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Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Friday, 28 January 2011
What's on and things to do in and around London

Our pick of the best events, family activities and fun days out in the capital and beyond over the days ahead.

Kids and families

Chalk Farm's Roundhouse has been busy of late recording emerging talent in its in-house studios and inviting young teens to take part in various creative projects.

One of the fruits of this is new music festival Roundhouse Rising (21 to 26 February), featuring performances and collaborations along with industry seminars and showcases for bright young stars within the Roundhouse family.

Jon McClure of Reverend and The Makers
Jon McClure of Reverend and The Makers lends his skills at Rising

Underpinning all this activity is a series of creative workshops and masterclasses for 11 - 25 year-olds to try their hand at fanzine making and video production or learn skills such as remixing, sound engineering and photography.

These classes are a vital key to the future shape of the festival, says programme co-ordinator Oli Kluczewski who has managed to peg prices to between £2 and £10, and get the likes of Billy Bragg, Emily Eavis and Jon McClure of Reverend and The Makers on board.

Also noteworthy is the all day closing event for over-15s, where attendees take The Clash's London Calling template to create an album in a day under the auspices of Manics producer Jagz Kooner.

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• Fancy a round of games in the park now the weather's becoming a tad milder? SPID theatre company's latest promenade show, Childsplay, to 13 February, is just that: a recreation of half a century's worth of outdoor games boosted by audience members joining in to create a soundtrack of music and effects to match the action.

This is a world before Gameboys and the like: attendees can demonstrate a favourite skipping pattern or singing game followed by marbles, 'French and English', bowling hoops and more. The show, for ages 10 upwards, plays twice a day at weekends only in Normand Park, north Fulham; book through Riverside Studios via the highlighted link above.

• Now that London's temporary ice rinks have shut up shop for the festive season, enthusiasts in need of a skating fix should head north to Alexandra Palace, where new ice beckons at this long popular rink following a £2.3m refurbishment.

Appearances by Dancing On Ice's Suzi and Andre Lipanov and the rink's own skating team, the Palace Foundations, marked the official relaunch; follow in their ice steps at the two sessions each day, complete with Happy Hour's reduced ticket price or try the evening Chill Out on Sunday for families.

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What links footballer Rio Ferdinand and fashion designer John Galliano? It's Peckham and specifically, new gallery-cum-venue Peckham Space in south east London.

Artist Jessica Voorsanger as Peckham 'hero' John Galliano
Artist Jessica Voorsanger as Peckham 'hero' John Galliano

The gallery's hallmark is an often irreverent approach to making and exhibiting art, exemplified in its latest show Peckham Heroes, to 26 March, which uses karaoke and dress-up to celebrate ten personalities with a connection to the area.

Visitors can try on bespoke costumes and wigs and perform songs on a specially constructed stage; less active souls can have a cup of tea and view the accompanying artwork.

Artist Jessica Voorsanger, an American living in London with a particular interest in pop and celebrity culture, has worked with local schoolchildren to select the 'heroes', who also include Jo Brand, Chris Eubank and Thomas Tilling, inventor of the bus stop.

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• British sculpture took on a new significance in the 20th century with the emergence of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, both of whom feature in the Royal Academy of Arts' first exhibition in 30 years to examine a subject lovingly described in our interview with curator Keith Wilson as 'pure, physical theatre'.

Modern British Sculpture, to 7 April, brings together over 120 works by luminaries such as Moore's protege Sir Anthony Caro, Jacob Epstein and Eric Gill, with a younger wave represented by Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Richard Long and Julian Opie. A must-see, if only to ponder Opie's view that 'a sense of irony and politeness' are the show's chief characteristics.

• There's more sculpture on view in the semi-mystical large scale installations that make up Bangalore based artist Sheela Gowda's first solo show in the UK at Rivington Place.

Therein & Besides, to 12 March, sees the former painter continue her use of everyday materials, from the thousands of wooden chips and ice cream-coloured frames and doors of her latest work to the mesh frames and burnt incense arrangements of Collateral, her 2007 ash sculpture which resembles an aerial view of a landscape blighted by oil spills and war.

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Turner prize winning artist Simon Starling turns curator for Camden Arts Centre's new show which imagines a series of collisions between the past and the future.

In Never The Same River (Possible Futures, Probable Pasts), to 21 February, he 'reinstalls' fragments of previous exhibitions at the Centre, including Hampstead in the 30s from 1975, using works by Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and Marcel Breuer among others.

Detail of Francis Bacon's Figure Study II, 1945-46 (c) Kirklees Collection
This Francis Bacon figure study was first shown at the Centre in 1970

These are set alongside somewhat rawer forms of art - Mike Nelson's room-high sculpture made from street detritus and Oliver Godow's eerily empty photography - to create an unlikely coming together and a possible programme for the future.

Starling, a researcher and traveller interested in the making and dismantling of objects, has a long standing, quirky link with the Centre: he completed a residency there in 1999, returning to show new work a year later, which the building's architects - engaged at that stage in a refurbishment - mistakenly included in their architectural plans.

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• An art student at the height of the 1941 Blitz, Rose Ellenby sketched her Hackney air raid shelter companions to keep boredom at bay. She later turned these drawings into a prize-winning oil painting, London Sleeps, which she never sold.

Following her death in 2007, the Museum of London acquired the painting and her shelter sketches and has put them on display for the first time, to 13 March, in a tribute to a remarkable talent - Rose went on to pursue a successful career in illustration - and to the tenacity of Londoners during the second world war.

• Public art doesn't get more high profile than Anish Kapoor's Turning the World Upside Down, a new set of outdoor sculptures in Kensington Gardens.

The exhibition, to 13 March, features an array of large scale curved mirror surfaces, visible from afar and arranged to reflect and distort their immediate surroundings - a playful effect only slightly marred by the presence of security guards warning people not to touch or get too close.

See also:

In need of more inspiration?

West End launches cheap ticket deal
04 Jan 11 |  Arts & Culture
RA puts spotlight on British sculpture
19 Jan 11 |  Arts & Culture
In Pictures: Modern British Sculpture exhibition
19 Jan 11 |  Entertainment & Arts
New Anish Kapoor sculptures
28 Sep 10 |  Arts & Culture
In pictures: Britain retold
10 Dec 10 |  Arts & Culture


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