Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

Ruby Wax will be performing at the JW3. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Ruby Wax will be performing at the JW3. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

The Primrose Hill Christmas Festival, the first ever UK Jewish Comedy Festival and a talk with playwright Mike Bartlett are just some of the things featured in our top five this week.

1. Saturday - UK Jewish Festival

The first UK Jewish Comedy Festival comes to Finchley Road, promising to be a week full of “hilarious, insightful and entertaining shows, films, conversations and wildcard events, all celebrating the art of Jewish, Jew-ish and not-at-all Jewish comedy”.

Held at the JW3 centre, it will be launched by stand-up comedian Gareth Berliner, the resident host of JW3’s monthly comedy night Hava Nagiggle, in the Hava Nagiggle All-Stars show on Saturday at 8pm (tickets £10).

Running until December 7, other festival highlights include David Baddiel’s lauded performance of Fame – Not The Musical, The Jewish Comedian of The Year competition, an evening celebrating Woody Allen’s birthday and a live read-through of When Harry Met Sally with a cast of JW3’s favourite comedians and actors.

On Monday, Ruby Wax also returns after her sell-out tour at the JW3 last autumn to perform Sane New World – a show intending to provide a manual on “how to survive the 21st century” and helping us understand “why we sabotage our own sanity”.

Visit for a full programme of events and to book tickets.

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2. Sunday - Christmas Festival

Primrose Hill’s Christmas Festival returns for another year, offering live music, fairground rides and festive face painting. Local shops will be lining the high street with stalls selling arts, crafts, food and drink.

There will also be the Primrose Hill Bake Off, with awards for best tasting, best decorated and most innovative cakes and cupcakes. The live music stage this year features Collette Cooper and her band, Camden Sisters, Bossa Brothers, Big Sing London Choir and more.

Primrose Hill Community Library will also be holding its own craft fair with tea and cake stall. Runs 10am to 5pm. Visit for more information.

3. Friday - Charles III

Playwright Mike Bartlett comes to Hampstead to discuss his vision of a post-Elizabeth II monarchy with theatre critic and journalist Mark Shenton.

Bartlett, fresh from his controversial West End hit King Charles III, will offer a “penetrating look at the people beneath their crowns and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family”.

He will also be discussing his new hardback of the same name. Held at Waterstones in Hampstead High Street. Starts 7pm. Tickets £5 (£3 concs.), available from the shop. Wine provided.

4. Saturday - Chamber Festival

Highgate International Chamber Music Festival, now in its third year, will be running until December 7. It features six concerts performed by outstanding chamber musicians from around the world. The theme for the 2014 festival is Dawn and Dusk, an exploration of the very first and final chamber music compositions written by several of the greatest composers. Performances are held at St Anne’s Church, in Highgate West Hill, and Lauderdale House, in Waterlow Park. For a full programme of events, visit

5. Sunday - Sunday Papers Live

A new way to make sense of the Sunday papers, Cecil Sharp House in Regent’s Park Road, Primrose Hill, hosts a day of talks, walks, performances and food that aim to bring the broadsheets to life. With the hall transformed to resemble an oversized living room, a star-studded line-up of top political, business, culture and sport experts will be taking you through all the news and features. Includes Channel 4’s Lindsey Hilsum and the BBC’s foreign news producer James Longman talking about ISIS and the conflict in Syria, and the leader of the Green Party Natalie Bennett talking about gardening. The event runs from noon to 11pm, visitors are invited to bring their slippers, come and go as they please or join in the organised walks in the open spaces of Primrose Hill. Tickets £30. Visit to book.