Things to Do in London in October 2016

Things to Do in London in October 2016

Summer is but a distant memory, but our offbeat tips for things to do in London in October are here to jazz up your Autumn!

This month’s top picks include some ghoulish cabaret, German beer, breathtaking film, some crafty bargains, mind-blowing theatre, a breath of fresh air, tasty food, and a chance to dance like no-one (except a ghoul) is watching!

Cabaret & Comedy


Live at Zedel | Brasserie Zedel | All Month

A smörgåsbord of cabaret, comedy and music gems in the glitzy underworld of Crazy Coqs cabaret room. The line up for October includes the offbeat king and Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Richard Gadd (pictured).


Phantasmagoria Cabaret | Hoxton Hall | 1 October | 8pm | £15

Traditional music hall variety turned on its head with special guests Frank Chickens.


An Evening With Jinkx Monsoon & Peaches Christ: in Conversation and Song | Toynbee Studios | 19 October | 7:30pm | £14

Jinkx Monsoon’s last alt drag outing at Soho Theatre completely sold out so don’t miss this one off intimate soiree in the east end.


PopHorror presents PopSeance | Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club | 30 October | 5pm | £7-£10

Have a horrifically fun Halloween with PopHorror’s night at BGWMC featuring Canning Town’s most celebrated clairvoyant, Psychic Sandee.



And What? | Various Venues | Until 28 October | Various Times | £Various

And What? festival continues with October outings from the terrific Timberlina at the Geffrye Museum, Bearded Brutes exhibition at RichMix and challenge your mind with Steakhouse Live performance art platform. See the full programme here.


#BLOGTOBER Festival | The Finsbury | 1-31 October

The music press has gone online with top tastemakers in the blogosphere. This festival asks them for their hot tips including Jodie Abacus (pictured above) to get offline and perform live gigs.


Fun Palaces | Various Venues | 1-2 October

A weekend full of inspiring arts and knowledge in venues you might not have heard of in your local area and all over the country. Search for your local Fun Palace here.


National Poetry Day | Various Venues | 6 October

Poetry is the new rock and roll with top artists like Benjamin Clementine and Kate Tempest breaking the mainstream. National Poetry Day is a chance to celebrate the form with lots of events and top names like PJ Harvey getting involved.


OpenFest | Barbican | 8 October | 10am | FREE

A one day free festival opening up the Barbican’s activities to everyone.


Soho Rising 2016 | Soho Theatre | 10-15 October | Various Times | £15

New talent from the education side of Soho Theatre, the Soho Theatre Company.


Diwali | Trafalgar Square | 16 October | 1pm | FREE

Light up your October with Diwali on the square with live music and dance performances, and most importantly tasty food.


Hoxtoberfest | Hoxton Docks | 20-22 October | 6pm | £25-£30

An alpine themed Oktoberfest pop-up with hot dogs from Herman Ze German and a Berliner Pilsner Bar with live music from people like Old Dirty Brasstards.

Film & Music


Hackney Wicked Women WI: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night | Genesis Cinema | 18 October | 7pm | £5

Monochrome horror cinema at its eery best which breaks the stereotypes.

Markets & Sales


Crafty Fox Market | CLF Art Cafe – The Bussey Building | 8-9 October | 11am

Just moved? Or want to jazz up your humble abode? This design and makers’ market is the real deal – get closer to the people who make your stuff.

Theatre & Shows


Domestica by Sleepwalk Collective | Battersea Arts Centre | 5-8 October | 7:30pm | £15

Sleepwalk Collective are genuinely different performance troupe in a world of copycats. We can’t wait to see their latest outre performance Domestica.

christopher brett bailey

Kissing The Shotgun Goodnight | Ovalhouse | 6-11 October | 7:30pm | £8-£13

‘A neo-noir fever dream and a 120 decibel suicide note.’ Unmissable, beatnik, bizarre.


The Red Barn | National Theatre | From 6 October | Various Times | £15-£65

‘On their way back from a party, two couples struggle home through the snow. Not everyone arrives safely…’. Tense theatre with Elizabeth Debicki, who played the enigmatic villain’s girlfriend Jed in the Night Manager.


Jérôme Bel’s Gala | Bernie Grant Arts Centre | 11 October | 7pm | £20

Record Strictly for once and watch this live dance showcase for amateurs, pros and everyone else hosted by Jérôme Bel.


A Pacifist’s Guide to the War On Cancer | National Theatre | From 14 October | Various Times | £15-£45

We saw the Manchester preview and were bowled over with this emotional but fun show about the most taboo subject of all; cancer. Don’t miss it. There’s currently 40% off on Time Out Offers here.


The Old Woman Made of Stardust | Theatre N16 | 27 October | 3pm & 7:30pm | £12

Another challenging theme of children and bereavement explored in a relaxed and relatable way through puppetry and theatre magic.

Bonus Balls


Autumn Ambles Weekend | Across London | 1-2 October

Don your finest fleece and have an ambling adventure whilst meeting your London neighbours.


Chasing dreams: The common man in China today | Asia House | 5 October | 6:45pm | £5

Asia House presents a fascinating look at the hopes and desires of China’s people.


Are You Game? | SiNK | 8 October | 8pm | £20

Anarchic interactive live game-show.


KERB is 4! | King’s Cross, West Handyside Canopy | 14 October | 5pm

Street food legend KERB is 4 years old and to celebrate they’re throwing a party which features foodie gems including:

deep fried spaghetti balls * Vietnamese chicken wings * mac ‘n cheese fries * ox heart pepperoni quesadillas * Bleecker burger sliders * ahi tuna poke boats * jerk chicken skewers * fried chicken nuggets with popcorn and chipotle chocolate salt * Baked Alaska with marshmallow sauce * butterscotch honeycomb pecan choux cones * Smartie exploding chocolate buttercream donuts * + more


Hanging Out in Hell with Death and Other Messed Up Zombies | How Polloi | 31 October | 9pm

Dining with distractions for All Hallow’s Eve like you’ve never had it before.  A Man To Pet, Max Allen, Lewis G Burton and The Bistrotheque Choir combine performances, spooky tomfoolery, late night DJ and perhaps some dancing for a fun night guaranteed*.


Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet! | St Swithun’s Church Hall, Hither Green | 29 October | 7:30pm | £10

Lovely local night out for those who ‘haven’t stopped dancing yet’ so come along and dance to something you’ve heard of.

We’re not perfect. Do you think we forgot something for our top things to do in London in October?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts…


I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like: nice pubs, film marathons, not doing real marathons, bad comedy, plays/musicals with shorter second halves, and the Oxford comma.