Unmissable Things To Do in London this Summer 2023
Summer arrived! Sure, it kind of receded a bit… but it will be back! And whether you’re slapping on the SPF 30 or trotting out with brolly aloft, make sure you’re following our list of Unmissable Things To Do in London (and beyond) this summer in July and August!
The Queen of the Victorian art scene fights for their place in a world of mutton-chopped men, in this mix of theatre, music hall and drag king artistry.
South-west London proves its artistic cachet with this festival of music, theatre, dance, comedy, visual arts, spoken word and circus.
Incredible outdoor spectacle livens up the borough for a summer of fun.
AI is the big topic of ’23 and this exhibition at King’s College London’s free museum takes a playful look at how the tech might shape our future.
Unmissable raw pride joy in Limehouse’s beautiful art deco venue, the Troxy.
Drag artist La Gitana reclaims La Copla music banned during Franco’s dictatorship in Spain.
Lay back, close your eyes and look inside your head to see pretty colours in your mind – this mind-blowing experience was originally part of Unboxed Festival, and we’re glad to see it experience a second life.
Head to Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios for an electric festival of new performance, including our hot tip: new musical RUN TO THE NUNS, which promises booze, bibles and bisexuals (the true holy trinity, surely).
The debut feature from writer and director Dionne Edwards, Pretty Red Dress is a sizzling south London drama.
The next London Borough of Culture celebrates a night of edgy queer performance.
Thurrock is more than just Lakeside shopping centre! Discover the soul of the area with walks, performances, workshops and events.
Check out the next big photographers in this exhibition showcasing the power of young people’s engagement with photography.
There’s new theatre talent aplenty at this night of short plays emphasising universal truths but told by marginalised voices.
If you love illustration, colour and creativity head to this epic fair full of prints, cards, gift wrap, zines, homeware, badges, drawings and independent publishing.
A free performance exploring the animal kingdom with hilarious results, as part of Southbank Centre’s free summer festival Planet Summer.
There’s no pride without the T (trans) – and this night is here to support the true meaning of queer solidarity and protest.
Isabel Waidner and Diarmuid Hester: Corey Fah Does Social Mobility | London Review Bookshop | 12 July | £10
A night of epic literary fireworks from two of London’s most exciting and mind-bending authors.
Believe the hype – this is circus for everyone, guaranteed to make your jaw drop. Read our latest review here.
A one-person musical spectacular using Diana’s story to explore idol worship, bodily autonomy and self-love.
A joyful mix of theatre, circus, dance, music, and digital art.
A new exhibition giving space to Black women in visual culture. We need more of this!
Artist and zombie Martin O’Brien’s spectacular residency at the Whitechapel Gallery breathes life into death and immortality.
A free festival in Canary Wharf including comedy from Shaparak Khorsandi, Lou Sanders and Desiree Burch, plus much more.
The punk riot scratch performance night is back with a special featuring the Museum of Homelessness.
London’s most spectacular riverside surroundings are filled with (actually good) live music, film and performance from such greats at Walt Disco.
Roundhouse brings Edinburgh festival vibes to the Camden venue with some big variety nights, from acts like Sophie Duker (pictured above), Jordan Gray, Katherine Ryan, Fern Brady and our cult fave Colin Hoult (as himself – sadly not our beloved Anna Mann).
Free music festival in London’s newest outdoor adult playground.
International Ballroom talent comes to the Strand to compete for trophies and the audience’s love.
Free activities including an outdoor cinema in East London’s prettiest park.
A fresh farce from married-couple and actors Natalie Perera and Hamza Jeetooa.
London’s most unmissable free spectacular is back. Expect neon swans, Afrofuturism, a play about Stephen Lawrence performed on a double decker bus, and so much eye-opening large-scale visual stimulation that you might need a lie down.
A Nordic noir twisting into an exploration of forced migration in our fractured times.
Did we forget something? We almost certainly did – please let us know in the comments 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.