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37 amazing things happening in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Treat your peepers to some fantastic illustration and graphic art at this year's Safari festival, sail down-stream to watch films with The Floating Cinema, or fill your Saturday with meat-eating joy at a brisket-based feast. Have fun out there!

Things to do 

Slide the City, Wembley Park, Sat, from £15. The very simplistic fun that is hurtling down a piece of wet plastic on your belly needn't be a thing of the past with the help of Slide the City, who'll be setting up a 100m water slide in Wembley Park.

Battle of Waterloo, Leake Street, Sat, free. Underneath Waterloo Station, Leake Street Tunnel has long been a home for graffiti artists of all kinds. This summer it becomes a spraycan warzone for 40 artists, battling for a £250 cash prize.

Barts Bazaar Macabre Market, Barts Pathology Museum, Sat, free. This rare Saturday opening at the Barts Pathology Museum is in aid of all things creepy, as they'll be peddling anatomy and pathology related crafts and gifts.

Free Pilates at Cabbages and Frocks Market, Marylebone, Sat, free. Stretch your way through this gentle exercise class in the middle of a genteel market in Marylebone. The free, hour-long sessions will take place on grass, so bring a towel or mat if you can't handle being quite that close to nature.

Bandstand Concerts in Greenwich Park, Sun, free. Enjoy live music every Sunday throughout July and August at the Greenwich Park bandstand. Performers include The South London Jazz Orchestra, Belvedere Concert Band and the Incredible Sax Band.

Mind Sports Olympiad, JW3, Sun, £10-£15, spectators free. This annual festival of the mind will feature sedentary tournaments in more than 60 board games. Classics such as chess, draughts, Scrabble and Monopoly all feature alongside more recent hits such as Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne.

The Floating Cinema: Extra-Terrestrial, various, all weekend, prices vary. This month of screenings, workshops, talks, installations, music, family fun and more uses London's waterways as its platform. Canal boats and floating screens in various London locations will welcome visitors of all ages who are interested in science, space and aliens.

More London Free Festival, The Scoop, all weekend, free. Now in its thirteenth year, the More London Free Festival is again bringing an impressive line-up of events and performances to the concrete amphitheatre below the Mayor's leaning glass blob of an office on the South Bank.

Black Market, Kachette, all weekend, free. The team who cook up Bad Mama hot sauce have turned their hands to food events for August and the outcome is Black Market, which will serve up street food on Friday nights, arts and crafts on weekends and music throughout.

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






Eating and drinking

Brisket Fest, Camden Town Brewery Bar, Sat, £40. The repetitive but tempting menu is simply one dish 11 times, but with the likes of Neil Rankin, Smokestak and Miss P's BBQ providing their take on the moist meat, you might be hankering after a dozen of 'em.

Street Food and Craft Beer Festival, Alexandra Palace, Sat, free. Head up north London's biggest hill for this free festival at the 'People's Palace', which features live music and entertainment as well as heaps of food and drink.

Fungi Breakfast, The Holly Bush, Sat, £35. A two-hour walk offering an introduction to fungi found on Hampstead Heath and the places you'll find them flourishing. Your outing will be followed by a cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon and mushrooms (not the fruits of your morning's meander but supplied by 'official sources') at the Holly Bush in Hampstead.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.







Iliza Shlesinger – Freezing Hot, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £20, £17.50 concs. Shlesinger won the sixth season of 'Last Comic Standing' in the States (basically 'X Factor' for comedians) and she's an impressive stand-up: she's slick, caustic and tells it like it is, with plenty of strong opinions on dating, pop culture and the state of her nation. 

Simon Evans – In the Money, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £17.50, £15 concs. Slick, sharp, very funny stand-up Simon Evans – who's appeared on 'Live at the Apollo' and hosts Radio 4's Goes to Market – makes a welcome return to Soho.

Camden Fringe: Jake Yapp – One-Derland, Camden People's Theatre, all weekend, £9, £7 concs. Comic Jake Yapp – who's recently been summarising things like Radio 4 in just four-minutes for 'Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe' viewers – presents a day in the life of BBC One in his solo show.

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






Live music

Benjamin Clementine, Queen Elizabeth Hall, TONIGHT, £20-£25. A charismatic young singing poet, Benjamin Clementine hails from Edmonton Green but was discovered while singing on the Paris Metro, giving him a chance to spread his heartfelt blues and deep soul vocals further afield.

Anna Calvi, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Sat, £30-£35. Twice nominated for the Mercury Prize, the dark and stormy singer-songwriter plays David Byrne’s Meltdown.

Matthew Herbert, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Sun, £17.50-£20. Producer, conceptual auteur and mult-instrumentalist performer Herbert rolls out his high-minded house and electronica.

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


Found Present Heritage Day and NightSophie Whitworth






XOYO Third Birthday, Shoreditch, TONIGHT, £13.50. One of Shoreditch's finest venues celebrates three years of on-point club sounds. dubstep don-turned disco dude Skream headlines, with further great stuff from UK techno beast Surgeon, plus Jasper James and Artwork.

Bogan Bingo, Clapham Grand, TONIGHT, £7. Think bingo is boring? So do this lot, which is why they created a brilliant, bizarre, boozy and unashamedly silly alternative.

Found Present Heritage Day and Night, St John-at-Hackney Church/Oslo, Sat, £15 (day and night combined ticket), £12 (day only ticket). Scene-leading DJs explore the history of UK garage in an all-day and all-night party.

Love Carnival, Bussey Building, Sat, £10, £5-£7 adv. The Bussey Building (also known as the CLF Art Cafe), one of south London's finest nightlife venues, celebrates eight years of great club nights and parties. 

The House Clearance House Party, Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, Sat, £7, £5 adv. There's no such thing as a free lunch. But who needs lunch when you've got free vinyl? That's righ, at this innovative party you can take home more than just memories of dancing to top tunes – you can take home the tunes as well.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.


The Wolfpack






Floating Cinema: 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', Riverside Green, Sat, free. The Floating Cinema crew bring their unique movie boat back to London’s waterways for four weekends of features old and new plus shorts, talks and workshops exploring every aspect of science fiction. 

London Feminist Film Festival: 'The Company of Strangers', Rio, Sun, £9, £7 concs. Celebrate films made by and about women with this weekend of feminist cinema. Alongside a strong selection of new features and shorts  is a welcome chance to revisit this often overlooked British comedy-drama.

Bechdel Test Fest: ‘Rocks in My Pockets’, ICA, Sun, £11, £7 concs. Following huge acclaim at worldwide festivals, animator Signe Baumane’s remarkable documentary cartoon gets a welcome screening at the ICA courtesy of feminist film club Bechdel Test Fest and movie magazine Little White Lies.

Wotever DIY Film Fest, Cinema Museum, all weekend, from £7. This showcase for the best queer DIY film from the global LGBTQ* community has now been running for four years and kicks off with an opening night gala screening of Stories of Our Lives by the Kenyan Nest Collective - followed by an opening night party at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

Or at the cinema...

The Wolfpack ★★★★☆ This extraordinary documentary follows six brothers who spent their lives confined by their father to a New York apartment.

…or see all of the latest releases.







My Children! My Africa!, Trafalgar Studios, Fri-Sat, £15-£25. Athol Fugard's unsettling play set in apartheid South Africa gets a strong revival.

Women of Troy, The Scoop, all weekend, free. Gods and Monsters stage their annual open-air theatre season as part of More London Free Festival, which includes this version of Euripides' tragedy.

The School of Light, White Bear Theatre, all weekend, £14, £12 concs. Even the biggest sceptic knows what astrological animal they were born under. But what happens if you get that fierce sceptic in a room full of free spirits? Ian Dixon-Potter and Robert Pope ponder just this in their new play ‘The School of Light’.

A Midsummer Night's Dream In New Orleans, Arts Theatre, all weekend, £25, £22 concs. Shakespeare’s ‘fairy comedy’ always pops up in the summer, and it’s usually a flower-strewn, sunlight-dappled and light-hearted affair. Not so with Ruby in the Dust’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream in New Orleans’, which is set in a crumbling jazz café and the sprawling Louisiana bayous.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.






This week's best new art

Safari, Protein, Sat, free. An annual free festival celebrating alternative illustrators, cartoonists, graphic artists and comic publishers.

In Our Time, Ambika P3, all weekend, free. MA graduates of the University of Westminster’s documentary photography and photojournalism courses present new approaches to storytelling.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... one of 100 pairs of tickets to a private view of 'Soundscapes' at the National Gallery or a private helicopter flight for you and five friends

Grab... tickets to the Royal Court's Autumn productions and Big Idea Events

Book... these gigs while you still can

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