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Top Picks

Every week, the London Calling team select our favourite events and activities taking place around London. Here are this week's most unmissable cultural events...

This week’s top theatre

The Twilight Zone

The cult TV show takes to the stage for the first time ever this December, exploring our modern fears and hopes through a host of disturbing science fiction scenarios. Read our interview with actor Sam Swainsbury.

The Twilight Zone runs at The Almeida 5 December 2017 - 27 January 2018.

Belleville

Amy Herzog’s acclaimed play about the seemingly perfect romance between two bright young Americans living in Paris receives its UK premiere. A disconcerting thriller starring James Norton and Imogen Poots.

Belleville runs at the Donmar Warehouse 7 December 2017 - 3 February 2018.

How to Win Against History

After a sell-out Edinburgh Fringe debut in 2016, the extravagant and spendthrift 5th Marquis of Anglesey returns to the stage in a fabulous musical arriving at the Young Vic this December.

How to Win Against History is at the Young Vic 12 - 30 December.

Showstopper Christmas Kids Show

Well known for their hilarious and inventive improvised musicals, the Showstopper crew are turning their talents to children’s theatre this Christmas. Children aged 5 and up will have a chance to suggest ideas that the team will improvise into a magical, musical adventure on the spot.

The Showstopper Christmas Kids Show runs 16 - 30 December at the Leicester Square spiegeltent.

Parliament Square

A disturbingly raw story about political activism, family and how individuals can impact society. Parliament Square tells the story of young, zealous Kat - determined to make a change in the world through a single violent act of protest.

Parliament Square runs at Bush Theatre 13 December 2017 - 6 January 2018.

This week’s top films

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Arguably the most highly anticipated film of the year, ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi’ finally lands this week. With ‘Brick’ director Rian Johnson at the helm, fans can expect an epic and emotional continuation in the journey of Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8 and co. beginning exactly where 2015’s The Force Awakens and it’s many unanswered questions left off.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens on 14 December

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The Nutcracker – Royal Opera House

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a helping of this much-loved classical ballet. Coming to cinemas across the UK, The Royal Ballet bring the to life the tale of Clara and her enchanted Christmas adventures thanks to some wonderful presents, more than just a touch of magic and the beautiful score from Tchaikovsky.

The Nutcracker is out now at selected cinemas. Find out more here.

(Image credit: ROH/Tristram Kenton)

The Disaster Artist

An affectionate behind-the-scenes story of cult film ‘The Room’, ‘The Disaster Artist’ is easily one of this year’s most entertaining films. Directed by, and starring a brilliant James Franco as writer/director Tommy Wiseau, the film chronicles the chaotic production of “the greatest bad movie ever.”

The Disaster Artist is out now.

This week’s top exhibitions

May Morris: Art and Life

This is the most comprehensive exhibition about the younger daughter of designer, artist and socialist William Morris. This exhibition showcases the skill of May Morris, who was an embroiderer, jeweller, and designer, as well as socialist and editor.

May Morris: Art and Life is at the William Morris Gallery until the 28 January 2018. Entrance free.

Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites

This innovative exhibitions looks at the relationship between Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Showing the magnificent ‘Arnolfini Portrait’ alongside works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, as well as William Holman Hunt and Ford Madox Brown, this is a fascinating delve into influence and legacy.

Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites is on at the National Gallery until 2 April 2018. Tickets from £8.

Instant Stories: Wim Wenders’ Polaroids

The Photographer’s Gallery hosts hundreds of Polaroids taken by esteemed film director Wim Wenders. Part diary, part research and part development of his idiosyncratic aesthetic, this exhibition charts the interests and life of one of Germany’s most influential auteurs.

Instant Stories: Wim Wenders’ Polaroids runs until 11 Feb 2018 at The Photographers’ Gallery in collaboration with Wim Wenders Foundation and C|O Berlin Foundation.

Dalí / Duchamp

Don’t miss your last chance to catch Dalí/Duchamp at the Royal Academy. The curators of the dual exhibition seek to make new connections between Dali’s infamous surrealism and Duchamp’s inventive and challenging conceptual work.

Dalí/Duchamp is at the Royal Academy until the 3rd of January 2018.

Tove Jansson 1914-2001

Tove Jansson is famous for her creation of the world of the Moomins. This exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery displays Jansson’s other work, including her paintings, sketches and illustrations, revealing the many skills of this remarkable woman.

The exhibition runs until 28 January 2018. Tickets £15.50.

This week’s top food & drink

#CookForSyria Pop Up

The minds behind #CookForSyria are launching a pop-up café in Covent Garden in aid of the humanitarian crisis. Offering mezze from Imad’s Syrian Kitchen and baked goods from Lily Vanilli plus special guests, the eatery will be open every day until Christmas Eve – you’ll even be able to pick up a copy of their best-selling cookbook.

The #CookForSyria pop up is now open at 36 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9HD until 24 December 2017.

Christmas Canopy Market at Kings Cross

The beloved Canopy Market at Kings Cross is going all festive. Head down this weekend where the ever-friendly traders will get you into the Christmas spirit with an incredible selection of delicious seasonal produce and handmade gifts. They’ve even collaborated with At The Table for an extended festive edition, running from 14-17 December.

The Christmas Canopy Market takes place at Kings Cross Station, N1C 4AB.

Koya in the City

Koya in The City is the second site for the soba noodle specialists, following on from the original Koya Bar. Now open in Bloomberg Arcade, you can expect the same top of the range Japanese cuisine and minimalist decor that has earned the brand a cult-like following.

Koya in the City is open now at 10-12 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR.

Last Days of Shoreditch Winter La La Land

Last Days of Shoreditch Winter La La Land has arrived back in the heart of East London with a sensational winter programme of roaring fire pits, incredible Ernest Hemingway inspired cocktails, delicious food, and an intimate dance floor, all under one big, cosy roof.

Last Days of Shoreditch is located at 288 Old Street, London EC1V 9LA.

A guide to alternative Christmas shows 2017

A guide to alternative Christmas shows 2017

Check out these Christmas shows with a difference.

Top 5: Alternative Christmas Concerts in London 2017

Top 5: Alternative Christmas Concerts in London 2017

Because it’s always great to have a bit of a sing song at Christmas…

Top 5: London Christmas Craft Fairs

Top 5: London Christmas Craft Fairs

Get all your Christmas presents sorted at these gorgeous markets and support local craftspeople and makers.

Top 5: Sunday roasts in London

Top 5: Sunday roasts in London

Prepare yourself...we've come up with some amazing places for a proper winter lunch

Top 5: London Street Food Markets

Top 5: London Street Food Markets

Where to find the tastiest food stalls in London

Top 5: Vegetarian Restaurants in London

Top 5: Vegetarian Restaurants in London

London Calling's top tips for the tastiest ways to get your five a day.

Top 5: Afternoon Tea with a Twist in London

Top 5: Afternoon Tea with a Twist in London

London Calling's guide to London's more unusual Afternoon Tea choices.

Top 5: Urban Oases in London

Top 5: Urban Oases in London

Our favourite green havens nestled in the heart of the urban sprawl.

Top 5: Small Club Nights in London

Top 5: Small Club Nights in London

Our pick of the cosier side of London's club culture

Top 5 Wine Bars in London

Top 5 Wine Bars in London

Our favourite spots in London for praisin' the raisin.

Top 5: Rooftop Bars in London

Top 5: Rooftop Bars in London

From cosy chilled-out spaces to high-end glitzy restaurants overlooking the city’s skyscrapers, we pick out some of the best rooftop bars you should be spending your summer evenings at.

Top 5: Alternative Places to go on a Date in London

Top 5: Alternative Places to go on a Date in London

When a 5 star restaurant meal feels a bit too much but the local pub just won't do. We've picked out five alternative date ideas in London that will ensure sparks fly.

Top 5 Alternative Tours of London

Top 5 Alternative Tours of London

For those who've really seen it all. See London through a different perspective with these quirky tours.

Top 5 Jazz Venues

Top 5 Jazz Venues

We’ve rounded up five excellent jazz hubs that are bringing New Orleans vibes to Central London and beyond.

Top 5: Calm Places in London for a Moment of Reflection

Top 5: Calm Places in London for a Moment of Reflection

And...breathe. Within the hustle and bustle of this city we've picked out some of the best places for a little escape and some tranquility.