Finish your weekend in style with our guide to the best entertainment, events and places to go in London this Sunday, featuring an array of fantastic ideas that show the city at its best on this day of rest.
RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do in London this weekend
An exhibition about industrially produced sheet wood might not exactly sound enthralling. But never underestimate the V&A's ability to bring the most humdrum of subjects to life. This exhibition will cast a look at plywood's revolutionary use within furniture, aircraft and architecture, and the role it currently plays in digital design.
The world's largest festival of cycling returns to the capital. More than 100,000 people are expected to take on eight miles of empty London roads for this weekend feast of cycling aimed at riders of any age and ability. If you're more of a spectator, give your hands and vocal chords a workout by cheering those amateur riders taking part in the 100-mile fundraising challenge and the pros whizzing past in the Grand Prix event. Visit the website for the exact route and registration details. Timings for this year's event are as follows: Friday July 281pm to 7pm: Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix Saturday July 299am to 4pm: Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle5pm to 645pm: Prudential RideLondon Classique7:15pm: Brompton World Championship Final Sunday July 305:45am to 9am start: Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 1009am to 10am start: Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 461:15pm start: Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic
Whoever said the Square Mile is purely the domain of bankers and stockbrokers? The seventh edition of this urban sculpture trail will bring a dose of high culture to the City from June 27. It's quite a blokey line-up this year; look out for work by shark-pickling troublemaker Damien Hirst and American schlock merchant Paul McCarthy. You'll find a handy map of the trail here.
Putting a spotlight on the health of the River Thames, artist Jason Bruges’ light installation will shine one of three patterns on to the Sea Containers at Mondrian London based on whether the water quality is good, average or poor according to that day’s Thames data reading. The lights will be a permanent fixture every evening from dusk until midnight, letting us know if the river’s health is improving or declining. The data will also be tweeted on via the @ThamesPulse account and a billboard will show readings on real time. The lights will be switched on for the first on March 16 at 6.30pm.The project was devised by MEC UK to help raise awareness about the condition of the Thames and to support charity Thames21 in its mission to protect London’s rivers.
British sculptor Shawcross is the next artist to install a specially commissioned artwork on the ceiling of St Pancras's Barlow Shed, as part of the Terrace Wires programme.
Gay UK: Love, Law and Liberty explores gay lives through personal testimony, cultural expression and legal reform, from the 1895 trial of Oscar Wilde to the posthumous pardoning of historical homosexual offences this year. See original campaign material, journals and posters from groups the Gay Liberation Front, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners and Outrage!, Sarah Waters’ notebook she used while writing 'Tipping the Velvet' and a first edition of Virginia Woolf’s 'Orlando' alongside a sound recording of Vita Sackville-West from 1954 talking about the inspiration for the book. This is the first time these items have been on display together and there'll also be a number of special events throughout the exhibition, including a panel discussion about the history of queer culture and a discussion about David Bowie's influence on LGBTQ culture. Find out more here.
Love them or loath them, there's no avoiding the selfie. As an instantaneous form of self-portraiture, they're now an integral part of image-making in the twenty-first century. This exhibition charts the selfie's evolution – from the oil self-portraits of Old Masters like Rembrandt to the modern-day posing of Kim Kardashian et al.
The Theatre of Mistakes was a performance group that ran from 1974 to 1981. In that short time, it developed a form of live art built around interactive games and workshops. This exhibition will take a closer look at the group's legacy in British artmaking – and fittingly, there'll be a number of activities going on throughout the show's run.
Most of us don’t get any better with age. After our twenties we just get uglier, fatter and more useless. But Katsushika Hokusai was like a seriously fine wine. He was in his early seventies when he created ‘Under the Wave off Kanagawa’ – a work that would become one of the most iconic images in all of history, and he just got better. His whole life as an artist led to that single moment, and then the world blossomed and unfolded in front of him. The Great Wave – a woodblock image – was printed in its thousands, making a star out of lowly Hokusai. It’s a gorgeous little picture, a swirling maelstrom kaleidoscoping around the tranquil mountain as boats crash and clatter in the waves. Later on in the show, two big ceiling panels focus in on the wave. The twisting shapes and spitting foam create mini galaxies that completely overwhelm you in their abstraction. He was taking nods from western art, and in the process, he’d go on to shape the work of Van Gogh and Monet in countless ways. But it’s not all waves and water. The show takes in his prints, of course, but also his books and his one-off paintings. It’s a journey through countless mythological worlds, lush unfolding landscapes, ghost stories and scenes of everyday life. But most of all, it’s a journey through the mind of a master, desperately trying to wring every last drop of art from his brush. You just wish the museum had dimmed the lights a little bit and given the show some atmos. The final works are sad and forlor
Good old The Boy with Tape on His Face: living proof that you can still be incredibly funny without uttering a word. The physical comedy sensation (aka New Zealand-born stand-up Sam Wills) wowed US audiences as part of America's Got Talent. Now, The Boy is back in London in June 2017 with his predictably titled show 'Tape Face', mixing mime, props and audience interaction to create beautiful visual punchlines and truly magicial moments. This is one show that really does speak for itself.
Laugh Out London – one of our very favourite comedy clubs in the capital – is going all out for Edinburgh Fringe preview season. The gang are taking over the Old Queen's Head pub in Islington for a week-long mini-fest of work-in-progress shows, including a Saturday all-dayer. Across the week you can catch John Kearns, Nick Helm, Sara Pascoe, Tim Key and lots more.