Saturday: a day of the week so uniquely brilliant that Elton John, Nick Drake and, uh, Whigfield all wrote songs about it. Whether you plan to spend yours dancing, drinking, shopping or broadening your cultural horizons, we've got you covered with our pick of the day's best events.
RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do in London this weekend
This cross-cultural series of events at the Barbican highlights film’s unique ‘crafts’, shining the spotlight on the unsung heroes of filmmaking: costume designers, cinematographers and editors. Meet those involved in films like ‘Melancholia’ and ‘Dogtooth’, whose names are rarely seen after the credits roll.
TEDxEastEnd is taking the concept of TED Talks – ideas worth spreading, in an inspiring, powerful format – to East London. The all-day event will see 15 speakers and performers take the stage full of new ideas on everything from science and technology to human rights, history and art.
2016 marks the 150th anniversary of celebrated children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, who was a frequent visitor to the museum where she would often sit and sketch. This exhibition celebrates the date with artworks, original sketches and her earliest published works on show.
From Whitechapel Market, you can look west along the high street to where the Gherkin stands out above the City. It might as well be the Emerald City for all the relevance it has here: this is a non-stop, heaving, all-weather, cacophonous East End micro-economy, born of pragmatism rather than fashion and largely sustained by local Bangladeshis. Go for fruit, phonecards, pots and pans, fish, spices, cleaning products and the sort of vegetables you might have to ask the name of. For a lunch break visit Needoo Grill: just over the road, this no-frills BYO restaurant serves excellent Punjabi food.
This show brings together two artists whose works looks at issues of migration and identity. Paci has created a series of watercolours based around YouTube stills and army training videos, while Racco is showing a film that was shot at a Catholic cemetary in her Albanian hometown.
It should have been a match made in heaven. Take one artist, one writer, both LA socialites, both with eyes set beadily on the shallowness and excess of Tinseltown, and get them to collaborate. But Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis have managed something quite remarkable in this exhibition at Gagosian: they’ve cancelled out each other’s talents entirely. The pair’s working method is simple. Israel provides the imagery, having bought it on stock photography websites. Ellis writes passages of text: glib, nihilistic statements that might be said by the self-obsessed actors, stockbrokers and Ivy League students that populate his novels. The combined results are executed at billboard scale by a team of scenery painters at Warner Bros. The two pieces on display here have been hung in the windows, so that to walk inside the gallery is to be met with an empty, white space, and all there is to see is the film studio’s logo stamped on the backs of the canvases. Yes, guys. We get it. Behind the surface of Hollywood there is nothing, yadda yadda yadda. But here’s where they’ve gone wrong. Ellis’s faux-banal prose works in books such as ‘Less Than Zero’ and ‘American Psycho’ because over the course of hundreds of pages, through sheer volume, he manages to demonstrate how soul-corroding the worlds of consumerism and privilege can be. But here, in these throwaway little snippets, it amounts to nothing, certainly not atop images specifically chosen for their blandness. There’s no damnation
A series of the Spanish giant's late works will go on display for the first time outside of his native country. All characteristally monumental in size, these semi-abstract, semi-figurative pieces deal with some decidedly messy themes of sex, violence and the human body.
Do as the dedicated club junkies do and get yourself to the tastemaking Clerkenwell dance palace for a melting-pot of deep house, melodic techno, dubby disco, minimal grooves and a touch of bass. Residents Craig Richards and Terry Francis are joined by a stellar selection of cutting edge DJs and producers each week, throwing solid dancefloor tunes and some nice curveballs out to the crowd.
Shoreditch club XOYO always delivers when it comes to delivering on-point electronic music, whether through nights at the club itself or the XOYO Loves series, which see the brand branching out to different venues. Music-wise, expect anything from deep house to disco to dubstep to R&B, spun by some of the finest in the game.
Abba. Junk food. Watching Jeremy Kyle. Thwacking dawdlers on Oxford Street over the back of the head with a copy of Time Out. We've all got our guilty pleasures, and this hugely fun night celebrates the musical side of them. It's a high-quality but ultimately cheesy party of pop, disco, dance tracks, R&B and soft rock, where you can hear anything from Hanson to Haim to Soft Cell to Whitney to Beyoncé, accompanied by dancers, live acts cabaret performers, balloons and a lot of glitter Leave your hipster credentials at the door, dress up and get guilty!
This latest season of late night fun at Styx rises to it's potential as a venue. Not only will '90s bands and DJs play every Friday and Saturday but there's after parties with loopy performance artists Figs in Wigs, a Bjork inspired Drag extravaganza with Take That tribute 'Take Twat', '90s techno from Vector Space, ITCH FM are doing a tribute to '90s hip-hip and folk covers of the decade's classics from Super Tennants. The '90s season also includes productions of that decade's most experimental theatre.
Miles Jupp, it's Miles bloody Jupp. You know, the one from 'Rev'? Or 'Balamory'? Or 'Have I Got News For You', 'The Thick of It' or 'Mock the Week'? The one who's so posh he makes Jack Whitehall look like Micky Flanagan. Him. The actor-comedian is back in the West End with his latest offering 'Songs of Freedom', another tut-tutting disection of the modern world and the domestic sphere. Every word in a Jupp show is carefully thought-over to produce the biggest possible laugh. What a jolly good egg.
Helen Duff's 'Vanity Bites Back' was a clowning cookery show that got rave reviews from Edinburgh's food-spattered comedy critics. 'When the Going Gets Duff' is a riotously silly solo show about life's sillier side - and going by the owl-filled poster its should be a hoot.
Actor and folk musician Dunlop is the son of Fairport Convention legend Ashley Hutchings, and took over fronting the latter's The Albion Band in 2011. Bizarrely, he was also cast as the young Willy Wonka (sharing the role with Johnny Depp) in Tim Burton's 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' film. All that and a blooming solo career, too – he just won the Horizon Award at the BBC Folk Awards. Expect unlikely topics (including Mormon belief in angels and the Shakespeare authorship debate) alongside traditionals such as 'Black is the Colour', with skilled guitar and a young, clear, Jim Moray-ish vocal.
Verdi's opera about a doomed hunchbacked jester is relocated to 1950s New York gangland in Jonathan Miller's engaging production for the ENO. It's been revived a whopping 13 times since its debut in 1982, thanks to its winning blend of gorgeous music and mafioso drama. Elaine Tyler-Hall directs this revival, with Nicholas Pallesen as 'Rigoletto'. Sir Richard Armstrong conducts. Sung in English, with surtitles.
Find things to do any day of the week
One of a number of Vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland Road, Viet Grill forms part of the 'pho mile', as this area is often referred. It's less ramshackle than many of its neighbours - there's even a cocktail list. The food menu is authentic, with traditional Vietnamese dishes such as summer rolls, five spiced grilled quail and green papaya salads alongside Vietnamese curries, lemongrass chilli chicken and roasted whole mackerel marinated in tumeric, galangal and lemongrass.
"We have some great set menus coming soon for our exclusive hire and private event space at Viet Grill. Watch this space! Info coming soon."