Visit London Blog » riverside studios Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sport on Stage: London’s Theatres Get Into the Olympic Spirit Thu, 26 Jul 2012 15:00:10 +0000

No tickets to the Games? Perhaps you’d prefer a trip to the theatre instead. London’s theatres have responded to the Olympics fever spreading across the city with a slew of particularly sporty shows. Take your pick from the following:

Chariots of Fire at the Gielgud Theatre, Until 10 Nov
A fantastic display of 1920s sportsmanship, this show takes the Oscar-winning film and transforms it into an inventive piece of theatre. With a wonderful cast and a gorgeous score, Chariots of Fire will leave you feeling really patriotic about Team GB as you’re treated to the story of Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddel’s triumphs from another age.

1936 at Sadler’s Wells, Until 5 Aug
Sadler’s Wells is recreating a darker side of the Olympic Games this summer with 1936 – Tom McNab’s examination of the power and the politics behind the Berlin Games hosted by Nazi Germany in the titular year. The political compromises and manipulations are laid bare; although the athletes are still given the chance to shine, McNab’s piece asks if sport can ever surpass politics.

Complete World of Sports at the Arts Theatre, Until 25 Aug
The silly (but hugely clever) chaps from the Reduced Shakespeare Company are back in town this time with a show about sport. This is the European premiere of the Complete World of Sports, and the team have had to make a few amendments to suit our slightly different sporting tastes in the UK. Wherever you’re from, you’re sure to enjoy their irreverent take on sporting history, featuring everything from cavemen’s games to the clichés of modern sports commentators.

Playing The Games at the Criterion Theatre, Until 12 Aug
The Criterion Theatre is running a whole series of events, plays, talks and suchlike to celebrate the Games. As well as Sporting Stories Before Bedtime (10 Aug) by Brian Blessed, Stephen Fry and Eddie Izzard, there’s an evening of entertainment from Alan Davies and some top lunchtime conversations between actors and stars. The two theatre shows that form part of Playing The Games are After The Party by Serge Cartwright (about two best friends trying to make their dreams come true as the Olympics roll into their neighbourhood) and Taking Part by Adam Brace, the story of a Congolese security guard with plans to swim for his country at the 2012 Olympics.

Run, Brer Rabbit, Run at the Chickenshed Theatre Until 4 Aug
If you’re looking for a child-friendly sports show to entertain the little ones, Run, Brer Rabbit, Run from Chickenshed might be the perfect solution. Based on the traditional Brer Rabbit stories, Run, Brer Rabbit, Run features the well-known characters causing mayhem when they collide with the present day London Olympics. Your kids’ imaginations can run wild as they follow the mischievous Brer Rabbit and his friends on crazy adventures and cheer them on as they go for gold! The show is suitable for babies to kids up to the age of seven.

Sports Play at the Chelsea Theatre, 30 July-4 Aug
Sports Play is the English language premiere of Austrian Elfriede Jelinek’s cool, clever 1998 play about the marketing and sale of the human body and of emotions in sport. In this show, Jelinek considers sport as a medium for chauvinism and fanaticism – sport as war – but with her trademark mix of anger and irony.

Endure: A Run Woman Show at the Riverside Studios, 2-5 Aug
If all that sporting action makes you want to get involved, here’s a novel idea from the Riverside Studios. Endure invites you to follow actress and runner Melanie Jones across 5kn of public parklands, walking, running and engaging physically with the performer in what’s described as “an immersive dance theatre performance experience”! You’ll be loaned an MP3 player to listen to the rich narrative and musical soundtrack while the performance unfolds. Jones’ show will give you an intimate view into the mind and body of a marathon runner: if you’re a fan of quirky theatre, this is one show you just can’t miss!

Have you seen any more sporty theatre shows in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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Say It With Film: Valentine’s Day Cinema in London Fri, 10 Feb 2012 10:00:56 +0000 If reserving that table at your favourite restaurant slipped your mind and you don’t fancy risking the flowers from The Wild Bean Café on the way home next Tuesday, then treat your loved one to a romantic night at the flicks.

Below are four Valentine’s Day cinematic highlights – all with tickets still available at the time of writing:

  • To Have and Have Not at BFI Southbank
    Bacall and Bogart star in this romantic war-time classic, loosely based on Hemingway’s novel of the same name. Bacall’s first film is worth it for her most famous line alone: “You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve…?” 8.45pm.
    BFI Southbank, SE1 8XT
  • Harold and Maude at Rio Dalston
    An alternative Valentine’s Day treat, Hal Ashby‘s 1971 classic is the story of Harold, 20 and Maude, 79 to a soundtrack by Cat Stevens. Intriguing, surprising and unforgettable. 6.45pm
    Rio Dalston
    , E8 2PB
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s at Riverside Studios
    Love it or loathe it, nothing quite says romance like Blake Edwards‘ Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The Riverside Studios are also providing a three-course Valentine’s Day meal, plus a glass of prosecco and a ticket to either screening for £35. How can you say no to Audrey Hepburn and a glass of something sparkly? 6.30pm and 8.50pm
    Riverside Studios
    , W6 9RL
  • Romeo + Juliet at The Round Chapel
    See Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet in the atmospheric surroundings of The Round Chapel, Hackney. Teenage angst has never looked so good. The bar is open from 7pm, and the film starts at 8pm.
    The Round Chapel
    , E5 0PU
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Colombia in London: Colombiage – A Festival of Colombian Arts and Culture Fri, 04 Feb 2011 10:00:22 +0000

Colombiage is a London festival that celebrates contemporary Colombian art. 2011 will be its 5th year, and there are plans to make it bigger and better than ever. We spoke to Landa Acevedo-Scott, Founder & Artistic Director of Colombiage about the project.

“The first Colombiage was a one-day festival. It was on a Saturday – I remember it very clearly! It was a real experiment. We did it to see how people would respond. Three strands: music, literature and cinema. There were four events; it started at 2pm, with a literary event with Juan Gabriel Vasques, the writer. We held all the events at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, keeping it all under one roof.

“It was packed! There were a lot of Colombian people, of course, but also British people, which was great, because that is what we were hoping to attract. To introduce a different side of Colombian culture to lots of people has always been the hope of Colombiage.

“My favourite moment was working with Manu Chao last year. We had a big benefit concert last October at The Coronet. It was fantastic to work with such a high-profile figure, and one that was so lovely! He brought a lot of people together.

“For 2011, Colombiage will no longer be a one-day festival. We’re quite an established brand now; we want to do things throughout the year, so people can have a chance to come throughout the year.

“This year we will still focus on cinema, literature, music, and we’re branching out into theatre and the visual arts. We’ll use different venues too. There’ll still be things at the Riverside, but also at Rich Mix and at Southbank, and Sabor in Islington (for the literary evenings).

“The team behind Colombiage are mostly Colombians who’ve been working and living here for a long time. But it’s not exclusive! There are Americans, French and English on the team. That way we have interests included from all over the world. They’re people who have extensive experience in their specialised areas.” Landa mentions that Colombiage is currently recruiting, and asks anyone who’s interested in helping out to get in touch via the website.

Landa believes that there are two things that make Colombiage stand out. “Firstly, it’s never been done before. Lots of the Colombian events that come to the UK are sporadic and traditional. This is more about the contemporary: the latest things, the latest releases. For example, we ran the first showcase of experimental Colombian cinema last year.

“Second, there’s the education strand. With any country, people jump to conclusions, and develop perceptions. Our education programme aims to look at the problems in context; looking at Colombia’s many contradictions through its culture.” 

Here’s a video trailer for Colombiage 2009, which gives a great taste of what to expect from Colombiage. Visit for more information, including more videos.

Where else can you find Colombian art, music and food in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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Poland in London: Polish Films, Food, Art and More Fri, 22 Oct 2010 09:09:15 +0000

Karolina Kolodziej from the Polish Cultural Institute tells us where to find a taste of Poland in London for our World in London series.

Since 2004, the cultural picture of the UK’s capital has dramatically changed. “The Poles are coming!” the British newspapers shouted. And so we came… in quite big numbers actually (some estimated the total at one million!).

Polish shops (polski sklep) sprang up in every London borough and our rustling language can be heard on practically every street corner.

But our relationship with the UK goes way back and has for a long time influenced cultural life in the capital. Bonnie Prince Charlie was the son of James Francis Edward Stewart and Polish aristocrat Maria Klementyna Sobieska, daughter of the Polish King Jan III Sobieski.

Funnily enough, Poland Street in London’s Soho was named in honour of King Sobieski, who won the Battle of Vienna in 1683 defending Europe against the Ottoman Empire’s army.

The Second World War saw the Polish flying aces fighting in the Battle of Britain and our mathematicians helping to break the Enigma code. After the war, Polish soldiers and their families settled down in the UK, many of them in London, choosing areas such as Ealing and Hammersmith to build their new lives.

The next generations became prominent individuals in the capital’s cultural life, from composers, musicians, artists, to museum and gallery directors, film producers and directors, designers, architects… the list goes on.

So find your Polish London! Here are a few clues on how to discover it:

Try our food delicacies. Be brave and venture into one of London’s many Polish shops, buy some kieÅ‚basa (polish name for sausage) for the barbeque and try our bread.

Visit one of the Polish restaurants. We highly recommend Baltic in Southwark or The Knaypa in Hammersmith, which serve modern Polish cuisine and great vodka cocktails.

See some Polish contemporary art. Works of PaweÅ‚ Althamer, Zbigniew Libera, MirosÅ‚aw BaÅ‚ka, Wilhelm Sasnal and Artur Å»mijewski can be seen in Tate Modern as well commercial galleries such as Gagosian or White Cube. You can also check out London’s branch of Warsaw gallery Lokal 30.

Look out for Polish classical and jazz music. Our orchestras, bands and soloists visit the UK capital very regularly with concerts in venues such as the Barbican, Southbank Centre or Wigmore Hall.

Every March, we host the Polish Film Festival Kinoteka with the crème de la crème of Polish cinematography being screened at the Riverside Studios, Prince Charles Cinema, BFI Southbank and the Barbican.

Don’t forget to grab a Polish read. Books by established writers such as MiÅ‚osz, KapuÅ›ciÅ„ski and Mrożek, as well as contemporaries including Huelle, Tokarczuk and Krajewski, are available in every good bookshop. And for a real literary treat, visit the British Library and ask for the Polish Collection, to see the historical gems as old as 15th century.

So no excuses – Polish London is out there and within easy reach!

Check out the Polish Cultural Institute website for regular updates on what’s to come. And let us know your Polish London recommendations below…

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Thursday Theatre News: London’s Newest Theatre, TV Stars on the Stage, and a Howard Barker Festival Thu, 08 Apr 2010 16:36:34 +0000 It’s not often I get to talk about a new theatre in London. (New shops and new restaurants, yes, but not theatres!) So, I’m excited to report London has a new theatre, and its first show opens tomorrow. Check out new play Love, Question Mark by new writer Robert Gillespie at The New Diorama Theatre in Camden.

Spooks and Shakespeare fans will be pleased to hear the gorgeous Miranda Raison is going to be onstage in London this summer. Miranda, who played Jo Portman in the long-running spy drama, takes on the role of Anne Boleyn in two different productions at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. She’ll be playing the doomed queen in both Shakespeare’s rarely performed Henry VIII and a new play called Anne Boleyn by Howard Brenton.

Another TV star headed for the London stage is Emma Barton (Honey Mitchell in EastEnders to you and me), who’s appearing as Roxie Hart in Chicago at the end of the month. The former EastEnder moves to the West End’s Cambridge Theatre from 26 April, and she’s joined by Vivien Carter as Velma Kelly.

And there’s news from the lovely Riverside Studios in Hammersmith: a Howard Barker Festival celebrates the “theatre of catastrophe” writer later this month. Hurts Given and Received and Slowly are playing from 29 April and 1 May respectively: you can see both on one evening for £22. Then, on 2 May, there’ll be a rehearsed reading of Barker’s newest play Wonder and Worship in the Dying Ward. It’ll probably be tough viewing, but compelling nonetheless!

On a lighter note, the team here are off to see London’s new production of Hair! tonight. We’ll drop you a line about it very soon…

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Soap at Riverside Studios Wed, 17 Mar 2010 15:13:01 +0000

I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from Soap, billed as an acrobatic extravaganza in bathtubs. Why bathtubs? But it worked so well.

Soap is a well-crafted show featuring eight incredibly talented performers, which manages to be in turns breathtaking, funny, joyful, sensual, beautiful and clever.

The format is a series of performance skits incorporating gymnastics, rope work, juggling, clowning, trapeeze, foot juggling (surprisingly cool), opera singing and water, water everywhere.

To offset the precision physicality on display, the action is tied together by a female clown who manages to be cute, naughty and highly amusing without ever becoming annoying or twee – tough to do but she makes it look easy. As do all the performers.

The industrial set – seven bathtubs (six on stage, one on the ceiling), pipes and ship-like funnels – adds to the cutting-edge feel, as does the music at times. At other moments, we get a selection of 50s be-bop (Bobby Darin’s 1958 hit Splish Splash I was Taking A Bath) mixed with classical tunes from a soprano dressed in London’s most glamorous shower curtain.

Meanwhile the acrobats’ top-flight gymnastics were made more difficult (I imagine) but also more thrilling by the presence of H20, either in their tubs or raining from above. On dry land, this show would be impressive. Add water, and it’s nothing short of awe inspiring.

To experience Soap for yourself at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith until 25 April,  buy your Tickets to Soap today ( £20+bf).

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Free Hairy Bikers Tickets for Tonight Thu, 17 Dec 2009 15:14:10 +0000 The Hairy BikersSee culinary experts The Hairy Bikers at Riverside Studios tonight. The duo are doing a pre-tour warm up gig this evening featuring comedy, cooking and some fascinating stories.

We have 20 pairs of tickets to give away. To get your free tickets, just send your name to by 5pm today. Tickets will be allocated to the first 20 people to respond.

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