After his incredibly well received tour previews at the Pleasance Courtyard Following a sold out residency in New York, award-winning comedian, actor and screenwriter Simon Amstel returns to London for the final leg of his brilliantly funny show ‘To Be Free’. This is Simon’s fourth international tour and builds on the themes of the previous shows, exploring angst and melancholy with a hilarious poignancy that only a true master of the art can achieve. As you would expect from a comedian as open and honest as Amstel, this is a very personal show that invites the audience to laugh at his pain and perhaps take part in the healing process that starts on stage. Simon Amstel is known for his cutting remarks as host of never mind the Buzzcocks, however, here he shows a remarkable sensitivity when delivering jokes about his own experiences. This is a show for ages 15 and up so it’s not for the whole family, but older teenagers will especially enjoy the dark and sometimes challenging material.
The South Bank Centre’s Winter festival is pulling out all the stops over the festive season with an array of exciting attractions that are sure to capture the magic of the season. The festival makes full use of the Thames-side South Bank Centre’s numerous venues to present all manner of fun festive events. The ever-popular Christmas Market is back and bigger than ever, offering up a tempting array of seasonal foodie treats and bespoke design and craft stalls that should provide a great one-stop gift buying opportunity in the lead up to Christmas. Slava’s Snow Show has garnered a host of well-deserved awards and returns to the South Bank for the fourth consecutive year with a show that’s packed with breath-taking visual effects and charm. The hit cabaret show La Soirée showcases an awe-inspiring array of circus / burlesque talent. The show, which debuted at the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe, is celebrating its 10th year in style with its hottest lineup yet and is guaranteed to dazzle.
Showcasing every conceivable form of water-bound vessel courtesy of 500 exhibitors, the 61st annual London Boat Show is the capital’s biggest exhibition of boats and a real must-visit for anyone with even the slightest nautical inclination. The show returns to ExCel in January promising a bigger and better celebration of boating than ever before. The London Boat show offers an opportunity to take in a vast array of watercraft, including everything from modest £300 boats and 8ft RIBs to £4.7 million luxury yachts and the vast 92ft Sunseeker yacht. Displays range from indoor canoeing and sailing to a marina packed with a selection of huge exhibition boats. There’s also the chance to try your hand at a wide variety of water sports activities including kayaking, windsurfing and wakeboarding in a special Action Pool. Further fun for those who like nothing more than messing about on the water includes an anchor watch masterclass, boating for beginners area, new boat launches and the Dinghy Racing Weekend.
The ever-popular Warner Brother Harry Potter studio tour gets a very special festive twist this winter with Hogwarts in the Snow. The magic of the festive season played a big part in the Harry Potter series and this year fans will have a chance to experience Hogwarts as a breath-taking winter wonderland courtesy of a comprehensive seasonal makeover. Many of the experts behind Harry Potter have contributed to this festive transformation, with the stunning Hogwarts Castle model set to be covered in a wintery blanket of snow – in fact a light dusting of dendric salt – just as it was at various points in the Harry Potter film series. Visitors will also get a chance to discover first-hand how the film’s epic Christmas feast scenes were created and enjoy a fascinating insight into the seasonal transformation of the Harry Potter film sets. The festive season is a magical time and there can be few more bewitching family days out than a tour of the Harry Potter studio, especially now it’s been given a very special wintery makeover
The Olympia London International Horse Show plays host to an amazing equine line-up this year and boasts many exciting events including a Medal Parade and some unmissable Masterclasses from British riders. The very first show features an appearance from Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro and will include a very special guest, former record-breaking racehorse, Kauto Star who will be showing off his newfound dressage skills. Visitors to Wednesday’s show will get to see a stunning Masterclass from one of Britain’s leading dressage riders, Laura Tomlinson who returns to Olympia riding one of her up and coming horses, Unique. Thursday’s show includes Individual Women’s World Vaulting Champion, Joanne Eccles who will be performing a Vaulting Display with her sister Hannah Eccles in the Olympia Arena. The demonstration promises to leave the audience in a state of awe as they perform handstands, tumbles and plenty of other acrobatic moves all while riding their horses. The London International Horse Show already holds the reputation for being world’s biggest and best equestrian party and this year is set to be the biggest and best yet.
Adapted from the 2003 New Line Cinema hit starring Will Ferrell, Elf the musical follows the incredible and hilarious journey of Buddy, an orphan child who accidentally crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is whisked off to the North Pole. Unfortunately, as hard as he tries, Buddy just isn’t cut out for a life making toys in Santa’s workshop and so, with Santa’s permission he sets out on a journey to New York to find his actual father, to discover his real identity and most importantly, to help the people of New York rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Elf the musical features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar & Chad Beguelin. The story of Buddy the Elf is a modern Christmas classic, which will warm the hearts of all the family and is certain to help everyone embrace the magic of Christmas. A SPLASHY, PEPPY, SUGAR-SPRINKLED HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT!” – The New York Times “ELF is happy enough for families, savvy enough for city kids and plenty smart for adults!” -Variety