Pop-up opera | Soho and more

Think opera is all about fat ladies and stuck-up audiences looking down their nose towards the stage? Think again. This highly inventive collective take opera and stages it in ways and places you’ve not seen before. Churches, barns, pubs – all have housed pop-up opera shows that involve a wealth of props and audience participation, even. It’s no gimmick though, with the quality of the ‘fat ladies’ as much a focus as the novel presentation. The spring tour features Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and Don Pasquale across London.

Apr 16, 7.30pm, and other London locations until May 20. See website for more details
67 Dean St, Soho, W1D 4QH  
Tube | Tottenham Court Road  

Cirque du Cabaret | Leicester Square

Cirque du Cabaret have had various cabaret and burlesque residencies across town but now hole up in the Leicester Square Theatre with a focus on comedy. Veteran David Armand (La Soiree) and up-and-coming talent to watch Elliott Mason feature alongside Banbury Cross, Sophia St Villier and sword swallower Jewels Good.

April 20, | 8.30pm  | WC2H 7BX  
Tube | Leicester Square  

Post-apocalyptic Book Club | King’s Cross

 This book club meets on Mondays and rather than leafing through The Kite Runner and some old Austen – as most do –they look at post-apocalyptic fiction in which it has all gone spectacularly tits up for the world. To get your week off to a literary start, get down and discuss George
R Stewart’s Earth Abides.

April 15, | 7pm | 126 York Way, N1 0AX
Tube | King’s Cross

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Spoken Nerd: Technobabble | Euston

 The Festival Of The Spoken Nerd folk – stand-up mathematician Matt Parker, science guy Steve Mould and geeky songstress Helen Arney – bring their new show to the Bloomsbury to take on computers, IT and our fumbling ways with ever-changing technology.  It’s supposed to make our lives easier, you know!

April 16-18, | 7.30pm | WC1H 0AH  
Tube | Euston Square 

Pestival | Euston

Sick of eating the same thing? Struggling to find something new to surprise your palette with? Look no further. Culinary research institute Nordic Food Lab – as part of the Wellcome’s festival of insects Pestival – lays on a feast of creepy crawlies, using scientific methods that would even make Heston gulp. Insect canapés and talks about “the diversity of deliciousness” combine in this quirky evening. For the brave only.

Apr 30 & May 1, | 7.30pm
Wellcome Collection, | NW1 2BE  
Tube | Euston Square  

The Happiest Man | Westminster

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov’s cinema installation posits you as ‘the happy man’, although it’s a tad misleading. Sitting down in an empty cinema seat or in one of the four empty chairs round a dining room table, the difference between Soviet propaganda and the real world experience is explored.

Until April 24, | 11am-7pm
University of Westminster, | NW1 5LS  
Tube | Baker Street 

Pick Me Up Festival | Temple

 This festival celebrates graphic art, design and illustration in an 11-day show. At Pick Me Up you can peruse, purchase as well as pick the minds of your favourite visual artists. Satirical stars including Modern Toss and Aardman (brains behind Wallace And Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) will be in attendance.

April 11-28, | 10am-6pm
Strand, WC2R 1LA | Temple