December Experiences

Header image by Ksenia Burnasheva.

It’s been a tough year. We’ve seen bright spots amidst the ups and downs, but 2017 is welcome either way. We’re ready for change! December is always a time for reflection and resolve—we resolve to end this year right: learning, discovering, creating, and growing. Will you join us? Check out these unique December experiences, move outside your comfort zone, and end 2016 on a high note.

1. WITCiH
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Hang out in Barge House and be inspired by creative women in tech. Trust us, you’ve never seen an event like this before. Watch artist Leslie Deere combine performing arts dance and sonic arts training in Modern Conjuring for Amateurs, hear Kimatica’s Maria Almera chat about digital performance and rituals, and groove to Bishi’s live loops. Arrive on time for standard tickets or a hair early for dinner and wine!

2. Nordic Yulefest
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We have three words for you: Alcoholic Indoor Snowstorm. This month-long spectacular will pop up in Shoreditch across two candlelit spaces. Up for games, snack platters, and disco? Dance around the Disco Room and play Woodland Wheel of Fortune to your heart’s delight. Prefer a sit-down dinner? Stuff your face at the Feasting Hall’s five-course banquet (entertainment provided mid-meal, of course). In Shoreditch, it’s a White Christmas, guaranteed.

3. Lady Chastity's Reserve
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Visit Lady Chastity’s rare lair (“the Crystal Maze on crystal meth”) for an hour of comedy, clues, and totally immersive gameplay. Choose from several locations and group sizes and fight for the fabled aphrodisiac wine (if you can find it!).

4. Pitch Black
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90-minute tasting session of 5 drinks—bubbly, cocktails, and aromatic wines. Draw your focus to taste entirely and reset your expectations. How will it taste, without presentation? This popup only lasts through December, so book now to lock down a truly multisensory one-time experience!

5. Echo Maker
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An experience devised by Cranes & Communities, a collaboration between artist Sean Harris, Somerset Art Works and The Great Crane Project. This project’s inspiration grows from conservation efforts in English crane populations—between 2010 and 2015, the GCP reared 93 common cranes and released them throughout the Somerset Levels and Moors of Southwest England, doubling the UK crane population. Through moving image, light, and sound projected onto an outdoor landscape, Echo Maker exhibits a narrative of time, evolution, and perseverance. See the project in two different locations and enjoy fireworks, a roast, drink, crafts, and more.

6. Jay Gatsby's Immersive Theatre Event
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You read The Great Gatsby in high school, you saw Leo’s film—but have you ever attended Gatsby’s epic parties? Visit Theatre Delicatessen for an hours-long evening of dancing, bootleg liquor, and infamous attendants. Turn the clocks back a century and dive headfirst into the mysterious, infamous world of West Egg. Attire required (dancing shoes, too).

7. ``Yule Be Sorry``—A Christmas Cabaret
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Christmas: family, friends, food. Also mulled wine, experimental theatre, holiday parody musicals, and drag queens. Join performance art legend David Hoyle for a high-comedy Christmas cabaret featuring Bourgeois & Maurice (award-winning neo-cabaret) and Jonny Woo (comedian, queen, and co-owner of The Glory). The Christmas spirit comes in many colours, and tonight, you’ll see every single one.

8. Tudor Feast in a Tudor House
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Celebrate year three of Christmas with Moro-trained chef Ellen Parr and set designer Alice Hodge for a massive feast, just in time for the holidays. The Sutton House, built in 1535, is hidden away in Hackney, now restored with original décor including an Edwardian chapel and Grand Chamber.  Explore the property (where Henry VIII is rumoured to have frequented) in a festive treasure hunt and enjoy a five-course feast, Tudor-style.

9. Screening: Joan of Arc with New Musical Score
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Film will never be the same. Hunker down in east London’s SPACE Studios and follow the story of French heroine (and alleged heretic) Joan of Arc—a silent film shot in the 1920s—survived heavy censorship and two fires and was thought lost until an original, uncensored copy was found in a Norwegian psychiatric institution. The film will be accompanied by original music composed by Daniel Woolhouse.

10. Foraging with the Wild Brunch Club
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Return to the time of hunter-gatherers and enjoy a foraged brunch in North London! Spend a couple hours in the woods (guided by Kew Gardens’ Jason Irving) and enjoy a delectable meal with Mac & Wild and a gin masterclass by The Botanist Gin. Go back to basics and back to nature — it doesn’t get more organic than this!

11. Dans Le Noir
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Lose one sense, enhance the others. Dine from a surprise menu and brush up your social skills in complete darkness. Notice how differently you experience a meal (and company) without any preconceptions of how the evening will go. Just watch your step!

12. Magazine Sessions 2016: Anthea Hamilton
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Pay Serpentine Galleries a visit for a taste of The Magazine restaurant and Fiorucci Art Trust’s collaboration, The Magazine Sessions. Arrive early for food and drinks followed by an immersive site-specific performance by Anthea Hamilton, one of four British artists shortlisted for the 2016 Turner Prize (you remember the 16ft-high golden backside exhibited earlier this year, right? Of course you do). There’s no question, this will be a performance to remember: no buts about it.

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