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32 ace things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Shimmy your way down to Elephant and Castle for a Pride party jammed with top DJs and food, get inky inspiration at an exhibition dedicated to the art of tattooing, or witness a huge musical playground beneath Waterloo at House of Vans' latest installation. Have a ballin' weekend with all these great picks!

Things to do 

V&A Friday Late: Spoon, Fork, Knife, V&A, TONIGHT, free. This month's late event explores the social politics of how we consume, sit and share. Eat Your Own Ears and Horse Meat Disco will be spinning tracks and Cube-Cola will be making cola from scratch using an open source recipe.

Artists Behind Bars, The Horse Hospital, TONIGHT, free. Kitty Finer presents this group show, where the bar is the work of art, the artist is the bartender and the spectator is the punter. X Marks the Bökship, Kitty Finer, Marcia Farquhar, Jane Howard and Tai Shani will be building, installing, hosting and running their own bars.

The Sleepover, St Pancras Renaissance, Sat, £120. This ladies-only cultural party offers a night of ideas, comedy, masterclasses, music, food, booze and maybe even a little sleeping. Radio 1's Gemma Cairney has done the organising and has invited comedian Luisa Omielan, perfume expert (and some time 6 Music DJ) Katie Puckrik and the fabulous performer Ginger Johnson.

House of Vans London Presents: Polyphonic Playground, House of Vans, Sat-Sun, free. Get your peepers on this interactive installation filling the gallery tunnel in The House of Vans. Created by Studio PSK, the timber framework takes inspiration from playground favourites such as swings, slides and climbing frames, recreating them on an adult scale and teaming them with sound engineering to create a giant playable, musical instrument.

Society of Imaginary Friends Soiree, Karamel Restaurant, Sunday, free. This family-friendly show is a testbed for professional musicians, comedians and poets to try out their latest material. A number of short films will be screened throughout the night and a handful of DJs will be spinning tracks in-between acts and into the small hours once the performances have finished.

Tattoo London, Museum of London, all weekend, free. Explore the rich history of tattooing in London at this exhibition that's all about the art of ink. Find out how professional skin art made its way to the capital and get a look behind the scenes at four contemporary London tattoo studios.

…or check out more events happening in London this weekend.






Eating and drinking

Beer Hall Bash, By The Horns Brewing Co, Sat, free. By The Horns Brewery have been building a snazzy new beer hall over the last few months and they're finally ready to open their doors. Booze lovers are invited to join the party which sees live music, brewery tours and street food from Mama's Jerk Station available to munch on throughout the day.

Refugee Action Dinner, Nanna's, Sat, £25. The Pickled Plates chefs will be rustling up a three-course feast, fusing locally sourced ingredients with Syrian-inspired flavours at this north London supper club.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.







Hal Cruttenden – Straight Outta Cruttenden, Millfield Theatre, TONIGHT, £18, £17 online. Struggling everyman, middle-class worrier and 'Live at the Apollo' star Hal Cruttenden is back with a brand new show, 'Straight Outta Cruttenden'.

The Story Beast, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12.50, £10 concs. John Henry Falle's 'The Story Beast' bagged a Best Newcomer nomination at last year's year's Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards. And it's, er, a difficult show to describe: part 'Jackanory'-style storytelling, part gibberish, part Harry Potter singalong…

Dave Gorman Gets Straight to the Point* (*The PowerPoint), Fairfield Halls, Sat, £26.50. Following his ace show 'Dave Gorman's Powerpoint Presentation', the pioneer of docu-comedy continues his love affair with the slideshow software as he teams up with a projector screen for Dave Gorman Gets Straight to the Point* (*The Powerpoint).

…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.


© Roger Sargent





Live music and nightlife

The Libertines, The O2, Sat, £27.50-£37.50. Catch up with Pete ’n’ Carl (’n’ Gary ’n’ John), who’ve extended their reunion with a new album: ’Anthems for Doomed Youth’, their first record in 11 years.

Lovebox presents: East Meets Concrete Paris, Oval Space, Sat, £5-£15. Paris club Concrete host a takeover of London's Oval Space venue as part of Lovebox's East Meets series – all taking place in east London, surprisingly.

Smirnoff presents Winter Pride UK, The Coronet, Sat, £20. The chillier version of the Pride festival returns for a fourth year. It takes place in vast Elephant and Castle venue The Coronet, which the organisers will be filling with ace, party-starting DJs.

Bump and Hustle Music, CLF Art Cafe (The Bussey Building), Sat, £5-£10. Bump your way across the dancefloor to a selection of classic house cuts, prime funk, soul, rare groove and disco from various expert selectors including the likes of John Morales, Paul 'Trouble' Anderson, Phil Asher and more.

Hip Hop 'N' Bowl, Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, Sat, £6-£8. A hip hop bowl-a-rama, you say? Why the hell not. Classic and new sounds – think Snoop, Biggie, Busta, Missy, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Kanye – spun by Supa Dupa Fly's Emily Rawson, DJ Fearney and guests, while you bowl harder and meaner than Bill Murray's character from 'Kingpin'.

Hozier, O2 Academy Brixton, all weekend, £26. The young Irish singer-songwriter belts ‘Take Me to Church’ and more.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.







Totally Serialized: 'This is England' Marathon, Ciné Lumière, Sat, £15. Totally Serialized is the Cine Lumiére’s annual celebration of the small screen, and is often the first place to catch cult-in-waiting Euro TV shows before they launch on the BBC. But the big draw this year isn’t a preview, but a celebration of arguably the best TV show this country has produced in the past decade: Shane Meadows’s nostalgic, deeply personal ‘This is England’.

Mildred Pierce, Vestry House Museum, Sat, £5.50, £4.50 concs. James M Cain's novel of life in Southern California that sets housewife-turned waitress-turned-successful restaurateur Joan Crawford against her own daughter is brought fastidiously and bleakly to life by Michael Curtiz's bristling noir direction, Ernest Haller's camerawork, and Anton Grot's magnificent sets.

A Nightmare on Elm St Marathon, Prince Charles Cinema, £20, £17.50 concs. The full run of films from Wes Craven’s nerve-shredding original to his triumphant return with ‘New Nightmare’. It all starts when the Elm Street kids begin having the same bad dream in which a malicious bogeyman in a stripey jumper with a hideously scarred face is terrorising them with knives attached to his fingers – and so a horror icon is born.

Or at the cinema...

Spotlight ★★★★★ Tom McCarthy assembles a dream cast for his powerful drama about the journalists who exposed paedophilia in the Catholic Church in Boston.

Youth ★★★☆☆ Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino directs Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel in this diverting but shallow melancholic comedy.

…or see all of the latest releases.


© Richard Davenport






Yen, Royal Court Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£20, £15 concs. How do you get under the skin of a broken family? Anna Jordan’s completely devastating, Bruntwood Prize-winning play is a masterclass in doing just that. 

The Mother, Tricycle, Fri-Sat, £16-£26, £14-£24 concs. Hip French playwright Florian Zeller does it again with this powerful companion piece to last year's 'The Father'.

Pink Mist, Bush Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£20, £10-£12.50 concs. Poet Owen Sheers's powerful but heavy-handed drama about three lads who enlist in the British army

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.






This week's best new art

Tom Wesselmann: Collages 1959-1964, David Zwirner, Fri-Sat, free. Best known for his ‘American Nude’ series, Tom Wesselmann was a key protagonist in the pop art scene. This exhibition at David Zwirner focuses on his formative period, and the small-scale collages made between 1959 and 1964.

Noh Suntag: Dance of Order, 43 Inverness Street, Sat, free. In tandem with another show at the Fitzrovia Gallery, Korean artist Noh Suntag examines the history of his fractured homeland through a series of photographic works.

Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse, Royal Academy of Arts, Sat-Sun, £17.60, concs available. For a show that was always going to be a surefire hit, ‘Painting the Modern Garden’ more than delivers in the ways you’d expect.

Creation from Catastrophe, RIBA, all weekend, free. In 1666, the Great Fire destroyed nearly all of London, leaving a blank canvas for a new city to be built upon. Tying in with the 350th anniversary of the disaster, this exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects shows the five different plans for the new London, including those of Christopher Wren.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a trip to the Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2016 or a knock-out holiday to Philadelphia with a Creed film tour

Grab... 82% off a make-up lesson and goody bag with iiaa at Harvey Nichols

Book… these gigs while you still can

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