Given London’s embrace of all things Mexican, it’s little surprise that Day of the Dead, the annual holiday at which people from Tijuana to Yucatan remember and honour their late loved ones, has once again inspired a number of events across the capital. Here are the ones we know about so far: let us know of any others.
Mexican Cinema Club
White Rabbit Studios in Shoreditch will screen two bona fide Mexican film classics over the next week. First up, on 25 October, is Luis Bunuel’s The Exterminating Angel (1962), in which a group of upper class guests at a dinner party find themselves physically unable to leave the premises; think Lord of the Flies as performed by the Bullingdon Club. Next week, Roberto Rodriguez’s El Mariachi (1995) is screened. Naturally, the venue will be festooned with all manner of Mexican masks and skulls, and fuelled by gallons of tequila. More details on El Jimador’s Facebook page.
The Old Vic Tunnels
The warren of tunnels and passages beneath Waterloo station plays host to a Day of the Dead Festival. The festival, sponsored by Wahaca and running from 31 Oct till 2 Nov, features a performance each night by Rodrigo y Gabriela alongside art, photography, food, drink, film screenings (including Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1989 Santa Sangre 1989) and more. Tickets are a rather steep £41 plus booking fee.
The Mexican staff at Charing Cross restaurant Lupita have already put their lantern and skull-filled alter up in the window, and on 1 and 2 November they’ll be serving up a special Day of the Dead dish alongside the regular menu. Lupita is also about to make its way east, with a restaurant at 60-62 Commercial Street opening on 1 November
Formerly known as Latin Corner, the newly-rebranded Camden bar throws a Day of the Dead bash on 28 October. They’re doing things the traditional way, inviting guests to bring an ofrenda (typically a flower, candle or picture) to leave as a gift for the dearly departed in the next life. Mexican nibbles, music and other “cultural surprises” are on offer. Further details are on Aracataca’s Facebook page, although the link to the event is currently broken.
Ziegfried von Underbelly
The Hoxton Square cocktail bar hosts its own Day of the Dead party, and encourages patrons to dress up as ghouls or skeletons and shake their cadavers to the sound of Mexican electro pop in the form of Poppy Perezz. There will also be stilt walkers, shrines and, inevitably, tequila. Tickets are £5 in advance, £7-£10 on the door.
Buffalo Bar, Islington
The Guided Missile Day of the Dead party brings in face painting, Mexican bunting, piñatas and more, alongside live music from various acts, including Mr. Solo, and the decidedly un-Mexican sounding David Devant and his Spirit Wife. Tickets are £6.
The Make Escape
Want to have a slightly more productive Day of the Dead? The Make Escape can help. They’re running a craft night on 30 October where you’ll be able to knit masks and skulls, among other things. The event takes place in the Hackney Attic, on the fifth floor of Hackney Picturehouse.
What have we missed? Let us know in the comments.