Unmissable Things to Do In London in May 2019

Unmissable Things to Do In London in May 2019

May is a mighty month with highlights including free film festival, a fiery fringe launch and much more …

Festivals & Seasons

REBELS | The Albany (& Other Venues) | Until 1 June

Deptford’s Albany Theatre wins the prize for best programming this year. Whether it’s falling for Jeremy Corbyn, two cabaret powerhouses joining forces or a punk hymn to exotic birds from To Do List fave Brigitte Aphrodite you’re in for a good time.

Women & Power | Shakespeare’s Globe | 13-18 May

Join the foot-stomping all-female Deep Throat Choir, pioneering social justice theatre ensemble Clean Break and many more to celebrate women and the radical change we need at the Globe.

Land of Fibs: Cass Theatre Arts Festival 2019 | Canada Water Theatre | 15-18 May | £5

An exciting showcase of new performances, film and multimedia artworks by the rather exciting CASS School of Arts. Read our interview with curator Jacek here.

Arts Week 2019 | Birkbeck, University of London | 20-24 May | Times Vary | FREE

Free lectures, readings, concerts, film screenings, performances, walks, workshops, panel discussions and exhibitions to platform the arts at London’s evening university in Bloomsbury.

Baul and Viashnav Music Festival | Rich Mix | 26 May | 7pm | FREE

A free, three day festival celebrating two powerful genres of music from the Indian sub-continent.


New Cross and Deptford Free Film Festival | Various Venues | Until 5 May

The south London free film festival scene is blossoming and this New Cross and Deptford edition includes: quick-witted prince and the pauper tale Trading Places (pictured above), LGBT+ solidarity with miners’ strike in Pride and a trippy kaleidoscope in Arcadia.

Best of Kashish | The Piano Works West End | 12 May | 4pm | £10

A short film night exposing queer stories from South Asia. 

The Legend of the Stardust Brothers | Prince Charles Cinema | 19 May | 3:30pm | £15

Our favourite cult cinema presents: ‘Rocky Horror meets Phantom of the Paradise with a long-lost 80s Japanese rock-musical featuring zombies, animation and much more’.

Hitchhiking Terror Double Bill | Helgi’s | 26 May | 7pm | £6.66

See the sexploitation origins of the hitchhiker in horror at this bizarre double bill.

Bent Fest | DIY Space for London | 24-26 May | £20

DIY queer festival with bite.


Cirque Bijou #WAF10 Launch | Shillington Park | 3 May | 8pm | FREE

Wandsworth Arts Fringe gets the epic launch it deserves with Cirque Bijou presenting a free spectacle in Shillington Park featuring tight rope walking, fire juggling, umbrella dancing, choir singing, live drumming, stage pyrotechnics and so much more!

Theatre & Performance Art

Die or Run | Theatre Deli | 3-5 May | Times Vary | From £7.84

Margaret Thatcher once stated: ‘There is no such thing as society.’.
Hannah Ringham & Glen Neath explore how politics can affect mental health in this searing vision of the age of anxiety.

Girl World | The Albany | 15-16 May | 7:30pm | £10

Enter Girl World to meet 2 BFFs whose world is about to change.

Literature & Talks

Bare Lit | The Albany | 4-5 May | From 10:30am | From £13

A much needed literary festival which champions novelists, poets, journalists and playwrights of colour.

Show & Tell at All Points East: In the Neighbourhood | North Stage Outdoor Cinema | 28 May | 2:15pm | Free

Get inspired with free TED-style creative talks in the park. Also check out the free films being shown as well as pop up bars and yummy street food.


LondonCats International Show and Expo | Tobacco Dock | 4-5 May | From 9am | £26.49

Over 200 cats compete in the competition which includes kitty themed shopping and activities.


Great British Mysteries: 1599? | Soho Theatre | 6-11 May | Times Vary | From £12

The hilarious duo bring their attention to histories greatest (and silliest) mysteries.

Live Music

K-Music Showcase 2019 | Rich Mix | 7 May | 7:30pm | £9.50

Meet the next K-Music superstars in this showcase of indie ones to watch.


Busty & Ginger’s Double Trouble! | The Two Brewers | 9 May | 7:30pm | From £5

Get BOGOF all night in this cavalcade of double acts featuring the rib-tickling camp of Busty and Ginger.

Drag Queens Den Live | Underbelly Southbank | 11 May | 7:45pm | From £14

Sink the Pink director and now BBC Radio 1 drag podcaster Glyn Fussell takes the show to Underbelly Festival for a glitter strewn live outing on the South Bank.

Fatty Fat Fat Cabaret Club | BGWMC | 31 May | 8pm | From £5

A cabaret night for fat bodies, queer bodies and allies.


Secret Rivers | Museum of London | From 24 May | FREE

Uncover the hidden rivers of London at this fascinating free exhibition.


At Home with the Ludskis No.15 | Rio Cinema | 25 May | 11:30pm

A weird and wonderful late night in Dalston.

Did we miss any offbeat things to do in London? Leave a comment…


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.