Cool Shit Happening in Islington this May

Why is a coworking space giving so much airtime to other local spaces that aren’t us? We stand for three things flexibility, productivity, and connection. This blog is all about local connection. We scour the internet, search beneath drains, hit up friends, and thrift through all available local resources to bring you a hit list of cool shit that’s happening in the Islington burough where we’re based. Stuff we’d actually want to share with our friends. With that in mind, this list will not highlight any venues without a minimum 4* Google review rating. And in an effort to showcase what’s unique to each month, we won’t be adding repeat events like Turn Up Thursday’s, however, we may list limited shows.

We hope that explains why we’ve humbly made this list and you find it useful. Also, just so you’re aware, we offer free day passes to our coworking space.

ART

We’re probably the furthest thing from art connoisseurs. However, if we need somewhere to impress any non-fav relative when they’re in town, this list of local art galleries should do the trick. Central London’s art museum faves like the Tate and The National Gallery are wonderful but often packed with tourists especially as the weather gets warmer. If you find yourself wishing you took more advantage of all London has to offer, these lesser known options are perfect for a genuinely lovely experience. 

 

  • Pangolin London

Nigel Hall RA (Mar 24 – Aug 19) 

Charlotte Mayer (Apr 17 – May 26)

  • Estorick Collection 

Giorgio Morandi (Jan 6 – May 28) 

  • Victoria Miro

Kudzanai-Violet Hwami: A Making of Ghosts (Apr 14 – May 13)

  • Barbican Centre 

Alice Neel: Hot Off the Griddle (Feb 16 – May 21) 

Sins of a Female Painter (Apr 19 – May 7)

  • Cubitt Artists

Department of Unruly Histories (Apr 15 – May 25) 

  • No. 20 Arts 

Spring Again, Spring Ahead (Apr 1 – May 27)

 

SHOWS

Whether you want to see your favorite Tik Tok Comedian live or watch a puppet show with your kids, there is a huge performative community in Islington. It’s pretty impressive how wide-ranging the theatre is, but more so, how you can find an act almost every single night. So if you find yourself feeling uninspired just grab a bus ride to a one of these venues and remember that earnest creativity is always at your doorstop in Islington. Dance  
  • Sadler’s Wells
Russell Maliphant Dance Company Vortex (May 3 – 5) GöteborgsOperans Danskompani Skid by Damien Jalet and SAABA by Sharon Eyal (May 11 – 13)  Northern Ballet The Great Gatsby (May 16 – 20) We Touch, We Play, We Dance (May 19 -20) Chaillot – Théâtre National de la Danse / Rachid Ouramdane Corps extrêmes (May 23 – 24) The Ruggeds State Shift (May 26 – 27) Theatre
  • Almeida Theatre 
The Secret Lives of Bees (Apr 8 – May 27)
  • Little Angel Theatre 
The Wolves in the Walls (May 12 – Jul 23)  Wow! Said the Owl (May 19 – Jul 30) 
  • The Hope Theatre
Body 115 (May 5 – 13)  The Dream Come True Revue (May 7 + 8)  Genderfluid Babe Manifesto (May 21 + 22) The Dusk Before (May 8)  Blue Beard III (May 8) Yemi & Femi Go Windrush (May 9) Alex, The Great (May 9) Bi-Topia (May 10) Cowboy (May 10)  Diptych (May 11) Gangsta Baby (May 11) Gays Having Babies (May 12) Queers by Guido Lippe (12 May) Face Down in the Dirt by Lauren Carter (13 May) Out of Control by Guido Lippe (May 13) The Birthday, Engagement, Funeral Party (May 13) I am Not Who I Say I am (May 14) Incitement to Riot (May 14) The Big O (May 16 – Jun 3) 
  • The Pleasance Theatre Broigus (May 8 – 13) 
I Think I Might Cheat On My Girlfriend (May 11 – 13) Wild, actually (May 15 – 20) PlayFight (May 29 – Jun 3) 30 and Out (May 30 – Jun 3) Make the Cut (May 31) 
  • Old Red Lion Theatre
Tomorrow May Be My Last (May 1 – 6)
  • Rosemary Branch Theatre
The Dirty Thirty (May 5 + 6, May 19 + 20)
  • Park Theatre
Snowflakes (Apr 12 – May 6) Animal (Apr 19 – May 20) Leaves of Glass (May 11 – Jun 3) The Shape of Things (May 24 – Jul 1)  Comedy
  • The Bill Murray 
Olivia Lee; Losing Her Total Fucking Shit (May 1)  Richard Herring WIP (May 1, 8, 15, 22) Olaf Falafel’s May Day Monday Mashup (May 1)  Jessie Cave WIP (May 1, 15, 22)  Horatio Gould: Sweet Prince WIP (May 2)  Nabil Abdulrashid WIP (May 2)  Rob Auton: The Rob Auton Show WIP (May 3)  Susie McCabe WIP (May 4)  Chris Kent: Back At It WIP (May 5)  Roast Battle UK – The Final (May 5)  Sikisa, Josh & Alison Funny 3Some (May 8)  Colin Hoult in Colin WIP (May 9) Patrick Spicer WIP (May 11)  Jonny Pelham: Optimism Over Despair (May 11)  COMEDY! Por Favor (May 14)  Siân Docksey: Pole Yourself Together! (May 15)  Josh Baulf WIP (May 16)  Brown Sauce (May 16)  Adam Flood: Remoulded Preview (May 17)  Heidi Regan Gives Birth Live On Stage Every Night (May 18)  Stuart Goldsmith: Spoilers WIP (May 21)  Phil Ellis: Hedgehog (May 22)  Shoot From The Hip Improv (May 28) 
  • The Camden Head Islington 
John Travulva/Jodie Mitchell WIP (May 13)  Rich Spalding: Look Who Loves Me Preview (May 13)  John Tothill: The Last Living Libertine (May 14)  Evaldas Karosas: Sigma (May 14)  Jamie Allerton Goes to the Movies WIP (May 20)  Fiona Ridgewell: No-Nonsense (May 20)  Rising Star New Act Competition Final 2023 (May 27) 
  • Union Chapel 
David O’Doherty, Desiree Burch, Daniel Foxx, John Robins (May 6) Stand Up for Nerve Tumours UK Comedy Fundraiser (May 17)  One Night with Nikki Glaser (May 19)
  • Rosemary Branch Theatre
Exquisite Pervert; Amelia Jane Hunter (May 9)  I:CON WIP (May 18)  Paranoid: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fear (May 22)  Rhinoceros’ Big Friday (May 26) 
  • Siorai Bar
Josh Jones (May 11)  Nathan D’Arcy Roberts: Present/Tense WIP (May 12) Jen Ives (May 18) Vix Leyton: Anti-Hero WIP (May 20)  Chris Hall (May 25)  David Ian: (Just a) Perfect Gay WIP (May 26)  Kate Dale: Up To Scratch WIP (May 26)  Emily McQuade: Wolf(ish) WIP (May 29) 
  • The Betsey Trotswood
Ian Smith WIP (May 8) Matt Hutchinson WIP (May 15) 
  • Old Queen’s Head 
Comedy Cup (May 18)
  • King’s Head Theatre
Lachlan Werner (May 5)   Cabaret + Drag 
  1. King’s Head Theatre
God Save the Kink (May 6) Will it Ever Actually Happen? (May 12)

MUSIC

All the possible music you could imagine playing in Islington this month. At least, as much as our Social Media Manager Sophia could make sense of.   Live Music
  • The Lexington
Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection (May 3)  BBC Music Introducing Presents The Heavy Heavy + Divorce + Eaves Wilder (May 4)  Ziyad Al-Samman + special guests (May 11) Sun June (May 12)  Kate Davis (May 15) Lael Neale (May 16)  Ciel (May 17)  Joyeria (May 18)  Legss (May 19)  Ugly (May 22)  Langkamer (May 23)  Moreish Idols (May 24)  Model/Actriz (May 25)  Drahla (May 28)  Sessa (May 30)  Lambrini Girls (May 31)   Rhiannon Giddens (May 11) Carminho (May 12) An Evening With Manchester Orchestra (May 13 + 15) Ron Sexsmith (May 16)  Philip Selway (May 18) The Milk Carton Kids (May 20) 
  • Academy O2 Islington 
Aston Merrygold (May 5) The Grogans (May 5) Dead By April (May 6) Deeper Purple (May 7)  Eisbrecher (May 9) The Raveonettes (May 10) Lo Stato Sociale (May 11) Fleetwood Bac (May 12) Threshold (May 13)  Neeve (May 13) Dayseeker (May 16) Hang Massive (May 17)  Throw The Fight (May 17) Lil Macks (May 18) SOLD OUT RØRY (May 18)  Ne Obliviscaris (May 19)  Sovereigns (May 19) Brooke Alexx (May 20)  Mesh (May 20)  Tugce Kandemir (May 21)  Maggie Lindemann (May 23) SOLD OUT Tyketto | FM | Dare (May 25) Eric Steckel (May 25) The Primitives (May 26) BLÜ EYES (May 28) 
  • Islington Assembly Hall 
Barry Can’t Swim (May 3) SOLD OUT James Vickery (May 4) Big Country ‘The Crossing’ 40th Anniversary Tour (May 5)  Mods Mayday 2023 (May 6) Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Bentley Rhythm Ace, DJ James Atkin (May 7) Jesse Cook (May 9) DRS (May 13) Walter Trout (May 21)  John Lees’ Barclay James Harvest (May 28) D4vd (May 30)   Cucamaras (May 7) Alice Longyu Gao (May 9) Pentire (May 13) Caleb Elliott (May 14) SkyeChristy (May 15)  First Time Flyers (May 16)  Cap Carter (May 17) Martin Luke Brown (May 18) Suté Iwar (May 19) Re6ce (May 20)  Peach Tinted (May 24) Sabrina Kennedy (May 25) BLÜ EYES (May 26)  Ventenner (May 27)  Grivo (May 31)  
  • The Garage
Michael Aldag (May 3)  When Chai Met Toast (May 6)  The Synaptik + Freek (May 7)  Old Dirty Brasstards (May 12)  Niteworks (May 13)  House of All (May 18) Massar Egbari (May 20)  Aurelio Voltaire (May 21)  Loop (May 25)  30 Years of the Garage: Sleeper + Special Guests (May 26)  The Devil Makes Three (May 27)  ZOPA ft. Michael Imperioli (May 28) Chuck Prophet (May 31)  Borderline Toxic (May 13) The Molotovs (May 19) Arrows of Time (May 20)  Alice in Chains UK (May 26) Jungle Jim’s with DJ Jimmy The Brute (May 28) 
  • The Finsbury
Montrell (May 4) SWS Presents: The Empty Page + guests (May 5)  The Rabbitts + Cristii (May 7)  Alex Tracey (May 13)  Spilt Milk Society (May 18)  Oli Barton & The Movement w/ The Midnight Vortex (May 19)  Oliver Pinder (May 20)  Esme White (May 21)  
  • Park Theatre

Coffee, Croissant and a Concert (May 28) 

Desert Storm (May 20)  The Academy Is… (May 26)  
  • The Betsey Trotswood
Hannah White (May 5)  Jim Maving (May 12) 
  • The Night Owl
Novelty Island (May 5)  Palooka 5 + Lee Grimshaw DJ (May 6) Soul Strutters (May 12)  Lickin Stick (May 20)  ESE & The Voodoo People (May 27) 
  • Boston Music Room
Danama (May 5) Dark Fortress (May 7) Invisions (May 12) Distant (May 20) M(h)aol (May 25) Bølzer (May 27) 
  • Aces & Eights
Lena Jonsson Trio (May 4)  Steve Gifford (May 5) Henry Parker + Woody Green (May 11) Daisy Chute (May 17)    Club Nights 
  • The Old Queen’s Head
The History of Drake: Live on Brass (May 6) Bank Holiday Sunday Turn Up Special (May 7) 
  • Electrowerkz 
HOCICO with special guests Fïx8:Sëd8 (May 6)  Slimelight May (May 6 – 7) 
  1. The Jago Dalston

Faker Villain and Easy Stride Band (May 20) 

Wah Wah Live (May 26) fassade with tom vernon (shall not fade) (May 27) 

Dowdelin + Sanoy (DJ) (May 27) 
  • Dalston Roof Park
Mas Que Nada Rooftop Party – Kyle Starkey/Cooked (May 7) Redfreya & Friends (May 20) 
  • Bloomsbury Lanes
The King’s Coronation Party (May 6) 
  • The Grace
Decadence (May 13)  Stray Kids Club (May 20) 
  • The Night Owl 
Joey Hill (May 6)  Sue Grant (May 13 + 27)

FOOD

Food we like this month, but actually every month. We’re breaking our own terms by including this list of restaurants but we still want to highlight great food in Islington. These three places will be elite options based on our personal taste, but please tell us what are yours so we can highlight them as well. 

 

The Leconfield

Finding a great pub roast is tough these days. It feels like every Roast that’s on some best of list is overbooked every Sunday. I’m a bit reluctant to share then my recent fave, but it wouldn’t be fair to keep this intel inside. The Leconfield is hidden away under Clissold Park and as its closest public transport is the Canonbury Overground stop, it’s not the quickest to get to but that adds to its charm. It’s nothing overdressed or fancy, but with big tables to gather around with friends its the perfect place to enjoy food that tastes like it took real effort to make. Often I find the problem with a bad Sunday Roast is that the key ingredients sometimes taste like they were cooked all together and individual cooking times or preparation styles are ignored. Here the Yorkshire pudding could be its own dish as its that good. And the vegetables don’t taste like an afterthought but bring the fresh brightness you crave next to a dense meat based dish. Overall, when I’m craving a hearty roast I know that I won’t be disappointed by The Leconfield. 

 

Pizza Papagone 

Whether you’re a classic Margherita fan or prefer something a little more adventurous like the Diavola with spicy salami, Pizzeria Pappagone has got you covered. Truly what makes us keep coming back is the cozy atmosphere and friendly. But if you’re not in the mood to dine in, just like you’d imagine, Pizzeria Pappagone also offers delivery and takeaway options. One thing to note, is it can get quite busy, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation or plan to arrive early. All in all, if you’re looking for some top-notch pizza in North London, Pizzeria Pappagone is definitely worth a visit. Personally, I consider it the Godfather of North London Pizza. Just don’t blame me if you get hooked and find yourself coming back for more!

 

The Junction Market

With massive plates of pad thai or a deep bowls of tonkatsu ramen, you’ll definitely be satiated at The Junction Market. Small tables are crammed together in this market that should feel cramped but instead has the ambience of a cool Boxpark with food options from all over the world. I think what makes this food extra enjoyable to eat is that the staff clearly love sharing their culture in food. I’ll never forget when I asked, after recieving my food, how to say thank you in Thai, I was given a small piece of paper with “Kap khun ka” written out so I could try and pronounce it correctly. Having a simple human interaction like this can sometimes feel like a rarity in London where eye contact in most public situations is discouraged, but it’s the kind of atmosphere established by those that make the Junction Market feel not just cool but homey.

CULTURE

Weird and wonderful events that speak to us. These events could exist in multiple of our genres or maybe none, yet we knew we wanted to include them anyway. Here are a few uniquely fun things we think you should check out this month.   
  • The Old Queen’s Head
Neon Naked Life Drawing (May 1) May the 4th Pub Quiz (May 4) 
  • The Dome
Super Strong Style Wrestling (May 27) 
  • London Canal Museum 
Tunnel Boat Trips (Apr 9 – Jul 31) 
  • Fight Club 
Islington Eurovision Brunch Social (May 13) 
  • Q-shoreditch 
Beyonce & Friends Bottomless Brunch (May 13) 
  • 69 Colebrooke Row
Italian Apertivo Masterclass (May 14) 
  • Picturehouse Finsbury 
Eurovision Party (May 13) Exhibition on Screen: Tokyo Stories (May 23)  If we missed anything worth mentioning, email sophia@work-play.co.uk and tell her about it. Let’s make this list as full and interesting as Islington is. 

Art Shows Music Food Culture Why is a coworking space giving so much airtime to other local spaces that aren’t us? We stand for three things flexibility, productivity, and connec

Art Shows Music Food Culture Why is a coworking space giving so much airtime to other local spaces that aren’t us? We stand for three things flexibility, productivity, and connec

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