Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

Tete a Tete opera festival in King's Cross

Tete a Tete opera festival in King's Cross - Credit: Archant

Our top five this week includes the world’s largest festival of “new opera”, pre-Edinburgh Fringe comedy and an outdoor cinema.

1. Saturday - Outdoor Cinema

Alexandra Palace’s “Luna” outdoor cinema returns for the summer for two nights of film showings under the stars. On Saturday, it will screen this year’s Oscar-wining smash hit Birdman. On Sunday, it will screen 1980s classic The Goonies. Both showings start at 8.30pm (doors open 7pm). Tickets £16.50 (concs. available). Visit to book.

2. Thursday (until August 9) - Opera Festival

The world’s largest festival of new opera returns to King’s Cross. Running until August 9, Tête à Tête will see more than 100 performances of over 40 new works in a range of venues around the King’s Cross area. There are at least three short performances each evening. For a full programme of events and to book tickets, visit

3. Thursday - Pre-Edinburgh Fringe Comedy

Two comedians showcase their material ahead of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Matt Forde, as seen on Rory Bremner’s Coalition Report, Have I Got News For You, and Question Time, takes the political class to task with “spot-on impressions with up-to-the-minute observations”. Also performing is Mark Smith who, when not gigging, performs warm-up gigs for shows such as Have I Got News For You (BBC1) and Room 101 (BBC1) as well as writing for TV on 8 Out Of 10 Cats (Channel 4) and radio on The News Quiz (Radio 4). The pair will be performing at The Forge in Delancey Street, Camden Town. The first show will be starting at 7.30pm. Tickets £6. Visit or call 020 7383 7808 to book.

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4. Thursday - Book Reading

Author Simon Wroe will be reading from his debut novel, Chop Chop. Set in a Camden pub, it is the story of “a hapless young chef in the crazed world of the professional kitchen, featuring lust, revenge, neurosis and haute cuisine”. Described as “perfectly baked [with] a rich, gooey pool of dark comedy hiding beneath the surface,” by the Independent, and “lively, amusing and alarmingly informative,” by the Daily Mail. Mr Wroe will be reading from the novel at the Swiss Cottage Library. Starts 7pm. This is a free event. Email for more information.

5. Thursday - Pianist Angela Hewitt

Renowned pianist Angela Hewitt heads to Burgh House today (Thursday) for the latest in the museum’s Lifelines series of talks. Ms Hewitt, who has received particular praise for her performances and recordings of Bach, will be chatting about her life and career with broadcaster Piers Plowright (there will be no musical performance). Born in Ottawa, Canada, she began piano studies at the age of three with her mother and her first full-length recital was at the age of nine, in The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. She has performed around the world in recital and as soloist with orchestras. She is most well known for her cycle of Bach recordings which she began in 1994 and finished in 2005. Her discography also includes works by Couperin, Rameau, Messiaen, Chabrier, Ravel, Schumann, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy and Fauré. The event is held at Burgh House in New End Square, Hampstead. Starts at 7pm. Tickets £12 (£10 for Friends of Burgh House). A supper including wine is available after the conversation for £20.