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42 magical things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Catch more firework displays at Blackheath or Ally Pally, feast on Mexican-inspired grub at Wahaca's Day of the Dead bash, and finish off the weekend with a daytime dance party courtesy of Mister Sunday. Time to get excited for the weekend...

Things to do 

Small Publishers Fair, Conway Hall, Fri-Sat, free. A celebration of contemporary artists, poets and writers and the small publishing companies that support their work.

Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival, Alexandra Palace, Sat, £9. The huge – and hugely popular – display over north London also features a funfair, ice skating and German beer festival.

Renegade Craft Fair, Old Truman Brewery, Sat, free. Designers and makers bundle into the Old Truman Brewery offering up their wares which range from stationery and jewellery to toys, illustrated prints and super trendy cacti-filled pots and hanging baskets.

Blackheath Fireworks, Blackheath, Sat, free. The Blackheath Fireworks night is one of the city's few major displays that remain free to attend, so it's no wonder as many as 100,000 people turn up each year.

Home Movie Day, Cinema Museum, Sat, free. The Cinema Museum hosts its annual Home Movie Day, where members of the public are invited to bring their old-school movies ('Super8', '8mm', '16mm' etc) for inspection by a trained archivist and get advice on storage, digitisation and other matters.

Remembrance Sunday, The Cenotaph, Sun, free. Sometimes referred to as Poppy Day, the Sunday nearest to November 11 is designated Remembrance Sunday each year. It's been observed since the end of World War I and is marked by a parade and wreath-laying at the Cenotaph in Whitehall to honour those who gave their lives in WWI and WWII and subsequent conflicts.

The Art of the Selfie, Old Street Station, all weekend, free. Reckon the selfie's only been a thing since you upgraded to an iPhone 3? This exhibition is out to prove you wrong, with a series of prints of iconic self-portraits from the likes of Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol and Toulouse Lautrec.

CRACK + CIDER: Shop for the Homeless, One Good Deed Today, all weekend, free. Founders Charlotte Cramer and Scarlett Montanaro have come up with a great way of tackling some of the problems faced by London’s estimated 7,581 rough-sleeping residents. For the month of November their online shop is finding a physical home on Kingsland Road at ethical homeware store One Good Deed Today.

Mino Washi from Gifu, Japan, Proud Archivist, all weekend, free. The people of Mino, a town in central Japan have been creating washi paper since the 8th century. The techniques they employ have recently been added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list and this exhibition is a unique opportunity to see some beautiful examples up close.

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




Eating and drinking

The Soho Shebeen Irish Pop Up Bar, 26 Greek Street, Fri-Sat, free. Three floors of Irish charm await Londoners at this boozy Greek Street pop-up. For six days visitors can drink to the launch of three new spirits: Feeney's Irish Cream Liqueur, The Dubliner Irish Whiskey and The Dublin Liberties Oak Devil Irish Whiskey.

ONA at The Butcher's Shop, Harry's Fine Foods, Fri-Sat, £40. Chilean chef Marcelo Henriquez will create a seven-course feast to be served up in much-loved Kentish Town butcher and fishmonger Harry's Fine Foods.

Wahaca presents Day of the Dead Festival, Tobacco Dock, Sat, £31.50, £29 via Time Out ticket offer. A Mexican-themed fiesta with live music, talks and a whole lot of spicy food and drink.

Chefs of Tomorrow at Druid St Market, Druid Street, Sat, free. Chef Dan Doherty (of Duck & Waffle fame) has chosen a line-up of ten promising young chefs from restaurants such as Fera, Petersham Nurseries and L'Escargot to show off their skills on stalls at Druid St Market for this five-week series. 

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.


© Avalon






Chortle Comedy Book Festival, Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre, Sat-Sun, prices vary. Internet comedy bible (run by all-round good eggs) Chortle hosts this book festival dedicated to comedy for a third year running. The two-day shindig features live performances of literature-themed shows, plus Q&As with leading comics and comedy writers talking about their penned work.

Go Faster Festival, Bloomsbury Theatre, Sat-Sun, £30 per day. Indie comedy DVD maestros Go Faster Stripe have released tons of ace, leftfield stand-up discs. This weekend, the team are recording nine brand new DVDs live at the Bloomsbury Studio over one weekend. Nine!

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.






Live music

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Oval Space, TONIGHT, £12. Blissful, heartfelt lyrics, fuzztastic guitars, big choruses: Kip Berman's New York indie band have moved from C86-style twee-pop towards Smashing Pumpkins-style fuzz without sacrificing the bittersweet emotions that riddle their expertly crafted songs.

Apparat, Barbican Hall, Sat, £20-£25. As well as being a Berlin-based techno DJ, Sascha ‘Apparat’ Ring is the creator of some smouldering, epic soundscapes without a repetitive beat in earshot. He’s in London tonight to perform selections from the various film soundtracks he’s worked on over the last few years.

Josh T Pearson, St John-at-Hackney Church, Sat, £20. Towering and charismatic, extravagantly bearded Texan and former main man of Lift To Experience, Pearson engineers a dark and thrillingly intense style of

Zola Jesus, Islington Assembly Hall, Sat, £16.50. A former opera singer, Nika Roza Danilova now makes brooding electro-pop with enigmatic wailing as Zola Jesus – a name she gave herself to alienate herself from bullies at school.

Chilly Gonzales, Royal Festival Hall, £15- £25.50. The musical genius teams up with the Kaiser Quartet for some classical chaos from his latest album 'Chambers'.

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







Seven Davis Jr, The Nest, TONIGHT, £7-£10. Excellent producer of kaleidoscopic disco Seven Davis Jr – whose 'Universes' album impressed us earlier this year – brings his multicoloured, funk-driven house out to play.

Matthew Dekay, The Pickle Factory, TONIGHT, £10. Dutch house master Matthew Dekay plays a rare London set at new Bethnal Green venue The Pickle Factory.

Ragga twins + Tippa Irie, Fox & Firkin, Sat, £7-£10. Digital ragga ravers Ragga Twins will be blasting out their low-frequency chaos and ruffed-up rhymes at a great little Lewisham boozer-cum-venue.

Mister Sunday, Oval Space, Sun, £5-£15. An eclectic all-day Sunday party bursting with disco, house, pop, blues and everything in-between, hosted by New York DJ duo Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.



Kinima: ‘Mr Vampire’, The Cinema Museum, TONIGHT, £13, £11 concs. Check out this awesomely odd entry in the Chinese ‘hopping vampire’ genre, preceded by a host of live cabaret performances.

French Film Festival: 'Microbe & Gasoline', Ciné Lumière, Sat, £12, £10 concs. This festival is a celebration of all modern French cinema has to offer, from high-profile titles like ‘Diary of a Chambermaid’ starring Bond actress Léa Seydoux to intimate dramas like award-winning gypsy story ‘Wild Life’. But our top pick is the latest from ‘Eternal Sunshine’ director Michel Gondry, a winsome coming-of-age tale that makes the most of his talents.

UK Jewish Film Festival: 'Son of Saul', Phoenix Cinema, Sun, £14, £10 concs. Another sprawling programme of films from Israel, the US and all points in-between. Our strong recommendation is Cannes prize-winning drama ‘Son of Saul’, an Auschwitz-set drama that's numbing, provocative and impossible to unsee.

Kinema and Kocktails: ‘Saturday Night Fever’, Cellar Door, Sun, £12. 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 see all of the latest releases.


© Idil Sukan






First Love is the Revolution, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12.50 - £20. The first London production from playwright Rita Kalnejais, ’First Love Is the Revolution’ tells the story of Basti (James Tarpey) – a 14 year-old boy – and Rdeča (Emily Burnett), who’s, er, a fox.

As You Like It, Olivier Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£55. An endearingly eccentric production of Shakespeare's maddest comedy.

The Hairy Ape, Old Vic, Fri-Sat, £12-£55. Bertie Carvel stars in a surreal, unnerving revival of Eugene O'Neill's iconic expressionist classic.

Dinner with Friends, Park Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15 - £25, £18 concs. Enjoyable but inessential drama about the disintegration of a marriage and a friendship.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.


Matt Jennings


This week's best new art

Late at Tate Britain: The Body, Tate Britain, TONIGHT, free. This after-hours evening explores the representation of the figure through a varied programme including live music sets by Bala Club Djs and Ady Suleiman, an animation lab and makeovers by all-female drag collective Pecs, who will also be performing monologues inspired by Tracey Emin’s My Bed, 1998.

Tempo al Tempo: Art from Anno Domini to Roni Horn, Roman Road Project Space, Fri-Sat, free. In collaboration with antiques specialist Bruno Botticelli and Moretti Fine Arts, this group show explores the unexpected relationships between antiquities from as early as AD 1 and contemporary art by Roni Horn, Thomas Struth, Darren Almond, and Domingo Milella.

Moffat Takadiwa, Tyburn Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. The Zimbabwean artist considers issues of material culture and the environment in works made from debris including plastic bottle tops and electrical merchandise.

Richard Dadd: The Art of Bedlam, Bethlem Gallery and Museum of the Mind, Sat, free. Survey of the Victorian artist who made a large amount of his work during his detention as a ‘criminal lunatic’ at Bethlem Royal Hospital.

The London Photograph Fair, Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, Sun, £10, £5. Celebrating a range of photography from the 1840s through the 20th Century, this boutique-style photography fair has something for every collector, whether aficionado or novice with prices starting at £50 and rising to the thousands.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win...a £1000 cottage break and Virgin Experience Days voucher or a weekend of pop fun at The Mighty Hoop-La from £12 to Taste of London: The Festive Edition including a complimentary glass of champagne or tea cube

Book…these gigs while you still can

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