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31 fab things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman
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This weekend the capital’s overflowing with great things to do thanks to a wealth of summer fairs, Father’s Day events, late night museum openings, and a giant celebration of comics and illustrations. Soak up the sun and fun with the list below!

CENTRAL

Maynards Bassetts Sweet Art Gallery, 70 Berwick St, Fri-Sat, free. If you’re after a treat for the eyes, look no further than Maynards Bassetts’ pop-up Sweet Art Gallery, which is transforming gummy snacks into artistic masterpieces, including a re-imagined portrait of the ‘Mona Lisa’.

Bernar Venet | Looking Forward: 1961-1984, Blain Southern, Fri-Sat, free. The French artist’s early tar works are the first things you see here (after a massive pile of coal). With glistening liquid frozen on fragile cardboard, they’re grubby, elemental, brutal monochromes. 

RA Lates: The Electric Forest, Royal Academy of Arts, Sat, £45. Grab your best wavey garms and enter the realms of the RA’s Electric Forest to honour the shortest night of the year. 

Trooping the Colour: The Queen’s Birthday Parade, Horse Guards Parade, Sat, free. Although Trooping the Colour is also known as the Queen’s Birthday Parade, this prime piece of pageantry doesn’t take place on Her Maj’s actual birthday (that’s on April 21) but on her official birthday.

Open Garden Squares Weekend, various locations, Sat-Sun, £12. Discover London’s secret gardens over this weekend of viewings and openings.

Barbecoa Steak & Whisky Pairing Menu for Father’s Day, Barbecoa Piccadilly, Sat-Sun, £55pp. Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa will be celebrating Father’s Day with a steak and whisky pairing menu including a welcome cocktail, four courses per person and a line up of carefully selected whiskies. 

Canada Now: ‘The Dead Zone’, Curzon Soho, Sun, £15, £12.50 concs. Canada Now is screening new movies from north of the forty-ninth parallel, including the latest from ‘Pontypool’ director Bruce McDonald (‘Weirdos’) and an Arctic remake of John Ford’s ‘The Searchers’. 

Hamlet, Harold Pinter Theatre, all weekend, £15-£100. Transferring to the West End, Robert Icke’s Andrew Scott-starring production of ‘Hamlet’ remains remarkable. 

The Great Get Together, various locations, all weekend, free. A bevy of community events all over London in honour of and inspired by Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed on June 16 last year. Get together for street parties, shared barbecues and picnics.

NORTH

© Pat Redmond

I Hear You and Rejoice, Tricycle Cinema, Fri-Sat, prices vary. Mikel Murfi returns to the Tricycle with the celebratory sequel to last year’s ‘The Man in the Woman’s Shoes’

Cally Fest, Caledonian Rd, Sun, free. Move over California, this Cally Fest is celebrating the one and only Caledonian Road. 

Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait, Jewish Museum, all weekend, £8.50, £6.50 concs. Co-curated by Amy’s brother and sister-in-law, this is an examination of her Jewish family origins which feels quite unique: in the past Winehouse’s life has been raked over in (often intrusive) detail, but surprisingly little has been written about her Jewish background.

EAST

Guns N’ Roses, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Fri-Sat, from £75. Axl Rose and his merry crew return. They’ll be playing cuts from their most recent release but of course it’s the classics that’ll really get the place jumping. 

The Who’s ‘Tommy’, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Fri-Sat, £8-£26. Glorious new take on The Who’s rock opera from disability-led company Ramps on the Moon.

East London Comics and Arts Festival, Round Chapel, all weekend, £5 a day, £10 for three days. Now in its sixth year, ELCAF is the place to discover the best comic book and graphic art by top international publishers and makers. 

Mama Moon x She’s Lost Control, She’s Lost Control, all weekend. East London Witch Mama Moon takes over the metaphysical concept store ‘She’s Lost Control’ for a three-day long pop-up, where she’ll be selling her range of candles, magic potions and cosmic pieces. 

SOUTH

© Forbes Massie

Dulwich Pavilion: Free Friday Lates, Dulwich Picture Gallery, TONIGHT, free. Head to Dulwich Picture Gallery on Fridays throughout June and July for themed evenings bringing you face-to-face with experts through debate, film, performance and more.

Simian Mobile Disco, Lauer and Jamie Tiller (All Night), Corsica Studios, TONIGHT, £5-£12. The duo perform a DJ set, spinning electronic dance, with support from Lauer and Jamie Tiller.

Rhythm Section, Bussey Building, TONIGHT, £6-£8. Psychedelic disco and tropical boogie courtesy of Glowing Palms, plus Kickin’ Pigeon and Bradley Zero.

Alt-J, The O2, TONIGHT, from £26. This three-piece band, formed in Leeds in 2007 and comprising of Joe Newman, Thom Sonny Green and Gus Unger-Hamilton, brings its successful indie-rock to the arena.

Amnesty International Book Sale, Church of the Ascension, Sat, free. Lovers of books and bargains will be delighted by the Blackheath and Greenwich Amnesty International Group’s annual book sale.

Myatt’s Fields Park Midsummer Fair, Myatt’s Fields Park, Sat, free. Spend the day in a midsummer’s dream at this solstice-celebrating festival in Myatt’s Fields Park. 

Edgar Wright presents Car Car Land: ‘The French Connection’, BFI Southbank, Sun, £8.80-£12.10. A short season of petrolhead classics handpicked by ‘Shaun of the Dead’ director Edgar Wright ahead of the release in late June of his new movie – car-chase spectacular ‘Baby Driver’. 

Crystal Palace Overground Festival, various locations, all weekend, free. Music, poetry, theatre, comedy, film, food and fashion around the Crystal Palace Triangle, where there are also arts workshops, sports and family activities. 

Fahrelnissa Zeid, Tate Modern, all weekend, from £11.30. Pulsating hives of colour on large cuts of canvas that unfold in front of the viewer like living Byzantine mosaics, letting the interpretive chips fall where they may.

WEST

Marylebone Summer Film Night and Fayre, various locations, Sat-Sun, prices vary. Marylebone closes itself off to traffic to throw a summery street party. Join on the Saturday evening for an open-air pop-up cinema evening showing ‘The Big Lebowski’ in Paddington Street Gardens. 

Sci-fi Father’s Day, Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising, Sun, £9. Does your dad have a habit of slipping into Yoda-speak and have unusually strong feelings about the ‘Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’? Then teleport him to the glistening era of space fiction at the Museum of Brands. 

BUMP Rollerdisco, Queens, all weekend, £12. BUMP is sliding into Queens Skate Dine Bowl with a full figure eight for a disco takeover, complete with a glittering mirror ball.

AND FINALLY

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