The summer is nearly over, but there is still plenty to do around London. Check out our top recommendations this month.
Words Helen Brown
A LIFETIME OF STORIES
V&A Museum of Childhood
War Horse, Kensuke’s Kingdom, and The Butterfly Lion; undoubtedly some of the best-loved books of British childhood. This new summer exhibition looks at author Michael Morpurgo’s life and writing process, as well as the lives he has created for some of his remarkable characters. The exhibition will include draft manuscripts, photographs and notebooks, as well as artwork loaned by some of Britain’s greatest illustrators, including Sir Quentin Blake, Patrick Benson and Michael Foreman.
LIONS & TIGERS
From 23 August
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
Based on the true story of her great uncle and freedom fighter Dinesh Gupta, Lions and Tigers is the world premiere of a new play by leading playwright Tanika Gupta. Based on family stories that Tanika heard from early childhood, the play is her most personal yet. set against the backdrop of negotiations between the leaders of the Indian National Congress, the play teems with details drawn from her grandfather’s 500 page handwritten journal about his younger brother – and from the 92 letters written by her great uncle from his prison cell.
WIMBLEDON PARK FOOD FESTIVAL
Wimbledon Park Food Festival returns for a fantastic fourth year with 50 stalls offering a wide range of artisan bread, pastries, crepes, fudge, cheese, charcuterie and more. The usual talks and taking hub are back, with a programme packed with great chefs, kids’ activities and more samples than you’ll know what to do with.
Foss Fine Art
Ross Fine Art showcase their latest and greatest pieces with the annual summer exhibition. This brilliant group show of fresh and contemporary art delivers a variety of exciting colour, textures and mediums. The artists this year have centred on the theme of the environment, using their own distinctive style and interpretations. Summer scenes hang alongside iconic London paintings and impressive three dimensional work in the form of delicate porcelain and ceramics.
GRAYSON & PERRY
British artist and one of the most astute commentators on contemporary culture, Grayson Perry presents this major exhibition of new work at the Serpentine Gallery. The works touch on many themes including popularity and art, masculinity and the current cultural landscape. Working in a variety of traditional media such as ceramics, cast iron, bronze, printmaking and tapestry, Perry is best known for his ability to combine delicately crafted objects with scenes of contemporary life.
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
Sienna Miller stars as Maggie alongside Jack O’Connell as Brick in this poetic story of a family’s fight for survival. On a steamy night in Mississippi, a Southern family gather at their cotton plantation to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday. The summer heat is almost as oppressive as the lies they tell. With the future of the family at stake, which version of the truth is real – and which will win out?
THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
From 29 August
Nesbit’s classic novel The Railway Children is thrillingly retold in a stunning new stage production. This best-loved tale, made famous by the iconic 1970 movie, delivers a compelling coming of age story and a fascinating insight into Edwardian rural life. Complete with period costumes and ingenious designs, this new production promises an uplifting theatrical experience for all ages.
WWT London Wetland Centre
Experience the wild and wonderful side of the WWT London Wetland Centre on an exciting night adventure. Kids will build dens, explore the centre, listen to wildlife, look out for bats and learn how to recognise stars in the night sky. End the evening with stories and marshmallow toasting around a roaring campfire.
HOUSE OF COMMON FESTIVAL
After last year’s roaring success, frivolities and debauchery, House of Common returns to Clapham Common. The inaugural event saw Madness joined by Toots and the Maytals, David Rodigan, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Norman Jay and more. Since this year looks to be bigger and better with David Rodigan curating his very own RAM JAM stage, you should get your ticket now before they sell out.
Until 15 October
London Design Museum
While California’s mid-century modernism is well documented, this is the first exhibition to examine its current global reach. Picking up the story in the 1960s, the exhibition charts the journey from the counterculture to Silicon Valley’s tech culture.
From 1 August
This month sees the launch of Banksy Basement, the West End’s permanent gallery dedicated to Banksy’s original works. To coincide, Graffik Gallery have opened the first open-to-all trading platform where fans of the elusive artist can buy, sell and view his most highly sought after works.