside works by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood demonstrating the profound influence this 15th-century masterpiece had on the movement.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Greenwich Theatre

A thrilling adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s dark psychological fantasy, the play immerses the viewer in the myth and mystery of 19th century London’s fog-bound streets where love, betrayal and murder lurk at every twist and turn. To Oct 7.

October 9

Lady Gaga, The O2

Lady Gaga brings her worldwide Joanne tour to The O2 for two nights (Oct 9, 11) – her only gigs in the capital. Her fifth studio album Joanne debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200, marking her fourth consecutive No. 1 album – the first female to do so in the 2010s.

October 10

Young Frankenstein, Garrick Theatre

Mel Brooks’ quirky musical receives its West End premiere. Based on the 1974 Oscar-nominated film, the brand new production follows a Broadway run that closed in 2009 and features Ross Noble as Igor.

October 12

Pop-Up Painting: Pop Art, Crossrail Place

The last of the four immersive, have-a-go classes run by Paint Jam London will let people explore the style to made famous by the likes of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Keith Harring.

Octobert 13 

Belinda Carlisle, Indigo at The O2

Heaven Is A Place On Earth sky-rocketed Belinda Carlisle’s solo career worldwide and added yet another string to her bow. As lead singer of the Go-Gos, Belinda took centre stage in one of the most successful female bands of all time. She plays a more intimate gig at The O2 smaller venue.

October 17

Neil Diamond, The O2

For two nights (Oct 17, 19) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Member Neil Diamond will rouse the audience with a string of anthemic hits marking the release of The 50th Anniversary Collection, a celebratory music package that includes 50 songs that range 50 years in Diamond’s career. Altogether now – “sweet Caroline…”

The Lorax, The Old Vic

The irrepressible, big-hearted, moustachioed critter is back. Following rave reviews and an Olivier nomination for Best Entertainment and Family show, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax returns to The Old Vic stage. To November 5.

October 18

Emeli Sande, The O2

This gig will be in support of Emeli’s hugely acclaimed second studio album Long Live The Angels, a mesmerising journey through the triumphs and tragedies of the last four years of Emeli Sandé’s extraordinary life.

October 21

Squeeze, Indigo at The O2

Alongside special guests Nine Below Zero, Squeeze parade their locally-made hits. The band that came to prominence during the new wave period of the late 1970s, and continued recording successfully in the 1980s and 1990s. And it all began in Greenwich too.

October 18

Young Marx, Bridge Theatre

London’s newest theatre, in the shadow of Tower Bridge, launches with Rory Kinnear as Marx and Oliver Chris as Engels under the direction of Nicholas Hytner. Marx is hiding out in Dean Street, Soho, restless and horny. More gems are promised in the theatre’s first full year in 2018. To Dec 31.

Insignificance, Arcola

Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe banter about fame, relativity and their personal lives. Written by two-time Olivier Award winner Terry Johnson, this bittersweet comedy receives its first London revival in 20 years. To Nov 18.

October 20

Harry Potter: A History Of Magic, British Library

Harry Potter imagery comes to the British Library

Harry Potter imagery comes to the British Library

Rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the library’s collection capture the traditions of folklore and magic which are at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. Original drafts and drawings by JK Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay are on display for the first time to make this a crowd-pleaser. To Feb 28.

October 21

Discover Dogs, Excel

London’s biggest dog show, over two days, offers a chance to find out about breeds before a possible purchase. Meanwhile, canine athletes take centrestage and trade stands offer the latest information and gadgets.

October 22

Metallica, The O2

Playing two dates (Oct 22, 24) Metallica bring their WorldWired Tour to Greenwich, supporting their Hardwired To Self Destruct album. Norway’s Kvelertak will be support for the tour run.

October 23

Kidtropolis, Excel

Running to October 26, Kidtropolis is a family event aimed at children under 12. It’s packed with live shows, favourite characters, including Fireman Sam and Sooty, activities and entertainments.

October 24

Reasons To Be Cheerful, Theatre Royal Stratford East

Celebrating the infectious music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Reasons To Be Cheerful is a punk rock musical and gritty coming of age tale, featuring the musician’s greatest hits. To November 4.

October 26

Cezanne Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

Boy in a Red Waistcoat, 1888-90 by Paul Cézanne. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, 1995.47.5

Boy in a Red Waistcoat, 1888-90 by Paul Cézanne. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, in Honour of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, 1995.47.5

This major new exhibition will bring together for the first time over 50 of Cézanne’s portraits from collections across the world, including works which have never been on public display in the UK. Cézanne Portraits will explore the special pictorial and thematic characteristics of his portraiture. To February 11.

Little Mix, The O2

For two nights, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall aim to further entrench their claim to be the world’s biggest girl group and one of British pop’s brightest acts. 

Kathy Lette’s Girls’ Night Out, Greenwich Theatre

The funny feminist author talks puberty and menopause, with tales of love, lust, men, marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, sexist bosses, teenage-daughter-wrangling, ageing, tongue kissing Prince William and Close Encounters of the George Clooney Kind.

October 27

Bluesfest, The O2

The three-day celebration of blues and souls legends promises to be a real cracker. Daryl Hall and John Oates perform with their special guest Chris Isaak. Elsewhere on the bill is Chic, featuring Nile Rodgers plus special guest Chaka Khan. Also on the bill Jack Savoretti as well as a raft of blues-based sideshows.

My Name Is Prince, The O2



For 21 days – the same length of time the rock icon had a residency at The O2 in 2007 – artefacts, guitars, accessories and costumes go on show. They paint a picture of the flamboyance of the much-missed star who died last year.

MCM Comic Con, Excel

One of the most colourful exhibitions of pop culture and cosplay returns for its second visit of the year to the Excel. Trade stands, star names and colourful costumes are the theme of the three-day event which, this year, features WWE, Marvel and the original Hulk himself – Lou Ferrigno

November 1

Monochrome, National Gallery

Visitors get to explore the tradition of painting in black and white from its beginnings in the Middle Ages through the Renaissance and into the 21st century. It comprises works on glass, vellum, ceramic, silk, wood, and canvas by artists such as Rembrandt and Picasso. To February 18.

November 2

Impressionists in London,
Tate Britain

This major exhibition tells the story of the artists who fled to Britain to escape war in France in the 1870s and turned their attention to London’s landscapes. This exhibition presents works by Monet, Tissot, Pissarro and their compatriots. To May 7. 

John Bishop, The O2

The popular comic plays two nights at the O2 when he returns to the stage with a new tour after three years away. “The new show is called Winging It, and having come to comedy relatively late, it sometimes feels like that’s what I’m doing,” he said.

November 6

RSC Live: Coriolanus, East Wintergarden

RSC: Live Coriolanus at East Wintergarden

RSC: Live Coriolanus at East Wintergarden

Caius Martius Coriolanus is a fearless soldier but a reluctant leader. His mother attempts to carve him a path to political power, but he struggles to change his nature. With increasing divisions between rich and poor, Coriolanus must decide where his allegiances lie.

November 11

Jimmy Carr, Indigo at The O2

Jimmy is gathering a selection of his very best jokes along with brand new material for the ultimate comedy show called The Best Of, Ultimate, Gold Greatest Hits Tour for those in any doubt about his plan.

November 12 

ATP Finals, The O2

After a disappointing Wimbledon and an injury-plagued season, Andy Murray will be looking to end on a high in this hugely-popular tennis showcase that features only the best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams in the world. To November 19.

November 14

#Hashtag Lightie, Arcola

Ella is mixed race, addicted to social media and Queen of the Selfie. Her thriving YouTube channel has make up tips, opinions, and videos of her boisterous family. But after one of her videos goes viral, Ella finds herself in the centre of a social media storm that leads to a family meltdown. To December 2.

November 16

Simply Christmas, Excel

This retail experience is an extravaganza of exclusive ranges of bespoke and unusual gifts including glass, jewellery, art, candles, ceramics and clothing. Enjoy live music and festive food and drink as you tick off your Christmas shopping list. To November 18

November 21 

Queens of the Stone Age,
The O2

QOTSA head out on an arena tour of the UK and Ireland on the back of their  seventh album, Villain, which was produced by Mark Ronson. The title means nothing, they say, it’s just “a word that looks fantastic”.

November 22

Depeche Mode, The O2

Depeche Mode at the London Stadium (Image: Getty)

Depeche Mode at the London Stadium (Image: Getty)

The cult rockists managed to make the London Stadium feel something special when they sold-out their home-coming mega-show there in June. Now they’re back inside for one night only with their Global Spirit Tour, another certain sell-out. 

November 23

Deep Purple, The O2

Possessors of the greatest guitar riff of all-time and a back catalogue of peerless heavy rock, Deep Purple head out on tour to support their new album Infinite. Fans will see Mark VIII of the band – Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Steve Morse and Don Aire. Special guests are Europe.

November 24 

Steps, The O2

Who better to follow DP than another mega-group returning to the spotlight – although they sit at the other end of the music spectrum with their catchy pop songs and fun dance moves. Their 20-year reunion after an acrimonious split received warm reviews and their new album Tears On The Dancefloor was their first original output since 2000. 

November 27

The Killers, The O2

The Killers are coming to the Greenwich venue for two nights (November 27, 28) following their hit-laden surprise set at Glastonbury, which saw the band return to the festival for the first time since their 2007 Pyramid Stage headline show. The tour will also follow the release of the band’s fifth album, Wonderful Wonderful.