[Photo: Rob Dawkins]
This weekend, London’s got all the festive trimmings. You can take a chilly dip with a bonkers bunch of swimmers in bobble hats, then warm up with the best whisky in town, and have the sassiest Saturday night at the Sink the Pink Winter ball. Delicious! Here are all the best things happening from Friday to Sunday…
Fun things to do
British Museum Late: German Folk Tales, TONIGHT, free. University of the Arts students will transport you to fantasy forests and castles built into the German landscape with a series of workshops and interactive displays inspired by the Brothers Grimm tales at this late night museum opening.
Kit Neale Christmas Pop-Up, Hoxton, TONIGHT, free. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served at this fun Christmas shopping event in east London. As well as nabbing exclusive discounts, shoppers will also get first dibs on spring/summer 2015 garments.
Dusty Fingers German Winter Wunderland, The Round Chapel Centre for Performing Arts, Saturday, £1. Dusty Fingers are bringing a touch of Deutschland to Hackney for the most wonderful time of the year, setting up a Christmas market in Clapton’s beautiful Round Chapel.
Outdoor Swimming Society December Dip 2014, Parliament Hill Lido, Saturday, £15 swimmers. Now in its seventh year, the OSS December Dip sees hundreds of keen, outdoor swimmers plunge into Parliament Hill Lido for a spot of chilly dipping.
Heresy Mall Rat Pop-Up, Peckham Sat-Sun, free. Pick up items from the latest collection by menswear project Heresy at this slightly nuts indoor market in Peckham. Free beer will be flowing on Saturday night.
Christmas at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Sat-Sun, free. Funfair rides, performances, fitness sessions and creative workshops will descend on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for a weekend of festive frolicking this weekend.
BUST Christmas Craftacular, Islington Metal Works, Sunday, £3. Taking place over two floors of the Islington Metal Works, this celebration of all things crafty has an impressive 70 stall line-up, including paper-cut pioneer Rob Ryan and Pugs not Drugs illustrator Gemma Correll.
Carols by Candlelight at Westminster Chapel, Sunday, free. The local community swarm to this annual candlelit service for traditional carols followed by mulled wine and mince pies.
Winter Jam, Southbank Centre, Sunday, free. Though thick socks and radiators may be the more traditional way of staying cosy during winter, this day of free singing and dancing workshops and performances will be great way of warming up both bodies and voices.
London Pantomime Horse Race, Cutty Sark, Sunday, £50 registration per horse, afterparty £12, £10 adv. In scenes only slightly less dramatic and probably far more entertaining than the Grand National, more than 40 pantomime horses (plus a few pretenders in the form of zebras and cows) will gallop through Greenwich on this race in aid of the Demelza Hospice for children.
Christmas Light Trail at Hampton Court, all weekend, £10, £5 concs. Wander through the beautiful palace gardens and its famous maze after dark with the help of an interactive light trail which reacts to your route and actions.
…or check out more events happening in London this weekend.
Eating and drinking
The StockMKT, Spitalfields Market, Saturday, free. Booze comes from the likes of A Grape Night In, The Short Wave Craft Beer Bar and Hotbox Brew, and the street food line-up has featured Pizza Pilgrims, Dosa Deli, Mac Factory and The Ribman.
Ilford Tasting Tours, Ilford, Saturday, free. These tasting tours will visit some of Ilford’s most unusual and intriguing food outlets. Attendees can sample Turkish, Polish, and Asian cuisines, with halal and vegetarian options available.
From Leftovers to Lunch, Borough Market, Sat-Sun, £38-£45. Chef Tom Hunt hosts this Christmas banquet with Borough Market to highlight the amount of food we waste during the festive season.
Whisky Warmer Pop-Up, Icetank, all weekend, £27.50. Warm up from the inside out this winter at one of these masterclasses which focus all your drinking attention on whisky.
…or see Time Out’s recommended restaurants.
A Christmas Tail – Weirdos Alternative Panto, Heroes Grotto of Comedy, Fri-Sat, £10. What the Weirdos comedy collective’s third annual alternative Christmas panto will involve, we just don’t know. But we can pretty much guarantee it’ll be stupidly fun, and it’s all in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Adam Riches – Adam of the Riches, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £20, £17.50 concs. Superbly silly character comic Adam Riches – 2011’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award-winner – is back with his first solo show since winning the gong.
Funz and Gamez, Soho Theatre, Sat-Sun, £10, £30 family ticket for four. The biggest joke of ‘Funz and Gamez’ – which won the Panel Prize at the 2014 Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards – is that this chaotic, gloriously silly show is for kids.
Russell Howard – Wonderbox, The O2, Sunday, £33.50. Childlike comedy superstar Russell Howard rounds off his biggest ever tour – the much-hyped ‘Wonderbox’ – with a four-night stint at the Royal Albert Hall, plus a night each at Wembley and the O2.
…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.
Lily Allen, O2 Academy Brixton, TONIGHT, £35. The headline-grabbing pop provocateuse returns to drop tracks off ‘Sheezus’ (wince), her first record in half a decade.
Run the Jewels, Koko, TONIGHT, £20. ‘Watch The Throne’? Pah. Ye and Hova may have the star quality, but when alternative hip hop superstars Killer Mike and El-P bring their new collaborative project to London you’ll know what’s really up.
Anna Calvi, St John-at-Hackney Church, Saturday, £22.50. To pick up one Mercury Prize nomination is impressive; to pick up two suggests that you’ve quietly become an eminent force in British music. Anna Calvi’s second album ‘One Breath’ has made this year’s shortlist, and she’s celebrating her double-whammy with a special show at the gorgeous St John-at-Hackney church.
Bombay Bicycle Club, Earls Court, Saturday, £29.50. It seems only yesterday that the band were fresh-faced 16-year-olds bashing out melodic, winsome indie at Nambucca. Now they’re following an adventurous Number One record, ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’, with their biggest home town show ever at Earls Court.
…or take a look at all 48 live music events in London this weekend.
Sink the Pink
Office Xmas Party with Skream, The Old Queen’s Head, TONIGHT, £10. Superstar DJs are waaay too cool for Christmas, right? Wrong. Beat genius Skream, dubstep don Artwork and D&B master Die are hosting a cheerfully cheap ‘Office Christmas Party’.
Greg Wilson: The Xmas Party, Corsica Studios, TONIGHT, £10. Electro-funk champion Greg Wilson’s career stretches from the early ’80s through a residency at Manchester’s Haçienda and a crateload of red hot disco re-edits.
Deviation, XOYO, TONIGHT, £15, £12.50 adv. Let Deviation main man Benji B give you a very merry Christmas this year, as he goes all night long – behind the decks, that is. Expect anything from basement house to hip hop to garage to techno to dubstep from this masterful party-starter.
Sink the Pink Winter Ball, Troxy, Saturday, £22. Christmas may be pretty camp, but it doesn’t have anything on Sink The Pink, whose annual winter ball will be teeming with fabulous festive carnage.
Winterville Spiegeltent: Horse Meat Disco, Bears on Ice, Victoria Park, Sunday, £20. Our favourite funky maestros roll up to the temporary winter wonderland for a Christmas extravaganza.
…or see all 50 parties planned this weekend.
Another Country + Rupert Everett Q&A, ICA, Nash House, TONIGHT, £11, £7 concs. The great Everett is a raconteur like no other, and we imagine he’ll be on fine form discussing one of his finest roles, in this wistful, romanticised drama about how ruling-class attitudes in the 1930s were shaped.
Classic Cinema Club: ‘The Beaches of Agnès’, Ealing Town Hall, TONIGHT, £7, £6 concs. This 2008 documentary, a puckish, moving and wonderfully eccentric tour through her life – a tour guided by Varda herself, petite and mushroom-haired, as she visits people and places (more places than people) close to her heart and work.
Black Christmas, Hackney Picturehouse, Saturday, £11.60. A harbinger of the slasher cycle kickstarted by ‘Halloween’ four years later, Bob Clark’s 1974 ‘Black Christmas’ coined most of the familiar conventions.
Or at the cinema…
Manakamana ★★★★★ This superb Nepal-set documentary hinges on a simple premise: a 16mm camera placed in a cable car travelling up to the Hindu Manakamana Temple almost a mile above sea level. The trip takes about ten minutes and each shot follows a different set of passengers.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ★★★☆☆ ‘Hobbit’ fans will love this action-heavy finale.
Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast ★★★☆☆ The seventh and final instalment in the DisneyToon Studios fairy franchise proves surprisingly lively, even if the title is a bit misleading: it’s actually Tink’s big-hearted pal Fawn who takes centre stage.
The Green Prince ★★★☆☆ The Israel-Palestine conflict is reduced to a crystalline, though still complicated, essence in Nadav Schirman’s alternately tedious and engrossing documentary.
…or see all of the latest releases.
Visitors, Bush Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£19.50, £10-£15 concs. Perhaps the biggest achievement of this brilliant debut from writer Barney Norris is how it wrings so much out of such a static, basic set. Two armchairs, a footstool and sundry geriatric accoutrements are all that’s needed to set the scene of a remote farmhouse in Wiltshire.
Pomona, Orange Tree Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£20, £15 concs. ‘Pomona’ fuses fantasy and reality in a murky, disturbing, dystopian vision of our society. It’s dark, funny and you’ll be hooked all the way to the end.
Usagi Yojimbo, Southwark Playhouse, all weekend, £10-£18, £16 concs. Southwark Playhouse’s family Christmas show is full of surprises – the most startling of which comes at the beginning, when we’re taught how to wield a sword.
Grimm Tales, Bargehouse, all weekend, £45, £20 concs. ‘Grimm Tales’ is a great night and a great success, each of the stories relayed with love and invention by the two casts dotted about the Bargehouse.
…or see our theatre critics’ choices here.
This week’s best new art
Art Kane: Retrospective, Snap Galleries, Fri-Sat, free. Photographs by the highly influential music and fashion photographer, born Arthur Kanofsky in New York City who trained under the celebrated graphic designer, Alexey Brodovitch are brought together in this selling exhibition.
Jannis Kounellis, Sprovieri, Fri-Sat, free. The arte povera pioneer presents an installation of black-torn coats.
Refraction: The Image of Sense, Blain Southern, Fri-Sat, free. Group show including Bill Viola, Ida Ekblad and Yngve Holen explores how artists are navigating the era of new media.
Julie Verhoeven: Whiskers Between My Legs, ICA, all weekend, £1. The ICA’s Fox Reading Room is transformed into a kaleidoscopic installation by the artist and designer.
Fiona Banner selects from the V-A-C collection, Whitechapel, all weekend, free. London-based sculptor Fiona Banner has chosen a diverse mix of works from the Russian V-A-C collection to question how different mediums represent reality.
…or see all London art reviews.
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