20 Unmissable Things To Do in London in 2020
2019 Is Dead (Good Riddance!), Long Live 2020.
Even-numbered years are better, it’s just true! Also, it’s a new decade, so we can just start over (that’s how it works, right?) and live our best lives full of amazing cabaret, circus, theatre, comedy, festivals, exhibitions, food, fun and frolics galore!
Cabaret & Variety
LGBT History Month Takeover | Stratford Circus Arts Centre | 21 February | 7pm | £13 – £15
A gender-bending spectacular showcasing the largest disabled, queer performance review ever produced in the UK.
Sophie Duker: Venus | Soho Theatre | 13-18 January | 7:15pm | From £16
‘A riotous challenge to the straight white male-dominated comedy scene – with twerking.’
NATYS 2020 | Hackney Empire | 15 February | 8pm | From £10
Discover the finest new acts as the famous New Act of the Year awards returns, hosted by the inimitable Jo Brand and featuring last year’s winner Njambi McGrath.
Exhibitions & Art
Winter Lights | Canary Wharf | 16-25 January | 4-10pm | FREE
Since Lumiere London has done a runner to Durham, Canary Wharf’s Winter Lights is pick of the light dis[plays in London. This year’s installations include the foamy cloudbusting delight Sky on Earth (pictured above).
Museum of the Home Reopening | Summer
The Geffrye Museum of old, now reopens as Museum of the Home – with new catacombs and exhibits galore, focussing more on the stories of our homes.
RISE | Olympic Way, Wembley Park | 18 January | 7pm | FREE
A free immersive spectacular, telling the story of London’s new Borough of Culture, Brent.
VAULT Festival | The Vaults | 28 January – 22 March
From January London heads underground for 8 weeks of creative experimentation and late night revelry at VAULT festival.
AndWhat? Queer Arts Festival | Multiple Venues | 13 March
Stay tuned for the programme announcement on 23 January, but we’ve heard whisperings of the epic programme which is set to include: Peaches Christ x Mink Stole, Stark Dallas Naked (Jonny Woo’s hilarious Dallas parody) and much more!
Deptford Literature Festival | Multiple Venues | 14 March
A grassroots festival of literature in south London, including Inua Ellams’ R.A.P. Party.
GDIF | Multiple Venues | 19 June – 4 July
The best free festival in London, delivering jaw-dropping spectacle to south and east London – sure not to disappoint!
AMP London | Multiple Venues | 4-7 March
Annie Mac takes over bucket loads of independent venues to promote brilliant up and coming artists.
PP Arnold | Union Chapel | 4 June | 7pm | £29.50
P.P. Arnold (The First Cut is the Deepest) is a genuine superstar whose haunting soul voice makes you melt. We caught her show in Liverpool in 2019, nd you shouldn’t miss this London date in 2020.
Wide Awake Festival 2020 | Brockwell Park | 5 June | From £29.50
Offbeat promoters Bad Vibrations, LNZRT and SC&P unite to create a delightfully distinct festival of leftfield Indie, Post Punk, Electronica, Techno, Jazz and more.
Grace Jones’ Meltdown | Southbank Centre | 12-21 June
Iconoclast Grace Jones turns artistic director of the Southbank Centre’s signature music festival.
Wilton’s Music 4all | Wilton’s Music Hall | 16 May
London’s beautiful old music hall embraces new music acts across contemporary & jazz, popular, rock & indie, urban, electronic & DJ, opera, cabaret & alternative, in their first ever music festival of rising stars.
Theatre, Performance & Musicals
INFERNO | The ICA | 31 January | 10pm | From £10
Performance art returns to the ICA on the Mall near Buckingham Palace, with this night of anarchic thrills.
The White Plague | Greenwich Theatre | 11-15 March | Times Vary | £13
An unmissable, dystopian, interactive show unlike any other, The White Plague has real soul – it will make you shudder and think about the world we live in at the same time.
Swimming Pools | BAC | 5-7 May | 7:30pm | £12.50
Sleepwalk Collective are the most impressive art ensemble around, and this latest production is about a better future for all of us. Sounds good.
Monsoon Wedding | Roundhouse | 17 July – 29 August | 7:30pm | From £15
Award-winning film director Mira Nair brings her exuberant and sumptuous film Monsoon Wedding to life, in a new musical adaptation.
Winter at The Arcola
An awe-inspiring season is coming at the Arcola, including The Apology – in which Yellow Earth ask how a nation can apologise for the crimes of its past – and Our Name Is Not John, a new black comedy from Sarah Kosar with an irresistible, patriarchal company structure.
Did we miss any offbeat things to do in London? Leave a comment below…
Occasionally the To Do List team are forced to work together.
Rupert likes: free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.
Stuart likes: nice pubs, film marathons, not doing real marathons, bad comedy, plays/musicals with shorter second halves, and the Oxford comma.