It’s summer in London, so that mean’s it’s time to get your glad rags on and get out there and make the most of this glorious city! There’s so much to see and do this summer, but I’ve listed 6 things to do in London this summer that I sure as hell won’t be missing!

Briefs at the Underbelly Festival

I cannot begin to describe my love for Briefs. It’s one hell of a ride. The world’s hottest all-male boylesque circus stars return in a brand-new show for 2017 after sold out runs every summer since 2013! I’ve seen this show every time it comes around. Briefs: Close Encounters is a seat-of-your-pants intergalactic ride, going places people have never been before. It’s the perfect night out; booze, spectacles, friends, laugher and judgements left at the door. Part aerial acrobatics, part vaudeville sideshow and ALL camp as tits, Briefs is feast for the eyes. It pushes the boundaries of masculinity, taste and decency. This is a night so good it will make everyone who doesn’t make it, as the boys say, JEALOUSSSSSS!

Briefs is playing at the Underbelly Festival on London’s South Bank through to the end of September. Book tickets here

River Stage at the National Theatre

Keeping on the theatre angle, the National Theatre’s River Stage has landed back on the porch of the National’s Understudy bar - a five week (weekend only) festival of performances, the River Stage returns this summer bringing an eclectic combination of theatre, DJs, family fun, vibrant dance, outdoor cinema, workshops and the very best live music acts - there’s nowhere better to soak up the sun and the atmosphere this summer. Each weekend is hosted by someone different, this summer includes East London’s The Glory (who last year hosted one of the best nights out I have ever had in London), HOME Manchester, WOMAD, Rambert dance company and the National Theatre. There will be something for everyone out on the river front. There are also some delicious foodie pop-ups to keep you fed and watered during the weekend; Brisket and Bird, a trendy new street food pop-up, will be offering must-try treats such as beef brisket and Asian-style pulled chicken and chicken salt fries (and I cannot begin to tell you how good these fries are, I’m still thinking about them!) and home-crafted cocktails will be available from Apothecary Cocktail bar. Taking inspiration from the melting pot of 80s New York counterculture, Apothecary is a hidden watering hole serving up nostalgic craft creations throwing guests straight back to the dirty glamour of downtown NYC.

River stage runs for five weekends and is free to attend! Click here for more info.

NatWest T20 Blast at Lord’s

Now I know this one may seem a little left field after the above, but if your looking for some sporting action this summer, the NatWest T20 Blast should be on your list. Now I’ve never paid a huge amount of attention to cricket, but I was introduced to the T20 concept a few years back, at this very event. The shorter, twenty over form of the game offers a fantastic atmosphere. It was cricket’s attempt to tap into the rowdy sporting crowd often attributed to other sports, offering plenty of entertainment on and off the pitch. People drink, they yell and the energy is great. On throughout August, it always makes for an action-packed evening.

Click here for more info

Notting Hill Carnival

The August Bank Holiday can only mean one thing, it’s time for the Notting Hill Carnival. I LOVE the Carnival. It’s an electric, unabashed celebration offering parades, parties and more. From the Sunday family day parade to the Grand Finale parade on the Monday, there’s something suitable for all. One of my favourite things, apart from all of the amazing costumes and dancing, is the incredible food available on the route.

Click here for more info

Queer British Art 1861–1967 - Exhibition at Tate Britain

For the art fans among us, this one is not to be missed. This is the first ever exhibition dedicated wholly to queer British art. Part of a wider London celebration, the exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and features works from 1861–1967 relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) identities.

Deeply personal and intimate works are presented alongside pieces aimed at a wider public, which helped to forge a sense of community when modern terminology of ‘lesbian’, ‘gay’, ‘bisexual’ and ‘trans’ were unrecognised. Together, they reveal a remarkable range of identities and stories, from the playful to the political and from the erotic to the domestic.

Click here for more info

From Selfie To Self-Expression - Saatchi Gallery

A mega-exhibition that keeps getting extended due to it’s popularity, the Saatchi Gallery’s From Selfie To Self-Expression exhibition with Huawei is a must-see this summer. The show is the world’s first exhibition exploring the history of the Selfie, from the old masters to the present day and offer a celebration of the truly creative potential of this form of expression - one that is often derided for its vanity and silliness.

From Selfie to Self-Expression showcases key artworks, many of which feature interactive, digital and user-generated content, by artists as diverse as Christopher Baker, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Juno Calypso, Tracey Emin, Van Gogh, Mohau Modisakeng, Rembrandt, Cindy Sherman, Gavin Turk and Velazquez. Showing alongside examples of many influential artists’ work are selfies that have quickly become icons of the digital era – from the beautiful and sublime to the mad, bad and downright dangerous.

Due to its immense popularity, the exhibition has been extended until the 6th September. Click here for more info


Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.