Chinese New Year

Pic: Oliver Spalt

Pic: Oliver Spalt

The first ever Chinese New Year parade in Croydon take place on this weekend with a full programme of events for February 6 & 7 available here.

There will be a parade with lion dancing and performances in Croydon town centre on Sunday February 7. Organisers will install south London artist Hale Man's work, Phoenix Rising. The parade will also feature a wide variety of Chinese music, dance and theatre groups. This event will be the first of its kind, including exhibitions, workshops and performances.

  • LGBT History Month

February is LGBT History Month. This year’s events are themed around religion, belief and philosophy. Croydon Council will host numerous activities and events. The full programme can be downloaded from their website.

This week’s highlights include:

-Civic Launch

LGBT History Month will be launched in Croydon on February 5 between 5-7pm at Braithwaite Hall, Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street. You can expect live music, performances and refreshments. Make sure to book your place in advance by emailing Carol.Sawyer[at]croydon.gov.uk

-Big Night Out

Following the launch, Matthews Yard will host live music and performances from 7.30pm till late. Hot food and ‘pink beer’ from local brewery Cronx will be on sale throughout the evening.

  • Boutique screenings of French films

Learn to love Mondays this February, as the Spread Eagle pub in Katharine Street is putting on free screenings of the best French cinema. Each event will start at 8pm. Seats are limited, so booking a place via phone in advance is recommended.

The films on show are:

Monday 1st February
-Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amélie)

Monday 8th February
-Les Choristes (The Chorus)

Monday 15th February

Monday 22nd February
-Jeux d'Enfants (Love Me If You Dare)

Monday 29th February
-La Môme (La Vie en Rose)

Call the Spread Eagle to reserve your ticket on 020 8781 1134

  • Carnival Dreams – The Musical in Croydon

World Premiere of the musical Carnival Dreams will be showcased at Ashcroft Theatre in Croydon from February 3 to 6. The play, starring Cheryl Fergison from EastEnders, is set in Argentina with a story about a small community dance group preparing for the annual Samba competition. There are performances starting at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. You can book your tickets here.

1967 And All That

LGBT History Month. Pic: Nicolas Chinardet - zefrographica

LGBT History Month. Pic: Nicolas Chinardet - zefrographica

The Sexual Offences Act of 1967, which decriminalised homosexuality in the UK, is the central topic of an exhibition at Lewisham Library throughout February. Part of LGBT History Month, it uses documents from LSE’s Hall-Carpenter Archives and the Lesbian and Gay News Media Archive.

  • Business club: computing and entrepreneurship

Goldsmiths, University of London is hosting the next in a series of regular drop-in workshops on February 2, from 5 to 7pm. This month, the focus is on social media and the ways businesses can understand customer behaviour through the internet.

Any aspiring digital entrepreneur is encouraged to come to this free event.

  • Bellingham Community Gospel Choir

Bellingham Community Gospel Choir is open to anyone interested in jazz, pop, gospel and world music. Open rehearsals take place every Tuesday from February 2 to March 29. This is the perfect time for beginners to try out this community experience, as the choir will be learning new songs. Pop along and enjoy the liberating power of music at Christ Church United Reformed Church, Bellingham Green.

  • Sarah Gillespie Concert

Jazz, folk and blues can be expected on The Albany Centre and Theatre’s stage on Douglas Way from 7.30pm this Saturday. Singer songwriter Sarah Gillespie will debut songs from her latest project. Renowned country blues songstress Siobhan Parr and a full band will support the Anglo-American artist. The new album has not been released yet, so this is a great opportunity for real early birds.

Tickets are available from £10. Visit the theatre’s website for booking and more details.

Joha – The Journey

Joha - The journey. Pic: Arts CanteenJoha - The journey. Pic: Arts Canteen

A sense of loss, a lack of belonging and the physical and psychological issues caused by conflict are some of the themes that Mohammed Joha’s exhibition explores. The Journey includes Joha’s experience growing up in Palestine and how this inspires his work. The Gaza-born artist depicts several aspects of childhood, innocence and freedom by mixing collage, painting and photography.

This free exhibition is on display at the Mezzanine Gallery, RichMix arts centre, Bethnal Green Road between February 3 and 26.

  • Feast Your Eyes

Local art group Art4U2 are showing their food-based work at Brady Arts and Community Centre, Hanbury Street throughout February. The exhibition is divided into five sections: food illustrations inspired by holidays abroad, pattern and design based on shapes and textures of food, multimedia still life studies of food and drink, paints depicting afternoon tea and cake, and artworks focusing on the structure of sectioned fruit and vegetables.

Art4U2 will also be giving classes in drawing and painting: Mondays 6.30pm to 9pm and Thursdays 1.30pm to 4pm at the Create Place in Bethnal Green.

Classes are also on at Hoxton Hall on Wednesdays between 1pm and 3pm and 6pm to 8pm. Anyone interested is also welcome to attend a free taster session by either emailing in advance or just popping along to watch the classes in action. ginnyhawke5[at]hotmail.co.uk

  • The London Remixed Festival

As a hub of innovation, Shoreditch is the best place for celebrating fresh talent and newly emerging musical genres in a buzzing atmosphere. Cutting-edge performances from 25 bands and DJs can be expected across four stages at the two-day-long festival on February 5 and 6. The artists come from a wide range of genres: from Latin grooves to Balkan beats and tropical bass…plus many more!

Book your tickets here to give a musical boost to your weekend.

  • The Life and Times of the Music Hall and Marie Lloyd

Tower Hamlets Local History Library is bringing the variety of Victorian music halls back to life. An illustrated talk by Danny Wells will recreate the old form of entertainment with characters such as Champagne Charlie, Little Titch, the ‘Coster’ comedian Gus Ellen, George Robey the ‘Prime Minister of Mirth’ and Vesta Tilley. It ends with the much-loved Marie Lloyd, queen of both the music hall and the double entendre. The talk is free with no booking required.

  • A New Home

The psychological challenges of migration are under the spotlight at this mixed media exhibition, which is accompanied by workshops and events. There is an open evening on February 4 with talk, games sessions, a dance performance and world food bites. Works from members of the East London Printmakers print studio and guest artists will be showcased. For more details visit the event’s official site.

A New Home will be showing at The Art Pavilion, Clinton Road, Mile End between February 1 and 23.

RBS 6 Nations screenings

BOXPARK, Shoreditch. Pic: La Citta Vita on Flickr

BOXPARK, Shoreditch. Pic: La Citta Vita on Flickr

Whichever team you support, you’re welcome at the 2016 RBS 6 Nations screenings at the Shoreditch Boxpark. Every game of the tournament will be screened live, with special food and drink offers from restaurants at the Boxpark. The tournament takes place from February 6 until March 19.

  • National Storytelling Week

Between February 1 and 7, Hackney Council hosts a series of events for children as part of National Storytelling Week. Most of Hackney’s libraries will become venues for diverse events with music, refreshments and games involving rhymes, toys and musical instruments.

For the full list of participating libraries, check the council’s website.

  • Lost in Music

A photographic history of club culture, this exhibition is for anyone obsessed with music, bringing them moments captured by people who managed not to drop their cameras while playing it or dancing to it.

Lost in Music can be visited at the printspace gallery, Kingsland Road between February 5 and 17.

Contact rsvpcomputing[at]doc.gold.ac.uk to register interest and get details of the venue. Further details can be found on the Goldsmiths website​ .

  • At The Swim

This month is another great time for art-lovers in Hackney. The Central Library’s community gallery in Reading Lane is hosting an exhibition of acrylic paintings, called At The Swim. Gillian Lawrence’s artworks, that depict everyday interactions of mainly old women, are on display until February 29.

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