Things to Do in London - May 2018

Unmissable Things To Do In London – May 2018

Top things to do in London in May 2018.

This month’s top picks include unusual film festivals, a new Burmese restaurant & much more…

Cabaret & Circus

SOAP | Underbelly Festival, Waterloo | 3 May-17 June | Various Times | From £21.50

SOAP is a circus spectacular which works the crowd up into a lather.

Pecs Drag Camp | Platform Southwark | 10 May-7 June | Various Times | £125 (5 week course)

An intensive 5 week drag and cabaret course exploring dance, song and comedy in performance.


Uncle Glen’s Menagerie | Arcola Theatre | Sunday 13 May | 7.30pm | £10/8

Uncle Glen’s Menagerie is the show that throws performers together for the first time. Featuring a rotating cast of top actors, from theatre (Cheek by Jowl, The RSC, Out of Joint, Paines Plough, Nabokov), West End shows (The Ferryman, 1984, The Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy) and TV hits (Game of Thrones, Dr Who, W1A, The Night Manager, Downton Abbey, Humans), alongside improvisers from leading groups such as The Free Association and Austentatious. One performer in every scene knows nothing about what they are stepping in to… We’ll see brand new versions of scenes, created on the spot, and never to be seen again. Come and watch an hilarious, chaotic -and maybe moving- experiment.

Mapsolutely Hilarious | The Rose & Crown | Tuesday 22 May | 8-10pm  | £5

A map-based comedy night suitable for entry-level map enthusiasts featuring Ali Brice, Helen Duff, Hana Ayoob & Sam Nicoresti.


Brian Paumier | New Art Projects London, Cambridge Heath | 3 May-30 June | Tues- Fri 11-6, Saturday 12-5| Free

A dizzying flurry of colour from the Mexican-American artist Brian Paumier.

Museums at Night | London Museums | 15-16 May | From Free

Reenact Night at the Museum 3 with your mates as London’s treasure troves of curiosity throw open their doors.


Fragility Takeover | Various Venues | 4-20 May | Various Times | Various Prices

A smorgasbord of weird and wonderful performance within the wider Wandsworth Arts Fringe festival. We love the look of:

All Points East | Victoria Park, Mile End | 25-31 May | From FREE

A feast of top named music acts, community activities and yummy food. Our highlights are the mighty return of Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Friday night. In the Neighbourhood is a free festival taking place during the week with free circus, street food and activities for kids.


newcross deptford free film festival

New Cross and Deptford + Herne Hill Free Film Festivals | Various Venues | 1-6 May | Various Times | FREE

A marvellous movie medicine made up of top film screenings including a showing of the magical animation Belleville Rendezvous at Herne Hill Velodrome and meet Disney’s unsung heroine Queen of Katwe.

Lewisham at home film night | The Stephen Lawrence Centre, Deptford | Thursday 3 May | 7-10pm| Free

A night to get closer to one of London’s less well-known boroughs, Lewisham. The story of eccentric resident Mr Pink and his techinicolor house unravels as well as 2 more filmic fables.

Cheap Cuts Documentary Film Festival | Rio Cinema, Dalston and Hackney Attic, Hackney Central | 17-20 May | 7-10pm | From £6

A festival dedicated to short documentary as a form. Don’t miss fiery mini masterpieces including Sin Bin of the City (pictured above).

Launches & Openings

Tofu Nway 🇲🇲 🍜 Silky split pea tofu soup on rice noodles - topped with pickled mustard greens, peanuts, fried garlic, pea shoots and sweet soy.

Tofu Nway 🇲🇲 🍜 Silky split pea tofu soup on rice noodles – topped with pickled mustard greens, peanuts, fried garlic, pea shoots and sweet soy.

Lahpet | 58 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch High Street | £

The Myanmar street food stars open their new restaurant decked out with comfy booths and fabrics inspired by weaving villages in Shan State, Myanmar. New dishes to try include Yellow Pea Paratha, Pumpkin Stuffed with Wild Rice and Balachaung Dumplings.


First Timers Fest 2018 | DIY Space for London, South Bermondsey | 5-6 May | 4-11pm | £10/weekend £6/per day


Kyary Pamyu Pamyu | KOKO, Camden | Sunday 20 May | 7pm | From £27.50 (+bkg fee)

Legendary Japanese Harajuku queen Kyary Pamyu Pamyu takes over KOKO.

Theatre, Dance & Performance Art

A Festival of Korean Dance | The Place | 9, 12 & 16 May | Various Times | £

Home of dance The Place is collaborating with the Korean Cultural Centre in London to present a festival featuring performances by five Korean dance companies.

DOMESTICA | Battersea Arts Centre | 23-26 May | 7.30pm | £15/12.50

‘Part narcoleptic beauty pageant, part psychosexual fever dream’ – a real triumph we saw it last time it had an outing!


The Paper Traveller | Battersea Library (5, 9, 12 & 16 May), Walthamstow Library (10 May & Manor House Library (13 & 15 May) | Free

‘Through a series of pop-up books, papercut sets, intimate sound installations and live theatre performances, this immersive show takes you on a storytelling journey through books and explores what happens if you get lost in one.’

Unwind London | Finsbury Square, Liverpool Street | 12-13 May | £15

‘Sign up to one of our 30-minute audio guided sessions below and enjoy the tranquillity,  breathe in the relaxing oils and let the music wash over you, let us lead you to peace and harmony.’

London History Day | All Over London | Thursday 31 May | From FREE

On Thursday 31 May 2018, more than 70 of London’s museums, galleries and cultural spaces will open their doors to reveal special behind the scenes tours, rarely seen exhibits and one off events, celebrating the capital’s unique identity.

Did we miss something from our things to do in London? Let us know and we’ll do our best to add it in!


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.