To Do List for London 2012 Festival: 6 Events worth paying for!

To Do List for London 2012 Festival: 6 Events worth paying for!

You may be seeing lots of billboards, print adverts and general hype for the London 2012 Festival at the moment – that’s because it’s already started! Here’s our guide to 6 of the events worth paying for (well, paying for again, some of your tax dollar probably paid a bit towards it already – unless you’re Jimmy Carr)

1. Mike Leigh: A Running Jump | Various Cinemas and Dates/Times including Greenwich Picturehouse on Monday 25th June at 6.30pm

Award-winning British film-maker Mike Leigh has created a film reflecting on sport in everyday life – not to mention taxis and dodgy second-hand cars.

Dad sells dodgy second-hand cars, Mum runs a ladies’ fitness centre, their attractive twin daughters are swimming pool lifeguards, and taxi-driver Grandad is obsessed with football. Filmed in east London in bright, bold colours, Mike Leigh’s up-beat comic extravaganza sets this outrageous family against a world of endless sporting activity of every kind.

2. Ha Ha Hackney including Gay Extravaganza | Hackney Empire | From 8th July

A wonderful retrospective festival of comedy curated by Hackney Empire’s Susie Mckenna. GayExtravanganza is the first of the 6 gala nights, and includes Sandi Toksvig, Stephen K Amos, a tribute to Carry On, Bobby Crush as Liberace and Ceri Dupree as Danny La Rue. Other nights include one devoted to good old fashioned variety, one all about 80s comedy – including Maggie from Spitting Image – and also one night devoted to Black comedy which includes a Desmonds cast being reunion.

3. Mad Gyms and Kitchens by Bobby Baker | Southbank Centre | 31st August-7th September

Surreal and heartwarming comedy live artist, Bobby Baker tackles often-taboo issues of mental heath in a frank and funny way. Prepare to be surprised and delighted, moved and enlightened as Bobby Baker demonstrates how she achieves that ultimate ‘well-being’ factor. From working out to chilling out, via the kitchen sink, Baker’s wellness roadshow investigates how to get better at feeling better – cup of tea included.

4. Tarot Drome | Old Vic Tunnels, Waterloo | 5th-30th September

Would you dare to peek behind the dark veil of the High Priestess? Frolic with the Fool or come toe to toe with the Devil? Have you ever wanted to dissolve the barrier that separates the conscious and the unconscious so you can see what lies beneath? Now is your chance – the cards have come to life and Carneskys Tarot Drome awaits you. Shuffle the deck by wandering through the dark subterranean recesses of The Old Vic Tunnels beneath Waterloo Station.

Spectacular and surreal, veiled in mystery and shrouded in magic, in Carneskys Tarot Drome you can choose your own unique performance experience. This new large-scale show sees Olivier Award-winning performance artist Marisa Carnesky leading an extraordinary cast of ten cross-discipline performers, from contortionists to roller girls to rock n’ roll stars.

5. National Theatre – Made in China/Curious Incident/Inside Out | National Theatre |  All summer long

The National Theatre is the place to go this summer with a pop-up bar called ‘Propstore’ on the river, wonderful new shows by young companies on the roof, and a charming version of Mark Haddon’s ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime’ in the Cottlesloe Theatre.

6. Eurostar Traction Festival | Granary Square, Kings Cross | 14th July

Great offbeat lineup curated by Gilles Peterson including Sebastien Tellier, Benny Sings and Ghostpoet in a wonderful new square where the new Central Saint Martins’ campus is based.