July 2014

Festival Great British Beer Festival

With traditional real ale becoming more and more popular, this summer’s Great British Beer Festival promises to be the biggest and best event to date. The festival, which is expected to attract over 55,000 people, will have over 900 real ales, ciders, perries, and foreign beers available to try, as well as plenty of fine food and top-class entertainment to keep you occupied in between sips. The festival takes place at London’s magnificent Olympia exhibition centre in the heart of central London, and the stalls will be divided across two halls – the appropriately named ‘Olympia Grand’ and the equally impressive but slightly smaller ‘Olympia National’. Each of the halls will contain several bars serving real ale from hundreds of UK breweries – from the smallest to the largest – and there will also be specialist brewery bars where some of the bigger breweries showcase the full spectrum of their offerings. In addition, there will be a selection of the best-imported draught and bottled beers from countries such as Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and the USA. For more information about where to find local London hotels, and information about how to buy tickets, please see below.

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Film Trinity Summer Cinema Series

Trinity Hospice’s ever-popular Trinity Summer Cinema Series, where they show classic films on the big screen in their beautiful gardens, is an event that has attracted rave reviews and always sells out. The screenings open at 7.30, and the movies start at sunset – usually around 8.45pm. As well as the standard admission there are also VIP packages available where you can enjoy the best seats, a bottle of prosecco, popcorn, and other summery treats. This year, they have asked their supporters to vote for the films that they are showing, and the results are three of the best-loved cult classics in the cinematic canon. First up is the enduring cross-dressing comedy Some Like it Hot, in which Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon hide out from the mob in an all-female jazz band starring Marilyn Monroe. The second film is the ever-popular musical comedy starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as Jake and Elwood in The Blues Brothers, with guest appearances from the likes of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles. The final film in the series is classic comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where a high-school wise guy Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) teams up with nervous buddy Cameron and girlfriend Sloane to take the art of bunking off school to a whole new level. For more information about where to find local London hotels, and information about how to buy tickets, please see below.

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Theatre Regents Park Open Air Theatre: To Kill a Mockingbird

This open-air theatrical production of Harper Lee’s classic tale of racial intolerance in the Deep South, adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, has won several awards including the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Play Revival and was chosen as the Critics’ Choice in the Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Guardian, Time Out, Metro, and Times. The book, which is set in a small town in Alabama during the Great Depression, was a massive critical and commercial success upon its 1960′s release, and was successfully adapted into an Oscar-winning Hollywood movie of the same name starring Gregory Peck in 1962. This poignant, sincere interpretation was first brought to the stage in 1990 in Alabama, and is performed there every year in the grounds of the Monroe County Courthouse, and the Open Theatre: To Kill a Mockingbird version is largely faithful to this interpretation. For more information about where to find local London hotels, and information about how to buy tickets, please see below.

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Dance Cinderella: Mariinsky Ballet

Now one of the foremost choreographers in the world of ballet, Alexei Ratmansky was just starting out in his career when the Mariinsky Ballet commissioned him to create his first full-length narrative ballet in 2002. The resulting ballet, Cinderella: Mariinsky Ballet, launched him onto the world stage with a whirlwind of different styles combining the virtuosity of classical ballet with a sharp contemporary edge. This witty, sardonic take on the classic fairytale uses Prokofiev’s much-loved score to great effect, re-interpreting the bittersweet elements in a wholly original way. With spectacular set designs from Ilya Utkin and Yeveny Monakhov and costumes from Elena Markovskaya, this innovative re-imagining of the ballet staple sees Cinderella cast as a lonely dreamer and her mother as a vicious, hot-tempered social climber. For more information about where to find local London hotels, and information about how to buy tickets, please see below.  

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Film Film 4 Fright Fest 2014

For horror movie buffs, there is only one place to be this August – the Film 4 Fright Fest 2014. Since its inception in 2000, Frightfest has grown in stature, and is now one of the leading horror movie festivals in Europe alongside similar festivals in Sitges, Spain and Brussels, Belgium, with guests travelling from all over the world to be part of the event’s unique atmosphere. This year, the big-ticket movies on show include supernatural horror Soulmate, a remake of the seminal 1978 Ozploitation horror flick Patrick,  disco-era slasher Discopath, controversial 1970s classic Mark of the Devil, climate change creature feature The Station, and the UK premiere of Nothing Left to Fear, the first film from Guns’n’Roses guitarist Slash’s new Slasher Films studio. In addition, there will be a host of low-budget B-movie classics and films from emerging directors in the Discovery screens, full details of which are available on the Frightfest website. For more information about where to find local London hotels, and information about how to buy tickets, please see below.

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History Dino Snores for Grown-Ups

This sleepover event at the Natural History museum promises to be a veritable feast of art, music, science, and cinema in London’s celebrated home of the dinosaurs. The night kicks off at 8.30pm with a delicious three course dinner, and this will be followed by a diverse programme of activities that carries right through until a full hot breakfast is served in the morning. Attractions at Dino Snores for Grown-Ups include a science show featuring gruesome forensics and the sex lives of insects, thrilling exhibitions on the topics of Mammoths and a million year-history of the British Isles, stand-up comedy and live music, an unusual midnight feast with edible insect tasting, a dinosaur drawing class, and a dinner quiz with big prizes. For those of you who want to get some shut-eye, you can camp out underneath the huge Diplodocus skeleton in Hintze Hall, or for the night owls among you, there will be an all-night monster movie marathon featuring the best cinematic examples of nature gone wild. For more information about where to find local London hotels, and information about how to buy tickets, please see below.

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