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32 excellent things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

No plans for the weekend? You have now! Check out a festival dedicated to the art of barbering, attend a boozy brunch complete with a Beyoncé quiz, or catch some of John Waters’ output at a Rio double bill. Friday to Sunday have never looked so good! 

Things to do 

Mardi Gras Brixton, Pop Brixton, Sat, free. Brixton. This all day, all night (ish) festival will kick off with Louisiana-themed food, a parade soundtracked by the BYOB brass band and a piano blues set from Dom Pipkin and The Iko's.

Don't Move, Improve!, The Building Centre, Sat, free. New London Architecture are offering free advice to all those whose homes are on the verge of getting an upgrade, with talks on finding the right architect, interior design and how to plan an extension.

Islington Pride: A Guided Walk Through 50 Years of LGBT History, various, Sat, free. Explore Islington’s strong and well-established LGBT community and its long history of campaigning.

Japan Now, British Library, Sat, £20, concs available. This one-day symposium is part a nationwide series of events highlighting award-winning, contemporary writers hailing from Japan.

Home and the City: Celebrating Life on the Kingsland Road, Geffrye Museum, Sat, free. Workshops and activities celebrating home and the local area. Visitors can share memories, create maps and take a look at artist Janetka Platun's copper sphere sculpture 'Globe’. 

Henry Moore: Inspiration and Process, Makers House, all weekend, free. Burberry and the Henry Moore Foundation have joined forces for this unique exhibition at Makers House, celebrating the Burberry February 2017 collection at London Fashion Week.

CUT Festival: The Art of Barbering, various locations, all weekend, prices vary. Inspired by barbering past and present, CUT Festival 2017 brings together international artists and activists, exhibiting and working alongside both traditional and alternative barbers.

The Wonderland Collective, 185 High Street, all weekend. An eight-week pop-up showcasing Wonderland's exciting selection of designers including Catherine Colebrook, Tessa Galloway and Karin Akesson.

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

Colin Baldwin

Eating and drinking

Craft Beer Rising, Old Truman Brewery, Fri-Sat, from £15. The Craft Beer Rising festival returns to the Old Truman Brewery for a fifth year in 2017, pouring the very best brews from top exhibitors to thirsty punters. 

Pop-up Wine Tastings, Maltby Street Market, Sat-Sun, £25. Test your palate at Maltby Street Market's weekend wine tasting pop-ups. In the 30-minute session, you'll learn to pair three wines with key food flavours: salty, sweet, bitter, sour, 'umami' (savoury), plus chilli heat.

Christabel's Mad Hatters Mar-tea-ni Masterclass, secret London location, Sat, £40. Make your own milk and tea spiked martinis at this 'Mar-tea-ni' masterclass. Using pure milk 'Black Cow' vodka, Tea Pigs home brewed syrups and bowls of seasonal fruit, an expert mixologist will teach you how to create the perfect cuppa with a kick.

Brunch with Beyoncé, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, Sun, £8 - £33. Have 'Brunch with Bey' at Ace Hotel to celebrate the fact she's now eating for three, or just to declare your undying love for the Queen of Pop. Expect a Bey-themed quiz, her classic hits and free-flowing prosecco.

Development Sunday Sessions, Le Bab, Sun. Help shape Le Bab's menu and benefit from a cheeky 50 percent off your bill at these development sessions taking place at the Kingly Court kebab kitchen.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Live music and nightlfife

The 2 Bears, Camden Assembly, TONIGHT, £5. Two furry friends – Hot Chip's Joe Goddard and fellow Greco-Roman Soundsystem member Raf 'Daddy' Rundell – work downtempo dub, vocal house and squelchy, pared-down electro.

Nightspot Cinema Presents Jackie Brown, Mick's Garage, TONIGHT, £22. Nightspot Cinema launch The Soundcrash Funk and Soul Weekender with a screening of Tarantino's crime drama 'Jackie Brown'. The film will be followed by a '70s funk and soul immersion party until 3am at Mick's Garage with live music from Bassroots.

Dusky, Electric Brixton, TONIGHT, £15. UK garage-house duo Dusky, who can nail anything from sprawling, melodic club cuts to deep and dirty house anthems, play a special set. 

Lil Yachty, Koko, TONIGHT, £19, phone for availability. Following the release of his mixtape 'Lil Boat' in 2016, the 19-year-old Georgia-born rising star of hip hop makes his first forays on this side of the Atlantic.

Bonobo, O2 Academy Brixton, Sat-Sun, £30.75. Simon Green, Ninja Tune’s psychedelic breaks guru, plays a huge gig tonight. 

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.


The Frontline presents ‘Rough Stage’ + Q&A, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, Sat, free. This free screening of a new Palestine-set documentary – the film’s London premiere, in fact – is hosted by the good folks at the Frontline Club, and will be followed by a Q&A with director Toomas Järvet. 

Hairspray’ + ‘Multiple Maniacs’Rio, Sun, £11, £9 concsA pair of John Waters’s most gloriously trashy epics. The relatively commercial ‘Hairspray’ is a retro schlock-fancier’s delight.

Audience Choice: ‘Saturday Night Fever’, BFI Southbank, Sun, £8.35–£11.75. It was sold as a disco movie for party people, but this is really about Growing Up – which the movie interprets as Growing Out of a Disco Mentality and into Personal Relationships.

Or at the cinema...

Patriots Day ★★★★☆ This dramatisation of the Boston Marathon bombings is smart, gripping and unexpectedly sensitive.

A Cure for Wellness ★★★★☆ A sleazy financier finds himself in deep trouble at a creepy European spa in this fascinatingly odd Hollywood horror movie.

…or see all of the latest releases.

© Helen Murray


Low Level Panic, Orange Tree Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£25; £10-£15 concs. Timely revival for Clare McIntye's powerful play about female friendship and the male gaze.

Twelfth Night, National Theatre, Olivier, Fri-Sat, £18-£65. This star-studded, discreetly woke 'Twelfth Night' is masses of fun.

The Girls, Phoenix Theatre, Fri-Sat, £29.50-£69.50. Gary Barlow's musical version of the feel-good comedy 'Calendar Girls'.

The Wild Party, St James Theatre, Fri-Sat, £5-£65. New musical theatre house The Other Palace opens with this weird, dark tale of '20s excess.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

This week's best new art

Richard Wilson: Stealing Space, Annely Juda, Fri-Sat, free. Dering Street has been folded up, crumpled into a cube and stuffed into an attic. Richard Wilson (not that one) has taken a segment of this street and folded it in on itself.

Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq: Black Sun, Hannah Barry Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. Executed almost carelessly on an off-centre point on the gallery wall is Scottish artist Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq’s ‘Black Sun’: a solid graphite drawing of a circle, five metres in diameter. It’s a straightforward concept, but the real fun here lies in the tension between optical impression and material fact.

America After The Fall: Painting in the 1930s, Royal Academy of Arts, Sat-Sun, £13.50. America was changing in the 1930s. The tormented upheaval it went through would alter the course of history. We stand on that same cliff edge now, in Europe and across the pond. If this exhibition shows us anything, it’s that we’re in for a turbulent ride.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win...a weekend in Paris or your hands on one of five pairs of tickets to Field Day 2017

Book…these gigs while you still can

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