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46 brilliant ways to spend this weekend in London

flamingo pier

Planning a quiet weekend in? Think again my friend! There are way too many fun things happening for that. Immerse yourself in a world of art and science at Merge Festival, catch a ’70s film all-nighter in Elephant and Castle, or get your head around this year’s Turner Prize nominations at the Tate. Here’s all the info you need for a wicked weekend...

Fun things to do

Flamingo Pier Vol. VI – Afterglow, Hackney Wick, TONIGHT, £5. The final floating party of the year from Flamingo Pier sees food from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, coffee cocktails and a guest set by Marcus Marr from DFA Records.

Best of Britannia, The Farmiloe Building, Fri-Sat, £8. Now in its third year, Best of Britannia will be transforming the Farmiloe Building in Clerkenwell into Britain’s largest pop-up department store. The USP? Every product available to buy has been made in Britain.

UK Rock Paper Scissors Championships, The Green Man, Saturday, £16. The sporting contest where everyone has the means to compete is back for another year and sees 250 competitors raring to stare at fingers in an effort to be crowned UK RPS 2014 champion.

Dog Day, London Fields, Saturday, £2 donation. A charity match-a-thon event where dog-owning Hackney residents can meet locals who’d love to dog sit their furry companion. All donations go to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

Cake & Bake Show, Earls Court, all weekend, £14.50, £12.50 concs. The Cake & Bake Show is back for another year and the 2014 edition is serving up some seriously delicious treats. Top name culinary creatives including Rachel Khoo, Lisa Faulkner and Phil Vickery are taking to the stage with live demonstrations and helpful baking tips across the weekend.

Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination, British Library, all weekend, £5-£9. The UK’s most comprehensive show of Gothic literature will explore the enduring influence the genre has had on literature, film, fashion, music and art, 250 years after Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto crept out of the shadows.

Merge Festival, South Bank, all weekend, free. Bankside will be taken over with free events all themed around the idea of ’Art and Science’. Highlights include a life-size house made of wax bricks (which will melt by the end of the festival) and a Bompas & Parr-designed helmet that will stimulate the part of the brain most susceptible to supernatural experiences.

Elefest, various Elephant and Castle locations, all weekend, free-£20. Celebrate the past, present and future of Elephant and Castle with the return of this three-day festival of music, film, discussion and grub taking place at various local venues.

London Literature Festival, Southbank Centre, all weekend, prices vary. Back for 2014, the London Literature Festival brings together an international line-up of world-class poets, authors and speakers to celebrate the power of words and their ability to transform lives. This year’s liberty-themed festival focusses on justice, freedom and democracy, and acts as a tribute to the late Maya Angelou.

Vue Entertainment and Prop Store Exhibition, Vue Westfield London, all weekend, free. Movie collectibles vendors Prop Store have been gathering some of the most recognisable, memorable and goddamn awesome bits of film ephemera for over a decade now, and will auction off 375 of them in London on October 16.

Wool Ride, Potters Fields Park, Sunday, free. As part of Prince Charles’ Campaign for Wool, which aims to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of the fluffy fibre, cyclists of all abilities are invited to wrap up warm and ride a 13.4 mile route past some of London’s loveliest landmarks. Following the bike ride, participants will be welcomed back to Potters Fields for the Woollen Cycle Workshop.

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

el nivel

Eating and drinking

El Nivel, Covent Garden. London’s more than ready for mezcal and its agave amigos, and this bar from Tomas Estes (the official Mexican tequila ambassador to Europe: really) is a fine place to sample some.

Mission, Bethnal Green. Chef James de Jong turns out sunny dishes that match the wine country food, such as tender octopus with tomato and grains of farro, topped with a scoop of garlicky aioli.

Mondrian London at Sea Containers. The Mondrian London at Sea Containers is the first ever location of Mondrian-branded boutique hotels outside of the US. New York chef Seamus Mullen of Tertulia will be at the helm of the hotel’s restaurant alongside Luke Rayment, former head chef at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Computer boy

Comedy

Computer Boy, Proud Archivist, TONIGHT, £12. Tonight’s performance of ‘Computer Boy’ is part of the Zip Zip Comedy Night, which also features spots from Simon Munnery, Holly Burn and host Nico Tatarowicz. Tickets are available through EventBrite.

Sheeps – Wembley Previews, The Invisible Dot Ltd, Fri-Sat, £10, £8.50 concs. The title ‘Wembley Previews’ is a wonderful juxtaposition to Sheeps’s low-key style. This ace sketch trio – made up of Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Liam Williams, Daran Johnson and Alistair Roberts – are original, inventive and properly funny.

Lucy Beaumont – We Can Twerk It Out, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£12.50. Cosy tales of life oop’t north from this Hull-born, Foster’s Best Newcomer-nominated stand-up.

EastEnd Cabaret – Sexual Tension, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£15. EastEnd Cabaret – vaguely Eastern European femme fatale Bernadette Byrne and her stalky, hermaphroditic accompanist Victor Victoria – have been playing the cabaret circuit for years. But now they’ve gone proper ‘comedy’, with sharp-witted, musically rich songs about – you guessed it – sex.

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

Goat

Live music

Goat, Roundhouse, TONIGHT, £16.50. Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, Goat create ace voodoo psychedelia. As well as chanting over bongos and widdly, Middle Eastern-influenced riffs smothered in reverb, they dress in colourful masks and provide one hell of an energetic, intense live experience.

Neil Cowley Trio, Barbican Hall, TONIGHT, £10-£20. Charismatic pianist Neil Cowley (who’s worked outside jazz with Adele and Emeli Sandé) performs compelling and beautiful contemporary jazz pieces from his new album ‘Touch and Flee’, backed by drummer Evan Jenkins and wonderfully bearded bassist Rex Horan.

The Horrors, The Troxy, Saturday, £17.50. If you still think of The Horrors as the fright-wigged, black-clad and pretzel-thin garage-punks of 2007, where have you been? The London five-piece reinvented themselves with the psychedelic post-punk-meets-shoegaze of their second album ‘Primary Colours’, took a huge leap into epic soundscapes with the follow-up ‘Skying’, and have now unleashed their fourth album ‘Luminous’, which confirms them as one of the UK’s best young bands.

The Jim Jones Revue, The Forum, Saturday, £17.50. The slicked-back, blues-riffing, garage-rock greasers play their last show ever. It goes on until 2am, providing extra time for drowning your sorrows with whisky. Godspeed, gentlemen – Time Out salutes you.

…or take a look at all 37 live music events in London this weekend.

Trust with Joy Orbison

Club nights

Trust with Joy Orbison, The Laundry, TONIGHT, £10. A new party that operates with an open-minded, forward-thinking attitude to electronic music of all shapes and sizes, but leaning heavily towards the underground side of things. UK bass royalty Joy Orbison is up first so get ready to revel in a heady, sweaty mix of low frequency freak-outs, dubstep-influenced house, techno and various other dark dancefloor delights.

The Rhythm Parlour, Bussey Building, Saturday, £20 (haircut), beard trim (£10), free to attend. Get your beard trimmed while you soak up some disco bliss at pop-up musical barber shop The Rhythm Parlour, launching at Rye Wax Records in Peckham’s Bussey Building this weekend. Turn up, put your name on the list for a haircut or beard/tache trim, sift through Rye Wax’s ace selection of records, grab a cocktail, munch some Vietnamese street food and listen to DJs spin disco, house and funk while you wait for your turn in the barber’s chair.

Tonga, The Victoria, Saturday, £5. Mike Skinner, aka the guy from The Streets, has teamed up with Manchester-based collective Murkage for a new club night at The Victoria pub in Dalston.

Into the Forest, Studio 338, Saturday, £5-£20. Greenwich mega-club Studio 338 is launching Into The Forest, in partnership with Kopparberg. Expect a sizzling programme of DJs and producers to soundtrack the party (including special sessions from Sankeys and Berlin club Watergate), while S338 is transformed into a trippy, foresty environment.

DMC World DJ Championships, The Forum, Sunday, £20. The world’s finest turntablists will cut, scratch and freestyle their way through six-minute slots to be crowned world champion.

…or see all 58 parties planned this weekend.

Elefest: Filmbar 70's Sci-fi All-Nighter

Film

Elefest: Filmbar ’70s Sci-fi All-Nighter, The Cinema Museum, Saturday, £9, £7 concs. Elefest is a sprawling multimedia festival centered in Elephant and Castle, covering music, art and a weekend of terrific films at the Cinema Museum. The focus this year is on sci-fi, with a screening of ‘Attack the Block’ attended by members of the cast, a triple-bill of recent British sci-fi hits, and this phenomenal all-nighter rounding up four beloved 1970s titles.

City Visions: ‘When a Woman Ascends the Stairs’, Barbican, Saturday, £11.50, £10.50 concs. The Barbican’s City Visions season explores how the modern urban landscape has been represented on screen. This brilliant melodrama encapsulates the strengths of masterly Japanese director Mikio Naruse, whose work has barely been seen here.

‘Moonraker’ + Q&A, Genesis Cinema, Saturday, £20. This thirty-fifth anniversary screening will feature an exclusive Q&A with special effects supervisor John Richardson and producer Bill Cartlidge.

Or at the cinema…

Gone Girl ★★★★★ Transformed into the kind of wickedly confident Hollywood thriller you pray to see once in a decade, Gillian Flynn’s absorbing missing-wife novel emerges – via a faithful script by the author herself – as the stealthiest comedy since ‘American Psycho’.

Still the Enemy ★★★★☆ Within ‘Still the Enemy Within’ tells the story of the 1984 miner’s strike from the inside, interviewing those who manned the picket lines. It exposes how the Thatcher government colluded with big business, the police and the media to break the back not just of the National Union of Miners, but of the entire trade union movement, and perhaps even any notion of working class solidarity.

Life After Beth ★★★☆☆ Up-and-comer Aubrey Plaza’s deadpan stare makes her perfect to play girlfriend-turned-zombie Beth. After dying in a solo mountain hike at the start of the film, it’s only a matter of time after the funeral before Beth reappears, slightly dazed and in need of a bath.

…or see all of the latest releases.

Speed-the-Plow

Theatre

Speed-the-Plow, Playhouse Theatre, Fri-Sat, £25-£59.50. Who knew that the rumours would turn out to be true? Hollywood starlet and all-round bad-girl Lindsay Lohan is gracing London’s West End with her first ever stage appearance. She’ll star in a new production of David Mamet’s ‘Speed-the-Plow’, directed by Lindsay Posner – who’s done a fair few Mamets in his time.

Seminar, Hampstead Theatre, Fri-Sat, £25-£32, £15-£18 concs. Theresa Rebeck’s 2011 play about a once-celebrated novelist and his $5,000-a-head writing class was an Alan Rickman-starring Broadway hit a few years back. Now Hampstead snaps up the UK premiere, with Roger Allam as burnt-out writer Leonard.

East is East, Trafalgar Studios, Saturday, £15-£52.50. Thus far, the two mega-successful Trafalgar Transformed seasons at Trafalgar Studios have been wholly directed by box office dynamo Jamie Lloyd. Now he cedes control to Sam Yates for this revival of Ayub Khan Din’s classic comedy about a multiracial marriage in ’70s Salford. Jane Horrocks plays long suffering Ella, married to strict Muslim George (Khan Din himself).

…or see our theatre critics’ choices here.

Turner Prize 2014

This week’s best new art

Turner Prize 2014, Tate Britain, all weekend, free. After travelling to Derry-Londonderry last year, modern art’s biggest prize returns to London this autumn with four more hopeful artists all vying for the coveted Turner Prize. This year’s jury includes Stefan Kalmar of Artists Space, New York; Helen Legg of Spike Island, Bristol and Sarah McCrory of Glasgow International Festival, who all have the difficult honour of selecting a worthy winner from the a line-up of Duncan Campbell, Ciara Phillips, James Richards and Tris Vonna-Michell.

Art Licks Weekend, various locations, all weekend, free.  Art Licks Weekend 2014 is a three-day event showcasing small galleries, not-for-profit projects, artist-run spaces and independent curatorial projects. Check the website for the full programme of special events and exhibitions.

Paula Rego: The Last King of Portugal, Marlborough, Fri-Sat, free. Rego’s gritty and crude paintings and pastel drawings are a sensation to behold. Informed by folkloric tales and instilled with psychologically charged narrative, three new series inspired by her Portuguese homeland are presented here.

Martha Rosler: The Bowery, Lethaby Gallery Central Saint Martins, Fri-Sat, free. The famous New York neighbourhood is the focus of this renowned American artist’s series, ‘The Bowery in two inadequate descriptive systems’, 1974-75, presented here by Afterall at Central St Martins.

Yoshitomo Nara, Dairy Art Centre , all weekend, free. The hugely popular Japanese artist known for his caricatures of fiendish, wide-eyed animals and children presents his largest UK exhibition to date.

AOI Illustration Awards, Somerset House, all weekend, free. The Association of Illustrators present the best illustration talent from around the globe in their annual award exhibition. Returning to Somerset House for a third year, the exhibition demonstrates the diversity of illustrative disciplines by displaying books, design and editorial work from artists working in USA, France and South Korea.

Modern Toss: A Decade in the Sh*thouse, Forge & Co, all weekend, free. Shoddily drawn characters with an abrasive attitude come together in the cartoons by Jon Link and Mick Bunnage, aka Modern Toss. The show coincides with the publication of the same name as the show, a collation of their work form the last ten years.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… tickets to see Lena Dunham or Martha Wainwright or tickets to RumFest 2014

Grab… £15 tickets to ‘Hilary Mantel: Reading and In Conversation’ at the Royal Festival Hall

Book… these gigs while you still can

And the best of the blog…

It’s official! London is the world’s most expensive city to live in

Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet

How to make new friends in London

Would you sleep on a desk for £74 a week?

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