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57 spooktacular things happening in London this weekend

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With tons of Halloween-themed parties, frightening film screenings, and gory goings on, there’s no fear of getting bored this weekend, just totally spooked by the sheer amount of stuff going on! If you want to avoid Halloween altogether though, there’s still plenty to do. Why not watch some fantastic fireworks at Alexandra Palace, grab some delicious brunch at Peckham’s new food market or see Grayson Perry’s brilliant portraits at the National Portrait Gallery? Here are the best things to do in London this weekend…

Fun things to do 

Deptford Stories, Anthology Deptford Foundry, Fri-Sat, free. The festival celebrating the lives and legends of Deptford will bring together art, theatre and music in an empty warehouse and workshops of the former site of Arklow Road Trading Estate. Food and drink will be provided by the likes of Pig&Rig, The Brockley Brewery, The Black Cab Coffee Co. and Grilleas Fogg.

Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival, Saturday, £8, £5.50 children, £7 adv, £5 children adv, £5 ice skating. As well as an impressive firework display with a panoramic view of London as its backdrop, tickets include entrance to a family zone with funfair rides and entertainment, an adult funfair and a street food and craft beer village.

Regent Street Motor Show, Regent Street, Saturday, free. The UK’s largest free entry motoring extravaganza will be filled with hundreds of display vehicles of all ages and abilities. Veteran cars that are straight out of period dramas park up next to racing models and even eco cars for motoring fans (and unsuspecting shoppers) to admire.

Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary, Hamleys, Saturday, free. Hello Kitty celebrates her fortieth anniversary this year, and is marking the occasion with a huge hug-a-thon at Hamleys toy store. She’ll also be unveiling a life-size cake complete with edible bow, which visitors can tuck into.

Hackney DIY Art Market, Abney Hall, Sat-Sun, free. The people behind Hackney’s monthly flea market bring you the DIY Art Market, a celebration of London’s emerging independent artists and makers.

The London Vintage Kilo Sale, York Hall, Sunday, £1. This event is a regular on the Time Out shopping pages, and it offers a rare chance to purchase truly bargain vintage. The concept is a breeze: fill your baskets with thrift, and when you’ve got to a kilo’s worth, you can take it home for a mere £15.

Women Fashion Power, Design Museum, all weekend, £12.40, £9.30 concs, £6.20 children. This new exhibition looks at the wardrobes of 25 exceptional women, who’ve made their names in politics, culture, business and fashion, with each of them contributing an outfit.

Ski and Snowboard Show, Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre, all weekend, £12, £9 concs, £5 student and 11-16s, children ten and under free. Take to the slopes without even leaving the city at this consumer show featuring a long weekend of classes and demonstrations for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens Fire Festival, TONIGHT, free. Once the bonfire has been lit, the toasty crowd will be treated to ‘A Tale to Raise the Spirits’, a rock-opera packed with songs, dancers, fire performers and fireworks.

Ghostly Tours and Ghoulish Supper, Old Royal Naval College, TONIGHT, £35. Hear some terrifying tales of the Old Royal Naval College’s spooky history on this special lantern-lit tour for Halloween.

Steam and Scream – Halloween at the Epping Ongar Railway, Ongar Station, TONIGHT, £14, £9 children. This heritage railway line is providing the chance to go on a real steam-hauled ghost train this Halloween. The station and trains will be decked out with creepy decorations and there’s a prize for the best fancy dress on each journey.

London Transport Museum Friday Late: Subterranean Scream, Covent Garden, TONIGHT, £10, £8 concs. The bill includes tarot readings (wonder if they can predict tube strikes?), a talk on Underground folklore by Scott Wood, scary storytelling from the museum’s resident ghost, mask-making workshops and face-painting.

Horse-Drawn Halloween Rides, Richmond Park, Fri-Sat, £48. Meet your horse-drawn carriage at Sheen Gate and embark on an hour-long tour, during which your guide will tell you all about the history of the park, the ghosts that haunt the grounds and a Victorian murder that was only solved in 2010.

Necropolis – London’s Journey of the Dead, Waterloo Station, Fri-Sat, £15, £8-12 adv. Venture into the caverns below Waterloo which are rumoured to be the remains of The Necropolis Station for an immersive historical tour that’s as gory as any Halloween fan could hope for.

Mexico’s Day of the Dead Festival, Bargehouse, all weekend, free. This three-dayer, brought to London by the Embassy of Mexico, will include an exhibition of pieces by contemporary artists, a tribute to those lost in World War I, daily screenings of 1984 cult classic ‘Under the Volcano’ and Jose Cuervo tequila masterclasses.

Boo at the Zoo, London Zoo, all weekend, free with admission. Some of the zoo’s inhabitants are pretty scary at the best of times, but Halloween is their chance to be extra creepy as visitors are treated to this week of family-friendly activities during half-term.

…or check out all the best Halloween events happening this weekend.

Peckham Market

Eating and drinking

Peckham Market, The Academy at Peckham, Saturday, free. This new weekly produce and street market sees 20 traders pitch up in the car park of a Peckham school, selling locally sourced produce and brunch to the hungry masses.

Ale Fest, Hawkhurst Vault, Saturday, free. The East London Brewing Company and The Redchurch Brewery will be serving up the good stuff, with food from from Raw Stories, and music from Nessi Gomes, Balloon Ascents and many more.

Honest Grapes’ Big Day Out, Testbed1, Sunday, £15, £12 adv, children free. Honest Grapes is a farmers’ market for wine who usually sell online, but this event in Battersea will allow punters to taste their wares and buy their favourites in person. Tickets include six samples which can be chosen from a selection of 60 different wines, and there’ll be a bar on site for when you’ve sunk those.

The Urban Food Fest Halloween Ghosts & Ghouls Extravaganza, Shoreditch, Saturday, free. This Halloween special will see wickedly spicy jalapeño and mozzarella wood-fired pizza, Halloween ox cheeks and Indian halloumi mini sliders and steak and quinoa skewers served up alongside many more terrifying treats. Everyone in fancy dress will win a free spooky shot from the bar and the best costume will win a bottle of champagne.

The Paperworks Presents The Day of the Dead, The Paperworks, Saturday, free. A pop-up tequila bar and food stalls from the likes of Club Mexicana and Santana Grill will arrives at the Paperworks for this Mexican celebration on Saturday. Expect resident DJs to provide the tunes and activities including a themed dress-up photo booth, black and white period film screenings, and giant piñatas.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

 Holly Burn

Comedy

Holly Burn – Return of the Burn, Leicester Square Theatre, TONIGHT, £10. Brilliantly mad character comic Holly Burn – star of ITV’s ‘Bad Bridesmaid’ – is back at the Leciester Square Theatre with a new work-in-progress season. She’s always stupidly funny.

Celia Pacquola – Let Me Know How It All Works Out, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£12.50. Wonderfully charming, very talented Australian comic Celia Pacquola brings her new solo show to London, following an Edinburgh Fringe run.

Tickled Pig, Old Red Lion Theatre, Sunday, £5. This Sunday you can catch Phil Kay, innovative Aussie comic Bec Hill, Dave Green, sketch duo Twins, Stephen Bailey, Joe Jacobs and MC Robbie Ormrod.

The Scary Halloween Show, The Invisible Dot Ltd, TONIGHT, £10, £8.50 concs. Beard and Ali Brice perform specially written ghostly material, with the venue dolled up in Halloween garb. Plus, a live organist will set the mood.

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

Lizzo

Live music

Lizzo, The Old Blue Last, TONIGHT, free. Quickfire Minneapolis MC Melissa Jefferson – aka Lizzo – takes a trip to the UK, delivering tracks from her debut album ‘Lizzobangers’.

, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Saturday, £13.50. Following the release of her awesome debut album ‘No Mythologies to Follow’, MØ brings her seductive sound to the capital: a string of shimmering synths and erratic beats, plus vocals to rival Lana Del Rey’s.

Liars, Village Underground, Saturday, £16. At this special late-night club show (part of the Illuminations series) they’re joined by special guests and DJs.

DIY Presents: Jaws + more, The Laundry, Saturday, £15, £10 adv. Shoegazing indie boys Jaws headline a guitar-heavy new music all-dayer put together by DIY magazine. Also on offer: sprightly indie by Flyte, glam rock from Telegram, snotty punk from Bloody Knees, rousing rock by Spring King and indie dirges by posey newcomers Palace.

Kiss FM Haunted House Party, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, TONIGHT, £35-£51. Spooky times in Hammersmith as pop-loving radio station Kiss FM crams a load of contemporary chart-raiders into the Apollo. Beat-mashing MC/vocalist Example tops the bill, with hitmakers such as Clean Bandit and Gorgon City already announced, and more still to come.

…or take a look at all 52 live music events in London this weekend.

  Indeedy Bingo Halloween Spooktacular

Nightlife

The Hydra: 2014 Series, Studio Spaces E1, TONIGHT, £10-£20. The Hydra does disco tonight, and it does it pretty damn nicely, if you ask us. Time Out’s favourite funk enthusiasts and certified crate-diggers Horse Meat Disco go up against Norse space-disco tag team Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas, with a further set from fellow wonky Norse producer Blackbelt Andersen.

Evian Christ Trance Party, Corsica Studios, TONIGHT, £12.50. Evian Christ may be a (very talented) producer of ghostly, spooky hip hop, but there’ll be no ghosts, spooks, ghouls, zombies or anything else Halloween-related at this top-notch ‘Trance Party’.

The XOYO Residency Series: Simian Mobile Disco, XOYO, Saturday, £13.50 adv, £6 earlybird. It’s a very safe bet that SMD’s run will be an electronic extravaganza that’s as kaleidoscopic and genre-straddling as their own musical career.

Indeedy Bingo Halloween Spooktacular, Shoreditch Town Hall, TONIGHT, £20, £15 adv. The popular bingo-with-a-musical-twist party goes all Halloweeny, landing in Shoreditch Town Hall for a spooky spectacular. There’ll be dancing on tables, inflatable bananas, thoroughly silly behaviour and possibly even some bingo.

BGWMC’s Haunted House Party, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, TONIGHT, £15, £12 before 10pm, £8-£10 adv. BGWMC’s Halloween bash returns to haunt the bejesus out of you. Dance yourself silly over three floors of rotten rhythms and toxic tunes, or try not to gag as you watch various grotesque and ghastly performances.

Wuthering Frights, The Three Compasses, TONIGHT, free. A Kate Bush-themed Halloween bash? With prizes for best KB costume, ‘best re-enactment of Cathy at Heathcliff’s window’ (performed from the pub’s own window for authenticity) and ‘best drawing of a horse’? Oh, we are SO in.

The Mexican Death Disco, ICan Studios, TONIGHT, £15-£20. Ease your way into the Mexican underworld by way of Hackney Wick this Halloween. This truly spooky night promises not only top DJs going hell-for-leather behind the decks on an alter, but also various weird and wonderful areas in which to lose yourself and start your journey to the spiritual afterlife!

Halloween Raveyard, The Vaults, Fri-Sat, £15-£27. Set in the subterranean Vaults near Waterloo, the party aims to recreate the venue’s grizzly history as a makeshift morgue for London’s corpses, before they were transported to Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey on the London Necropolis Railway.

Secretsundaze Dead Famous Halloween Party, Oval Space, Saturday, £19.50. Secretsundaze returns for another top Halloween bash. The last few Halloween parties from James and Giles have been themed around ‘The Asylum’, but now it’s time for a new theme: Dead Famous.

… or take a look at the best Halloween parties happening this weekend.

Chills in the Chapel

Film

Chills in the Chapel: Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’, Union Chapel, TONIGHT, film £22.50, ball £5. This film screening at the Union Chapel will be accompanied by a live performance of the classic score to make the whole thing even more terrifying, so better soothe those nerves with a creepy cocktail. The brave may like to stay for The Bates Motel Ball after the film.

Halloween All Nighter, Electric, TONIGHT, £35. Four near-perfect horror movies back to back, in the plush surroundings of this luxurious Notting Hill cinema. Carrie, ‘The Shining’, ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, and ‘The Wicker Man’ will all be screened.

Who Ya Gonna Call?, The Albany, TONIGHT, £12. Three performers bring this cult classic to life with songs and props, followed by a screening of the film itself. Popcorn and cocktails will be on offer.

‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ + rooftop party, Century Club, TONIGHT, £10. Catch a screening of this camp musical classic, then head on up to the roof to enjoy DJs and drinks until the wee hours.

‘The Comeback’ + Kim Newman intro, Barbican Centre, Saturday, £9.50, £8.50 concs. The first in a month-long series entitled ‘The House of Walker’, rounding up films by that icon of British horror, Pete Walker, director of such classy titles as ‘House of Whipcord’ and ‘Asylum’.

Or at the cinema…

Mr Turner ★★★★★ Sad and joyful, ‘Mr Turner’ offers a wonderfully rich tapestry of experience and digs deeply into the complicated, contradictory life of the famous painter.

Nightcrawler ★★★★★ Writer-director Dan Gilroy’s supercharged ‘Nightcrawler’, is a viciously funny film that twins the frenetic, sleazy hunt for shocking footage with the career ambitions of a closet psycho who, naturally, rises to the top.

…or see all of the latest releases.

This Is How We Die

Theatre 

This Is How We Die, Battersea Arts Centre, TONIGHT, £12, £9 concs. Chris Brett Bailey’s new work is an extraordinarily visceral piece of performance, a blackly hilarious, unabashedly Kerouacian piece of funny, furious beat poetry about an absurdist road trip into America’s battered heart.

Wet House, Soho Theatre, all weekend, £17-50-£22.50, £15-£19.50 concs. Transferring to London from Live Theatre in Newcastle, ‘Wet House’ is an excruciating, excoriating watch: as damning a portrait of systemic corruption as you’ll see all year.

The Cherry Orchard, Young Vic, Fri-Sat, £10, £35. ‘The Cherry Orchard’ marks a return to London for Katie Mitchell, whose other major works she directed over a decade ago – and a return to collaboration with ‘Curious Incident…’ playwright Simon Stephens, who adapted the script.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

Emily Carr: From the Forest to the Sea

This week’s best new art…

Emily Carr: From the Forest to the Sea, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Sat-Sun, £11,£6 concs. Gathered here are over 100 works including Carr’s intense paintings of forest vistas and morning skies, sketchbook drawings, watercolours along with native artifacts.

Grayson Perry: Who Are You?, National Portrait Gallery, all weekend, free. The cross-dressing ceramist presents a show of 14 portraits at the National Portrait Gallery this autumn to coincide with the screening of his Channel Four ‘Who Are You?’ series.

Viviane Sassen, Photographers’ Gallery, all weekend, £4.50, £3.50 concs, free under 16s. Here, Sassen’s experimental approach to image making will be displayed in an immersive and multi-media presentation of over 350 images via projections, video feeds and a stop-motion film.

Naum Gabo, Annely Juda, all weekend, free. Known for his geometric sculptures made in Perspex and metal, here, Gabo concentrates on the solid organic forms rendered in grey and cream marble.

No Foreign Land: Landscapes from the Fleming Collection, Fleming Collection, Fri-Sat, free. This collection of twentieth-century landscapes reveals unfamiliar sceneries from the perspective of Scottish artists, infusing international landscapes with Scottish romanticism.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… a group cottage break or a pampering spa break for two

Grab… 40% off tickets to ‘The Scottsboro Boys’ at the Garrick Theatre

Book… these gigs while you still can

And the best of the blog…

Kids will love these London-inspired Halloween costumes

Hacking the mac: a custom McDonald’s menu for London

Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet

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