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Cultural things to do in London this September

Last updated on September 27th, 2023

Are you looking for a guide to what’s on in London this month? Get your September diaries out and get planning with my guide to some of the best cultural things to do in London this month including art exhibitions, theatre, events, opera and music.

Londoness Loves: Cultural things to do in London this September 2022

Free things to do in London this September

free things to do in London this September

James Bond (Daniel Craig) in NO TIME TO DIE, Credit: Nicola Dove, © 2021 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the James Bond films, Christie’s and EON Productions will hold an official two-part charity sale, Sixty Years of James Bond, in September 2022, presenting a total of 60 lots.  The pre-sale highlights exhibition will be on public view at Christie’s headquarters in London from 15 to 28 September. Admittance is free.

Staying with Bond, head over to Sotheby’s for another free exhibition. The Bond on Bond Street Sale celebrates the 60th anniversary of the first time James Bond hit the big screens in 1962 with Dr. No, bringing together books, posters, photography, wine, watches, whisky other Bondiania. The sale will star a full set of Ian Fleming first editions, the 1962 first ever James Bond film poster, photographic stills from the movie set, a limited edition signed gold-plated prop replica gun, created for The Man with the Golden Gun, as well as one of Bond’s most iconic automobiles. To 8 September.

Open House Festival is back, a two-week celebration of London’s architecture and neighbourhoods. For two weeks buildings open to the public so you can get inside and explore some of London’s most impressive buildings, as well as some of its best kept secrets. More information here.

things to do in London this September

Paul Delaroche, Edward V and the Duke of York in the Tower, 1831 © Trustees of the Wallace Collection, London

The Lost King, a new feature film from Pathé, launches nationwide in UK cinemas this autumn and tells the remarkable true story of how a woman overcame every obstacle to track down the final resting place of King Richard III. In partnership with the film, The Wallace Collection is hosting a corresponding exhibition devoted to one of British history’s most controversial sovereigns – The Lost King: Imagining Richard III. 7 September to 8 January 2023. Book here.

free things to do in London this SeptemberReflections celebrates the Platinum Jubilee and sees an impressive illuminated flotilla of over 150 boats process along the Thames from Chelsea to Tower Bridge at dusk. All the boats will be decorated with lights, creating a river of light as they go, with a light show on some of the bridges. The flotilla will include the Queen’s rowbarge Gloriana. 24 September.

things to do in London this month

Antelope maquette by Samson Kambalu (image: James O Jenkins)

Antelope by Samson Kambalu will be unveiled on the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square on 14 September.  It will be the 14th Fourth Plinth commission since the programme began in 1998 and follows on from THE END by Heather Phillipson which will be on the plinth until 15 August 2022.

In the lead up to the closure of the Museum of London this December, ahead of its move to West Smithfield, the museum will celebrate its 45 years at London Wall with a special programme of displays, events and activities – including behind the scenes access during Open House in September. Visitors will have a last chance to see some of the museum’s most iconic pieces – including Cromwell’s death mask, Selfridge’s art deco lifts, and the museum’s immersive pleasure gardens and Victorian Walk, among others. More information here.

Onda, a solo exhibition of new work by Brazilian artist Marina Perez Simão, is coming to the Pace Gallery. The artwork will take over all three gallery spaces with a suite of paintings and works on paper in her distinctive painterly style. 7 September to 1 October.

War Games will explore the relationship between video games and conflict through a series of titles which, over the last forty years, have reflected events from the First World War to the present. Showcasing immersive installations, never-before-displayed objects and perspectives from industry experts, this exhibition will ask how the reality of war is represented in the virtual world of a video game. Imperial War Museum. 30 September to 28 May 2023.

free things to do in London this September

Damien Hirst with The Currency artworks, 2021. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

An exhibition of paintings by Damien Hirst from his first NFT collection, The Currency, will open at Newport Street Gallery during which time original artworks by the artist will be burned in the gallery. Over the course of the exhibition all of the 4,851 artworks will be burned at a specified time each day during the run of the show. These timings will be publicised in advance. 23 September to 30 October.

Paul Slater, the artist and illustrator whose eccentric work has been bought by Heston Blumenthal, Damien Hirst and many others, is opening his first solo exhibit in nearly a decade. His new collection of never-seen-before works will be on display at London’s Catto Gallery this September.  8 to 26 September.

London Art and Exhibition this month

For the first time in the UK, the National Gallery presents an overview of Winslow Homer, the great American Realist painter who confronted the leading issues facing the United States, and its relationship with both Europe and the Caribbean world. With more than 50 paintings, Winslow Homer: Force of Nature is part of a programme of exhibitions that introduce major American artists to a UK and European audience. 10 September to 8 January 2023. Book here.

Discover a richer history of London life in the eighteenth century, through newly uncovered stories of African and Asian children in the care of the Foundling Hospital. Tiny Traces: African & Asian Children is on from 30 September to 19 February 2023. Book here.

See hidden treasures normally locked behind closed doors such as historic tube trains, buses, maps and signs, during London Transport Museum’s Depot open days. Visitors can hear from a range of museum historians and curators, transport experts and volunteers about what it takes to keep a collection store of this size running smoothly. 22 to 25 September. Book here.

Cultural things to do in London this SeptemberTate Modern is staging the UK’s first major survey exhibition of Maria Bartuszová. Spanning the breadth of her remarkable 30-year career, it will offer a rare chance to discover how this little-known Slovak artist revolutionised modern sculpture. 20 September to 16 April 2023. Book here.

An exhibition featuring the finest wood engravings of the past century is coming from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford to The Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner this September. Scene through Wood offers a visual feast of the finest wood engravings of the past 100 years, and celebrates the extraordinary artists, past and present, who made them. 11 September to 11 December. More information here.

new exhibitions this month in London

Electric Wizardry © Shane Turgeon The Northern Lights are reflected in the still waters of a lake in Alberta, Canada.

Awe-inspiring scenes of the Milky Way rising, galaxies colliding, stellar nurseries, the luminous Aurora Borealis dancing across the night’s sky and Saturn balanced by its moons all feature in the shortlist for this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The winners will be announced on the 15 September and the exhibition opens on the 17th. More details here.

Cultural things to do in London this September

Video still from Notes Towards a Model Opera, 2015. Courtesy the artist © William Kentridge

The Royal Academy is hosting a major exhibition on the South African artist, William Kentridge. Working closely with the artist and his studio, this ambitious and immersive exhibition has been specifically curated for the Royal Academy and will encompass the broad repertoire of Kentridge’s forty-year career. It will bring together important works spanning from the 1980s through to the present day, including charcoal drawings, animated films, a mechanical theatre, sculptures, tapestries and performance pieces. 24 September to 11 December. Book here.

London Opera and Classical Music this June

This autumn, Guildhall School of Music & Drama presents a varied programme of events, including concerts, drama productions, opera and jazz on offer for the public to enjoy. More information here.

Enjoy some baroque music in the stunning Charterhouse with music ensemble Musicke in the Ayre as they continue their recital series in the Chapel. September’s concert features music by women composers from the early Italian Baroque, interpreted by Belgian-born soprano Marie Lemaire and lutenist/luthier Din Ghani, who performs on an archlute and baroque guitar. 17 September. Book here.

The Wigmore Hall 2022/23 Season opens this month with an exciting lineup with includes Diana Damrau, Sarah Connolly, Roderick Williams, Christine Rice, Kitty Whately, Les Arts Florissants and Joshua Bell. Book here.

The Mozartists launch their 25th Anniversary Season with Mozart’s Czech Mates at Wigmore Hall on 26 September. This dynamic programme features some extraordinary and little-heard music by composers including Benda, Gluck, Vanhal, Mysliveček and Mozart. Book here.

London Theatre and Stage this month

Helen Hunt LondonHelen Hunt stars in Jonathan Spector’s comedy, Eureka, when polite debate descends into ideological warfare and as a democratic utopia tears itself apart. Playing at the Old Vic from 6 September to 31 October. Book here.

What’s on in London this SeptemberGabriel Byrne’s acclaimed solo show adapted from his best-selling memoir, is coming to the Apollo Theatre. Making his West End debut, master storyteller and Hollywood star Byrne, will perform the show for a strictly limited season of just 14 performances from 6 to 17 September. Book here.

Bringing the supernatural to Southwark this autumn, Lazarus Theatre Company are transforming Christopher Marlowe’s Elizabethan tragedy into a multi-sensory theatrical experience. Exploring the modern tragedies of technology, knowledge and wanting more than you can have, audiences will be captivated within Marlowe’s gothic world of haunting twists with state-of-the-art video design, music and movement. Doctor Faustus is on from 1 September to 1 October. Book here.

Arthur Miller’s gripping parable of power and its abuse returns in a new staging by director Lyndsey Turner at the National Gallery. 14 September to 5 November. Book here.

What’s on in London this SeptemberThe Bridge is staging a new version of Ibsen’s most contemporary play, John Gabriel Borkman, starring Simon Russell Beale, Clare Higgins and Sebastian DeSouza (The Great). 24 September to 26 November. Book here.

London Events this June

The annual Chiswick Book Festival is back in the historic grounds of Chiswick House with Dame Eileen Atkins headlining on the 8th. 7 to 14 September.  More information here.

Cinema audiences across the UK are invited to enjoy the incredible music of Mike Oldfield’s iconic Tubular Bells album, live in concert at the Royal Festival Hall alongside a stage show – all to celebrate the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking album’s release. In cinemas nationwide. You can book here with Everyman Cinemas.

things to do in London this SeptemberThe Strawberry Hill House Flower Festival returns to Twickenham for a fourth successive year on with a spectacular showcase of the very best of British-grown flowers, foam-free sustainable floristry, and the design creativity of the UK’s leading floral designers. 23 to 25 September. Book here.

Out of Towners

The Oxford Lieder Festival will celebrate its 21st birthday this autumn, coming of age in a fortnight that focuses on song as an intimate art form with its origins in friendship and conviviality. World-leading singers will appear in around 80 events both inside the traditional concert halls and into some of Oxford’s smaller venues for a more informal and intimate concert experience. 14 to 29 October. Book here.

Camp Good Life is a small, expertly crafted and curated festival on a historic site with a line-up assembled by people responsible for releasing some of the most cherished and ground-breaking music of the past thirty or so years. 16 to 18 September at the Hawarden Estate in Flintshire, North Wales. More details here.

Trailblazers: women travel writers and the exchange of knowledge, explores the fascinating stories of women who travelled the world in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Bringing together Chawton House’s collection with loans from archives and museums across the country, Trailblazers offers a unique opportunity to unravel the stories and writings of some of the most renowned women writers of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Included with general admission to the house. 12 September to 26 February 2023. Book here.

A London arts and culture blog featuring articles about art, theatre, opera, dance, music and design.

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