What's On in Beijing: August 2018

By That's Beijing, August 1, 2018

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Aug 7-11: Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella'

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Image via Bourne T/A New Adventures and KSP Images

Check out Matthew Bourne’s gorgeous retelling of the classic fairytale Cinderella. Bourne’s version is set in London during World War II, his prince taking the form of an RAF pilot. It’s genius – a fantastical story set against a somber background – and will be supported by an elaborate production: period costumes, surround sound and a specially commissioned recording played by a 60-piece orchestra. 

Tue Aug 7-Sat Aug 11, 7.30pm, Sat Aug 11-Sun Aug 12, 2.30pm; RMB99-880; Tianqiao Performing Arts Centre, see event listing. Buy tickets here

Aug 9: Marian Hill

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Image via Marian Hill/Facebook

Philadelphia songwriting duo Marian Hill create intelligent pop with elements of jazz and R&B, and they’ve been featured in both the New York Times and an iPhone commercial. Their intriguing track ‘Unusual’ peaked at 13 in the US alternative chart. 

Thu Aug 9, 8.30pm; RMB280 (presale), RMB330 (door); Tango, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Aug 9: World Baijiu Day

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Image via David Boté Estrada/Flickr

The foulest-smelling holiday is upon us: World Baijiu Day. The day aims to celebrate the world’s most consumed spirit, and perhaps get some of us doubters to like it, by partnering with bars around the world to throw events around the theme of baijiu education. 

Thu Aug 9; various locations (see www.worldbaijiuday.com for more info), see event listing.

Aug 9-15: 'The Tempest'

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Image via pixelsniper/Flickr

Following adaptations of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet and King Lear, NCPA next takes on the The Tempest. A dark tale that is ultimately hopeful, with themes of forgiveness and charity, The Tempest was the last play the Bard penned by himself. Tim Supple directs while lauded performing artist Pu Cunxin plays the role of Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan. 

Thu Aug 9-Wed Aug 15, 7.30pm; RMB180-680; NCPA, see event listing.

Aug 10-12: 'Dark Circus'

With the tagline ‘come for the show, stay for the woe,’ you know this French production is going to be something memorable (and morbid). The drama presents a ‘dark circus’ where accidents occur over and over – a lion eats his animal trainer and a trapezist falls to the ground, for example – but despite all the catastrophes, the tone remains light. 

Fri Aug 10-Sun Aug 12, 7pm, Sat Aug 11-Sun Aug 12, 2pm; RMB180-300; NCPA, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Aug 12: Akira Yamaoka

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Image via Akira Yamaoka/Facebook

Japanese guitarist and composer Akira Yamaoka became famous for writing and performing the soundtrack for Silent Hill. His amorphous style bridges genres as diverse as baroque and heavy metal. 

Sun Aug 12, 8.30pm; RMB380-880; Tango, see event listing.

Aug 12: Imperialism, Opium and Nationalism: A Walk and Discussion at the Old Summer Palace

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Image via sporst/Flickr

Explore the Old Summer Palace with Beijing historian Jeremiah Jenne. The monthly tour takes visitors through the ruins of Yuanmingyuan, one of the extravagant imperial gardens destroyed in 1860 during the Second Opium War. Learn about the history behind the Opium Wars and how the imperialist era affects modern day China. 

Sun Aug 12, 10am-1pm; RMB300 (RMB260 for members); Old Summer Palace, see event listing.

Aug 12: Mike Shinoda

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Image via Mike Shinoda/Facebook

Songwriter and rapper Mike Shinoda is most famous for co-founding the global megahit band Linkin Park. The band was in headlines for tragic reasons last year when frontman Chester Bennington, an idol to his fans the world over, tragically took his life. Mike Shinoda raps frankly about this on his recently-released album Post-Traumatic, which he will perform at this show in Beijing. 

Sun Aug 12, 7.30pm; RMB480-1,280; Beijing Exhibition Center, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Aug 12: Waste-Free Wall Hike: Clean Up the Jiankou Great Wall

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Image via Ronald Woan/Flickr

Join Beijing Hikers, Gung Ho and Patagonia, for their second Great Wall cleanup hike of the year. This time: Jiankou Great Wall. Located in the north of Beijing, the Jiankou section of the wall is popular for its views and ridgelines. Yet, a build-up of rubbish has sadly accumulated. Now is your chance to help clean the wall. The hike involves trekking up the wall and picking up any rubbish encountered. Afterwards, hikers can chill out at the Gung Ho Hut while chowing down on delicious Gung Ho pizza and beer. The event aims to not only clean up the Wall, but also raise awareness with other hikers. Note: The level of difficulty is ‘3+’ meaning that it is a tougher, moderate-level hike. 

Sun Aug 12, 8am departure; RMB290; departure from Lido Hotel Starbucks (for more info and to sign up, visit www.beijinghikers.com), see event listing.

Aug 15: Wolf Alice

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Image via Wolf Alice/Facebook

Grunge folk rockers Wolf Alice are taking their most recent release, Visions of a Life, on their first China tour this month, landing in Beijing and Shanghai. Catch their dreamy performance at Tango later this month.

Wed Aug 15, 8.30pm; RMB350 (advance), RMB400 (door); Tango, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Aug 18: Yummy Flying Therapeutics

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Image via Pexels

Join Justine Shanti for a restorative flying yoga session. The class differs from your average yoga class as it involves the support of a partner. Together, students will use gravity and suspension to achieve the ‘yummy flying yoga’ experience. The session, which also includes partner stretching and massage, will be taught in both English and Chinese. 

Sat Aug 18, 1-4pm; RMB350 (RMB300 advance); Yoga Yard, see event listing.

Aug 18 & 19: Black Art Jazz Collective

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Image via Black Art Jazz Collective/Facebook

A five-piece of lauded jazz musicians, Black Art Jazz Collective was founded to promote African-American culture through music. Songs of theirs have been dedicated to W.E.B. Dubois and Barack Obama. 

Sat Aug 18, 7.30pm and Sun Aug 19, 12.30pm; RMB200-400; Blue Note Beijing, see event listing.

Aug 24-30: 'Kinky Boots' Musical

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Image via Kinky Boots

The Tony-award-winning musical Kinky Boots will take you on a ride – from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in England to the fashion capital of Milan. There’ll be over-the-top costumes, fabulous performances and plenty of heart. This is the “hottest musical on Broadway,” (New York Times) after all. Extravagance aside, the musical is ultimately about friendship and determination.  

Fri Aug 24-Thu Aug 30, times vary; RMB100-1,080; Tianqiao Performing Arts Centre, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Aug 25: Beijing Vertical Run 2018

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Image via China World Summit Wing

Step up your running routine, literally, with China World Summit Wing Beijing’s Vertical Run 2018. Compete the full challenge (82 floors) individually as part of a team of 4. Or, if you’re not sure you can handle the full length (fair), try the ‘fun climb’ instead, which covers 19 floors, from 64/F to the rooftop. Sign up quick, before it sells out – the view will be worth the pain. 

Sat Aug 25; RMB120-720; China World Summit Wing, see event listing.

Aug 25: Michael Burritt & Polychronies

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Image via Michael Burritt

Leading percussion soloist Michael Burritt joins Eastman Percussion Group and the Polychronies to present a multilayered performance in a oneoff show this month. The Eastman Percussion Group has won multiple percussion awards and performed at the Paris Conservatory, while the Polychronies is a French ensemble founded in 1998. 

Sat Aug 25, 7.30pm; RMB180-480; Concert Hall of NCPA, see event listing.

Aug 25: 'Midnight in Peking' Walking Tour

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Image via Bespoke Travel Company (Beijing)

In his 2012 Midnight in Peking, author Paul French enthralled readers with his take on the true story of a young woman’s murder from almost a century ago. Whether you’ve read the book or not, you can now relive the unsolved mystery in its original setting in an author-approved walking tour by Bespoke Beiijng. This tour features brand new historical research.

Sat Aug 25, 6.30-9.30pm (tours take place the last Saturday of every month); RMB388/person (to purchase tickets email info@bespoketravelcompany.com), see event listing.

Aug 26: Bastille

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Image via Bravo Live

British indie-pop band Bastille made waves around the world with their 2013 hit “Pompeii,” which hit No. 2 and No. 5 on the UK and US charts, respectively. The band has opened for Muse, performed as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live and headlined festivals in the UK. In May, Bastille debuted “Quarter Past Midnight,” the first single off their forthcoming studio album slated for release later this year. Expect to hear more material from the upcoming disc at their Beijing show at Tango. 

Sun Aug 26, 8pm; RMB480-1,080, Tango, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

Aug 31: Mouse on the Keys

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Image via Mouse on the Keys/Facebook

With two keyboards and a drum set, Japanese instrumental band Mouse on the Keys fall somewhere between jazz, postrock and techno. Catch their show at Yugong Yishan at the end of the month.

Fri Aug 31, 9pm; RMB150 (advance), RMB180 (door); Yugong Yishan, see event listing.

Through August

Jing-Jing Beer Garden Pop-Up

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Image via Mina Yan

Featuring beers and draft cocktails from Jing-A alongside high-brow street food from the culinary minds behind Jing Yaa Tang, the Jing-Jing Beer Garden has opened in the heart of Taikoo Li North. Located in the ‘sunken garden’ beside The Opposite House, this summertime pop-up is promising to bring refreshing outdoor vibes to afterwork drinkers. Beers and cocktails run from RMB35 to RMB55 per glass, while nibbles range from RMB18 to 48. Running until at least mid-August, come to cool down, and enjoy drinking and eating amongst the bamboo backdrop. Happy hour is from 5 to 7pm every Tuesday to Friday (save RMB10 on your drink). 

Tue-Sun, 5-11PM (kitchen opens at 6PM); The Opposite House, see event listing.

Brunch at The Kunlun Beijing

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Image via The Kunlun Beijing

The Kunlun’s Heavenly Jin restaurant has debuted a new Sunday brunch, featuring Western, Chinese and Japanese cuisines by expert chefs in each variety. The set menu of sharing plates is best paired with their free-flow prosecco package (which you can and should upgrade to Charles Heidseick Champagne). 

Sundays, 11.30am-2.30pm; Heavenly Jin, see event listing.

Beer Garden at Cravings

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Image via Noelle Mateer/That's Beijing

Cravings, the fun, delicious new project by Nathan Zhang of White Tiger Village, has debuted a beer garden at its Chaoyang Park location. Stop by for craft beer on tap, as well as imported Italian varieties you won’t find too often. (Oh, and there’s a great affordable wine list, too, if that’s more your thing.) 

Daily, 6-11pm; Cravings, see event listing.

'Hello, My Name is Paul Smith' Exhibition

201808/Screen-Shot-2018-08-01-at-12_00_43-PM.pngImage via Today Art Museum

British fashion designer Paul Smith is actually titled ‘Sir Paul Smith,’ thank you very much. Find out more about the legendary designer at ‘Hello, My Name is Paul Smith.’ The touring exhibition showcases the designer’s journey, from his humble start to his international success, and combines business with fashion to show how the two can coexist. Expect bright, fun and beautiful displays. 

Through Sun Oct 7; RMB80; 10am-6pm; Today Art Museum, see event listing. Buy tickets here.

'Sea Over Sea' Exhibition


Image via Mocube


Image via Mocube

Zhang Xiaodi’s solo exhibition presents the artist’s most recent photographic works. Zhang’s uses textures akin to a painting’s brushstrokes – in doing so, the artist aims to upend the existing rules of photography. As the exhibition name suggests, the Beijing-based photographer tends to gravitate towards nature. His recent works explore the relationship between water and the city, geography and culture, depicting urban areas through the lens of meteorological phenomenon. Altogether, the works are atmospheric and arresting, a reminder of the scope and beauty of the universe. 

Through Mon Sep 17, Tue-Sun, 10am-6pm; Mocube, see event listing.

Halo Hummus at Arcade

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Image via Arcade by Hatchery

Get your chickpea on this summer at Arcade by Hatchery, who are incubating Beijing’s beloved homemade hummus brand, Halo Hummus. Try it in their Sunday Tel Aviv brunch – or just order it on Sherpa’s. 

Arcade by Hatchery


Have an event to list? Head here to list your upcoming event. We’ll choose the best new additions to feature on next week’s edition of ‘What's On in Beijing.' Not sure where to start? Here's a full guide on how to list your upcoming events on our website.

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