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24 top things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Make the most of your weekend at a music and arts festival in Hackney, at a stationery-making workshop with Hato Press, or at the brand new Matisse show opening at the Royal Academy. Have a good one!


Joan Snyder, New Squares, 2015, Courtesy the artist and Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York Photo Fionn Reilly

Playground Structure, Blain|Southern, Fri-Sat, free. The art brought together in this little summer show unites artists from the ’60s through to today who mess with the grid format. 

Evita, Phoenix Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£85. Emma Hatton shines in one of Lloyd Webber’s best musicals, but the production feels a touch dated. 

Eastern Electrics, Morden Park, Sat, from £24.95. After three years luxuriating in rural Hertfordshire, premier dance festival Eastern Electrics is setting up home in a new London location. 

Indian Treasures, Getty Images Gallery, Fri- Sat, free. Mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence at the photo exhibition ‘Indian Treasures’, with images that capture some of the earliest photographic documentation of India. 

Matisse in the Studio, Royal Academy of Arts, all weekend, from £14. The approach here is to look at the great French innovator (1869-1954) through the prism of the junk he kept in his studio. Vases, masks, tables, that kind of thing. 

Shout Out Live Festival, Logan Hall, all weekend, free to £34.99. London’s most diverse podcast festival is bringing the best podcasts of colour from the US and UK to Bedford Way with live, feather-ruffling commentary from the hosts behind ‘Another Round’, ‘Melanin Millennials’ and book podcast ‘Mostly Lit’.


© Marc Sethi

51st State Festival, Trent Park, Sat, £35-£65. A one-day dance festival in north London specialising in classic US house music.

Wilderness Walkabout, various locations, all weekend, £31.50. This 60-minute tour invites attendees to discover more about a station in Highgate, reclaimed by nature despite plans for it to be a bustling interchange as part of the Northern Heights project back in 1941. 

Cubitt Sessions, Lewis Cubitt Square, all weekend, prices vary. A multi-arts outdoor festival of opera, jazz, comedy and theatre is taking over Cubitt Square in King’s Cross.


FareShare Presents: Live Music and BBQ Fundraiser, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, Sat, £6.25. Join FareShare for a fundraising celebration of food and live music. 

Visions Festival, various Hackney venues, Sat, £30 adv. Another one-day festival of underground music, street food, craft markets and summer fun in Hackney.

Risograph Stationery Workshop, Hato Press, Sat, £45. Learn the art of riso-printing and simple binding techniques with Hato Press. Participants will design and riso-print the cover of their own bespoke stationery set to take home along with notebooks and a to-do pad. 

Jamaican Independence Day, Rudie’s, Sun. Mark the day Jamaica broke free from the UK with a stonking Caribbean feast at Rudie’s in Stoke Newington, featuring jerked stuffed chicken wings; crab, mango and lobster salad and curried goat cigar. 

The Ultimate ‘Simpsons’ Pub Quiz, Sebright Arms, Sun, £1 per person. Do you find yourself spouting ‘Simpsons’ quotes nobody gets anymore? Meet your people at The Ultimate ‘Simpsons’ Pub Quiz in Bethnal Green. 


Pelican Canteen, Battersea Business Centre, Fri-Sat, £35. Widen your gob like this supper club’s namesake as the Pelican Canteen returns with a night of chargrilled Tex-Mex BBQ.

Taste Film presents ‘Sex and The City’, View 94, Sat, £50. Reunite with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda over a four-course meal at Taste Film’s big ‘Sex and the City’ night out.

Plaza Latina, Nursery Row Park, Sun, free. Join a celebration of Latin-American culture, complete with traditional food, live music, piñata making and hands-on workshops.

Market, Rye Lane, all weekend, free. Find lemon slushies by Forza Win, green delights from Rudi’s Plant Emporium and a display of cult magazines from the Hyman Archive at this temporary pop-up space in the heart of Peckham.

Briefs: Close Encounters, Underbelly Festival, all weekend, £25-£37.50. Aussie boylesque troupe ‘Briefs’ are back with another gloriously cheeky live show. 


© Johan Persson

Road, Royal Court Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12-£45. ‘Harry Potter’ director John Tiffany gives Jim Cartwright’s working class classic a tough revival.

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, V&A, all weekend, £12. The V&A has written the mother of all love songs to Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972), and it’s one that will have you swooning over the Spanish fashion designer, too.


Grab... tickets to the National Geographic Traveller Festival

Nab... three courses and a cocktail from Gilgamesh for £21

Book... London theatre show tickets


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