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50 wonderful ways to spend this weekend in London

Mike Murray

[Photo: Mike Murray]

Whirl your way into the weekend with one of these fantastic events happening across the capital. Get a sugar rush at The Chocolate Show, get down to some French electro pop at the Village Underground, binge yourself silly on some brilliant artwork from one of the many art fairs or new openings gracing the city over the next few days. Here’s everything you need to know to bag yourself some fun…

Fun things to do 

Sherlock Holmes Exhibition, Museum of London, all weekend, £12, £10 concs. This new exhibition at the Museum of London seeks to find out who Holmes is, and why Arthur Conan Doyle’s late-Victorian detective endures to this day.

Bibliothèque’s Bibliothèque, Hoxton Arches, all weekend, free. To celebrate ten years of collecting and producing work for an enviable list of international clients, design studio Bibliothèque will be hosting an interactive installation and pop-up bookshop at The Hoxton Arches.

Merge Festival, various Bankside locations, all weekend, free. This free collection of creative events and installations takes over venues great and small in the Bankside area for a third year in 2014, this time with a theme of ‘Art and Science’. This is your last weekend to catch it.

ICA Off-Site, Old Selfridges Hotel, all weekend, free. Coinciding with the Frieze Art Fair, the ICA have set up shop in The Old Selfridges Hotel for this series of events and installations.

Brite Space London, Old Street Station, all weekend, prices vary. Online ticket enablers Eventbrite have curated a line-up of workshops to fill this pop-up studio in Old Street station. They’re hoping to tempt us all into trying something new with a selection that includes a crash course in being a radio DJ, fitness using hula hoops and dog yoga.

The Social History and Cultural Significance of the London Bus, London Transport Museum, Saturday, free with exhibition ticket. This one day symposium coincides with the Year of the Bus celebrations and will look at the iconic nature of London’s red double-decker buses, their social history, and economic impact.

TEDxEastEnd Discovery Day, Spotlight, Langdon Park, Saturday, free. A chance for eastenders to learn more about TED and TEDx and find out how they can be involved with upcoming events. Expect talks, interactive sessions, music and the chance to meet the team.

Deadly and Disgusting Plants and Fungi, Kew Gardens, Sat-Sun, free with admission.Young visitors can follow clues and puzzles on a trail through the gardens to help save London from the evil Smedly Deadly and his poisonous plants, meeting some interesting characters along the way.

Russian Avant-Garde Theatre: War, Revolution and Design, 1913 – 1933, V&A, Sat- Sun, free. This exhibition of more than 150 radical designs from the period includes work from some of the Russian avant-garde’s most celebrated figures. It includes work by Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko and Vladimir Tatlin.

Battle of Ideas, Barbican Centre, Sat-Sun,£55, £10-£30 day tickets; £100, £20-£60 weekend. Now in its tenth year, this annual festival of public debate will once again raise important issues and ask challenging questions for a weekend of discussion, with an impressive line-up of 350 speakers.

Photomonth East London 2014, various locations, all weekend, free. Photomonth is an umbrella event featuring over 150 exhibitions, events, talks and workshops taking place in venues including galleries, shops, cafes, cinemas, libraries and universities in the East London area.

Celebrate Diwali with Dishoom, Granary Building, Sunday, free. Since the traditional fireworks aren’t really suitable for an indoor event, Indian restaurant group Dishoom are inviting families to celebrate Diwali with a day of storytelling, colourful activities and workshops, live music and sweet treats.

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

The Chocolate Show

Eating and drinking

The Chocolate Show, Olympia London, all weekend, £15, £10 ages 4-12; £12.50 adv, £8 ages 4-12 adv. Demonstrations, talks, workshops and tastings from the world’s best chocolate brands will keep visitors’ mouths watering, while daily catwalk shows will involve couture made entirely out of the sticky stuff.

Underground Drinking Club, Old Street tube station, Saturday, £25. Sign up for a two hour session with some of London’s top mixologists who will be creating bespoke cocktails, tailored specifically to you flavour preferences.

Beer and Street Food in Shoreditch, Saturday, free. Street food specialists Urban Food Fest are teaming up with Let There Be Beer to create the UK’s largest beer and street food pairing event. Six dishes matched with brews selected by ‘beer sommelier’ Jayne Peyton will be available to taste during the opening hours 5pm-midnight.

Dirty Tommi’s, 20 Kensington Church St, Sunday. Tommi’s Burger Joint is going west to Dirty Bones’ Kensington home to mash up menus for artery-clogging delights such as the Tommi’s Burger Dog (Tommi’s patty and Dirty Bones short ribs in a hot dog roll) and the Dirty Mac Burger (Tommi’s burger with Dirty Bones steak glaze and mac ’n’ cheese), all washed down with boozy shakes.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Steen Raskopoulos

Comedy

Steen Raskopoulos – I’m Wearing Two Suits Because I Mean Business, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12.50-£15. Aussie solo sketch artist Steen Raskopoulos brings his character comedy hour to Soho following a hugely acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Rubberbandits – Continental Fistfight, Soho Theatre, Saturday, £12.50-£20. Limerick’s premier/only plastic bag-masked satirical rap troupe revive their riotous show in London.

Lee Mack – Hit the Road Mack, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Sat-Sun, £27.50. Expect super-slick, fast-paced nonsense from the creator and star of BBC sitcom ‘Not Going Out’, embarking on his first stand-up tour in four years.

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

Kishi Bashi

Live music

Kishi Bashi, Bush Hall, TONIGHT, £12.50. Seattle-born musician Kishi Bashi performs live with both Regina Spektor and Of Montreal, but tonight strikes out on his own with his violin and deeply affecting falsetto.

Yuck, The Lexington, Sat- Sun, £10-£15. We’re pleased to report that on their latest album ‘Glow And Behold’ the slimmed-down Yuck are still as noisy and sweet as ever.

Oxjam Brixton, various Brixton venues, Saturday, £8-£10. Brixton always goes nuts for Oxjam, and this year’s all-dayer includes local house hero Frank Tope, bass duo Howson’s Groove and lots more big sounds.

Oxjam Shoreditch, Various Shoreditch venues, Sunday, £10-£15. The Shoreditch Oxjam Takeover returns, hoping to keep up its record for talent-spotting: fast-rising acts including The Hics, Little Simz and Jacob Banks have played in the past. Oxjam events are also planned in New Cross and Islington.

…or take a look at all 46 live music events in London this weekend.

fabric live

Nightlife

FabricLive, Fabric, TONIGHT, £20, £14-£19 adv, £14 mems/NUS, £10 after 3am. Tonight, electronica innovator-turned bass champion Four Tet plays a four-hour set, with further low-frequencies from Loefah and grime from Barely Legal.

Modeselektor, Troxy, Saturday, £15-£17 adv. At this ‘Modeselektion’ all-nighter, put together by the duo and top London party-starters Dollop, they’re joined by acclaimed Los Angeles beat-warper Nosaj Thing, bassy house master L-Vis 1990, as well as Schlachthofbronx, Robot Koch and more names still under wraps.

The Playground presents Leftfield + Model 500, Koko, Saturday, £10-£17.50. This storming electronic showcase from party pros The Playground features seminal dance crew Leftfield (they of classic electronic album ‘Leftism’) DJing, alongside the staggeringly talented Juan Atkins, playing under his spacey, retro-futurist electro guide Model 500.

Soul Attic: A Night of Northern Soul, Hackney Picturehouse, Saturday, £5. Northern soul vinyl addicts: this is your promised land. This night in the upstairs event space of Hackney Picturehouse cinema is a pure Northern soul party, but a strictly vinyl-only one. DJs Fred Mann, Ronnie King, Tony Sylvester and Jo Wallace spin the vintage goods.

Kitsune Maison Party, Village Underground, Saturday, £16.50. Hip French electro pop label Kitsuné are back to give London a Gallic once-over like only they know how with a bulging bill of live acts from their ever-growing roster plus DJs spinning house, disco, synth-pop and other electro-shaped sounds.

…or see all 60 parties planned this weekend.

London Film Festival

Film

London Film Festival, various locations, all weekend, prices vary. Screening everything from swanky, star-studded red carpet premieres of major Hollywood movies to the very best in world cinema, the festival centres around Leicester Square but also branches out to local movie houses all over London.

London Fields Free Film Festival: Ryan Gosling All-Dayer, Hackney Picturehouse, Sunday, free. The full lineup for this day of big screen Gos-swooning has yet to be finalised, but we do know that they are – inevitably but rewardingly – screening ‘Drive’, the 2011 film in which he plays a taciturn stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver.

Brixton Fairies, The Cinema Museum, Sunday, free. As part of Age UK Lambeth’s ongoing Celebrating Age Festival, this documentary looks at the formation of London’s first ever gay community centre in Railton Road, Brixton.

Or at the cinema…

Bjork: Biophilia Live ★★★★☆ This carefully crafted concert film plays it pretty straight with Björk’s September 2013 Alexandra Palace gig. That is, apart from the bits where we’re transported to an erupting volcano, the surface of the sun, or deep underwater among weirdly colourful marine life.

Northern Soul ★★★☆☆ Give ‘Northern Soul’ its due: this feisty, frequently amusing chronicle of one young man’s journey through the dancehalls of Lancashire nails its time and place, and puts some recent, similarly themed pretenders – we’re looking at you, ‘Spike Island’ – to shame.

The Judge ★★★☆☆ The Judge’ pitches a slick prodigal son, Hank (Robert Downey Jr), a self-obsessed, slick city lawyer, against his ageing, cantankerous father, Joseph (Robert Duvall), a blinkered provincial judge, still ruling over cases into his dotage.

…or see all of the latest releases.

 Henry IV

Theatre

Henry IV, Donmar Warehouse, Fri- Sat, £10-£35. Phyllida Lloyd has taken the two parts of the Bard’s weighty ‘Henry IV’ and combined into a single play with more focus on the title character – who will be played by the great Harriet Walter, so stunning as Brutus in ‘Caesar’.

The Edge of Our Bodies, Gate Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£20, £15 concs. Launching the Gate Theatre’s autumn season, American writer Adam Rapp’s 2011 play is a reality-blurring trip into an urban purgatory of hotels and too-empty houses, as told by a schoolgirl.

Great Britain, Haymarket Theatre Royal, Fri-Sat, £15-£50. Richard Bean’s phone-hacking comedy made a big splash at the National Theatre when it opened, days after the Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks verdicts, having been put together in top secret conditions so as not to prejudice their trial.

The Girl of the Golden West, London Coliseum, Saturday, £12-£99, £6-£49.50. Gripping from start to finish, this is the English National Opera’s first new production of Puccini’s glorious ‘cowboy opera’ in 50 years.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

Mirrorcity

This week’s best new art

Mirrorcity, Hayward Gallery, all weekend, £10.90, £8-£10 concs. This group show of London’s most inspirational and significant artists including Lucky PDF, Laure Prouvost, Helen Marten and Susan Hiller, looks at how our increasing digital existence informs and reflects our daily experiences.

Richard Tuttle: The Weave of Textile Language, Whitechapel Gallery, all weekend, free. The US artist brings his blurry coloured line aesthetic to the UK with a three-part project that culminates in this exhibition focusing on the influence of textiles on his abstractions along with a sculptural presentation in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall and a publication.

Richard Tuttle: I Don’t Know, Or The Weave of Textile Language, Tate Modern, all weekend, free. Coinciding with the Whitechapel Gallery exhibition and the new publication, the Tate has commissioned the American artist to create his largest ever sculpture for the Turbine Hall.

Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris And His Legacy, 1860:1960, National Portrait Gallery, all weekend, £12.70, £11.80-£10.90 concs. Through portraits, personal items and fascinating objects, many of which will be on public display for the first time, this major exhibition illustrates Morris’s concept of ‘art for the people’ and highlights the achievements of those that he inspired.

Rembrandt: The Late Works, National Gallery, all weekend, £18, £9-16 concs. Dark brown canvases are shown on dark brown (or grey) walls. Doorways are obscured, blocking sightlines into adjacent galleries. It all goes to amplify a sense of introspection, encouraging you to share in the intensity of Rembrandt’s vision (and his pain).

Sunday Art Fair, Ambika P3, Fri-Sat, free. The title’s something of a misnomer for this four-day art fair as this year the fair will not be open on Sunday. Now in its fifth year, Sunday has a reputation as the cooler addition to the frenzied art fair week.

Gerhard Richter, Marian Goodman Gallery, Fri- Sat, free. To launch her first London gallery, New York doyenne Marian Goodman opens her David Adjaye designed space in a renovated warehouse with a show by the renowned German artist.

Steve McQueen, Thomas Dane, Fri-Sat, free. After his successful transition into Hollywood director, McQueen puts his art hat back on with new work that mines intimacy and violence.

Gillian Wearing, Maureen Paley, all weekend, free. The artist goes back to her roots in her new film, ‘We Are Here’. Residents of Sandwell, the West Midlands area where Wearing grew up, recant their life stories, reminiscing about regrets and loss.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… a slap-up meal for two or one of four dream USA trips.

Grab… £37.50 tickets to a silent disco at The View from The Shard exclusively with Time Out

Book… these gigs while you still can.

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