Visit London Blog » national theatre http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 06 Mar 2015 10:43:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 London Theatre News: Lindsay Lohan arrives in the West End http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/09/london-theatre-news-lindsay-lohan-arrives-in-the-west-end/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/09/london-theatre-news-lindsay-lohan-arrives-in-the-west-end/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:42:47 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39193

Speed-the-Plow

Oh August, you cruel month. You teased us with the warming glow of the sun then whipped it away like a bully taunting a small child. At least we had some hot theatre news to see us through.

News like the identity of the actors who will join Hollywood star and tabloid favourite Lindsay Lohan in Speed-The-Plow this autumn. The men in question are US star of The West Wing Richard Schiff and London stage regular Nigel Lindsay. The pair play film producers whose plans are scuppered by a manipulative secretary in David Mamet’s play, which runs at the Playhouse Theatre.

Lucy Punch, who will soon be seen on the big screen playing Lucinda in Into The Woods, will step into Billie Piper’s shoes when National Theatre hit Great Britain transfers to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. This is the show the NT announced just days before it opened, which satirises the press, police and politicians. Punch plays the ambitious news editor of a tabloid that will stop at nothing to increase its readership.

There was more casting news from the Donmar Warehouse, where rising star Cynthia Erivo, who caught the eye in both The Color Purple and I Can’t Sing, has joined the cast of an all-female Henry IV. She’s joined in the production by Harriett Walter, Jackie Clune and My Mad Fat Diary’s Sharon Rooney, who’s making her professional stage debut in the show.

More good news from the stage adaptation of Shakespeare In Love; the tale of a playwright with writer’s block who frees his pen when he falls in love with a noblewoman beyond his reach has proved so popular that it has extended its London run into 2015.

And speaking of long-running productions, of sorts, Miss Saigon is celebrating its 25th anniversary on 22 September with a gala performance bringing together the original cast with the new stars. If the heat is on in Saigon that night, it’s probably due to the number of candles on the show’s birthday cake!

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Spotlight On: Lambeth http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/08/spotlight-on-lambeth/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/08/spotlight-on-lambeth/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 09:00:37 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38763 South Bank

The London Borough of Lambeth is an area of London which encompasses the central areas of South Bank and Waterloo, as well as Brixton, Crystal Palace and Streatham Common. The childhood home of Charlie Chaplin, Lambeth is now home to the The Old Vic theatre and the basketball team the Brixton Topcats. There’s no shortage of things to see and places to go. Here are a few of our favourites:

EDF Energy London Eye

1. Top London Attractions
Lambeth is home to some of London’s top attractions, including the EDF Energy London Eye which offers spectacular views across the city; arts hub The Southbank Centre; the London Aquarium and the London Dungeon.

If you have a passion for intelligent theatre, visit the National Theatre which attracts well-known, highly regarded actors. Tickets often sell out so try to book in advance.

Lambeth Palace

2. Hidden Gems
If you love historic buildings, there are regular guided tours of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s London residence Lambeth Palace which was built in 1490. West Norwood Cemetery is one of London’s most magnificent Victorian cemeteries with 69 listed monuments. Regular guided tours are held on the first Sunday of the month.

Brixton Windmill was built in 1816 and has recently been restored. Open regularly for guided tours, the sails will be turning when you visit if you’re lucky! Other fascinating places to visit in Lambeth include the Garden Museum, Vauxhall City Farm and the Florence Nightingale Museum.

Brixton Village Market: The Granville Arcade

3. Shops and Markets
There are loads of cool places to shop in Lambeth. Pick up a perfect gift at the Southbank Centre Shop, or head to Lower Marsh Street for street markets and independent and vintage shops like What the Butler Wore, iKnit and Radio Days. You’ll also find some interesting shopping in Crystal Palace, including Bookseller Crow on the Hill and Crystal Palace Antiques Emporium.

Brixton Market’s trendy revival has seen some arty boutiques arriving in the former Granville Arcade. The market is also a great place for foodies. Stock up your cupboards or join the queue for an amazing Franco Manca pizza. Don’t miss the mouth-watering tapas at Seven or the tasty delights at Rosie’s Deli.

Brockwell Lido

4. Sporty Lambeth
Swim outside in the sunshine at Brockwell Lido, or get your skates on at Streatham Ice Rink. Show off your skateboarding tricks at the Kennington Bowl, House of Vans or Stockwell Sands. If that sounds too energetic, go for a stroll around the Rookery in Streatham Common or slap on some suncream and sit back and watch international cricket at The Oval.

BFI IMAX

5. Cinema
Lambeth is a paradise for cinephiles who should head to the BFI Southbank, a multi-screen cinema and movie archive beside the river. You’ll find a huge programme of classic, foreign language and independent movies, as well film festivals and themed events.

Fans of very big screens can enjoy the latest blockbusters and 3D specials at the BFI IMAX. There are also two other great alternative arthouse cinemas in Lambeth, the Brixton Ritzy and the Clapham Picturehouse.

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London Theatre News: The Voice Star Joins Phantom Cast, And Three Big Transfers http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/08/london-theatre-news-the-voice-star-joins-phantom-cast-and-three-big-transfers/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/08/london-theatre-news-the-voice-star-joins-phantom-cast-and-three-big-transfers/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 11:54:21 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39147

Billy Elliot The Musical

What a month July was for news of returning theatre stars.

Olivier Award-winning original star of Billy Elliot The Musical, Liam Mower, will pull on his ballet shoes at the Victoria Palace once more when he returns to the show for one night only on 28 September. Liam’s far too grown up to play Young Billy now. Instead he’ll play Older Billy. Why? Well, because on that night Billy Elliot is being screened live to cinemas, so you can see the stage adaptation of the film on the big screen.

Also returning to a show that helped to make her famous is Kerry Ellis, who’ll be greening up once more to play Elphaba in Wicked from 4 August. Ellis’ happy return comes as current Wicked Witch Willemijn Verkaik has had to withdraw from the production to have surgery.

Musical theatre star Liam Tamne, who was a hit on BBC talent show The Voice UK but didn’t quite win it, is coming home to the West End. He’s joining the cast of the show with the most iconic mask in theatre history, The Phantom of the Opera. Tamne fans need not fret, he won’t be covering half his face in the name of entertainment, he’ll be playing Raoul from 1 September.

After the World Cup, we’re in the heart of football’s transfer season, so it’s only fitting we have some transfer news of our own:

It’s going to be a busy September, isn’t it?

This is a Guest Post by Official London Theatre, the premier website for London theatre. With the latest news, fantastic features, comprehensive listings and incredible offers it is your one-stop shop for everything about the theatre capital of the world.

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Olivier Awards 2014: Almeida Theatre the big winner on the night http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/olivier-awards-2014-almeida-theatre-the-big-winner-on-the-night/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/olivier-awards-2014-almeida-theatre-the-big-winner-on-the-night/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:51:16 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38413

The Royal Opera House hosted the 2014 Olivier Awards with Mastercard last night, where the cream of British theatre were saluted in a star-studded ceremony.

The show was opened by the company from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before hosts Stephen Mangan and Gemma Arterton, who is due to star in Made in Dagenham at The Adelphi Theatre in October, got things underway. The first award was presented by the ever-cool James McAvoy and went to Ghosts for Best Revival at the Almeida Theatre.

The Almeida itself made plenty of headlines, beating off the bigger West End theatres with plays Ghosts and Chimerica scooping eight awards between them, including the American Airlines Best New Play award for Lucy Kirkwood’s political epic Chimerica.

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will be thrilled today, as their musical The Book of Mormon took away four awards, including Mastercard Best New Musical. Book of Mormon is one of the big winners that you can still catch on the West End stage, as its current run at the Prince of Wales Theatre doesn’t end until 3 May.

Other winners that can still be seen include Best New Comedy winner Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, which has recently swapped leading man and last night’s host, Stephen Mangan for Robert Webb. You can also catch the Best Actress in a Musical Zrinka Cvitešic in Once at the Phoenix Theatre.

The prestigious BBC Radio 2 Audience Award went to Les Miserables for the second time, which of course can still be booked at The Queen’s Theatre.

The National Theatre continues to get the best out

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of its actors, with Rory Kinnear winning Best Actor for his portrayal of Iago in Othello and Sharon D Clarke named Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Amen Corner.

The show was rounded off in style by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus reuniting to celebrate 15 years of Mamma Mia!, in one of 14 live performances on the night.

See the highlight reel above for a quick look at the red carpet, including the dashing Tom Hiddleston, Kristin Davis of Sex and the City fame, host Gemma Arterton in a full-length pale blue Prada gown and even ballet stars Let Marianela and Thiago from our London Story competition.

Full highlights of the ceremony can be seen on ITV Player for the next 29 days.

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London Theatre News: Benedict Cumberbatch, National Theatre and Old Vic seasons, Alexandra Burke, Thriller Live, The Commitments, Olivier Awards http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/london-theatre-news-benedict-cumberbatch-national-theatre-and-old-vic-seasons-alexandra-burke-thriller-live-the-commitments-olivier-awards/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/london-theatre-news-benedict-cumberbatch-national-theatre-and-old-vic-seasons-alexandra-burke-thriller-live-the-commitments-olivier-awards/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:15:43 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38276

There’ve been rumblings about it for months, but we finally know for sure that Sherlock and The Hobbit star Benedict Cumberbatch will get all Shakespearean and give London his Hamlet. The production, which already looks to be one of 2015’s highlights, will play at the Barbican.

I know we’re barely three months into 2014 and already we’re looking forward to next year, but Cumberbatch fans aren’t the only people getting excited about 2015.

The National Theatre has looked that far ahead and announced a season including new plays by David Hare, Tom Stoppard and Richard Bean alongside an adaptation of Treasure Island and Helen McCrory starring in Medea.

Hit musicals Thriller Live and The Commitments have also cast their eyes that way and announced extensions to their popular runs taking them into 2015.

Kevin Spacey’s not thinking quite that far in advance. The Artistic Director of the Old Vic has only announced plans until the end of 2014. He’ll be taking to the stage in May to play ground-breaking lawyer Clarence Darrow in a one-man show, followed by a modern take on The Crucible and Kristin Scott Thomas starring in Greek tragedy Electra.

At the Adelphi Theatre, one British music mega star will replace another as X Factor winner Alexandra Burke takes over from soul sensation Beverley Knight as The Bodyguard’s Rachel Marron from 2 June. By all accounts Knight has made a big impression since making her stage debut in the Whitney Houston musical; let’s hope Burke can do the same.

Just one more thing, if you’re wondering what to do on the evening of 13 April, the answer is watch the Olivier Awards with MasterCard. The show’s fantastic performances have been announced and include all the nominated Best New Musical and Audience Award shows, Broadway star Bernadette Peters and ABBA’s Benny and Björn joining the cast of Mamma Mia! to celebrate the show’s 15th birthday. Tune in to ITV from 22:15 to see all the best bits.

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Top 5 Alternative Mother’s Day Treats http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/03/top-5-alternative-mothers-day-treats/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/03/top-5-alternative-mothers-day-treats/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 10:00:48 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38162 If you want to treat your mum to a memorable Mother’s Day that oozes wow factor, check out some of these alternative ways to spend Sunday 30 March.

British Pullman

Take a nostalgic train journey
Step back in time to the golden age of travel by spoiling your mum with a ride on a British Pullman or Northern Belle, sister trains to the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Your mum can expect vintage 1920s wood-panelled carriages, gourmet cuisine, lashings of Champagne and liveried stewards. Perfect for those with cash to splash, a one-day round trip from London Victoria is £310 and includes a five-course lunch with champagne and half a bottle of wine per person.

A Taste of Honey

See a play
For a dose of culture, take your mum to see taboo-breaking play A Taste of Honey at the National Theatre, which stars Lesley Sharp (Clocking Off) and Dean Lennox Kelly (Shameless). The play tells the story of a feisty teenager whose mother elopes with a car salesman. Left alone, the teen begins a relationship with a sailor who promises to marry her, before fleeing to sea and leaving her pregnant.

London Jewellery School

Make jewellery
Treat your mum to a jewellery-making class at the London Jewellery School. Taster classes cost from £50 and vary from making chandelier earrings to upcycling jewellery.

Florimania

See a flower show
Taking place over the Mother’s Day weekend at Hampton Court Palace, Florimania features colourful Georgian-style floral displays. This annual

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event is included in the entrance price to Hampton Court Palace.

The London Eye

Indulge on the London Eye
Live the high life by enjoying a double rotation in a private capsule on the EDF Energy London Eye, while feasting on an afternoon tea with Champagne or a chocolate tasting experience, which includes two glasses of prosecco. From £44.75 per person.

More Mother’s Day ideas

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London Theatre News: Olivier Awards, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, 1984, The Full Monty, We Will Rock You, RSC, Tom Conti and Ralph Fiennes. http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/03/london-theatre-news-olivier-awards-charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory-1984-the-full-monty-we-will-rock-you-rsc-tom-conti-and-ralph-fiennes/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/03/london-theatre-news-olivier-awards-charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory-1984-the-full-monty-we-will-rock-you-rsc-tom-conti-and-ralph-fiennes/#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:00:01 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38159

Did your favourite get the nod when the nominations for the Olivier Awards 2014 with MasterCard were announced? Tom Hiddleston and Jude Law both made the all-important list. So did Hayley Atwell and Judi Dench.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is on it too (in a big way – it received seven nominations). The Roald Dahl adaptation celebrated by announcing that Josefina Gabrielle would join its cast. She’s nominated for an Olivier too, for her work on Merrily We Roll Along, the only show to match Charlie’s seven nominations.

The hit production of George Orwell’s dystopian tale 1984 currently playing at the Almeida Theatre also picked up a nomination for Best New Play. Happily it has announced a West End transfer, so even more of us can see what caught the Olivier judges’ eyes.

Also among the nominees was the stage adaptation of The Full Monty, nominated for Best New Comedy. Sadly if you want to see the acclaimed production you’ll have to be swift as despite the award recognition producers have decided to close the show early, on 29 March.

West End long-runner We Will Rock You, itself a previous Olivier Award winner, is also bringing its London run to a close. It will say “Goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go” for the final time on 31 May.

In happier news of London stage arrivals:

  • The Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies will transfer to the Aldwych Theatre from 1 May,
  • Tom Conti will replace Martin Shaw in the cast of Twelve Angry Men from 31 March, with the show extending until 14 June,
  • And Ralph Fiennes, currently impressing cinemagoers in The Grand Budapest Hotel, will return to the National Theatre next year to star in George Bernard Shaw’s Man And Superman.
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London Video of the Week: War Horse Arrives at the V&A http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/02/london-video-of-the-week-war-horse-arrives-at-the-va/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/02/london-video-of-the-week-war-horse-arrives-at-the-va/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 11:00:13 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=37562

The original West End horse puppet from the National Theatre‘s award-winning show War Horse has been donated to the V&A by the Handspring Puppet Company, who designed and built the puppet. Watch this film to be wowed by the magnificient, life-sized puppet of beloved horse Joey who was operated on stage by three puppeteers. This puppet made his stage debut at the New London Theatre on 28 March 2009. He performed in more than 1,640 shows.

The puppet can be seen in the V&A’s theatre and performance gallery in a special display which shows how he is operated on stage.

War Horse is currently showing at the New London Theatre.

 

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visitlondon.com Guest Editor: Twiggy http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/01/visitlondon-com-guest-editor-twiggy/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/01/visitlondon-com-guest-editor-twiggy/#comments Tue, 28 Jan 2014 10:52:33 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=37372

We asked Twiggy, the world’s first supermodel and a born and bred Londoner, to share her London Story. Watch the video above.

During our interview Twiggy  mentioned more of her favourite London experiences and  we’ve used this to populate our homepage www.visitlondon.com from 28 to 30 January.

Here’s Twiggy’s top five London experiences:

24 Hours in London? Visit South Bank

“Start at Waterloo Bridge, walk along the South Bank, because you get all the views of the other side of London which is the lovely old part. Then you can walk past The National Theatre and all the little cafes and most weekends there are street fairs and it is brilliant. Then you go along to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and before the Globe is Tate Modern and the OXO Tower, there are so many things to do. Then cross over the Millennium walking bridge and you’ve got that view of St Paul’s. I’ve done filming of London for America and we always do a shot on the Millennium Bridge because of the view of St Paul’s Cathedral. You’ve got to visit St Paul’s and then in the evening go to the theatre and a restaurant – we’ve got some of the best restaurants in the world.”

Royal Albert Hall

“I have lots of very fond memories of lots of wonderful places in London. One has to be the Royal Albert Hall because (you won’t believe this) but I played it one night. I did a concert tour in the 70s and the Royal Albert Hall was one of the dates, and that was scary! To walk out on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall is quite awe inspiring and I live very near there so every time I walk past, the memories are extraordinary, I’ll never forget that night as long as I live.”

Shopping: Established areas and emerging talent

“What girl doesn’t love shopping and London is the best. We’ve always been the best in fashion, I think. You’ve got everything here, whatever your budget is and we’ve got amazing shopping streets; Bond Street, Regent Street, Knightsbridge. I go walking to Kensington, Chelsea and the little shops. Then you’ve got all the new shops in Brick Lane, Shoreditch, all the lovely markets, it’s brilliant.

I think London is a brilliant place for giving new, young talent a chance. I think that is how the Brick Lane, Shoreditch area grew up, really. Young designers and artists moved there and that has grown up out of that world. It’s still the lovely old part of London which is the bit I love, all the Georgian and Victorian houses and streets.”

The V&A

“The Victoria & Albert Museum in Knightsbridge is probably my favourite museum because it really is extraordinary and for me, because of my designing and my love of clothes, this museum has got everything. One of my memories is of the Indian Jewellery room. I remember coming in 25 years ago and there was a pale pink rock and it was an uncut ruby and I’ve never forgotten it.

You can come into this museum and lose yourself for hours and [it’s great] if you want to do research on fashion and clothes. I’ve worked with great designers in the past and they’ve made clothes for me that have been shown here. The V&A does wonderful special exhibitions and the Museum itself is free to everyone – what more could you ask for?

The House Of Leonard, Mayfair

Twiggy got her big break in modelling in the mid 60s at the age of 14: “Somebody saw me who worked on a magazine and they sent me to have my hair done at a very posh salon in Mayfair, The House of Leonard. Leonard cut my hair in that very short, boyish cut and said he wanted to photograph the haircut. He got Barry Lategan to photograph me. He hung the picture in his salon. I went back to school and that’s all it should have been. A journalist who was also a customer in the salon, saw the picture and said, ‘who is the girl?’ and Leonard said, ‘it’s a young schoolgirl, her nickname is Twiggy’. She said ‘I want to meet her’ and two weeks later she wrote a huge article about me naming me the Face of ’66. That was the day my life changed forever.”

The House of Leonard was in Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, W1, next door to which you’ll find the Moroccan Embassy today. Although the salon itself is long gone, you can still walk around the area and see where the magic happened.

You’ll discover more stories and enter a competition to win a fantastic stay in London at www.visitlondon.com/story #TheLondonStory

What are your recommendations for visitors to London?

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London for Under 18s: Teenagers’ Day Out http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/12/london-for-under-18s-teenagers-day-out/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/12/london-for-under-18s-teenagers-day-out/#comments Sun, 15 Dec 2013 10:00:06 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=36541 Visitors at Trafalgar Square. London on View/VisitBritain

Going on a day out in London can be tricky when you’re a teenager. You want something interesting and cool but not too expensive – and where you don’t need ID or parental accompaniment (if you’re going with just friends).

So we’ve come up with an itinerary for how your day could look. There’s enough to fill a whole weekend, let alone one day, so pick and choose according to how much time and money you have to spare.

Camden Market

Morning: Shopping at Old Spitalfields Market or Camden Market

Markets are a great place to pick up a bargain or unique gift. Old Spitalfields Market is a cobbled, indoor market with stalls selling everything from vinyl records (on the first and third Friday of the month) to vintage (on Saturdays). If your style is more alternative, head for Camden Market where you’ll find goth fashion, handmade accessories and much more.

The Boiler House Food Hall

Lunch at Boiler House Food Hall or Honest Burgers

If you went for the Spitalfields option, pop into nearby Boiler House Food Hall for lunch. This indoor food market – located inside The Old Truman Brewery (look out for the giant chimney) – is packed with traders selling dishes from around the world: India, Japan, Poland, Morocco… it’s all there. Opted for Camden? Pick up some street food at the market or take a seat at Honest Burgers for a British beef burger (served with chips, from £8).

Roundhouse

Get involved at the British Music Experience or the Roundhouse

Hop on the Tube to North Greenwich and explore the British Music Experience (£6 for under 17s when booked in advance). See John Lennon’s specs and other music memorabilia, show off some moves in the ‘Dance the Decades’ booth, record a song in the Interactive Studio and much, much more. Alternatively, see what’s happening at Camden’s Roundhouse. This top music venue has a programme called Creative Projects, with drop-in sessions for 11-25 year olds in music, creative media and performing arts (from £2).

Namco Funscape

Go Gaming at Namco Funscape or Get Creative at Tate Modern

Take the Tube to Waterloo and then walk to Namco Funscape (next to the London Eye) – an amusement venue full of interactive games, plus a laser maze, bowling alley, bumper cars and karaoke rooms. Watching the pennies? Walk up river for a wander around free contemporary art gallery Tate Modern. Don’t miss the digital drawing bar on Level 3, where you can create a piece of digital art and see it displayed instantly on a giant screen. Then you can say you’ve exhibited at the Tate!

Dinner at Wahaca or the Gourmet Pizza Company

Refuel for the evening at the South Bank branch of Wahaca, where street food tapas starts at £3.70 for a black beans & cheese quesadilla. Or go Italian at the Gourmet Pizza Company (along the river near the OXO Tower), where you’ll find delicious pizzas and pastas starting at £7.75.

National Theatre

Take in a show at the National Theatre or Barbican Centre

Many London theatres offer cheap tickets to under 26s. The National Theatre has a free membership scheme, Entry Pass, offering a limited number of £5 tickets to 16-25 years for each of its performances (UK residents only). The Barbican offers free (yes, free!) tickets for film, music, art, dance and theatre shows to 16-25 year olds through its freeB membership scheme. Younger teens should check out Unicorn Theatre near London Bridge, which groups shows by age (i.e. 17-12, 13+, adult) to make it easier to choose the ideal show for your age group.

Party with Under The Radar or McCluskys

Given UK licensing laws, London’s clubs and bars are strictly reserved for over 18s – as Justin Bieber discovered on his birthday. However, a number of underage, alcohol-free nights do exist in the capital. Upcoming events include Winter Special at the Renaissance Rooms in Vauxhall, organised by youth music scene promoters Under The Radar. Also on the calendar for December is a live showcase by MOBO award Winners Krept & Konan at McClusky’s in Kingston.

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