Things to do in London this month
In the city and need something to do? Here's some cute, wholesome, and indulgent suggestions for your Google Calendar.
Hélène Selam Rose Kleih
09 Mar 2023
March should feel like spring has sprung, however the weather is still giving February. So we need things to do.
February was a month that saw fantastic shows from the likes of fab Feben (ft. our fave Jorja Smith), ethereal Dipetsa (she performed herself!), a long-awaited comeback from the imitable Asai, Daniele Lee’s all British everything put on a show in a tent in Kennington Park (fun fact — they use the same spot for Eritrean Independence Day every year) and a cast of Fashion East’s new talent graced us with impactful collections. And we can’t forget the coveted fashion week party; Perfect X ES Magazine and Boy Brother Friend’s celebration of their Issue 5, Ceremony coincided with immaculate vibes, oversubscribed guest lists, and a feast of iconic looks. But now what do we have to look forward to?
This month, we’re looking forward to these free and paid events to wind you down or up, from running clubs to film screenings, to fresh new club nights curated by our community. Here are some motives for your Google calendar from March to early April:
Minute Shorts Presents: Girls Who Can
In celebration of International Women’s Day and Month, Minute Shorts is teaming up with Everyman Cinema to bring us an evening crammed with a plethora of entertainment. The up-and-coming short film platform, Minute Shorts never fails to provide variety for all tastes — whether it’s networking, live music or brilliant film programming that tickles your fancy. We previously partnered to exclusively preview Ella Ezeike’s Words We Don’t Say, but this night will comprise of a live performance by Connie Constance, a screening of a short film she directed and a panel talk between herself and long-term film collaborator India Bradshaw as they speak on their respective films and explore their experiences of navigating the film and music industries as women.
This screening is one of Minute Shorts most diverse yet, showcasing exalting films such as Fenn O’Meally’s KIIN – The Silent Twins, Egyptian Zeina Aref’s Akoon, Charlotte Edmonds Goldfish, German Konstantina Levi’s Robin & Maria, as they tackle themes of mental health, friendship, community, reclaiming space and adolescence. Be sure to stick around for a lil dance at their after-party too.
Grab a ticket for the event here on 9 March.
London night-life staples, DJ’s Kemarr and James Massiah have been independently lighting up London’s decks for a hot-minute now — but this recent coupling is something else. The dancery that’s sure to get you raging and raving, Lighter Dance and Prestige Pak (South London’s pengest) joined forces for a notorious carnival ‘warm-up’ and once again earlier this month for their first dance of the year. Their resident DJs, Architect, Lagoon Femshayma and Lil C took us on a journey of sounds from across the globe, from Dancehall, Dembow and Jungle to Jersey, Amapiano and Rap. With a confirmed Easter Sunday service and another cheeky instalment this month, Lighter Dance is easing our grey London into the warmer months.
The next Lighter Dance is on 9 April at Venue MOT, Bermondsey, view more information here.
Wanderers of Colour Top Rope Meet-Up
Wanderers of Colour is the Facebook group turned grassroots collective: for and by POCs, this community’s aim is to improve access to travel and the outdoors through centring POC experiences in an ‘empowering, educational, and intersectional way.’
If you’re looking for something other than nightlife on a Saturday night, join them this month for their first top rope meet-up of the year at their usual residence, The Castle Climbing Centre. Their monthly meet-ups are a fantastically inclusive chance to meet new people, practice and improve climbing skills whilst always keeping safeguarding at the forefront of socialising. The Wanderers of Colour are extremely accommodating, welcoming new members to this supportive environment with a chance to ‘buddy up’ with one of the team or existing members, and offering free entry for those on low income. This specific meet-up is for competent top rope climbers only, but join their climbing club WhatsApp chat for events for all abilities.
Reserve a spot for the next Top Rope Meet-Up on 11 March here.
Sweet Spice x Pahill Hill Wine Supper
We all love a white wine but the wine world needn’t be so white. Since 2019, Sweet Spice wines has been pushing to increase POC representation in the industry, running a wine, tunes and snack night at venues like Prince of Peckham with speakers working to widen access and welcome more winemakers, sommeliers, and more. Founder Anoushica Mathews is teaming up with Chef Avi (who was on Great British Menu this week) at his critically acclaimed restaurant Pahli Hill Bandra Bhai. They’ll present a five-course taster menu with five wine pairings. The wine line-up will include some gorgeous POC-owned wines which work well with the Indian flavours on the menu and all will be enjoyed alongside a specially curated playlist.
Find out more about the 21 March dinner here.
Saath Run Club
If you’re looking for some light respite from this fashion months jam-packed calendar, run no further than Saath Run Club, a community run club powered by DJ collective Daytimers and founded by Mahnoor and Nadī, two female DJs who wanted to find another way to move together (outside the club) with like-minded people and reclaim wellness as South Asians. Meeting up once or twice a month, the group runs a chill 5K at what can be confirmed is definitely a gentle pace. All levels are welcome and actively encouraged — join the community WhatsApp group on Instagram to get updates on their upcoming events and runs.
The next run is on 26 March, location revealed in the WhatsApp group.
LAYERS: Looking Inside Holloway Prison
Presented by Daddyless Daughters and Power Play, this immersive exhibition showcases the nuances of 30 former prisoners of different ages, races, classes, and gender-expressions through a collection of photographs, films and letters that unveils the extent to which lives are impacted by the criminal justice system.
Focused on the derelict HMP Holloway, once Europe’s largest Women’s Prison before it was demolished, LAYERS is the apex of a community project spanning a year centred around the Holloway site’s closure.
From photographs (taken by Joya Berrow) to films (directed by Aliyah Ali and Sophie Compton), LAYERS looks to overturn and revile the often discriminated and stereotyped depiction of women prisoners, instead focusing on the systemic cyclical nature of trauma, poverty and abuse that undeniably disproportionately affects women prisoners – whilst highlighting an uplifting narrative of perseverance and giving a voice to women who have gone on to be poets, funeral directors, mums, CEOs and boxers.
LAYERS: Looking Inside Holloway Prison is on from 8 to 12 March, Copeland Gallery. See more information here.
OKHA Reading Club, Transitional by Munroe Bergdorf
OKHA, PRIM’s Reading Club meets monthly, prioritising the queer and Black community and written works by African, Caribbean & Afro-Latinx authors. As its founder Khloe Bailey reiterates, “it is a haven for the Black queer community – a place of learning, networking and coming together.”
The second OKHA of the year brings us Transitional by writer, model and activist Munroe Bergdorf, a beautifully (almost brutally) honest and personal blend of memoir and manifesto that sheds some light on the ‘enigma’ of the trans lived experience, looking beyond differences and rather at the binding (and healing) universal human experience of transitioning, regardless of how we identify. If you’re a Munroe stan this isn’t an OKHA to miss — expect deep dives into sexuality, gender, relationships, the fluidity of identity and the real cost of being an influential Black trans activist. Prepare to learn, to exhale, to be rejuvenated and invigorated, and reminded that transitioning is a momentous and mundane part of all of our everyday lives, ‘in one way or another, we all transition.’
RSVP here for the session on 26 March.
Coined by DJs Hasani and Miss Jason from a desperate need “to disrupt”, Nuisance (as the name suggests) is the hectic club night where we can be our truest and feel our safest, pleasure and enjoyment is paramount. As Miss Jason explains, “a lot of the queer nights in London all have the same things on offer – if they’re not mainly white and filled with muscle gays, they’re trying to police you.”
The night is queer and black owned yet open to all provided that freedom is respected. The duo’s focus from their eclectic DJ sets and all star DJ lineup is on “people leaving feeling like they’ve just completely lost their minds”, and after a sell-out start to the year, Nuisance guarantees just that. The monthly night is back this March, so all the hedonists keep your eyes peeled and revel in the beauty of chaos.
Nuisance has a residency at Venue MOT, Bermondsey, view more information here.
Shasha Movies: Revolt Against the Sun
Shasha is an independent streaming service for South-West Asian and North African cinema that is fast- becoming the go-to for independent cinema, “made by us, for us”. Move over Mubi, Shasha’s carefully-curated selection continues to titillate with their current subversive programming of Iraqi video art, Revolt Against the Sun. The title is born from a collected book of poems by Iraqi modernist and feminist poet Nazik al-Malaika whose radical departure from traditional Arabic poetry and defiant spirit embodies that of these films: “These works revolt against form, against structure, and against the sun.”
Produced between 2017-2022, expect films such as Eni Alrai’s Capture, Noor Gaith’s Visions of Basra, Sama Alshaibi’s See Without Being Seen, Adel Abidin’s Anthem and Nadia Shihab’s Echolocation. Shasha is currently streaming the full programme online, as well as a selection at two of their stunning screenings and Q+A’s on 18 March at Reference Point, and on 25 March at Frieze Cork St. No. 9.
Sign up here to get access to the events and online streaming
For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy – The Apollo Theatre
Following its sold-out runs at the Royal Court Theatre and New Diorama Theatre, Ryan Calais Cameron’s award-winning For Black Boys Who Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy comes to the West End for a limited six-week run. Inspired by Ntozake Shange’s influential work For Colored Girls, the play tells a story that isn’t far from a lived reality we can recognise: through the framework of group therapy, six young Black men confide in each other to convey a universe of joy, angst, pain and hope. Ultimately Cameron denotes the potential power and the mutually restorative nature of male friendships, “I found a king in me and now I love you, I found a king in you and now I love me” – ultimately encouraging a space where Black men share their feelings and emotions more readily with each other.
Get your tickets for the show running from 25 March – 7 May here, gal-dem members check your emails for this month’s ticket giveaway.
Cktrl – Yield tour
Cktrl is the multi-instrumentalist who has taken London’s music scene by a storm with his spin on classical jazz with sensual arrangements of strings and harps interwoven with his delicate mastery of the saxophone and clarinet. His yield tour comes after the project’s drop last autumn and features standout tracks like Lighthouse and zero (ft. Mereba). His infectious soothing compositions are therapy for the soul and spirit – and with a special guest being none other than the entrancing Hasani (who sings as well as DJs), this London date is sure to be a sell-out.
Get tickets for the yield tour here. Cktrl is performing at Union Chapel on 10 March.
Burgerz finale – Southbank Centre
We’ve long celebrated the work of Travis Alabanza, a thespian, an author, and a storyteller challenging audiences and their preconceptions and beliefs. Burgerz, their critically acclaimed and essential play is returning to the stage for the final time. The story seems to revolve around the mundane task of making a burger after a burger was thrown at Travis in public. However, it is a layered show littered with digestible metaphors for a society that seems incapable of having smart conversations about gender. It’s secret sauce is the element of interactivity that keeps the concept fresh and entertaining and beneath the comedy is a heartwarming tale about being black, trans, and visible. Travis excellently forces us to question how complicit we all are in gendered violence. And also why they have to recreate their most traumatising moments in order to be understood. With each passing year, the play and the examples included in it highlight the urgent need for voices like Travis’ and also is a reminder that being passive in this transphobic climate is just as bad as throwing the burger yourself. Do
Grab tickets for the last-ever performance of this vital work until 12 March.
Black Blossoms Late at Tate – Tate Britain
Galleries are always significantly more interesting in their late-night iterations as the formerly sterile spaces come alive with a younger and more diverse crowd soaking up each other’s awesomeness (and culture). You’ll recognise Black Blossoms from their curated public ads around the city that boost the visibility of black artists but they’re a platform as well as an art school course and workshops. This mantra feeds into the Late at Tate theme “flourish” which feeds into the performances, installations, talks, and workshops. London-based artists Rebecca Bellantoni and Elsa James’s work is powered by social change, philosophy, race, gender, and belonging and aims to challenge our perception and distort our realities through the mode of performance. While Hamed Maiye will be doing a live art installation drawing from memory.
For this and more, pop down on 24 March and read about what’s the come here.
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