Saturday 27th May

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WOL Comedy Awards

What’s On London Comedy Awards 2016

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Now the sun has firmly set on this year’s season of comedy festivals, it’s time for What’s On London to announce our 2016 Comedy Award Winners and alert you to where you can catch these acts over the next couple of months.  

The field is stronger than ever before.  Londoners are privileged to have such a talented generation of performers available to entertain them across the city on each and every night of the week, in every conceivable style.  Whether you’re after stand-up, music, sketches, improv or something else entirely, the list of winners below contains something for everyone.

So follow our advice: make this the season of good cheer, book some tickets, get out of the house and keep yourself warm with the roar of laughter.

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Category: Comedy
L-R Noma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger), Jamie Parker (Harry Potter) and Paul Thornley (Ron 
Weasley). Photo by Manuel Harlan
L-R Noma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger), Jamie Parker (Harry Potter) and Paul Thornley (Ron Weasley). Photo by Manuel Harlan

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Stupendous proof that J.K. is still rollin’

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Sold out until December 2017, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has proved a huge success even before the reviews started rolling in – and with very good reason.   A further 250,000 tickets will be released on Thursday 4th August and What’s On London cannot recommend enough snapping them up while you can.  

This superb J.K. Rowling / Jack Thorne / John Tiffany two-part collaboration officially opened on 30th July at The Palace Theatre and Shannon Rawlins was lucky enough to catch the previews on consecutive nights earlier on in the week.  She reports below in a spoiler-free review.

As soon as the play opened, it was full steam ahead.  Packed from the get-go, I forgot I was flying solo at the theatre, completely and utterly immersed in Rowling’s universe.  Initially nervous at the thought of a five-hour play, by the end of Part One I dreaded having to wait a whole day to see the culminating part!

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Category: Theatre
01-tarzan.w529.h352

Him Tarzan, Me Very Impressed – ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ film review

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What’s On London were treated to an early screening of Warner Brothers’ The Legend of Tarzan this week, starring Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie and directed by Harry Potter’s very own David Yates.

As Shannon Rawlins reports, although the film is far from perfect, it’s an enjoyable and immersive ride with a number of strong performances and excellent use of CGI more than making up for certain plot gaps.

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Category: Cinema

Doctor Faustus – Jon Snow sells his soul for fame!

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Game of Thrones star Kit Harington plays the title role in a new version of Doctor Faustus at The Duke of York’s Theatre until June 2016.  The classic play (written by Christopher Marlowe 400 years ago), in which the lead famously sells his soul to the devil, has been given a contemporary twist by the excellent Jamie Lloyd, fresh off the back of his recent success with The Maids and The Homecoming.  

What’s On London’s Shannon Rawlins attended the show’s preview to find out if Harington – who plays Jon Snow in the epic HBO series – could deliver a performance worthy of an opening night’s watch.

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Category: Theatre
Horrorland
Horrorland

Goosebumps Alive! at The Vaults, Waterloo

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By Shannon Rawlins

Most 90s kids are familiar with RL Stine’s Goosebumps collection – a series of books designed to scare the life out of anyone under the age of 14 with an overactive imagination.  With this in mind, I was extremely excited to hear that Waterloo’s The Vaults have created Goosebumps Alive! – an immersive theatre show based on the haunting tales from my childhood.  And even the recent film adaptation starring Jack Black hadn’t put me off, so I went along to the press launch with high hopes.

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Category: Theatre
Diana Vickers is currently starring as Janet in The Rocky Horror Show
Diana Vickers is currently starring as Janet in The Rocky Horror Show

Dammit Janet! – Interview with Diana Vickers

With cult classic The Rocky Horror Show currently on a huge UK tour, Shannon Rawlins of What’s On London caught up with the amazing Diana Vickers (who plays Janet in the musical) to talk about the film, the fans and the fishnets.

Vickers, who first came to the public’s attention as a semi-finalist on The X Factor in 2008, has quickly made the role her own, described in our earlier review here as “a great casting, with strong vocals and the right amount of naivety for Janet”.

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Category: Music
Up at the O2 © Charlie Woollard
Up at the O2 © Charlie Woollard

Up at the O2: the climb of your life

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By Sandip Kana

Up at the O2 is a day out with a difference: a hike up one of London’s most iconic landmarks.  The steep, exhilarating climb is sure to bring out the mountaineer in you.

At its peak, climbers are rewarded with 360-degree panoramic views across East London, taking in a number of famous landmarks including Canary Wharf, the Olympic Village and the Thames Barrier.  Although there are more spectacular views across the capital, it’s the climb itself that lives in the memory and makes for a great outdoor experience.

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Category: Things to do
ZSL London Zoo Land of the Lions © ZSL London Zoo
ZSL London Zoo Land of the Lions © ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo: Step into the ‘Land of the Lions’

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What’s on London was given access this week to the amazing new Land of the Lions enclosure at ZSL London Zoo.  The latest addition to one of the capital’s most popular attractions opens its doors to the public tomorrow (25th March) and they’re in for a treat.

The enclosure – costing £5.2 million – transports visitors from the heart of London to the vibrant and exotic setting of Gujarat state, home to the Asiatic lions.  It’s breathtaking, from the time you enter to the moment you stand just a few feet away from the majestic animals.

And Land of the Lions is more than just another enclosure: it’s a piece of conservation, with great importance attached to saving the species from extinction.  ZSL’s Asiatic Lions Campaign raised the funds to create it and continues to carry out vital work in the wild to protect this endangered species.

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Category: Holidays