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30 excellent things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Spend the weekend with cute pooches at Hampstead’s Pup Idol competition, at Walthamstow’s tasty night-time food market, or at Bastille celebrations at Borough Market. Have a top-notch couple of days with the activities that follow!


Festival of Stuff, University College London, Sat, free. UCL’s Institute of Making invite us all into what must be London’s most engaging lab to find out how all our beloved stuff begins life. 

Summer Streets on Regent Street, Regent St, Sun, free. Enjoy the rare spectacle of a traffic-free street in zone one every Sunday in July, as Regent Street’s classy curve is pedestrianised from Oxford Circus all the way to Piccadilly Circus for a street party. 

Dukefest: ‘Fraud’, Prince Charles Cinema, Sun, £8. Hosted by the long-running and consistently batshit Duke Mitchell Film Club, DukeFest is your best chance to catch up with a fistful of out-there movies that you won’t get to see anywhere else.

Goldfrapp, Somerset House, Sun, prices vary. Hopefully the sexed-up electropop duo of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory will play material from their new, seventh, album as well as mega hits ‘Ooh La La’ and ‘Ride a White Horse’. 

The Jiggling Atoms Physics Sculpture Workshop, The Royal Society, Sun, free. As part of the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition, Jiggling Atoms will being teaching visitors about physics through creative tasks and making.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Wyndham’s Theatre, all weekend, £12.50-£99.50. The poignant story of chanteuse Billie Holiday’s life, told through the substantial talent of Broadway star and record Tony Award holder Audra McDonald.

William Henry Hunt: Country People, Courtauld Gallery, all weekend, £7. A show of the nineteenth-century watercolourist’s scenes of life in rural England.


Society of Imaginary Friends Soiree, Chocolate Factory 2, TONIGHT, free. This family-friendly show is a testbed for professional musicians, comedians and poets to try out their latest material.

Flamingods (DJ Set), Camden Assembly, TONIGHT, £5. Members of the five-piece multi-instrumentalist band formed in Bahrain spin electro, house, rock and world music.

Ink, Almeida Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£39.50. Bertie Carvel is brilliant as a Mephistophelian Rupert Murdoch in James Graham’s drama about the founding of The Sun newspaper.

Pup Idol, Garden Gate, Sat, free. Join a panel of celebrity judges at Hampstead’s most canine-friendly pub to judge who will be crowned Miss and Mr Hampstead, Best Rescue, Cutest Pup and Golden Oldies.

Wireless Festival 2017, Finsbury Park, all weekend, £55-£160. A three-day music festival in the heart of London featuring performances from Chance The Rapper, Zara Larsson, Post Malone, Skepta, Rae Sremmurd, The Weeknd, Nas, Tory Lanez and more.

Jennifer Tee: Let it Come Down, Camden Arts Centre, all weekend, free. For her solo show, Jennifer Tee, a Netherlands artist with Chinese-Indonesian heritage, has dipped into the bloody well of ‘Macbeth’. 


Night Feast, Walthamstow Town Square, TONIGHT, free. Gorge on street food from Sticky Bundits, Shelly Belly and Yaay Yaay and sup on beers from Wild Card at this community pig-out, from 5pm till late. 

Hackney Summer Fete, St John-at-Hackney Church, Sat, free. Celebrate east London life at this Hackney Summer fete held across nine conjoined sites in the parish grounds of St. John at Hackney Church. 

Independent Label Market, Old Spitafields Market, Sat, free. ILM is back in its old haunt Old Spitalfields Market for the summer edition of its record fair.


Peckham Salvage Yard © Sofia Villanueva

Rebel Cinema Film Festival, Deptford Cinema, Sat, £5. A day of films highlighting communities in Britain and elsewhere who fight back against oppression and austerity.

Crafty Fox Market Sample Sale, Effra Social, Sat, £1 donation. London’s ultimate craft market for emerging designers and makers is throwing its first ever sample sale.

Peckham Salvage Yard, Copeland Gallery, Sat-Sun, free. Get your busy hands on vintage threads, twee ceramics, atomic-era electricals and antique luggage at this south London fair from the good people behind Hackney Flea Market. 

Leave ‘Em Laughing Comedy Festival, Stanley Halls, Sat-Sun, £5 one show, £10 for three shows. Get a taste of the Edinburgh Fringe without leaving the city at the ‘Leave ‘Em Laughing Comedy Festival’ weekender, where you’ll find 50 funny shows crammed into a two-day comedy sandwich. 

Bastille Celebrations, Borough Market, Sun, free. Celebrate France’s national day over on this side of the channel at this annual party in and around Borough Market, which brings together all things Français.

Vintage Vauxhall, The Workshop, Sun, free. Find 70-plus traders selling everything from furniture, vintage fashion, textiles, vinyl, salvage, prints, paintings and upholstery and more.

Reggae Roast, Brixton Jamm, Sun, £5-£7. A custom-built soundsystem brings this all-day ‘Sunday Skank’ to life. Get down to roots, dub and dancehall and catch their special guest, Ghost Writerz.

‘The Motorcycle Diaries’, House of Vans, Sun, free. An exhilarating yet relaxed recreation of the epic voyage that young medical student Ernesto Guevara took around South America in 1952 together with the biochemist Alberto Granado. Gael García Bernal stars as Che.

The Place is Here, South London Gallery, all weekend, free. The title of this excellent show is taken from a work called ‘We Will Be’ (1983) by current Turner Prize nominee Lubaina Himid.


Pottermore Pop-up, Graffik Gallery, TODAY, free. The ‘digital heart of the wizarding world’ Pottermore is having an IRL pop-up to launch its new Art Collection. 

Food, Finborough Theatre, all weekend, £12-£18. A dark story of two sisters in small-town Australia.


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