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36 fun things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Pick up beautiful magazines at a pop-up shop selling independent titles, rustle yourself up some natural beauty products with a hands-on workshop, or head to Percolate's party fundraiser for a Sunday session on the dance floor. Here are 36 things worth spending time on this weekend!

Things to do 

Friday Late Spectacular: Feeling Emotional, Wellcome Collection, TONIGHT, free. This late opening at the Wellcome Collection promises a bumpy ride through the ups and downs of human emotion with an evening of discussions, demonstrations and activities.

Ballet at the Bar(re), Spitalfields Market, TONIGHT, £25. ETHOS Bar in Spitalfields Market is hosting a ballet class with fitness lovers DOSE. January's well and truly over, so combine your Friday fitness with a drop of Friday bevs with a ballet class for all levels followed by a complimentary Belvedere cocktail.

Sonica, Kings Place, Fri-Sat, free. This taster of Glasgow's biennial sonic art festival is produced by Cryptic, an internationally renowned group fusing music, art and more. Being able to see what you can hear is what Sonica's all about, and artists will hold AV sessions with seriously impressive visuals.

Clean Beauty Co. Workshop, Maple & Fitz, Sat, £50. The girls behind Clean Beauty Co are hosting their very first workshop designed to offer DIY solutions to Londoners looking for alternatives to chemical-packed products.

Pop-Up Indie Magazine Shop, Albert House, Sat, free. Spend your Saturday flipping pages at this pop-up magazine shop selling a bounty of beautiful independent titles. Magazines on sale include Anorak, Delayed Gratification, Offscreen Magazine, Phox Pop, Riposte, The Plant Journal, Weapons of Reason and many more.

Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, Sat-Sun, free with admission. Kew Gardens' celebration of the orchid returns for a second year, this time with a colourful carnival theme. A series of carefully designed displays take over the glasshouse exploring the science of the mysterious plants with a focus on Brazilian hybrids.

Bethnal Green's Affordable Vintage Fair, York Hall, Sun, £3 early bird, £2 general. The UK's largest travelling marketplace for retro clothes, home wares and accessories returns to York Hall in Bethnal Green for a shopping event where you'll find vintage bargains dating from the Twenties onwards.

The Museum of Innocence, Somerset House, all weekend, free. This collaboration between Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk and Somerset House presents a physical form of Pamuk's novel 'The Museum of Innocence'.

Recount Me Always Anew, Geddes Gallery, all weekend, free. Part immersive theatre, part art exhibition, Recount Me Always Anew is the latest show to take over a former deli in Kings Cross. A dystopian Polish-language novel is translated into a sensorial journey by artist Eleanor Wemyss throughout the entire building.

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



© Fata Photographer




Eating and drinking

Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Ale, The Snooty Fox, Fri-Sat, free. Returning for an impressive thirteenth year, the real ale festival at The Snooty Fox provides a generous offering of top quality ales sourced from micro-breweries across the UK.

Hawker House, Canada Street, Fri-Sat, free before 7pm, £3 after. Street food fiends can keep eating through the winter months thanks to this huge indoor night market.

Behind This Wall, Mare Street, Fri-Sat. This Hackney space will be welcomed by fans of BTW’s ‘medicinal mixology’ in the form of infused cocktails, as well as its Tannoy Gold sound system to create, once again, its signature late-night grooves.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.







Bush Hall presents..., Shepherd's Bush, TONIGHT, £17.50. Another top quality Bush Hall Presents line-up: German comedy ambassador Henning Wehn, Elis James, Ed Gamble and a 'special guest'.

Joseph Morpurgo: Soothing Sounds for Baby, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £17.50, £15 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.

Sara Pascoe's Literary Salon, Book Club, Sun, £5. Erudite stand-up and TV regular Sara Pascoe hosts this series of literary salons, featuring book-themed jokes, readings from 'fictional and long dead writers' and bits of audience participation.

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


© Carolina Faruolo





Live music and nightlife

The LipSinkers, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Fri, £5-£8. Our favourite Mister Sisters – Lisa Lee, Ryan Styles, Richardette, John Sizzle and Blanche DuBois – shimmy their way through a freaky pop line-up in hilarious, twisted style. Think Pan's People meet Bloolips in Primark!

Burn Down The Disco, O2 Academy Islington, Sat, phone for price. A fun, unpretentious new club night rising from the ashes of Old School Indie, with a wide-ranging soundtrack of pop, disco and rock 'n' roll.

Percolate x MIND Charity Fundraiser, Oval Space, Sun, £5-£30 donation. Mental health and raving are not two things that traditionally go together. But we’re all in favour of bridging that gap, and this event is a great start: a fundraiser for the MIND mental health charity and run by party pros Percolate.

Kid Wave, Oslo, Sun, £10.60. One of the best new live bands we’ve seen in a while, Heavenly Records’ latest signings bust out joyous, jangling shoegaze-pop with no shortage of great melodies.

The Game, The Forum, Sun, £31. Jayceon Terell Taylor is (The) Game: the former G-Unit member and beef-starting hip hop star from Compton, CA, who brought the West Coast gangster rap scene back to life.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.







BFI Cult: ‘Cube’, BFI Southbank, TONIGHT, £8.35–£11.75. Spatially confined but intellectually expansive, this micro budget sci-fi movie is driven by ideas and tension rather than gratuitous explosions.

The Comedies of Preston Sturges: 'The Lady Eve', BFI Southbank, TONIGHT, £8.35–£11.75. Who was the first writer to win the Original Screenplay Oscar? The first person to get a ‘written and directed by’ credit? The third highest paid man in America in the late 1940s? An inspiration to everyone from the Coen Brothers to ‘The Simpsons’? Preston Sturges, that’s who.

L’Auberge Rouge, Ciné Lumière, Sun, £8, £6 concs. A successfully weird little tale about a nineteenth-century inn located in the Ardèche with a history of disappearing guests, Claude Autant-Lara's snowbound black comedy is chiefly remembered now as one of the better vehicles for moose-faced, one-named French star Fernandel.

Or at the cinema...

Trumbo ★★★☆☆ This biopic of the Hollywood screenwriter blacklisted for his Communist sympathies is too mushy and Oscar-friendly to fully convince.

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

…or see all of the latest releases.


© Mark Douet






Iphigenia in Splott, National Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£20. Gary Owen's politicised rewiring of an ancient Greek myth gets a well-deserved transfer to the NT.

Escaped Alone, Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Fri-Sat, £10-£35, £12-£30 concs. A menacing, joyous, brilliant return from the enigmatic Caryl Churchill.

Red Velvet, Garrick Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£95. A triumphant return for Adrian Lester as pioneering black actor Ira Aldridge.

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'.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

This week's best new art

Albert Oehlen, Gagosian Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. Albert Oehlen is an abstract painter – except when he isn’t. Maximalist and unruly, each of the German artist’s paintings works to their own set of rules and parameters.

America in Revolt: The Art of Protest, Shapero Modern, Fri-Sat, free. A historic moment in American counterculture comes to London in the form of an exhibition of posters and art created by students and protestors during the Berkeley demonstrations in early-’70s California.

Betty Woodman, ICA, all weekend, £1 membership. The US sculptor has worked with clay since the 1950s – long before the current vogue for art-ceramics – to create jazzy mixed-media pieces that combine ceramics and painting techniques.

Bruegel in Black and White: Three Grisailles Reunited, Courtauld Institute, all weekend, permanent collection and temporary exhibitions £8.50, concs £7.50. The ever-reliable Courtauld will, for the first time, bring together Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s three known grisaille paintings: works executed entirely in shades of grey, a genre of painting popular in Northern Europe in the fifteenth century.


…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a trip to the Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2016 or your wedding dress and VIP tickets to the National Wedding Show

Grab... a £43.50 deal for an afternoon tea for two at The Grosvenor Hotel

Book… these gigs while you still can

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