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36 exciting things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Celebrate the coming of autumn at October Plenty and Apple Day down by the river, geek out at Comic Con with manga, games and cosplay, or party hard at the launch of new club The Pickle Factory in Bethnal Green. Have a top weekend, team!

Things to do 

NFL on Regent Street, Regent Street, Sat, free. In celebration of the day’s NFL International games, taking place at Wembley Stadium between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills, the street will play host to an American football-themed block party.

Thrill the World London, Covent Garden Piazza, Sun, free. You probably didn't even need an excuse to learn the iconic MJ routine this Halloween, but Thrill the World London is definitely a good one, as tens of thousands of people across the globe attempt to break the world record for the biggest number of zombies dancing simultaneously. 

All Dogs Matter Halloween Dog Walk and Show, Spaniards Inn, Sun, £5 per dog. You might need to trick and/or treat your dog to get them into a Halloween costume, but those whose pups don't mind fancy dress may be well rewarded following this charity walk in aid of All Dogs Matter – there are prizes for the best dressed dogs.

October Plenty and Apple Day, Bankside Riverwalk, Sun, free. If your school harvest festival came to life, this is what it would end up as. This traditional celebration starts with dancing in the street in front of Shakespeare's Globe before a procession takes the fun across to Borough Market for their Apple Day activities.

Farm to Loaf Symposium, E5 Bakehouse, Sun, £40. Bread buffs will delight in this one-day symposium boasting a diverse mix of speakers including millers, farmers and bakers presenting their approaches to biology and evolution of the grain, heritage varieties, milling methods and adaption of baking methods for UK wheat.

MCM London Comic ConExCeL Centre, all weekend, Adult (11+) tickets from £15. A firm fixture on every fanboy's annual calendar, London Comic Con is the UK's biggest modern pop culture convention. With dealer stalls, special guests, plenty of manga, games and cosplay there’s heaps to get excited about.

Mademoiselle Privé, Saatchi Gallery, all weekend, free. Legendary couture house Chanel crosses the, erm, channel for a magical retrospective exhibition. 

Bloomsbury Festival, various locations in Bloomsbury, all weekend, prices vary. Bloomsbury Festival returns for 2015 with a packed line-up featuring performances, live music and events celebrating the rich heritage of the area. This year's theme is 'light' inspired by UNESCO's Year of the Light and the festival opens with a street party.

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



Eating and drinking

Shotgun, Soho. American-style barbecue using British ingredients is the formula for this Soho restaurant and bar from the people behind The Lockhart.

Viet Food, Chinatown. Ex-Hakkasan head chef Jeff Tan has put together a pick ’n’ mix of stellar Vietnamese street food, and of the seven dishes we sampled, only one (an overcooked but otherwise delicious grilled scallop) was a letdown.

Vico, Covent Garden. A new restaurant from the people behind Bocca di Lupo and Gelupo, offering low-priced Italian dishes inspired by street food.

…or check out more of the latest restaurant reviews.


Joseph Morpurgo: Soothing Sounds for Baby, The Invisible Dot Ltd, Fri-Sat, £12, £11 concs. 'Soothing Sounds for Baby' is both retro and cutting edge. The set up is a faux episode of 'Desert Island Discs' (featuring dialogue from Kirsty Young painstakingly spliced together for actual episodes) and Morpurgo transforms into the characters on the sleeves of his chosen vinyls.

Stewart Lee – A Room With a Stew, Leicester Square Theatre, Fri-Sat, £24.50. The iconoclast comedian is back with another residency at his regular venue. Lee's sold as many tickets at the Leicester Square Theatre to fill the O2 arena for multiple nights.

Mr Gameshow, Soho Theatre, Sun, £8, £6 concs. Moustachioed maestro and 'Man Down' star Mike Wozniak hosts this new podcast, recorded live here at Soho Theatre, and 'Charlie Brooker'-starring stand-up Diane Morgan is his sidekick.

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


© Steve Gullick





Live music

Hot Chip, O2 Academy Brixton, TONIGHT, £26. The much-loved London five-piece return for more gorgeous electropop, promoting a new album ‘Why Make Sense?’

Jeff Mills: Light from the Outside World, Barbican Hall, Sat, £20-£30. A bona fide legend of dance music, Detroit techno don Jeff Mills transitions from the club to the concert hall for the UK premiere of his project ‘Light from the Outside World’.

Squarepusher, Troxy, Sat, £22.50-£25.50. Essex electro king Tom Jenkinson delivers bassomatic wizardry as Squarepusher, showcasing a sound that veers wildly between jazzy workouts and ravey energy flashes.

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







Oxjam Regression Sessions, Shapes, TONIGHT, £5-£15. The superbly silly party crew host a special Oxjam edition of their popular, bonkers club night. 

Delorean Dynamite, Bussey Building, TONIGHT, £10, £9 adv. Peckham's Bussey Building presents a double-decker ‘Back to the Future’ party (when Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown jumped into their Delorean and travelled 30 years forward in time in ‘Back to the Future II’, they arrived on October 21, 2015.)

The Pickle Factory Launch, Bethnal Green, TONIGHT, £10. The new venue owned by the Oval Space bods launches its programme of forward-thinking electronic music.

Clock Strikes 13, multiple venues, Fri-Sat. A three-month programme of ace leftfield house and techno parties across top London clubs

Rebel Bingo, Mecca Bingo Hall, Sat, £13. A wild, alternative bingo night where clubbing meets number calling. 

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.


Listen To Me Marlon








The Wind, St John’s Church, Sat, £10. Organist Donald Mackenzie will accompany this screening of one of the great silent masterpieces. 

The Passenger, Curzon Bloomsbury, Sat, £12.50 concs. Take a tour round the newly refurbished Curzon Bloomsbury, then settle down to watch Michelangelo Antonioni’s languorous, mysterious and quite captivating thriller that moves from Saharan Africa to London to Munich and, finally, to Barcelona and the Spanish countryside.

Reds, Regent Street Cinema, Sun, £11, £10 concs. Warren Beatty’s Oscar-winning drama about American communism is mightily impressive.

Or at the cinema...

Listen To Me Marlon ★★★★☆ Old tapes and cine footage allow Hollywood legend Marlon Brando to narrate this fascinating documentary biopic.

…or see all of the latest releases.







RoosevElvis, Royal Court Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£25. The TEAM return to London with their mad roadtrip show featuring the spirits of Elvis and Roosevelt.

Plaques and Tangles, Royal Court Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£20. Early onset Alzheimer's becomes strangely alluring in Nicola Wilson smart new play.

Joanne, Soho Theatre, all weekend, £14-£16, concs £12-£14. The great Tanya Moodie delivers five powerful monologues about a young woman failed by society. 

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.






This week's best new art

Jean-Etienne Liotard, Royal Academy of Arts, Sat-Sun, £11.50, £6-£9 concs. This show is a crystalline history of eighteenth-century society as seen through an international cast of bankers, doctors, thinkers and actors, as well as royalty, all of whom Liotard recorded with intimate ease.

Art Now, Bargehouse, all weekend, free. Fifty selected emerging and recently established artists from 31 countries including Japan, Denmark, India, Catalonia Spain and Estonia, present their work at this free artists fair.

Affordable Art Fair Battersea, Battersea Evolution, all weekend, £15, £12 adv, free under-16s. The south-of-the-river instalment of this popular art fair sets up shop with over 100 contemporary galleries selling works from £100-£5,000.

The World of Charles and Ray Eames, Barbican Centre, all weekend, £14.50, £5-£12 concs. Major survey of the post-war modernist designers Charles and Ray Eames.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a multisensory Italian night out for two at The House of Peroni or £350 to spend at Whistles and a pair of Whistles x Edwin Jeans

Grab... £20 tickets to 'The Winter Masked Ball of the Full Moon' at The Vaults with A Curious Invitation

Book… these gigs while you still can

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