Events in London – May 2014

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Music, comedy & film

Some movies, music and comedy gigs worth watching in May

Southbank Centre
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Best of the Comedy Store, at the Udderbelly Festival

The Comedy Store is bringing some of its brightest stars to the Udderbelly Festival. Tonight's show will feature Paul Thorne, Ian Moore, Jarred Christmas and a special guest.
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Comedymania - Aurie Styla, Richard Blackwood, and more

Hosted by Aurie Styla at the Tabernacle, "Comedymania" features a fantastic line-up of comedy talent including Richard Blackwood, Mo The Comedian, KG Comedian, Chrissy Charles, Rukhsana Merrise, Nio and DJ X Rated.

Theatre shows

Here’s our pick of the best theatre shows to watch this month

Globe Theatre
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Antony and Cleopatra - at the Globe Theatre

When Cleopatra bewitches the great Roman ruler Mark Antony, he falls out with his fellow leaders and sides with Cleopatra. But his infatuation with the beautiful Queen of Egypt threatens to split the Empire.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
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Open Air Theatre - Arthur Millers All My Sons

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre is putting on a production of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" — a moving story of denial, guilt and social responsibility. When Joe Keller supplied defective fighter planes to the Allies during World War I, it lead to the deaths of many innocent pilots. One of Joe's sons, who was himself a pilot, was thought to have been killed in action, but his mother can't accept his death.

Family & Kid’s events

Pack a lunch, take the train to London, and treat your kids to a day in the capital

Royal Albert Hall
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Star Trek Into Darkness - Live in Concert

Re-live the second of J.J. Abrams' exciting new "Star Trek" movies, which follows Captain Kirk as he hunts down a terrorist played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The Royal Albert Hall will be screening the movie in high-def alongside a live performance of the score, played by the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Royal Albert Hall
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Star Trek - Live in Concert

Re-live J.J. Abrams exciting reboot of the "Star Trek" franchise, which follows Captain Kirk and Spock as they set out to defeat the evil Romulan Nero. The Royal Albert Hall will be screening the movie in high-def, alongside a live performance of the score, played by the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Art & Museums

A guide to gallery and museum exhibitions if you’re visiting London in May

Victoria & Albert Museum
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M.F. Husain - Master of Modern Indian Painting

M.F. Husain is one of the most celebrated Indian artists of the 20th-century. The exhibition consists of eight triptych paintings, and will be on view to the public for the first time. The monumental works interweave religious and symbolic iconography, capturing some of India's most vibrant cities, colourful festivals, and historic events.
Natural History Museum
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Mammoths: Ice Age Giants

Enter the world of the mammoths, and get up close and personal with some of the largest creatures to ever to have walked the Earth. The exhibition will feature life-size models, huge fossils, and powerful trunks and tusks belonging to these great beasts. It will introduce you to the woolly mammoth, the spiral-tusked Columbian, and its island-dwelling relative, the dwarf mammoth.

Royal & Religious

For tourists interested in visiting London’s palaces, churches and cathedrals

Queen’s Gallery
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The First Georgians: Art & Monarchy

When George I ascended the throne in 1714 he ushered in a silent revolution. As the first British monarch of the German House of Hanover, his arrival heralded one of the most dramatic periods of change in British political, intellectual and cultural life.
Vaudeville Theatre
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Handbagged - about the Queen and Margaret Thatcher

"Handbagged" is a wickedly funny new play which tells the story of two iconic women — Liz and Maggie. One is destined to rule, the other is elected to lead. But when the Queen and Margaret Thatcher got behind closed doors, and the gloves came off, which one had the upper hand?

Political & Military

Daily parades and political events taking place during May

Horse Guards
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The Majors Review (practice for Trooping the Colour)

Two weeks before "Trooping the Colour" they hold a first rehearsal called "The Major's Review". It still involves the marching soldiers, bands and horses, but misses out some of the good stuff -- the Royal Family and RAF flypast. The upside is that it's far less crowded than the real thing, and you will have much more space to see the soldiers. That means you might prefer it if you've got little kids.
Southbank Centre
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Andy Zaltzmans Political Animal - Udderbelly Festival

The "Political Animal" returns to the Udderbelly Festival to harangue and cajole a very naughty planet. Andy Zaltzman will host the evening, and be joined by a couple of other top-notch political comedians.

Sightseeing tours

If you’re visiting London in May then try one of these sightseeing tours

Somerset House
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Guided tour at Somerset House

This guided tour at Somerset House will explore some of the Tudor intrigues and extravagant entertainments of the Georgian Enlightenment. As you explore the graceful staircases and atmospheric Deadhouse, you will get to see some scientific curiosities and learn more about British naval power.
Spencer House
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Guided tour of Spencer House

Built a short distance from Buckingham Palace with magnificent views of Green Park, Spencer House is one of the finest aristocratic town houses in London. It the city's only great 18th-century private palace to survive intact. The restoration is complimented by a magnificent collection of paintings and furniture, including five Benjamin West paintings graciously lent by Her Majesty The Queen.

Classical music

All of the classical music, operas and ballets in London during May

Royal Opera House
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The Concert - A ballet set to Chopins music

"The Concert" is an exuberant comic ballet set to some of Chopin's best-loved piano music. Jerome Robbins' work depicts with satirical glee the thoughts and fantasies of a concert audience. While a pianist solemnly plays nine pieces by Fryderyk Chopin, he is upstaged by his audience as their minds begin to wander.
Royal Opera House
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The Royal Ballet, performing The Dream

The Royal Opera House is putting on a production of Frederick Ashton's "The Dream" -- based on Shakespeare's classic play "A Midsummer Night's Dream". The plot for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" revolves around two sets of couples whose complicated love lives are complicated still further by the arrival of Oberon and Titania -- the King and Queen of the Fairies.

Free events

Visit London on the cheap in May, by trying these great free events

Bank of England Museum
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Museums at Night - Bank of England Museum

The Bank of England Museum will be taking part in the London-wide "Museums at Night" event. All of the usual displays will be available, and there will be a presentation on banknotes in the Museum. Bank staff will also be on hand to answer all your questions about gold (but unfortunately they will not be giving out free samples).
Sir John Soane’s Museum
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See Sir John Soanes Museum by candlelight

Sir John Soane's Museum is one of the most intriguing houses in the whole of London, crammed top to bottom with artifacts and oddities from all over the world, including masterpieces by Canaletto, Turner and Hogarth. Once a month you get the opportunity to see it by candlelight -- for free!

Other London events

Here are some more great events that are worth trying during May

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One Day International - England vs Sri Lanka

If you fancy a few innings of cricket then get yourself down to Lord's for the One Day international between England and Sri Lanka.
Wembley Stadium
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England v Peru, at Wembley Stadium

Peru will be travelling to Wembley in May to take on the Three Lions. This will be England's last home game before the World Cup Finals in Brazil, and your last chance to see them before they lift the Jules Rimet trophy in July (hopefully).
Eventim Apollo
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Paul Hollywood - An Evening of Baking, Fun and Demos

Join the Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood for an evening at the Apollo, as he demonstrates some of his favourite recipes and reveals secrets about being a TV chef. The highlight of the show will be when four randomly chosen audience members are invited onto the stage to bake with Paul.
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