Kensal Rise by D I C K S D A I L Y
Green shoots in the economy, rising optimism among businesses, the Mayor predicting the worst might be over.... should we all start breaking open the piggy bank and squeezing that overdraft to the pips in celebration of a return to the good old days of Bacchanalia? Just in case these tales of recovery are a little premature, here's the pick of events that'll keep those pennies well and truly pinched over the coming week.
Friday: This week, The Scoop at More London (the sunken amphitheatre outside City Hall) began its usual Summer season of al fresco arts events. In a slightly re-jigged format they've introduced a Fringe theatre element: tonight it's The Sanford Collective performing Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros. 7pm, free.
Alternatively (or, indeed, if the heavens open), it's Friday Late at Tate Britain where, as part of the Story of London, the gallery is celebrating the capital's artistic history with a series of events. Begins at 6pm, tickets are free but on a first come, first served basis.
Saturday: At the Dissenter's Chapel in Kensal Rise cemetery, Robert Stephenson will be giving an illustrated talk on "how the mighty and the humble have suffered bizarre, embarrassing and amusing deaths in the hands of fickle fate". 2.30pm, £3. Map.
Sunday: FACT magazine are throwing the "mother of all free parties" down at the Lock Tavern in Camden, with support by "UK house heroine" Cooly G, Ben UFO, Franz Ferdinand remixer Sbtrkt and Italian-born Chesca. From 3-11pm, free.
Monday: The Roxy continue their Oscar-nominated season with the flick that should've won the Best Actor oscar, were the Academy not too busy apologising for Prop 8: Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler. As Randy "The Ram" Robinson, Mickey Rourke found a role to mirror his own fall from grace and improbable climb back up the greasy pole: his engaging performance keeps the film just the right size of mawkishness. 8pm, £3.
Tuesday: Another Story of London event tonight. Sarah Wise will be delving into the sordid history of the Old Nichol Slum in Shoreditch, and busting a few myths about its despicable reputation. Best eat lunch beforehand. 12.30pm, at Shoe Lane Library (map)
Wednesday: Housmans, London's premier radical bookseller, takes a more esoteric bent tonight as they welcome Leo Rutherford to talk about his book, Shamanic Maps of How the Universe Works. Having studied the 'Medicine Wheel' for most of his life, Rutherford will impart wisdom on how we in our atomised societies can "realign with the life force" that many of us have lost. If that doesn't get your goat, the man does boast a phenomenal beard, which is worth the trip by itself. 7pm, free.
Thursday: The Photographer's Gallery holds their regular Book Club discussion tonight. The tome in question this time round is In Cold Blood, Truman Capote's six-year opus of investigative journalism about a quadruple murder that effectively invented the 'true crime' genre. The session is at 6.30, and is free, though you should probably read the book beforehand.