Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

Yasmin Alibhai Brown

Yasmin Alibhai Brown - Credit: Archant

The start of the UK Jewish Film Festival, a talk on Disraeli by Conservative politician and former home secretary Douglas Hurd and the Hampstead Arts Festival are just some of the things featured in our top five this week.

1. Hampstead Arts Festival

A stellar line-up of musicians and speakers will fill the streets of Hampstead over the next three weeks as the annual Hampstead Arts Festival gets underway.

Head to Burgh House in New End Square, Hampstead, to hear journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown speak about immigration and multiculturalism in the UK.

Interviewed by Piers Plowright, the Uganda-born writer describes herself as “a leftie liberal, anti-racist, feminist, Muslim, park-Pakistani and very responsible person”.

She was more recently described by Telegraph columnist James Delingpole as “the most annoying woman on the planet”.

The founder of Hampstead Theatre will also present a celebration of the work of Dylan Thomas, with readings by actress Sian Phillips and Piers Plowright.

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Also held at Burgh House.

And Peter Stanford, author and former editor of The Catholic Herald, considers Pope Francis and his impact on the Catholic Church. At Burgh House.

Talks and music performances will continue until November 22.

Visit for a full programme and to book tickets.

2. Thursday - Film Festival

The UK Jewish Film Festival returns for its 18th year, showcasing diverse stories of Jewish and Israeli culture and life. For three weeks, the festival will screen a wide range of feature films, documentaries and shorts from more than 20 countries. Taking place in 12 cinemas across London, venues in Hampstead and Highgate include the JW3 in Finchley Road, the London Jewish Cultural Centre in North End Road, Golders Green, and the Odeon in Swiss Cottage. Runs until November 23. For a full programme of screenings, visit

3. Tuesday - Disraeli Talk

Join Conservative politician and novelist, Douglas Hurd, to explore the paradoxes at the centre of Benjamin Disraeli’s “two lives”: a dandy and gambler on the one hand, a devoted servant and favourite prime minister of the Queen on the other. Mr Hurd served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major as foreign secretary, home secretary, minister for Europe and secretary of state for Northern Ireland.

Held at the London Jewish Cultural Centre in North End Road, Golders Green. Starts 8pm. Tickets £12.

Book at or call 020 8457 5000

4. Sunday - Kindertransport Concert

The Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) puts on a one-off concert telling the story of the Kindertransport - a highly organised rescue mission that saw some 10,000 children find refuge in Britain from Nazi oppression. The Last Train to Tomorrow will feature a song cycle composed and conducted by acclaimed artist Carl Davis and performed by the Finchley Children’s Music Group. The concert will also feature The Marriage of Figaro Overture by Mozart and Mendelssohn’s Violin concerto performed by the City of London Sinfonia. Introduced by Natasha Kaplinsky, newsreader and member of David Cameron’s Holocaust Commission, Local government minister Eric Pickles will also be present along with the ambassadors of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Starts 3pm. Tickets £10 to £50. Visit to book.

5. Wednesday - Comic Exhibition

The opening night of a new comic-inspired exhibition takes place at Cecil Sharp House in Regent’s Park Road, Primrose Hill. Isabel Greenberg’s graphic novella, complete with dioramas and drawings, is her interpretation of the “cruel and fantastic” folk song Two Sisters - a murder ballad recounting the tale of a girl drowned by her sister. Ms Greenberg is a London-based comic artist, illustrator and writer and is a winner of the Observer/Jonathan Cape Graphic short prize. Open 6.30pm to 9pm. Free (no booking required).