Book ahead for these summer events, from the new Shrek’s Adventure attraction to Santana on stage.
From 1 July: Shrek's Adventure at County Hall
The new attraction Shrek's Adventures at County Hall on the South Bank invites visitors to take a journey to the magical kingdom of Far Far Away, joining Shrek and other characters in a whole new story. Board the 4D DreamWorks Tours bus – a specially converted London Routemaster – and get ready for a thrilling ride to 10 fairytale themed live action shows featuring sets and scenes (including Shrek’s swamp) from the four Shrek movies. The aim of the game is to track down our hero and then use the magic portal to get back to London. Will you be able to find your way back?
3-10 July: London Art Week
For one week only, the cream of London’s galleries in Mayfair and St. James’s unite to showcase an impressive array of paintings, drawings, sculpture and works of art from antiquity up to the 20th century. London Art Week comprises 40 leading galleries and three auction houses with the best of the capital’s art. Visitors can join the experts, curators and dealers from around the world who are coming to see the very best that London’s art scene has to offer.
18-19 July: Bette Midler at The O2 Arena
With a string of hits to her name and a back catalogue that most performers can only dream of, it’s been too long since Grammy Award-winning singer Bette Midler performed in the UK – a jaw-dropping 35 years, in fact. The two dates that she is playing at The O2 will feature some of her biggest hits, as well as songs from her new album, It’s the Girls! – a glorious tribute to girl groups through the ages.
From 23 July: Ben Whishaw in Bakkhai
Ben Whishaw is no stranger to tragedy on stage – he first made his name as the lead in Trevor Nunn’s 2004 production of Hamlet at the age of 23. More than a decade later, the actor is at the Almeida Theatre, taking on Bakkhai (from 23 Jul), a play that has exerted a major influence over almost every piece of tragic drama since it was first performed in Ancient Greece in 405 BC. Whishaw, a famous face following major film roles such as Q in Skyfall, plays the god Dionysos opposite Bertie Carvel’s King Pentheus of Thebes. The fierce battle between the two characters is watched over by a chorus of nine women in a new version of Euripides’ tragedy by the Canadian poet Anne Carson.
25 July: Eid Festival at Trafalgar Square
Celebrate the end of Ramadan at the Muslim festival of Eid between midday and 6pm in Trafalgar Square. At this free event organised by the Mayor of London and a number of Muslim groups from the capital , there will be live performances and children’s activities, including face painting and sports. Grab a bite to eat from one of the many food stalls selling dishes from Egypt to Malaysia. People of all faiths are invited to this fun, family-friendly party.
25 July: Santana at The O2 Arena
Real rock stars never fade – they keep on rocking around the world with increasing energy. At The O2 Arena, the ten-time Grammy-winning rock icon, guitarist Carlos Santana and his band Santana brings The Corazon Tour to London in a one-off performance to celebrate the new full-Latin album.
26 July: Liberty Festival
One of the major successes of London 2012 was the increasing success and interest in the Paralympics. The Liberty Festival at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is part of that ongoing legacy and is a free, outdoor event, supported by the Mayor of London, which showcases deaf and disabled artists with an exciting line-up including live music, street theatre, dance and fun activities for kids. The festival forms part of National Paralympic Day, where you can try out a range of free community sports, courtesy of the British Paralympic Association and the London Legacy Development Corporation.