10 brilliant things to do in September

Your essential guide to the month ahead

1. Watch Borg vs McEnroe at the cinema


Released on September 22, Borg vs McEnroe dramatises one of the fiercest sporting rivalries of all time. Shia LeBoeuf stars as the umpire-abusing McEnroe with Sverrir Gudnason playing his Swedish counterpart. Meanwhile, the programme for the London Film Festival, which runs in October, has been announced – check out our list of recommended films and book ahead.

2. Binge on the new series of Narcos

The third season of Narcos, the phenomenally popular drama about the life and crimes of Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar, is released on Netflix on September 1.

3. Watch some puppet theatre

For an unusual theatrical experience head down to the Puppet Theatre Barge moored near Richmond. From September 2-30, The River Girl explores Wendy Cope’s fairy-tale style story of Isis and her love for a mortal poet, delving into love, loss and gender politics. Suitable for ages 12 plus. For our guide to plays to book ahead for, go here.

4. Experience the brilliance of Sir Simon Rattle

The Barbican is hosting a series of concerts, This is Rattle, to celebrate Sir Simon Rattle’s appointment as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra. There’s a British emphasis on the programme with works by Elgar and Helen Grime and an evening of music curated by Sir Harrison Birtwistle. The festival runs from September 14-24.

5. Eat, drink and be merry in Aldeburgh

The well-established Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival (September 23-24), which first got cooking back in 2006, is dedicated to extolling the virtues of fresh, local produce. This year’s line-up of star chefs includes Galton Blackiston, José Pizarro and Martha Collison.

8. See some spectacular art

An exhibition of works by British artist William Turnbull (see above), dating from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, is being staged at London’s Offer Waterman Gallery from September 29. Sculpture, painting and works on paper all feature in this wide ranging show. Elsewhere, try Portraying a Nation, featuring art by German artists Otto Dix and August Sander, at Tate Liverpool, and True to Life, a survey of British realist painting from the 1920s and 1930s, at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. For our selection of exhibitions to plan ahead for, go here.

7. Join the crowds at the Tour of Britain

Britain’s biggest professional cycling race, the Tour of Britain, prepares to do the rounds once again – this year the race gets under starters order in Edinburgh, with the finish line in Cardiff. The event runs from September 3 -10.

8. Catch the new Mel Brooks musical

After the success of The Producers, Mel Brooks has given another of his comedy masterpieces, Young Frankenstein, a theatrical makeover, with a cast including television stars Ross Noble and ­Lesley Joseph. At the Garrick Theatre from September 28.

9. Go behind the scenes with Open House London

On the weekend of September 16-17 some of the London’s most magnificent buildings and green spaces welcome the public for Open House London. More than 800 buildings are taking part, with entry to all of them absolutely free. Highlights include Sir John Soane’s Museum, the UK Supreme Court (pictured above) and the Royal Albert Hall. If you can’t wait, here’s our list of the capital’s hidden gems that are open all year round.

10. Get prepared for the Booker Prize

Get ahead of the game, and make yourself seem incredibly literary to your friends, my reading some of the runners and riders for this year’s Man Booker Prize. The long list for the prestigious award has already been announced – with early favourites including Sebastian Barry’s Days Without End and Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. The shortlist is released on September 13 and the winner will be revealed on October 17. (Last year’s winner Paul Beatty pictured above, image courtesy of Getty).


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