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30 fun things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Ignore the rubbish weather and get fired up for the weekend with these events, parties and late-night openings taking place over the next few days. Highlights include the launch of Flamingo Pier, the Urban Village Fete in Greenwich, and a pop-up food market celebrating all things Sicilian. Enjoy!


Sounds of the City: Friday Late, London Transport Museum, TONIGHT, £15, £12 concessions. The London Transport Museum is launching its latest exhibition, ‘Sounds of the City’, with a late night party.

Baroque At The Edge, St John’s Smith Square, Fri-Sat, phone for prices. Britain’s foremost baroque music festival returns with another imaginative programme featuring the very best UK and international performing talent. 

Philip Guston: Laughter in the Dark, Drawings from 1971 & 1975, Hauser & Wirth, Fri-Sat, free. The 70-odd drawings here cobble together a rough narrative of Richard Nixon’s life and time in office. Guston traces Nixon as he delivers TV addresses, lambasts his advisors, swims in the sea and lies in bed. 

Worldwide Festival x Festival Embassy, The House of St Barnabas, Sat, £15. For one night only, Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival is transported from the south of France to Soho for a globally minded get-together featuring music in a gothic chapel and live DJ sets in a secret garden.

Open Senses Festival, various locations, all weekend, prices vary. Open your eyes, ears and nostrils for this synaesthetic three-day festival of multi-sensory art, food and esoteric interaction. 


Norman Jay MBE, Old Queen’s Head, TONIGHT, £6 adv. The legendary DJ and main man behind the Good Times Soundsystem beloved of Notting Hill Carnival-goers unleashes one of his funky, rare groove, soulful house, hip hop, disco and reggae sets.

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, British Library, Sat-Sun, £75. A two-day celebration of South Asia’s literary heritage, spanning performing arts, books, ideas, dialogue and debate. 

London Clown Festival, Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre, all weekend, prices vary. Forget everything you thought you knew about the word ‘clown’: this festival is more Charlie Chaplin than Pennywise. Performers leave their red noses at the door for cabaret, physical comedy and socially-conscious clowning.


This is Our London, Museum of London, TONIGHT, free. The first event in a year-long exploration of London dubbed ‘City Now City Future’, this museum late is a capital-centric night of fashion, style, food, music and film.

Daniel Avery, Village Underground, TONIGHT, £10. House and techno all night long from London DJ Daniel Avery. 

Supa Dupa Fly x Drizzy Takeover, Trapeze, TONIGHT, £5-£7. DJs spin Drake bangers plus garage and hip hop until the early hours. 

Richard III, Arcola Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£22. Greg Hicks is magnetic in a furiously intense version of Shakespeare’s brutal play.

Alice Neel: Uptown, Victoria Miro, Fri-Sat, free. Alice Neel didn’t paint portraits of people. When you look at one of her canvases, you’re not just seeing that one person – you’re seeing a whole world, condensed down to lines and colour. 

Sicily Fest, Bishops Square, Sat, free. Do you know your cannoli from your arancini? No? Then correct your Mediterranean missteps with a visit to Sicily Fest, a pop-up Sicilian food and creativity market in Spitalfields. 

Flamingo Pier Summer Launch Party, Mick’s Garage, Sat, £10-£20. One of the finest pop-up parties of summer 2016, Flamingo Pier is back, which is great news for anyone who likes their pop-ups with a big dose of tropical indulgence. 


Life of Galileo @ Johan Persson

Dazed And Confuzed: Chapter 15, Corsica Studios, TONIGHT, adv £15-£17.50. House, techno, electro noise, dance and electronica from Vatican Shadow & Ancient Methods, plus more. 

Life of Galileo, Young Vic, Fri-Sat, £10-£38. Joe Wright thrillingly directs Brecht’s story of a scientific visionary.

Brian Calvin: Major Minor, Corvi-Mora, Fri-Sat, free. Calvin’s method of execution, stylised and cartoonish, has repeatedly earned him comparisons with quasi-pop supremo Alex Katz. There’s certainly the same – though hardly equal – underlying inquisitiveness at work in Calvin’s pictures.

Genuwine, Pop Brixton, Sat, £5. Sip on fine New Zealand wine and bop along to R&B, soul and hip hop classics into the early hours at Genuwine’s summer celebration, featuring an epic wine list full of specially selected vino. 

Brixton’s Garage & Bass Festival, Brixton Jamm, Sat, £10-£25. Garage, funky basslines and house over three areas all day and night, featuring DJ Luck & MC Neat, Artful Dodger, Kele Le Roc, Tom Shorterz, Murder He Wrote and DJ Argue.

Urban Village Fete, Greenwich Peninsula, Sun, free. Feast on London’s finest street food, buy from designer market stalls and pop-ups and join interactive workshops at this alternative twist on the traditional fete.

Deadpan Double Bill: ‘Katzelmacher’ + ‘Stranger Than Paradise’, Deptford Cinema, Sun, £8.50, £7 concs. A pair of bone dry sort-of-comedies. In RW Fassbinder’s ‘Katzelmacher’ there’s fear and loathing on the streets of suburban Munich, where fleeting allegiances form and reform in abstract permutations. 

‘Rear Window’, House of Vans, Sun, free. See Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece for free, as part of a celebration of the art of photography. 


Archives at Night: Sixties, National Archives, TONIGHT, £12-£15. Put on a Twiggy dress and get to know your mods from your rockers for the National Archives revival of swinging London. 

Babette’s Feast, Print Room, Fri-Sat, £20-£28, £16-£23 concs. An excessively cutesy but still-enjoyable Karen Blixen adaption. 

Cabbages and Frocks Dog Day Afternoon, St Marylebone Parish Church Grounds, Sat, free. Think your dog’s looking a bit ruff? Bring your pooch along to this annual Cabbages and Frocks market day starring doggy accessories, treats, training and puppy portraits.

London Craft Swish, St Alban's Church, Sat, £5. Sashay away to this sale where you can drop off your unused crafty materials and pick up donated paraphernalia. 


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