Things to do in London in September2016

Things To Do in London in September

Summer is just about clinging on, but even if the weather takes a turn for the autumnal our offbeat tips for things to do in London in September are sure to brighten your month!

This month’s top picks include a whole host of festivals, loads of FREE fun, and more beyond-interesting things to do than you can shake a stick at…

Cabaret & Comedy


DENIM | The Crazy Coqs | 18 September | 9pm | £15

Drag sensation DENIM hit the classiest subterranean cabaret in town. Expect mayhem.

Penny Arcade and Truth to Power Cafe

Penny Arcade ‘Longing Lasts Longer’ & Truth to Power Café | Soho Theatre | 19-24 September | 6pm & 7.30pm | From £3

Don’t bottle up your post-Brexit battles, get out and do something with the help of Penny Arcade (who we recently awarded 5 stars at the Edinburgh Fringe) and 24 Londoners who will be speaking their truth to the power that controls them in the Truth to Power cafe.


Great Fire 350 | Until 4 September

London lights up with fire themed culture to remember 350 years have passed since the Great Fire of London. Key free events include:

Totally Thames

Totally Thames | 1-30 September

Totally Thames Festival is a diverse arts festival with loads of free and cheap highlights including:

  • Floating Dreams by Ik-Joong Kang (pictured above): a moving memorial on the river for the victims of the Korean war.
  • National Trust Walk to Ham House is one of our favourite London walks and is full the beauty of the London riverside has to offer.

Liberty Festival

Liberty Festival 2016 | Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park | 3 September | 1pm – 6pm | FREE

A free celebration of the Paralympic 2012 legacy in the park.

Ura Matsuri

Ura Matsuri 2016 | Cafe Oto | 3 September | From Midday | FREE

Japan has arrived in Dalston with a free festival at Cafe Oto stuffed with madcap live performances from the likes of ‘Yummy, Yummy, Yummy’ legends Frank Chickens.

South East Showcase

South East Showcase | Out of the Brew | 3 September | 4pm – 11pm | FREE

If you read To Do List regularly you’ll know that we’re based in Lewisham and constantly trying to prove it’s cultural merit. Here we go again with a lovely event organised with Lewisham Card full of vegan Caribbean cuisine and live music.


Unlimited | Southbank Centre | 6-11 September

A festival dedicated to showcasing work from disabled artists. This year including blind musician Baluji Shrivastav and the brave new show by Liz Carr; Assisted Suicide: The Musical.

Peckham Festival

Peckham Festival | Various Venues | 8-11 September

Another south London village still packing soul shows off it’s arty vibes. Sponsored by Acorn estate agents but every artist needs a patron, eh?


MexiFest! | Bishop Square – Spitalfields Market | 10 September | 12pm – 6pm | FREE

Pitching itself as ‘London’s only authentic Mexican festival this year!’ this celebration of Mexican food and culture looks to be a fiery fiesta.

And What?

And What? | Various Venues | 14 September – 28 October

A festival on queer culture focused on eye-popping performances.

Calm Down, Dear

Calm Down, Dear 2016 | Camden People’s Theatre  | 20 September – 9 October

Is feminism a filthy word in 2016? Debate (with men too!).

By The Sea

By The Sea | Dreamland, Margate | 30 September – 1 October | £37.50

Awesome lineup at the new ‘London by the sea’ of Kent, Margate including Super Furry Animals, Wild Beasts, Mystery Jets, Jagwar Ma, Joe Goddard, Ibibio Sound Machine, Anna Meredith, Let’s Eat Grandma, The Big Moon and Bill Ryder Jones.

Film & Music

Lost and Found

Lost and Found | Roundhouse | 2 September | 7pm | £8

Torture survivors from Iran, Cuba, Uganda, Burundi and Ethiopia are given a voice at this unique performance event.

Video Nightmare

Video Nightmare All-Dayer | Genesis Cinema | 9 September | 12pm – 11pm | FREE

‘grainy schlock, warped classics & bizarre, delicious taped treats’ on VHS, free and all day.

Watford Free Film Festival

Catford Free Film Festival | Various Venues | 16-24 September | FREE

The third in our attempts for you to acquaint yourself with the London below the river, this free film festival looks to be a hoot with workshops and screenings of all sorts from The Great Gatsby to Zombieland.

Shanty Sessions

Shanty Sessions | Cutty Sark | 24 September | 7pm | £25

Folk your self silly with this epic night of bands, dancing and singing underneath the iconic Cutty Sark sailing ship in Greenwich.

Theatre & Shows


Macbeth | LAMDA | 2 & 3 September | 7:30pm | £10

The Bard’s tragedy gets told as a dinner party.

Dinner at The Twits

Dinner at The Twits | The Vaults | 4 September – 30 October | Times Vary | From £76.50

Roald Dahl’s most disgusting family get the ‘dinner experience’ treatment. Expect the food to look revolting but taste fantastic.


Duckie Family

Duckie Family | Rich Mix, Shoreditch High Street | 2 September | 6pm – 4am | £8

We believe that art is more fun when you’re dancing. Duckie has proved this for years now and is giving a platform to new talent from various diverse backgrounds at Rich Mix in Shoreditch.


Revolution | Wac Arts – Old Town Hall | 4 September | 7pm | £15 – £20

Help WAC arts raise money whilst enjoying a massive line up of top talent from singers to playwrights showcasing their wares.


Piñata | Shutterbug | 14 September | 7:30pm | £3 – £5

‘The piss-clad pithy performance party perferated with pre-prepared parade partakers. It begins with P.’

After the Referendum

After the Referendum | Camden People’s Theatre | 17 September | From 2pm | £12

Not many people seem to be making stuff in reaction to Brexit so we were happy to see this day of thoughts and feels at Camden People’s Theatre.

Strictly Queer Dancing

Strictly Queer Dancing | Hackney Attic | 25 September | 5pm | £8 – £10

Strictly Come Dancing is nearly back in its heteronormative state with even  Will Young dancing with a woman. Strictly Queer Dancing turns these gender norms on their head, with some divine steps and emotional routines.

Did we forget anything for our top things to do in London in September? 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.