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    What's on in London this August 2017 near Canary Wharf

    London in the summer means longer evenings and lots of reasons to be outside. For August we've got outdoor music, film and theatre to enjoy.


    This month, the Barbican is showing films where no cinema has gone before. It is hosting the first-ever outdoor, on-site cinema surrounded by the Barbican's dramatic architecture, complementing the major exhibition Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction.

    Barbican Outdoor Cinema is screening classic science fiction movies including Stanley Kubrick's defining masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968); a landmark film in the history of computer animation, Tron (1982); and Alfonso Cuarón's visually spectacular space-set thriller, Gravity (2013).

    The Barbican Outdoor Cinema is on Friday 25 to Sunday 27 August in the Sculpture Court.


    Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories is a free exhibition about the exceptional writing power of one of Britain's best-loved storymakers. Opening at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green on 22 July, the exhibition looks at Morpurgo's life and writing process as well as the lives he has created for some of his remarkable characters. Joey, the original life-size West End horse puppet from the National Theatre's award-winning stage adaptation of War Horse, is on display.

    The exhibition includes draft manuscripts, photographs, notebooks and correspondence, plus artworks loaned by some of Britain's greatest illustrators, including Sir Quentin Blake, Patrick Benson and Michael Foreman.


    From 4 to 13 August, the IAAF World Championships are on at the London Stadium on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. These London Championships are the 16th in the event's 34-year history with the first IAAF World Championships being hosted in Helsinki in 1983.

    Since the incredible summer of London 2012, the iconic Stadium in Stratford, east London, has undergone a remarkable transformation. There's now a brand new flexible seating system bringing sports fans closer to the action, more spectator facilities and a new roof covering every seat.

    On Sunday 6 August there's the Marathon which starts by the Tower of London and involves four laps of a 10km central London route. Runners head west past London Bridge and along the Victoria Embankment to reach the Houses of Parliament, before returning past St Paul's Cathedral and through the City of London.

    All in all, this should be the global sporting event of the year.


    A wonderful way to explore the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is by boat as the Park has waterways running throughout. Olympic Park boat tours are available until 31 October 2017.

    The boats leave from the pontoon adjacent to the London Aquatics Centre and you do not have to book in advance. The 45 minute tours have a tour guide to point out the sights and share interesting facts about the Park and its future.

    There are also swan pedalos available every weekend until 1 October 2017 and every day throughout the summer holidays.

    Do note boat tours and swan pedalos are suspended on match days. Check What's On on the official website.


    Canary Wharf is a fantastic area for outdoor entertainment. This month there are a series of summer concerts on Tuesday evenings in Canada Square Park.

    As the Royal Air Force (RAF) prepares to commemorate its centenary next year, Heroes of the Skies is on 1 August. Hosted and narrated by Colin McGregor, brother of actor Ewan and a former RAF Tornado fighter pilot with over 20 years' experience, the stage is also filled with 21 musicians from across the armed forces. The event combines classic music, narration and on-screen archive to create a superb entertainment experience recounting the key moments in the Royal Air Force's history.

    On 8 August it is A Summer Evening with The London Philharmonic Orchestra. This free concert includes Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. Instantly recognisable, Vivaldi's music showcases the talents of the lead violinist as it travels through the changing seasons. Also on the bill is music by J S Bach, making this evening a sophisticated summer treat for everyone to enjoy.

    The following week on 15 August it is a Funk and Soul Night. Performed by the Fantasy Funk Band and guests, expect an evening of non-stop hits.   

    And on 22 August it is Viva Cuba – a musical showcase brought to life with an incredible display of Cuban passion and humour that embodies the Latin spirit. Performers include 10 dancers and a live band comprising the hottest Cuban musicians based in the UK.


    Monday nights in Canary Wharf this month are for free outdoor theatre shows in Canada Square Park.

    On Monday 7 August it starts with The Comedy of Errors. In the bard's shortest, funniest and most rumbustious comedy two sets of identical twins, separated at birth, unknowingly end up in the same city. This year Illyria's Shakespeare production is re-located to the town of Ephesus, Mexico, and is performed by a 5-piece Mariachi band, resplendent in ponchos and sombreros.

    The Taming of the Shrew is on 14 August. A controversial, passionate and tender story of sexual politics, the play focuses on the electric battle between Petruchio and Kate, two of Shakespeare's most unforgettable characters. Enjoy this humorous and playful production of the unlikely love story as two people come to know each other and understand what magic is needed to create the "perfect" marriage.

    And on 21 August it is Jane Austen's comedy of manners Emma. Emma Woodhouse decides to find protégé Harriet Smith a husband and sets about playing Cupid with the village men. When her carefully laid plans unravel and lead to consequences she never expected, Emma learns life doesn't always go the way you plan.


    Yet another reason to enjoy Canada Square Park this month is the Canary Wharf Jazz Festival on 19 and 20 August. The weekend offers more free entertainment with live jazz on Saturday from 2pm to 10pm, and on Sunday from 2.15pm to 9pm.

    Headliners Riot Jazz Brass Band and Melt Yourself Down are joined during the weekend by plenty more great musicians including world class violinist Omar Puente who takes to the stage along with the amazing Mammal Hands with their hypnotic fusion of jazz, folk and electronica.


    Marking 28 years since they last played together, at Wembley Arena in 1989, the BROS twin brothers Matt and Luke Goss are at The O2 on 19 and 20 August 2017. Best known for their hit When Will I Be Famous?, BROS ruled the pop world from 1987-1992.

    Since then both Matt and Luke have achieved tremendous success in their respective music and film careers. Matt began his solo career in 1995 and since then has sold over 5 million albums, and played a Las Vegas residency at Caesar's Palace. Luke has a successful acting career in both film and TV.

    The shows include a Party DJ Set from Pat Sharp.

    If you are planning your trip in June, please check Fraser Place Canary Wharf offers! We are in the heart of Canary Wharf, minutes away from great bars, restaurants and shopping malls.  

    Laura Porter writes and contributes to many other publications while maintaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on Twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.


    Required image credits: Michael Morpurgo (Joey from exhibition) 2016, Credit: Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books |  Summer concerts, Outdoor theatre, Jazz Festival: ©