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25 lovely things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

This weekend in the capital you can snap up work at the Affordable Art Fair, browse through zines and comics at the DIY Cultures festival and check out loads of live music at the Peckham Rye Music Festival. Have a top couple of days with the list below!


Buddha's Birthday Celebration

Thirty-fifth anniversary: ‘E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial’, Prince Charles Cinema, Sat, £10. Celebrate 35 years with the little squashy guy from outer space. 

Buddha’s Birthday Celebration, multiple venues, Sat-Sun, free. Celebrate Buddha's birthday with a weekend street party at Leicester Square Gardens and London Fo Guang Shan Temple. 

Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival, St Paul’s Church, Sun, free. Punch and Judy fans of all ages will love this family puppet festival.

Made in Clerkenwell Open Studio, Craft Central, all weekend, free-£3. Have a nosey through the private workspaces of Clerkenwell’s best jewellery makers, ceramicists and fashion designers. 


Alex Martinis Roe: To Become Two

Egg LDN Garage Special, Egg London, TONIGHT, £18. Legendary DJs Luck & MC Neat, Matt Jam Lamont and Kele Le Roc supply garage anthems.

Alex Martinis Roe: To Become Two, The Showroom, Fri-Sat, free. Walking into The Showroom, you might think you’ve made a wrong turn into a feminist group’s meeting. But look past the DIY aesthetics and give this exhibition time – you’ll be rewarded by the political resonance and relevance of Alex Martinis Roe’s work.

The Great Hampstead Bark Off, Parliament Hill, Sun, free. With a dog-themed Bark Off Bake Sale, a dog show, and prizes awarded in categories like ‘cutest pup’, ‘golden oldies’ and ‘best rescue’, this is one for the doggone animal obsessed.

Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead Heath, all weekend, £8-£15. The AAF does exactly what it says on the tin. Since its launch it’s made buying art a far less exclusive affair; works are priced at a maximum of £5,000, and tips for buying are listed on the website.


Brooklyn Brewery Mash Present Beer Mansion, MC Motors, Fri-Sat, £35. Instead of a bland business centre filled with ales,  Brooklyn Brewery have designed a ‘Beer Mansion’ where each room will be designed around a specific craft brew.

DIY Cultures, Rich Mix, Sun, free. Shun the mass-produced and turn your back on the commonplace, because this one-day festival celebrates artistic independence with more than 90 unique exhibitors showcasing their zines, comics, animations and films.

Balance Festival, Old Truman Brewery, all weekend, from £24. A three-day celebration of food, fitness, wellbeing and travel. Watch demos in the live cooking theatre, stock up on ingredients in the market, then break a sweat in fitness workshops.

56 Artillery Lane, Raven Row, all weekend, free. Life is more interesting when the carpet doesn’t match the curtains. And blocking out the light in the top floor flat of Raven Row are dark drapes created by artist Martine Syms, decorated in kaleidoscopic motifs of arses and underwear.


Maximo Park, Southbank Centre, TONIGHT, from £20. The alt-rock veterans deliver their high-energy hits including Our Velocity, The National Health, Midnight On The Hill and more.

South Social: ‘The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki’ + Finnish feast, The Cinema Museum, TONIGHT,  £30 with food, £20 film only. Enjoy some Finnish food, hear a set from singer Manna Mariam, watch a Q&A with actor Jarkko Lahti and settle in for this lovely boxing-based romcom.

A Lie of the Mind, Southwark Playhouse, Fri-Sat, £20, concs £16. Powerful revival of this Sam Shepard drama about a woman fleeing her abusive husband.

Soul II Soul, Electric Brixton, Sat, £32.20 Jazzie B and his classic soul-jazz collective bring their infectious, sun-struck funk, house and reggae riddims to the stage.

Streatham Common Kite Day, Streatham Common, Sun, free. Untangle your most colourful airborne toys for the nineteenth annual Streatham Common Kite Day, which will fill the south London skies with kites flying to synchronised music.

Peckham Rye Music Festival, various venues, all weekend, £49.50 weekend pass. We all know that Peckham loves a good party, so it’s no surprise that this ace, under-the-radar weekender is returning to south London after launching last year. 

Alberto Giacometti, Tate Modern, all weekend, from £16.50. If you’ve heard of Alberto Giacometti, you’re probably thinking: ‘Oh yes, that bloke who did the spindly stick people.’ So much has already been written and said about the Swiss artist; luckily, this show doesn’t attempt anything too spurious.

Larry Bell: Smoke On The Bottom, White Cube Bermondsey, all weekend, free. Minimal geometric abstraction is a whirlwind of near-nothingness – everything is steely, barely-perceptible perfection.


© Ikinyum Photography

Assata Taught Me, Gate Theatre, Sat, £15-£20. This new play imagines the current life of Black Panther Assata Shakur, living in Cuba to evade the FBI's terrorism charges.

Beyond Words Live French Literature Festival, Institut Français, all weekend, prices vary. There's much more to French literature than Zola and Hugo, though you can learn about both and much more at ‘Beyond Words’, a six-day programme of guest writer appearances, talks, performances and film adaptations celebrating French writing.


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