DIY Space for London
At a time when London's music venues are dropping off in droves, DIY Space for London feels like a defiant FU to the voracious gentrification that's been threatening cultural life in the capital. Run completely by volunteers (with all profits going towards building maintenance), this cooperative and social centre offers low-cost facilities for gigs, band practice, workshops, talks and all kinds of creative events. Their members’ club model - everyone has to pay a small fee of £2 to use the space - ensures that everyone gets a say, especially those whose voices aren't always heard. Look out for pay-what-can yoga, gigs from up-and-coming artists, an in-house record store and extremely friendly staff supplying the good vibes.
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This bar, restaurant and music-cum-art space next to the canal has an ethos we're right behind: an experiment in creating a community area with businesses adhering to ethical, sustainable and green business models. Think locally sourced, organic and fair trade produce sourced from organisations that don't avoid their taxes and pay the London living wage. Alongside temporary restaurant residencies and a bar, they put on plenty of community events with live music, day festivals and other stuff all in-keeping with community spirit.
Sourcing local and loved by locals, The Plumstead Pantry went from pop up to permanent local fixture. Its ethically-sourced ever-changing menu is sure to get your taste buds in a tizzy, like the beetroot and apple soup, the lemon sole with crushed new potato salad and sauce vierge, or the venison with bashed veg, pickled pear and juniper jus. It's also the perfect place for brunch, with slow cooked eggs, pantry beans, smashed avocados, sourdough bread, and all that healthy get-you-out-of-bed goodness. Yes it's a little more fancy than your everyday local - with prices to match - but it's definitely more scrumptious too.
Playing with the Wrong Toys
Childishness, gender and performance are the hot topics Hester Chillingworth has chosen to close her residency at Chisenhale Dance Space. Playing With The Wrong Toys is set to be a myth-busting non-binary bonanza. Now we won't fool you, some deep shit is on the itinerary, so you'll be expected to bring your gender-neutral thinking caps with you. The lineup includes Hester's own piece, SHORTY, which looks at the role of the non-binary child by creating a deconstructed drag-child (mind already blown). Also putting her two cents in is Eilidh Macaskill, who'll be questioning how she might be protecting children from her own queerness in Gendersaurus Rex. This is some good stuff, and there's no chance you'll walk away from it less enlightened.
Coming Clean: Life As A Naked House Cleaner
Cumming to a home near you, Ethan Mechare’s play about unconventional sexual desire has been a persistent feature in London’s queer theatre calendar. There’s a lot to love about Coming Clean: it embroils you in a world you might not have encountered before, and it feels voyeuristic because it’s normally set in a random person’s flat. If you’ve ever wondered what life as a naked house cleaner was like - and really, who hasn't - Ethan’s experiences really are the best education you’re likely to get. You know, straight from the horse’s mouth and all that. The show will be in Wood Green on 15th April, a secret location to be confirmed on 22nd April, and Bounds Green on 4th, 5th and 6th May.