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The best things to do in Shanghai this July

The best nightlife, music, art, stage, film and more this month

Photograph: Leandro Erlich / HOW Art Museum
There is a whole heap of great things to do around Shanghai this month and we've conveniently listed our pick of them below. Because we're nice like that. From the climax of the FIFA World Cup to the country's finest rappers coming to town, to a rosé tasting festival to a kinky Broadway hit, there's all sorts going on this month. Read on for the best that July has to offer.

Food & Drink

Chef's table at Egg: Sky Cai

Critics' pick

Sky Cai takes over the kitchen with his tasting menu, Shanghai Soul Food. Influenced by his Shanghainese mum and his own experiences as a food stylist, with Cai's cooking you can familiar flavours from a place you call home while keeping it interesting. 

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Egg , 12 Xiangyang Bei Lu 26 Jul

Music & Nightlife

Carl Barât

What became of the likely lads? Shanghai gets to find out what one former Libertines frontman is up to at least with this show at Modern Sky Lab and talk of a DJ set to follow at DADA.

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Modern Sky Lab , 188 Ruihong Lu, near Tianhong Lu 18 Jul

Things to Do

Where to watch the World Cup in Shanghai

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is here from June 14 through July 15. Here's where to find the Shanghai venues that will be broadcasting the World Cup matches live so you don't miss out on any of the sports excitement – no matter what time it is.

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KFK Presents: Matt Davis

Billed as not for the easily offended, US comic Matt Davis, as seen at Just For Laughs Montreal, San Francisco Sketchfest and more, comes to KFK for two headline shows, with support from Norah Yang, Andy Curtain and Mohammed Magdi (Friday 20) and Andy Curtain, Sarah Peng and Byron Murphy (Saturday 21).

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Kung Fu Komedy Club , 1 Xiangyang Bei Lu 20-21 Jul Buy tickets


Incredibles 2

The original is Pixar’s finest moment (save it, Toy Story partisans), and with the whole cast and director Brad Bird returning, we have no reason to lose faith. Read Time Out's review of the film below, though be wary of spoilers. Superheroes may save the world, but parenthood requires ...

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Cinemas around Shanghai 22 Jun - 22 Jul Buy tickets


All Dwayne Johnson wants to do is live in his Hong Kong mega-tower in peace – so why won't these terrorists let him do it? Sounds like an updated Die Hard, but don't underestimate our love of Die Hard – the greatest Christmas movie of all time.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 20 Jul - 18 Aug

Polyfaces: Green Initiatives-UrB special film screening

Green Initiatives‘ 91st film screening in collaboration with Urban-Rural Bridge (UrB), will feature Polyfaces, a film about connecting with the land and the community. The film follows the Salatin’s, a fourth generation farming family who do ‘everything different compared to everyone else’ as they produce food in a way that works with nature, not against it.

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Haworth Organic Space , 1788 Nanjing Xi Lu 19 Jul

Animal Crackers

Yes, this animation is based on delicious wildlife-shaped biscuits. The story involves a mysterious box of Animal Crackers, a magical circus, wage slavery and an evil uncle voiced by Ian McKellen. 

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TBA 27 Jul

Animal World

Director Han Yan's off-the-wall sci-fi/action adventure sees desperate debt-laden protagonist Zheng Kaisi embark on a gaming cruise ship outside the rule of international law, where the winner takes all and losers pay the highest price. The trailer looks action-packed, complete with creatures, a clown and rock-paper-scissors… Starring Yi Feng Li, Dongyu Zhou and Michael Douglas.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 29 Jun - 29 Jul



Critics' pick

Lin Tianmiao, known for video works and fabric sculptures about the female body, presents Systems at Rockbund Art Museum. The exhibition features two large-scale installations and a series of sculptures about, well, systems made of connected things forming a complex whole. Also featured are Tianmiao's iconic fabric sculptures 'Day-Dreamer' and 'High!!!'.

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Rockbund Art Museum , 20 Huqiu Lu Every day except Monday

Construction of Reality

More than 30 pieces from Argentine conceptual artist Leandro Erlich, including his iconic mind-bending installations, will be on display at HOW Art Museum. Erlich is known for deftly subverting everyday objects and spaces on a large-scale to examine our relationship with the constructs we build around us.

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HOW Art Museum , Lane 2277 Zuchongzhi Road Every day except Monday

Double Take

SCoP exhibits the iconic work of Brian Brake and Steve McCurry, two photographers who changed photojournalism forever with the photo essay form. Exhibited photos will take you from the tenth-anniversary exhibition of the PRC in Beijing to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and beyond.

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Shanghai Center of Photography , 2555 Longteng Dadao Every day except Monday

Everything & Nothing

Critics' pick

Shanghai's hottest, but not at all wettest, selfie scene of 2015 returns. That's right, it's 'Rain Room'created in 2012 and since then toured to art galleries across the world, and it never gets any less stunning and surreal.

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Yuz Museum , 35 Fenggu Lu Every day except Monday Buy tickets

Simphiwe Ndzube: Waiting for Mulungu

Critics' pick

Artist Simphiwe Ndzube showcases the energy of Pantsula, a dance form originated in South Africa, through his sculptures and paintings at the Cc Foundation & Art Center. The contrast between the three dimensional sculptures and the two dimensional paintings surrounding the walls alludes viewers to the sensation of movement and dancers jumping out from the canvas, almost inviting their audience to participate in the dance.

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Cc Foundation & Art Center , 50 Moganshan Lu Every day except Monday Free

Xu Zhen: Alien

Artist Xu Zhen takes over the ShanghART space with made-to-fit large-scale installations, along with his latest paintings and sculptures. The exhibition altogether will juxtapose the futuristic and the primitive within the context of a globalised society.

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ShanghART Gallery West Bund , 2555 Longteng Avenue Every day except Monday Free

Wavelength: Reset

Powerlong Museum and CUBE Consulting Group Inc. have come together to present a three-months-long contemporary art exhibition, Wavelength: Reset. The exhibition will feature more than 100 sets of artworks from 40 artists around the world, ranging from paintings to new media to fashion.

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Powerlong Museum , 3055 Caobao Road 08 Jul - 08 Oct

Charlie Chaplin: A Vision

A major retrospective exhibition of Charlie Chaplin photographs comes to Shanghai coproduced by the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne and Yuz Museum. The collection includes production and set stills, as well as travel albums and portraits by well-known photographers such as James Abbe, Edward Steichen and Richard Avedon.

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Buy tickets


Kinky Boots

Critics' pick

Fabulously sassy, uplifting and ever so kinky, this Tony Award-winning musical is based on true events. Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, with music and lyrics by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots tells the story of a struggling Northampton shoe factory. It follows the factory owner Charlie Price whose chance encounter with drag queen Lola inspires a production line of sexy heels for transvestites that helps save the family business.

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SAIC·Shanghai Culture Square , 36 Yongjia Lu 11 Jul - 05 Aug Buy tickets

Cats the Musical

Broadway and West End smash Cats, winner of more awards than we can list, is coming to Shanghai this summer. The musical, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, was originally adapted from works of T.S Eliot and first hit the stage in London back in 1981.

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Shanghai Grand Theatre Lyric Theatre , 300 Renmin Da Dao, near Huangpi Bei Lu (人民大道300号) Huangpu Shanghai Shanghai 25 Jul Buy tickets

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