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32 great things to do in London this week

By Stephanie Hartman

This week brings a Heinz baked bean pop-up to London, an exhibition exploring the early years of the internet and the BBC’s free programme of documentary screenings for the Arabic Festival and plenty more fun stuff to see and do. Enjoy!

Things to do 

The Mark Makers, We Built This City, Tue, £25. Draw disco balls and tropical fruit at this observational drawing class led by illustrator Alice Nyong. Ticket price includes refreshments, all materials and a curated kit of materials to take away.

Explore, Exercise, Exhale, various venues, Tue-Wed, Sat-Sun, prices vary. Arts in health charity CoolTan Arts has launched its own walking festival, 'Explore, Exercise, Exhale': a series of off-the-beaten-track London strolls in support of mental wellbeing. 

The Next Big Thing, Science Museum Late, Wed, free. Science Museum Lates is teaming up with the Royal Society to explore the latest breakthroughs in science and how they could change the world. 

We Found Joy in a Hopeless Place, Hackney Showroom, Wed, £12. Join this evening of poetry on the themes of joy & dissent at Hackney Showroom, kicking off with Sophie Fenella performing an extract from her solo show ‘Everything Is Going to Be Fine’.

From Me to You Letter Writing Workshop, Waterstones, St James’s, Wed, £5. We all have that one person we keep meaning to get in touch with but just can’t find the time, leaving us racked with guilt. Break the cycle with this letter-writing workshop.

Grrrr!, 44 Ashdown Crescent, Wed-Thu, free. The art duo who created a series of anti-Brexit custard creams encased in resin last year are back with a new pop-up art shop and event space in Kentish Town. 

64 Bits: An Exhibition of the Web’s Lost Past, Here East, from Thu, free. Taking us back in time, ‘64 Bits’ is an interactive recreation of the early years of the World Wide Web, which hopes to tell the stories of the forgotten artist-engineers who shaped today’s digital culture.

BBC Arabic Festival, BBC Broadcasting House, all week, free, booking required. Wade through misinformation and fake news to uncover real human stories at the BBC Arabic Festival, a free programme of documentary screenings and Q&As projecting unheard voices from the Arab world. 

…or check out more events happening in London this week

Eating and drinking

Wandsworth Common Spring Beer Festival, Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, Wed-Sat, £4. Motorhead's Road Crew American Pale Ale will headline this year’s Wandsworth Common Spring Beer Festival, where more than 150 beer and craft cider makers will show off their wares at the Grade II-listed Royal Victoria Patriotic Building. 

Chinese Laundry Room 'Crying Night' Pop-Up Dinner, Pacific Social Club, Thu, £25 average per head. The Chinese Laundry Room has closed after a fire, but that hasn’t stopped its chefs cooking up top-notch meals. For one night only they’ll be taking over the Pacific Social Club’s kitchen serving Chinese family dishes.

Welcome Cinema Supper Club, Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre, Thu, £17.50-£25. Refugees, asylum seekers and UK citizens are invited to come together over a shared passion for food and film at Welcome Cinema’s supper club.

Beanz Meanz Heinz Pop-up Bar, Selfridges, all week. It’s been 50 years since the iconic advertising slogan ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ was first penned. And to celebrate this beany birthday, Selfridges is hosting a pop-up Heinz Beanz café for four weeks.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews

Live music and nightlife

Formation, Rough Trade East, Tue, £10.99-£19.99. Two brothers from south London pack a punch with their disco-inspired beats.

Pulled Apart By Horses, Scala, Tue, £14 adv. The young Leeds quartet headline with their shouty and aggressive (yet oddly funky) alt-rock tuneage, which suggests a collision between DFA 1979 and a poppier Megadeth.

Temples, Electric Brixton, Thu, £16. Tipped by Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr, analogue fetishists Temples play extremely retro psych-pop – like a drier, more period-authentic Tame Impala. 

Ibibio Sound Machine, Jazz Cafe, Thu, £15. This international eight-piece collective from London, led by the charismatic Eno Williams, whip up a storm of Afrobeat, funk and disco.

…or take a look at all the live music events in London this week


‘A Very Curious Girl’ + Laura Mulvey Q&A, Genesis Cinema, Tue, £8, £7 concs. One of the living icons of feminist film discourse, Laura Mulvey will be on hand to discuss this screening of French director Nelly Kaplan’s first feature, a cruel inversion of the ‘Cinderella’ fable.

‘The Hunger’, Hackney Picturehouse, Wed, £5. David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve are coolly undead in this heavily ’80s slice of stylish horror.

The VITO Project: ‘The Women’, The Cinema Museum, Wed, donation. Another in The VITO Project’s ongoing run of LGBT-friendly films, screened for free (though donations are welcome). 

Or at the cinema...

All This Panic ★★★★☆ A group of teenage girls in New York share their hopes, fears and inner lives in this intimate doc.

The Lost City of Z ★★★★★ A British explorer sets out into the uncharted Amazon in this gripping, spectacular adventure story.

Aquarius ★★★★☆ A retired music critic fights to keep her beachfront apartment in this satisfyingly adult drama.

…or see all of the latest releases

© Johan Persson


An American in Paris, Dominion Theatre, all week, £18.50-£72.60. This sophisticated stage update of the MGM classic should help with your post-‘La La Land’ comedown

E15, Battersea Arts Centre, all week, £12.50, £10 concs. A spirited piece of docu-theatre about the Focus E15 Mums' real life housing clash with Newham Council.

Tamburlaine, Arcola Theatre, all week, £14-£17. A sharp new take on Christopher Marlowe's classic from Yellow Earth Theatre.

 …or see our theatre critics’ choices

Howard Hodgkin, 'Portrait of the Artist', 1984-87. Private collection.

This week’s best new art

Fred Tomaselli: Paper, White Cube Mason’s Yard, all week, free. American painter Fred Tomaselli could be hitting some pretty heavy reefer, because his interventions into blown-up versions of the New York Times are hallucinatory, psychedelic visions of news and media.

Lisa Brice, Stephen Friedman, all week, free. Lisa Brice’s bright blue works on paper of women in private moments ditch the thigh-rubbing grubbiness of the male gaze for a powerful, confident vision of female empowerment.

Stefanie Heinze: Genuflect Softly #1, Pippy Houldsworth, all week, free. Looking at Stefanie Heinze’s paintings is like searching for shapes in clouds, if those clouds were memories of cartoons from when you were a kid.

Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends, National Portrait Gallery, all week, £10. Although Howard Hodgkin had been creating portraits since the age of 16, this is the first time they’ve been brought together for a solo show. Sadly he never got to see the final result: the 84-year-old British artist died just two weeks before the opening of this exhibition.

…or see all London art reviews

And finally

Win... one of five pairs of tickets to Field Day 2017

Grab... tickets for London theatre shows

Book… these gigs while you still can

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