From exploring London’s history to enjoying a Malian music and flamenco collaboration, there’s plenty to do in The City in May.
As spring marches on and we head into the month of May, there are plenty of things to look forward to in The City of London. Not only are there two bank holidays book ending May, but there is a wide selection of events throughout The Square Mile to look forward to. So, if you’ve got time booked in a serviced apartment in The City this month, here are some of the things to get involved in:
#LondonTrending – Guildhall Art Gallery – from May 4th
Work from some of the greatest artists ever to come out of London will be going on display at a temporary exhibition. It will look at the city as the centre of the art world and how groups have collaborated to create pieces that have gone on to define their time. Limited edition prints on loan from British Land will help to tell the stories of pockets of creativity from the Independent Group to the Young British Artists.
Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sundays from 12 noon to 4pm. Free entry
Songhai – Barbican – May 13th
Toumani Diabate, one of the best kora players in the world, has teamed up with flamenco band Ketama, for an exciting collaboration. Songhai will have elements of Malian traditions, Spanish popular song, freewheeling jazz and Cuban rumba in a performance that promises to stay long in the memory. Diabete comes from a dynasty of musicians going back for more than 70 generations and is prone to improvised sections in his playing.
Tickets start at £17.50 plus booking fee.
Museums at Night: Banknotes and Bullion – Bank of England Museum – May 19th
Twice a year, the Museums at Night initiative allows people to attend fascinating events at some of London’s most interesting cultural institutions after hours. This year, the Bank of England Museum is getting involved and staying open between 5.30pm and 9pm for special talks, object handling and the chance to learn the story of the banknote. This is a great opportunity for those who have to work during the day and only get to explore London out of office hours.
Admission and activities are free and booking is not required.
Ushers Syndrome – Moorfields Eye Hospital – May 20th
An eye hospital may not be the most obvious place to attend an exhibition, but it is highly relevant for this installation in question. Part of the Open Senses Festival, which encourages people to explore their environment in new ways, Ushers Syndrome takes a closer look at the eye and how having this condition affects patients. Marcus Innis is the artist behind it and is often described as up-and-coming, making this an event not to be missed.
Attend between 10am and 5pm and there’s no admittance charge.
London History Day – across The City – May 31st
London has a fascinating history and for the first time, there is to be a day dedicated to its heritage, allowing anyone and everyone to delve deeper into the story of this great city. At a number of venues, including the Guildhall Library, Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London Police Museum, Tower Bridge and London Metropolitan Archives, you can discover some of London’s most interesting treasures. Highlights include a hand-drawn copy of the Bayeux Tapestry and interactive model of Tower Bridge.
Open hours and entry fees vary, although many of the activities are free.