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The capital’s got a lot to live up to after 2012, but judging by our list of the year’s top events, 13 is lucky for some

Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival

At first, these elaborately dressed oldies look like they’ve stepped out of an am-dram convention for septuagenarians.

However, they’re as traditional as Dickens and cockney as rhyming slang.

The Pearlies rock their pearl button suits (dating back to 19th century), and this festival marks the Autumn harvest with music and a parade. 

Free, September (exact date TBC) 
Guildhall Yard, EC2V 5AE 
Tube | Bank  
pearlysociety.co.uk

 

The Cripple of Inishmaan

Last time Daniel Radcliffe was on stage he was exposing his very own ‘magic wand’ and touching horses nightly in Equus.

Now he’s starring in this first major revival of Martin McDonagh’s (writer-director of the recent film Seven Psychopaths) 1996 comic classic, about a crippled young man on a remote Irish island who wants a part in a Hollywood flick that is filming nearby.

£10+, Jun 8-Aug 31, 7pm 
Noel Coward Theatre, WC2N 4AU  
Tube | Leicester Square 
delfontmackintosh.co.uk

The Book of Mormon

From Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, it was clear they had a taste for musicals.

Their debut on the West End comes straight from Broadway, where the religious satire won a total of nine Tony awards.

Co-written with Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez, it has fast earned the stamp of ‘modern classic’, but tickets for the show’s London run are already selling out – a daily ticket lottery will operate, however. 

£37.50, From Feb 25, various times 
Prince Of Wales Theatre, W1D 6AS  
Tube | Charing Cross  
delfontmackintosh.co.uk

 

Gingerline

”Loose lips sink ships,” that’s the mantra of Kiwi and Aussie organisers Sus and Kelly who are behind this clandestine dining experience which incorporates theatre and art.

Pop-up surprise dining is set to get even bigger this year. The Gingerline crew’s run is on until the end of February. 

£50, Until Feb 28,
times on booking TBC  
gingerline.co.uk

 

Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum

The two cities buried by the eruption at Vesuvius in AD 79 are the focus of this 250 artefact-strong exhibition.

£15, Mar 28-Sep 29
10am-5pm (Fri until 8.30pm)  
WC1B 3DG  
Tube | Tott Crt Rd  
britishmuseum.org

 

Ride London

This inaugural mass-participation cycling festival expects 70,000 riders  as much of the Olympic road race route and tourist spots in London take centre stage.

The cyclists, both pro and amateur, are promoting travel on two wheels. 

£48, Aug 3-4, times TBC 
Across London  
Various  
ridelondon.co.uk

 

Read more: Best of London 2013 - top arts, events and entertainment highlights in the capital this year


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The best events in London 2013: From Sarah Silverman and The Book of Mormon to Lichtenstein retrospective
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