Breakin’ Convention

What makes a person ‘hip hop’? That is just one of the questions posed by this dance and performance spectacle, which hits the London stage for its ninth year. Featuring the acrobatic moves made famous by the Street Dance film franchise and dance groups like Diversity (Britain’s Got Talent 2009 winners), with performers from the UK and around the world, it lives up to its name by challenging our expectations about the male- dominated world of hip hop (12-strong female group Boadicea) and our preconceptions about disability. 

May 5-7 Sadler’s Well | £15+
Roseberry Avenue, EC1R 4TN
Tube | Angel 

Burlesque Games 

The world’s finest burlesque performers showcase their sexy skills in this week-long event. Expect flesh to be shown, tastefully, of course, and eyebrows to be raised at some of the most surprising, beguiling and willfully provocative performances that push
the boundaries of strip- tease art.

May 7-13 | Various | £15+

Eco Chic

It’s good for the environment and on your doorstep, so you’ve got precious little excuse for not supporting it. Selling foods, crafts, art and design, all sourced locally and made with its eco-morals proudly emblazoned on its sleeve, this family-friendly market shows you how it could, and should, be done. 

Spitalfields City Farm | Sunday, 10am-6pm | Free
Buxton Street, E1 5AR 
Tube | Liverpool Street

The Other Cinema: La Haine

Matthew Kassovitz’s searing examination of urban youth La Haine -– which made Vincent Cassell a Hollywood A-lister – is the focus for this touring cinema project, which features a live score by Asian Dub Foundation. It hits Tottenham and Limehouse, before heading off to Paris. 

May 2-4 | £18.90
490 Commercial Road, E1 0HX
Tube | Limehouse

Pearly King and Queen Crowning

The Pearly Kings and Queens is an East End tradition of charitable work. The families’ founder, Henry Croft, was an orphaned streetkid who raised money for other poorly souls in London, and who sewed pearls to his clothes to make him stand out as he did so. His lineage is celebrated this year, with the crowning of a next generation of Pearly Kings and Queens in an East End pub. Cor blimey, guv, it’s a right old Cockney knees-up!

The Carpenter Arms | May 6, 2pm-7pm | Free
135 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 5RN
Tube |
 Bethnal Green

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It’s been the coldest, rainiest April in ages, so cast your mind forwards to the sun-soaked summer (maybe, hopefully…) with this photography exhibition – food, music, theatre, sport, and royals, even – celebrating festivals, festivities and all-round fun-lovin’ merriment from all corners of the world.  

National Theatre | Daily/ Until June 4 | Free
Southbank, SE1 9PX 
Tube | Waterloo

Swamp Juice

A shadow-puppet musical (think opera- singing mice) with more than 60 characters, and a 3D finale, Jeff Achtem’s show (which sold out at Edinburgh) is one of a kind. So if you want to learn about life in a swamp, told from the point of view of its inhabitants, by a gonzo performer, this is definitely your bag.  

Soho Theatre | Daily, 7pm/ Until May 5 | £10+
Tube | Oxford Circus