Hot on the heels of their Halloween-themed film screenings, Pop Up Screens return to the 20th Century Theatre on Westbourne Grove for a line-up of magical Christmas and winter films. They’ll be kicking things off on 12th December at 8.30pm with that absolute classic, Elf, and will be running their own version of the ’12 days of Christmas’ (but with movies instead of…things…) with screenings up until 23rd December!

On top of that, the 20th Century Theatre will be transformed into a snow-filled (you read that right!) winter wonderland, so if we don’t have a real white Christmas this year (although, when do we ever?), at least you can attend a ‘cinema in the snow’! If that’s not enough, you reach this winter wonderland through a magic wardrobe…!

Pop Up Screens Christmas Winter Wonderland

As mentioned, films will be shown daily up until 23rd December, and weekends will see three screenings a day. There’s a great variety of films with something for all ages – whether you’re taking the kids, going along with friends, or getting in the festive spirit after work. You’ll also be able to buy some special winter treats to enjoy during each screening, including boozy hot chocolate, mulled wine and plenty more, and with doors opening an hour before each film starts, there’s plenty of time to take in the ‘wintery’ surroundings, grab your snacks and drinks and make yourself comfortable.

Pop Up Screens founder David Leydon said:

“Our Christmas screenings are really special and incredibly satisfying.  It’s wonderful seeing the disbelief on people’s faces as you ask them to walk through a wardrobe to enter the cinema and then watch as a burley bloke instantly reverts to a 9 year old and starts throwing snow at his friends.  I say it a lot, but Christmas is genuinely the most special thing we do.”

The full schedule of films is as follow:

Friday 12th
8.30pm – Elf

Saturday 13th
1pm – Frozen
5pm – Bad Santa
8.30pm – Love Actually

Sunday 14th
1pm – The Muppets Christmas Carol
5pm – Home Alone
8.30pm – Home Alone 2: Lost In New York

Monday 15th
8.30pm – Gremlins

Tuesday 16th
8.30pm – Elf

Wednesday 17th
8.30pm – Scrooged

Thursday 18th
8.30pm – Home Alone

Friday 19th
8.30pm – Love Actually

Saturday 20th
1pm – Santa Claus: The Movie
5pm – National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
8.30pm – The Muppets Christmas Carol

Sunday 21st
1pm – Arthur Christmas
5pm – Trading Places
8.30pm – Miracle on 34th Street

Monday 22nd
5pm – Home Alone
8.30pm – It’s a Wonderful Life

Tuesday 23rd
5pm – Elf
8.30pm – Nightmare Before Christmas

Tickets cost £20 for adults and £10 for kids. You can buy tickets and find out more details at www.popupscreens.co.uk.

Pop Up Screens Christmas Winter Wonderland
12th – 23rd December 2014
20th Century Theatre
291 Westbourne Grove
W11 2QA

Where has the last year gone? I certainly remember last year’s Carnival as if it were yesterday…but yet it’s already Carnival time once again!

That’s right, this Sunday and Monday – 24th and 25th August – Notting Hill’s streets will be packed to the brim with the revellers, soundsystems, jerk chicken stalls, Red Stripe sellers…and the Carnival procession too! And then, of course, once each day is done and dusted, it’s time for the legendary Carnival after-parties to get going…

Notting Hill Carnival 2013
Last year’s Carnival

Time Out, as ever, has a great guide to the Carnival which you can see here – there’s the route map, Carnival tips to help those that have never been and an essential guide to Carnival after-parties…as well as warm-up parties! The print edition of the magazine also has a six-page guide, including a feature on the steel bands of the event, a look at the parade’s colourful costumes and other useful tips that will come in handy to those attending. Given that Time Out’s free, it’s well worth picking up a copy. (Try local newsagents which should still have some lying around.)

VisitLondon also has useful and fun section on the Notting Hill Carnival – including a very useful area map that not only shows the procession route, but also displays helpful Underground information. There’s also more on their Notting Hill Carnival pages, which also include information on Notting Hill and Portobello Road in general.

The Evening Standard has a great line-up of Carnival parties that are taking place over the whole Bank Holiday weekend if you really want to get into the Carnival spirit.

Rinse’s Rough But Sweet Soundsystem

Celebrating twenty years since their first transmission as a pirate radio station on this very August Bank Holiday weekend, Rinse will be hosting a Carnival soundsystem for the very first time. In partnership with London streetwear brand Boxfresh – who themselves are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year – the Rough But Sweet Soundsystem will be on the corner of Hazelwood Crescent and Bosworth Road, W10. Rinse has grown from a small set set of friends sharing tracks inspired them into a radio station that transmits innovative music; the soundsystem will be live on Rinse and is the first of a programme of birthday celebrations that will culminate in Rinse – Late at Tate Britain.

Notting Hill Carnival - Rinse

The Rough But Sweet line-up – featuring everything from grime to basement and bass to soul  – includes Katy B, Chase & Status, Tinashe, Route 94, Skream, Bicep, Becky Hill, Metalheadz, Ms Dynamite, P Money and many, many more – head down (or tune in!) to celebrate with Rinse.

For a sneak preview and to get you in the mood, check out this amazing track by Katy B, who’s released this just in time for Carnival: https://soundcloud.com/katyb/littleredlight

Top Notting Hill Carnival Tips

Don’t bother trying with any of the Underground stations actually in the area – they’ll either be closed, operating a one-way system or insanely over-crowded. Try Bayswater (Circle & District) or Holland Park which aren’t too far a walk away. Many roads (e.g. Westbourne Grove) will be closed, so it’s easy to get around. TFL have a useful page on transport to and from the Carnival.

Yes…Carnival will be crowded. Ridiculously so in some places. (e.g. The junction of Great Western Road and Westbourne Park Road is always something of a major bottleneck.) If you see a massive crush of people – no doubt trying to push past each other in all directions – consider stepping back and trying to find another route around, especially if you get a little nervous with large crowds.

THE SOUNDSYSTEMS ARE LOUD. Don’t stand too close to them, because your ears will be ringing for days on end. I SAID, YOUR EARS WILL BE…oh, forget it.

Everyone and his mate will be selling soft drinks/cans of Red Stripe/bottled water from front steps, street corners etc. They’re fine to buy from! But it’s probably an idea to bring your own water along, at least to start with.

If you want to get the vibe of the Carnival but don’t mind which day you go on, DEFINITELY go to Carnival on Sunday (officially, Children’s Day). It’s a bit less crowded, the soundsystems will still be in full swing, and you can pretty much experience everything. Plus, the kids really are very cute with their amazing costumes!

DON’T drink too much. Please. I’ve seen many a reveller passed out in some doorway by mid-afternoon (!). Yes, it’s a bank holiday. Yes, it’s fun. But then you’ll just be making some nice St John’s Ambulance people tend to a drunken fool. And doorways aren’t exactly comfy!

On a related note…you’ll need the loo at some point, yeah? There are some toilets and urinals set up on site, and you’ll also see local residents offering their own loo facilities (for a charge!). But bear in mind the whole ‘loo situation’ is a bit like a festival.

See you all at Carnival!

This summer in Notting Hill, Perform Drama School will be running a number of exciting Peter Pan workshops for kids aged 4 to 8 years old!

Perform - Peter Pan Theatre Workshops

Each workshop lasts five days, and the course will see kids embark on a magical trip to Neverland with Peter Pan, Wendy, John and Michael, helping rescue Tinkerbell from the dastardly Captain Hook.

The workshops are run by Perform Drama School’s energetic and young team of actors, musicians and dancers that inspire and encourage the young participants with funky dance steps and quick-witted improvisations. Each workshop also features colourful costumes, original songs and live music; at the end of each week, the youngsters put on a fantastic show that will delight family and friends!

Perform - Peter Pan Theatre Workshops

The workshops takes place in St Peter’s Hall, 59A Portobello Road, W11 3DB and will be running on 28th July to 1st August (2:30pm – 4:30pm daily) and 18th to 22nd August (2:30pm to 4:30pm daily). For more details on the workshops, or to book a place online, please see perform.org.uk/classes/holiday-courses/peter-pan.html.

As well as running free drama workshops at primary schools in the local area, this autumn Perform will also be running a special set of ‘Outer Space’ themed courses. More on these can be found at perform.org.uk/classes/weekly-classes/perform-48s/themes/outer-space.html.

Peter Pan Workshops with Perform Drama School
2.30pm to 4.30pm, 28th July – 1st August and 18th to 22nd August 2014
St Peter’s Hall
59A Portobello Road
W11 3DB


Children’s theatre company Theatrebugs – who’ve been running theatre workshops for kids for the past 10 years – are bringing their holiday workshops to Notting Hill for the first time this summer.

The five-day workshop in Notting Hill is suitable for all kids aged between 3 and a half to 6 years old, and will be five fun-filled days of acting, singing, dancing, dressing up – costumes are provided – and arts and crafts. And on the final day, kids will hit the stage!

Theatrebugs in Notting Hill

The workshop is named “Somebody to Hug!” and tells the tale of Larry Lobster, who’s a little down in the dumps. He likes nothing better than a hug, but his friends find him to be a little on the pinchy side! Mimi Mermaid, Peg the Penguin and Twink the Star join Larry on his voyage of discovery, but can they dodge those grumpy old pirates?! Theatrebugs hopes so!

The five-day workshop costs £128, and there’s a 10% sibling discount available. Workshops usually book out very quickly, so secure a place for the Notting Hill one (or any of Theatrebugs’ other summer workshops) online at www.theatrebugs.co.uk/londonandhomecounties.html.

Theatrebugs in Notting Hill

Theatrebugs will be held in Notting Hill at St Peter’s Hall at 59a Portobello Road daily from 4th to 8th August, 9am to 12pm.

For more information about this or any of their other workshops, please contact Theatrebugs on 0800 975 5290 or enquiries@theatrebugs.co.uk.

9am – 12pm, 4th – 8th August 2014
St Peter’s Hall
59a Portobello Road
W11 3DB