With Christmas creeping up on us, London's arts and theatre scene begins to slide into festive mayhem. Don't worry; your Londonist Fairy Godmother enters in a cloud of glitter stage right, to sort the handsome princes from the ugly sisters.
If you can't stand panto, take the little ones to see The Gruffalo at the Duchess Theatre instead. It opens today. If you can't beg, borrow or steal a kid, head to the very adult, very black comedy, August: Osage County which also opens today at the National. Our friends loved it on Broadway; it has five Tony Awards and a Pulitzer to its name.
From tomorrow, you can check out the Young Vic's Christmas offering: Amazonia. Brazilian and British theatre artists bring a unique and, we're told, "sensory" festive show.
Tired of theatre? Film fans are in with a treat this week, as not one but three film festivals come to our fair city. There's the German Film Festival from Friday, the London African Film Festival from Saturday, and the tail-end of the Children's Film Festival until Sunday.
Artswise, check out Future Map 08 at David Roberts Art Foundation Fitzrovia on Friday. Future Map showcases 12 of the best new talents from University of the Arts London, and is sure to be funky.
Also on Friday, badge fans should pop into Museum of London from 3pm, to have a look at a range of badges relating to London's history. The badges on show include political, cultural, radical and comical ones. Take your own along too, to take part in the Wearing your heart on your sleeve event. Badges: not just for Boosh fans.
If you were in any doubt about the unstoppable slide towards sleigh bells, Cinderella opens at the Lyric on Friday; Mother Goose is at the Hackney Empire from Saturday, and Hansel and Gretel opens at the Barbican on Monday. We'll bring you a more comprehensive Panto round-up once December's properly started.
Last Chance to See
Only one show to rush for this week: Footsbarn's Midsummer Night's Dream in that tent in Victoria Park closes on Sunday. Great reviews, but we're glad they're done. We can't be writing about outdoor theatre and dreaming of midsummer while there's dames, glass slippers and mulled wine in the air.