Yes, the Christmas festivities may be over, the New Year corks may have been well and truly popped, but just because we’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into January it doesn’t mean it’s a fun free zone. There’s plenty of things to do in January around the UK, from a top short film fest to the new show from Cirque du Soleil. Hold on to your hats people, it’s the return of The Weekly EDIT.
London International Mime Festival (Various, London, 8th – February 2nd)
Back for its 44th year is The London International Mime Festival which showcases an amazing variety of live art, physical and circus-theatre, puppetry, mask, movement and object theatre. Highlights include Nick Lehane’s puppet piece Chimpanzee and This Time by Ockham’s Razor, where you can see some jaw-dropping trapeze routines.
London Short Film Festival (Various, London, 10th – 19th)
This week brings us the 17th edition of the annual London Short Film Festival which will be screening the best domestic and international shorts at venues in the capital. As you’d expect there’s something for everyone here with over 500 films showing such as the Lena Headey directed The Trap about a car mechanic whose peaceful life is interrupted by the arrival of a homeless man and Suspended Island, by Turner Prize nominees Jane & Louise Wilson which comments on Britain’s refugee policy.
Bowie: Oddity to Mars (National Space Centre, Leicester, 10th – 11th)
There’s an out of this world immersive live show and exhibition fittingly heading to the National Space Centre this weekend. The show inside the UK’s largest planetarium celebrates pop culture icon David Bowie with a tribute band performing hits from his 1969 – 1972, Space Oddity & Ziggy Stardust period. The celebration will also feature an exhibition of fashion, textiles, art and photography inspired by Bowie.
BDO World Professional Darts Championship (O2 Indigo, 4th – 12th)
After four decades of the prestigious competition residing at The Lakeside, this year The BDO World Professional Darts Championships moves to a new home at Indigo at the O2. Hopefully, the event will be just as rowdy as ever as top players such as Wesley Harms and Scott Waites battle it out on the oche to claim the title.
Luzia by Cirque du Soleil (Royal Albert Hall, 12th – February 21st)
Cirque du Soleil are always spectacular to watch and this new work is set to continue dazzle audiences when it pitches up at the Royal Albert Hall this Sunday. Luzia takes you to an imaginary Mexico filled with grand visual surprises (we’re talking rain people) and breathtaking acrobatic performances.
No Trousers Tube Ride (London, 12th)
If travelling around in your pants is something you aspire to then you need to head to London this Sunday. Hosted by the Stiff Upper Lip Society this event, that’s now in its 11th year, sees participants meet in Chinatown before hitting the tube sans trousers, skirts, etc, yet keeping underwear on, to ride around with a comforting breeze down below. Each to their own.
Ravens: Spassky Vs. Fischer (Hampstead Theatre, Until 18th)
This new play at the Hampstead Theatre uncovers some of the secrets of the Cold War, depicting a match that became a signature event of this period in history. The psychological thriller explores how two very different individuals were co-opted to stand for contrasting political systems.
Black Midi (Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 10th)
The forces of nature who are Brit School alumni Black Midi are never going to be for everyone, their debut album, Schlagenheim at times sounded chaotic, but it contained enough experimental genius to mark the band out as the future. Catch them in Manchester this week, then in other UK venues till the 20th.
Fontaines DC (Various, 10th/11th/12th)
Dublin post-punkers Fontaines DC had a pretty epic 2019 with their Mercury-nominated debut album Dogrel making major waves through the music biz. They’ve become big names and have topped many an album of the year list. Catch the lads in Newcastle, Nottingham and then at Rockaway beach in Bognor Regis this week.
Eats & Drinks
Restaurant of the Week
Other Side Fried (Brixton, Open all week)
Other Side Fried does pretty much the best fried chicken this side of the pond. Their first permanent site opened its doors in Brixton mid-December and with food this good we expect huge things from these guys in the coming years. Aside from the belting chicken burgers they’re known for, this month they’re showing off some brand-new vegan dishes.
The team have come up with a Vegan Go Vegan Burger (Fried Chik’n, ranch sauce, hot sauce, pickles and lettuce) plus Vegan Dirty Tots (Tater tots, “bacon” bits, ranch sauce, hot sauce). As you can see from the picture you probably need both of these beauties in your life. What are you waiting for?
BrewDog AF Fest (Old Street, London, 11th)
Craft beer giants BrewDog are launching their first alcohol-free festival in time for Dry January. Here you can taste & experience the best that AF Drinks has to offer while also meeting the faces behind the products. There will be hosted talks, tasting sessions and meet the AF brewers throughout the day. Tickets are free but limited – so snap them up now before it’s too late.
It’s Veganuary! 100% (Leicester Market, 11th)
If you’re thinking about going Vegan this Veganuary then this free event in Leicester is a great opportunity for those interested in trying new meat and dairy-free products. Here you’ll find a host of local & national traders along with music, food and altogether good vibes.
Brew~denell Beer Festival (The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 10th – 12th)
Brew-denell is a small independent Beer Festival, now in its 8th year, featuring some of the best independent micro breweries in the UK, including Magic Rock, The Kernel, Northern Monk and more, with 80+ different ales over the weekend and also some very special imported ales. Tickets allow entry per day, all day and evening, allowing you to come and go as you please throughout the day, and return again, with live entertainment promised in the evening.
Fake Heiress – The Woman Who Scammed New York (BBC, Out now)
This new BBC podcast tells the fascinating story of Anna Delvey – the apparent millionaire heiress who scammed her way through New York’s wealthy elite. Journalist Vicky Baker and playwright Chloe Moss chart the con artists rise and fall through reporting and dramatisations of key events. Netflix and HBO are busy making their own shows on Delvey’s deceptive ways, get ahead of the curve by listening to this.
Field Music – Making A New World (Memphis Industries, 10th)
Previously the work of brothers Peter and David Brewis, here Field Music explore being a proper studio band with their new album ‘Making a New World’. Typically eccentric, it takes the form of a 19-track song cycle about the after-effects of the First World War, featuring songs about the armistice and even air traffic control. The idea for the album and the songs themselves came from a project for London’s Imperial War Museum. Mad, but also really good.
Circa Waves – Happy (Prolifica Inc, 10th)
The new record from indie rockers Circa Waves ‘Sad Happy’ is formed of two diametrically distinctive sides – the first half of the record contains the Happy tracks, the latter the Sad tracks (Out March 13th). It’s been made to mirror the uncertain times in which we live with immense sadness and happiness being emotions we experience at an alarming rate. Listen to the single ‘Jacqueline‘ and turn that frown upside down.
Titans: Season 2 (Netflix, 10th)
Season 2 of this dynamic series that focuses on young superheroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age sees a much teased famous name join them this time around. Yes, Batman is finally here to try and reconcile his relationship with Robin so they can keep the riff-raff out of Gotham.
Storyville: Jonestown – Terror in the Jungle (BBC4, 7th)
This two-part doc Storyville documentary looks into the 1978 mass suicide in Guyana that left 900 followers of charismatic and downright evil cult preacher Jim Jones dead. The film exposes how Jones was able to brainwash so many members of his People’s temple into performing ‘revolutionary suicide’.
1917 (Cinemas, 10th)
Director Sam Mendes takes viewers on a moving journey with his film set in the trenches of the First World War. It follows two young soldiers (George MacKay and Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman) who are sent on foot across no man’s land on a seemingly impossible mission, with a message that could prevent an attack on hundreds of troops. The filming techniques used immerses viewers into the action and draws us into this compelling and moving tale.
Uncut Gems (Limited cinemas, 10th)
In what’s being hailed as his finest on-screen performance, this intense Netflix crime caper sees Adam Sandler play Howard Ratner, a charismatic hustler jeweller in New York’s Diamond District, who when he comes into possession of a rare gem, manages to make what should be a life-changing deal into a life-threatening one. Swapping comedy for proper drama Sandler has shown once again he’s got some serious acting chops.
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