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44 wicked things to do in London this weekend

Posted at 12:30 pm, November 7, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment

Oliver Cohen

[Photo: Oliver Cohen]

You may think a week of fantastic fireworks and bonfire events could be hard to top, but the list below is going to prove you wrong. This weekend is going to be a total winner, with heaps of excellent photography shows to check out, indulgent dessert-based dining events to tuck into and a few extra firework displays thrown in for good measure. Rocket into the weekend with the best things happening in London…

Fun things to do

Gatecrash, Artsdepot, TONIGHT. This interactive performance uses silent disco to put the audience at the heart of the production. Sam’s parents are on holiday, he’s having a house party and there’s a whole audience of gatecrashers…

Night Tales, Old Street,TONIGHT and Saturday evening. This excellent pop-up cocktail, music and food party is back for another winter and opening tonight with burgers from Patty & Bun, Caribbean fare from Rum Kitchen and pizza from Voodoo Ray’s.

Lord Mayor’s Show and Fireworks, Guildhall, Saturday, free. Saturday’s procession involves a whopping 7,000 people and 180 horses, along with dancers, drummers and floats, and sees the gilded state coach, normally on display at the Museum of London, wind its way through the capital.

Hackney Firework Pyromusical, Clissold Park, Saturday, £8.50, £3.50 children; residents £7.50/£2.50. There hasn’t been a public fireworks display in the borough of Hackney for over a decade, so this evening of pyrotechnics in Clissold Park should be a real treat for locals.

Graphics RCA: Fifty Years, Royal College of Art , all weekend, free. Delving into their huge archive of prints and posters, this week the RCA begin the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of their graphic design course.

World Press Photo Exhibition, Royal Festival Hall, all weekend, free. Photographers from more than 130 countries submitted nearly 100,000 photos to the World Press Photo of the Year competition for 2014. This exhibition is your chance to see the 185 images that won awards, and the collection includes moving, powerful and sometimes disturbing photographs that represent a broad range of incidents from all over the world.

Discover Dogs, Earls Court, Sat-Sun, £13.20, £9.90 concs. There’s tail-wagging, face-licking, stick-chasing potential aplenty at the annual Discover Dogs show, with more than 200 different breeds of dog eager to be admired.

The London Photograph Fair, Bloomsbury, Sunday, £5. The London Photograph Fair brings together around 50 dealers from the UK, Europe and beyond. While all eras of the medium are represented, there is an emphasis on vintage images, alongside a good range of collectible photography books.

Dazzle, Oxo Tower Wharf, Sunday, free. Browse more than 4,000 unique, handmade pieces of jewellery made by talented contemporary designers from all over the world at this annual exhibition that’s perfectly timed for Christmas wish-list filling.

Fringe! Film and Art Festival, all weekend, various venues. East London will be buzzing with film screenings, art, parties, workshops, walks, a condom delivery service (seriously) and a whole day dedicated to Riot Grrrl at the fourth year of this queer festival.

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, Tower of London, all weekend. This is the last weekend (unless Boris manages to get it extended) to see this moving and incredibly popular WW1 memorial with 888,246 poppies in the Tower’s moat marking the British and colonial fatalities. Prepare for crowds!

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

happy endings

Eating and drinking

Happy Endings Dessert Nights, Hackney, Sat-Sun, £40. Scrap dinner and head straight for dessert at this seriously sweet dining event. Pastry chef Terri Mercieca launches her latest venture with two nights of indulgence, serving up five courses of desserts using seasonal ingredients and intriguing flavour combinations.

SymmetryBreakfast, Corner Room, Sat-Sun. To celebrate SymmetryBreakfast’s first anniversary of their Instagram, an intimate pop-up restaurant will be in a corner of the Town Hall Hotel, serving up perfectly symmetrical morning grub.

Winter Brew Fest, Old Street, all weekend, £25. A marvellous excuse to spend your day getting gently drunk on very good beer, one third of a pint at a time, this festival brings together 11 London breweries and one Scottish cider expert so that you can try their wares.

Ethos, Soho. On any given day the main menu might include more than a dozen dishes from the diverse cuisines of Japan, south-east Asia, Italy, Korea, India, Mexico and Lebanon – and anywhere else that does brilliant vegetarian dishes – plus a few of their own creations.

…or see more recommended restaurants.

paul foot


Paul Foot – Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon # Major, Bloomsbury Theatre, TONIGHT, £15. An extravaganza for connoisseurs of imperial comedy from one of the empire’s most original talents. No one quite does fey whimsy quite like Paul Foot.

Bush Hall presents…, Shepherds Bush, TONIGHT, £17.50. Tonight you can catch US Twitter supremo Rob Delaney performing his slick, sharp and utterly filthy stand-up. Plus support from ‘8 Out of 10 Cats’ star Joe Wilkinson, erudite charmer Nish Kumar and MC Richard Herring.

Massive Dad, Pleasance Theatre, Sunday, £6. This sketch trio – made up of Stevie Martin, Liz Smith and Tessa Coates – are barely 18 months old, but Massive Dad have already produced an impressively slick debut show that’s brimming with smart, unexpected jokes.

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

 Damien Rice

Live music

Damien Rice, London Palladium, TONIGHT, £45-£65. Twelve years since his magnificent debut album ‘O’ and eight since the follow-up ‘9’ went Top Five, Damien Rice has finally announced his long-awaited next album.

The Raveonettes, Heaven, TONIGHT, £15. Back with a superbly furious, surprise-released new album ‘Pe’ahi’, the Danish fuzz-rock duo bust out some sublimely dark harmonising and plenty of B minor chords.

Common, Roundhouse, Saturday, £33.50. This show, a stop on his ‘Nobody’s Smiling’ tour, is an all-too-rare opportunity to catch him live in London.

Motörhead, Wembley Arena, Saturday, £39.50. ‘Killed by Death’, ‘Ace of Spades’, ‘Bomber’ – they’re all gold-plated classics, and Motörhead still rock faster, heavier and at more thrillingly deafening volume than most bands half their age. Respect.

…or take a look at all 48 live music events in London this weekend.

night slugsNight Slugs


Stevie Wonderland Presents Lumberjacks in Hell, Bussey Building, TONIGHT, £8. Fun-loving disco warriors Stevie Wonderland return with another party. They’re bringing over reps from Amsterdam-based label Lumberjacks From Hell: label boss Marcel Vogel, and Jamie 3:26. SW residents keep things funky and loose with a selection of disco and boogie.

Night Slugs, The Laundry, Saturday, £12.50-£15. L-Vis 1990 and Bok Bok’s bassy, future-funkiest Night Slugs label has become one of the most recognised and respected names on the underground, so a showcase from them is always welcome.

Mister Sunday, Oval Space, Sunday, £10 adv. Top New York DJ duo Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin have put Sunday night into a disco blender with their Mister Sunday parties, which they brought to London for the first time earlier this year. Unsurprisingly it was a hit with clubbers, who were treated to everything from A Tribe Called Quest to Blawan to A Guy Called Gerald to ’50s rhythm and blues singer Little Willie John.

RBMA: Joe Goddard, The Old Queen’s Head, Sunday, free. Tonight he gets back to basics with a DJ set at this free night hosted by Red Bull Music Academy. Expect to hear anything from house to bashment to disco to punk-funk to hip hop to rave to pop.

…or see all 53 parties planned this weekend.

Richard AyoadeGuardian Film Club: Richard Ayoade


Underground Film Club: ‘The Big Lebowski’, The Vaults, TONIGHT, £13. The good folks behind the hugely popular Rooftop Film Club return with a series of screenings in the tunnels beneath Waterloo station.

Guardian Film Club: Richard Ayoade, Ritzy Cinema Brixton, Sunday, £15. Ayoade will talk to Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw about Francois Truffaut’s ‘Day for Night’, a film about filmmaking which won the 1973 Oscar for Best Foreign Film, before the movie is screened. Book in advance.

Wonder Reels: ‘Cat People’, The Cinema Museum, Sunday, £10, £7 concs. Doug Shipton, founder of Finder Keepers records, will be spinning a few of his favourite soundtrack cuts, followed by a screening of this magnificent 1942 horror movie.

Or at the cinema…

Interstellar ★★★★★ This is autumn’s biggest blockbuster. Man of the moment Matthew McConaughey heads into space in Christopher ‘Dark Knight’ Nolan’s hotly anticipated space epic.

The Skeleton Twins ★★★☆☆ Props to the filmmakers behind this uneven yet affecting US indie for giving comics Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig a pair of roles that allow them to stretch into unexplored dramatic territory.

The Case Against 8 ★★★★★ On the eve of Barack Obama’s 2008 election, many liberal Californians found their euphoria dampened by the passing of Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage in the state.

…or see all of the latest releases.

Made In Dagenham


Made in Dagenham, Adelphi Theatre, Fri-Sat,£25-£69.50. ‘Made in Dagenham’ is the best British musical since ‘Matilda’, a funny, messy, surprisingly idiosyncratic movie adaptation that’s powered by a lot of heart, a lot of jokes, a fair few clichés and a fantastic performance from screen star Gemma Arterton.

2071, Royal Court Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£32, £17-£27 concs. Duncan Macmillan gets Chris Rapley on board to look at the growing concern and issues surrounding our burgeoning population.

Far Away,Young Vic, Fri-Sat, £10-£15, £10 concs. The winner of this year’s prestigious JMK directing award is Kate Hewitt, who stages Caryl Churchill’s 2000 play about a quartet of characters dealing with fear, denial and manipulation.

Solomon and Marion, Print Room, Fri-Sat, £23, £17 concs. Dame Janet Suzman stars in this play written and directed by Lara Foot about Marion, whose life in South Africa is drifting away as she mourns the death of her son and the loss of her husband.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices here.

Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie and The Advent of Punk

This week’s best new art

Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie and The Advent of Punk, Somerset House, all weekend, free. To mark Blondie’s fortieth anniversary, Somerset House presents this mega show of previously unpublished photographs by Chris Stein, co-founder of the band.

Crossing The Field: WWI, Football & The Christmas Truce, PM Gallery & House, Saturday, free. During the First World War a remarkable event took place over Christmas. In the midst of conflict, British and German soldiers laid down their arms and embraced the spirit of the festive season by sharing food and songs as well as playing football in no man’s land. Here, eight artists respond to these unusual events.

Emily Carr: From the Forest to the Sea, Dulwich Picture Gallery, all weekend,£6-£11. The combination of paintings, drawings, photographs, Carr’s diary entries and a fine selection of First Nations artefacts makes for an utterly transporting show.

Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, The Conde Nast Years 1923 – 1937, Photographers’ Gallery, all weeked, £4.50, £3.50 concs. Over 200 prints including portraits of Greta Garbo, Winston Churchill, Marlene Dietrich and Frank Lloyd Wright explore Steichen’s skill at capturing the glamour and social climate of the roaring twenties and 1930s.

Viviane Sassen, Photographers’ Gallery, all weekend, £4.50, £3.50 concs. Here, her 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.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… an overnight stay at South Bank’s A Room For London or tickets to Pillow Cinema

Grab… £29 wash, cut and blowdry with conditioning treatment at Alterity Studio, Covent Garden

Book… these gigs while you still can

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