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45 stupendous things happening in London this weekend


[Photo: Westhamwolf]

You’ve managed to make it through a pretty wet and miserable week, so reward yourself with one of these excellent events. Head to Elephant and Castle for a fair celebrating ‘maker culture’ and innovative design, hop over to Hackney for a family-friendly rave, or round off your Sunday at the Southbank Centre with a talk, film screening or performance at Mirrorcity. Three cheers for London and all the brilliant things happening below!

Fun things to do

Heresy Label launch, Peckham, TONIGHT, free. Clothing label Heresy launch their latest ‘Forming’ collection at the new Ali Baba Bar in Peckham tonight. Delicious drinks and great clothing from an up-and-coming London design duo – can’t get better than that!

Jumble and Pearls Christmas Pop-Up, Old Street, Saturday, free. Jumble and Pearls return for their final sale of the year, and it’s a festive extravaganza. This time around, stalls include whimsical fashion from Dazzle & Jolt, one-off designer pieces and vintage finds from Franky Says, and up-cycled, eco-friendly jewellery from Luna Noir.

Elephant & Castle Mini Maker Faire, London College of Communication, Saturday, £5, free to students and UAL staff. Back for 2014, this one-day event explores the ever-expanding ‘maker culture’ and the designers who are leading the way with innovative and unexpected technologies.

Paul Smith for Richard Scarry’s ‘Cars and Trucks and Things That Go’ signing, Notting Hill, Saturday, free. You can meet both Smith and Scarry’s son Huck, who now manages his father’s work as well as following in his footsteps as a writer and illustrator, at a signing session this Saturday.

Being Human, various venues, Sat-Sun, free. This nationwide festival exploring what it means to be a human in the digital age will present a huge variety of arts and humanities research through talks, walks and workshops.

Le Shop, Hackney, Sunday, free. A daytime pop-up vinyl-only record shop in Stage 3, a bar and venue at the Hackney Empire theatre. Le Shop will showcase music by top independent electronic labels, and there’ll be DJs and live acts, plus cocktails and street food to feast on while you make your vinyl selections.

The Material Word: Poetry Library Open Day, Royal Festival Hall, Sunday, free. The Southbank Centre’s Poetry Library often hosts free events, but on Nov 16 opens its doors for a free all-day celebration of the written word. In particular, the way that certain objects bring poetry to life.

Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave, Hackney, Sunday, £8, £4.50 children adv, £10/£5, non-walkers free. These afternoon dance parties playing acid house classics allow the post-rave generation of parents to share the old-school dancefloor euphoria with their kids – and still be home by bedtime.

Haunted Theatreland Walking Tour, central London, Sunday, £10. Discover theatreland’s chilling tales on this tour of Covent Garden and St James as you venture through cobbled alleyways and gloomy paths.

Southbank Centre Winter Festival, Waterloo, all weekend, free. Alongside its array of festive shows and performances the Southbank Centre will be celebrating the coldest season with festive pop-ups and activities.

Hyper Japan Christmas Market, Kensington, all weekend, £12, £8 children. A Christmas market celebrating Japanese culture and cuisine at its best. Visitors can browse stalls selling fashion goods, toys, wrapping paper, traditional tableware and crockery, then pick up edible presents in a food hall packed full of exotic teas, chocolate, Japanese snacks and sake.

A Bear Called Paddington, Museum of London, all weekend, free. Discover the furry Peruvian explorer’s adorable history at this exhibition of first editions, props, illustrations and films.

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

BBC Good Food Show

Eating and drinking

BBC Good Food Show, Olympia London, all weekend, from £28.50. Those who have ‘Masterchef’ on series record are going to want to get themselves to this enormous festival of the edible, which features talks and demonstrations from some of the most recognisable names in food.

Forza Winter, Peckham, all weekend, £30. Now that the temperature’s dropped and skewers on an outdoor grill seem less appropriate, Forza Win are resurrecting their wintry dinner menu, and at its centre are huge pots of melted cheese.

Sunday Lunch with Tutto Wines & Chef Tim Spedding, Hill & Szrok, Sunday, £35-£40. Tutto Wines have teamed up with The Clove Club’s sous chef Tim Spedding to put together an indulgent, autumnal Sunday lunch.

…or see Time Out’s recommended restaurants.

Still hungry? Here’s some great places for an excellent brunch or a Sunday lunch.

Chortle Comedy Book Festival


Chortle Comedy Book Festival, London Irish Centre, TONIGHT, £8, £6.50 concs. Tonight, sharp comic and TV regular Francesca Martinez is interviewed by Jeremy Hardy and British sitcom stalwart Rebecca Front shares stories from her new memoir.

Dave Gorman Gets Straight to the Point* (*The PowerPoint), Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Saturday, £20. Following his ace show ‘Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Presentation’, the pioneer of docu-comedy continues his love affair with the slideshow software as he teams up with a projector screen for Dave Gorman Gets Straight to the Point* (*The Powerpoint).

Frank Skinner – Man in a Suit, Richmond Theatre, Sunday, £31.40. Master West Country comic Frank Skinner already sold out his Soho Theatre and Leicester Square Theatre runs. So now he’s back with some extra dates of ‘Man in a Suit’.

Stewart Lee – A Room With a Stew and ‘Comedy Vehicle’ DVD Launch, Leicester Square Theatre, all weekend, £20.50 including limited edition DVD. To celebrate the release of the third series of ‘Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle’ on DVD the iconoclastic comedian is performing this limited run of work-in-progress gigs at the Leicester Square Theatre, workshopping material for the fourth series.

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

London Jazz Festival

Live music

London Jazz Festival, various London venues, Fri-Sat, prices vary. Now in its twenty-second year, the festival has evolved from the long-standing Camden Jazz Week into an internationally renowned celebration of all things musically deep and delightful, with legends such as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Ornette Coleman headlining recent festivals.

Ja Ja Ja Festival, Queen Mary University of London, Fri-Sat, £10-£30. An authentic taste of hip Nordic culture: the second year of a London festival devoted to the music and food of Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and the Faroe Islands.

Gorgon City, The Forum, Saturday,£17.50. Production duo Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson-Scott make some of the sharpest, most on-point club music around. But it’s not just clubbers who are digging Gorgon City’s take on house music. Working as producers for big-draw crossover acts like Clean Bandit and Klaxons has opened up their music to a huge pop audience.

Damon Albarn, Royal Albert Hall, Sat-Sun, £30-£67. The multi-talented Blur and Gorillaz man, Africa Express instigator and all-round melancholy musical geezer goes solo, performing songs from the first Damon Albarn album ‘Everyday Robots’.

…or take a look at all 50 live music events in London this weekend.

Sink The Pink and XOYO Present Gloria'sSink the Pink


Gilles Peterson, Koko, Saturday, £19.50. Global beats maestro and generally ace selector Gilles Peterson brings his thoroughly eclectic record bag to KOKO to spin anything from disco to house to jazz to Afrobeat to dub.

Sink The Pink and XOYO Present Gloria’s, Elephant and Castle, Saturday. Expect a prime party fuelled by the energy, eccentricity and ethos of Sink The Pink, and soundtracked by an outstanding line-up of DJs.

Night Tales, Old Street, all weekend, £3. Ace pop-up cocktail, music and food party Night Tales is back! After a quick summer stint, the crew are returning to warm our winter cockles once again. This time, they’re taking over a vast Shoreditch car park for a seven-week run, featuring wild gardens, private chalets, three new concept bars, log fires and a huge canopy to protect from evil winter vibes.

…or see all 54 parties planned this week.

 Je t’aime, je t’aime


Sci-fi Film Festival: ‘Je t’aime, je t’aime’, BFI Southbank, Saturday, £8.15-£11.50. One of the least known films in the BFI’s ongoing sci-fi season, this is tale of suicidal author Claude Ridder (Claude Rich), who’s asked to take part in a government time travel experiment employing a vast papier-mâché brain sculpture and a number of confused-looking mice.

Framed Film Festival, Barbican Centre, Sat-Sun, £5, under-18s £3. Now into its third year, this international film festival is curated especially for children, and the line-up features films, events and workshops that 4-to-11-year-old cinema lovers will be delighted by.

‘Sherlock Junior’ + live soundtrack, The Cinema Museum, Sunday, £12, £11 concs. Buster Keaton plays a cinema projectionist, framed for theft by a jealous rival for his girl’s hand, who daydreams himself into life as a daring detective.

‘Cruel Intentions’ + ‘10 Things I Hate About You’, Phoenix Cinema, Sunday, £7, £5 concs. A double bill of teen flicks based on classic literary texts.

Or at the cinema…

The Imitation Game ★★★★☆ Hidden codes, secret meanings and mixed messages pulse through the reliable, old-fashioned, buzzing copper wires of true-life British period drama ‘The Imitation Game’.

Life Itself ★★★★☆ This moving profile of the late, great US movie critic Roger Ebert – famous for his ‘Thumbs up, thumbs down’ signature on a long-running TV show with fellow Chicago critic Gene Siskel – works on two levels: as an appreciation of his vast impact over several decades and as an unflinching peek into a cancer patient’s final months.

The Drop ★★★☆☆ Tom Hardy shines in this so-so moody thriller.

…or see all of the latest releases.

 A Midsummer Night's Dream (As You Like It)


A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It), Barbican Centre, Fri-Sat, £16-£35. Russian director Dmitry Krymov brings his unique take on Shakespeare’s fairy comedy to London. Commissioned by the RSC for the World Shakespeare Festival in 2012, the piece focuses solely on the amateur actors in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ trying to stage the tragedy of ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ for dignitaries.

Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Harringtons Pie and Mash Shop, Fri-Sat, £13-£20. In what might be the boldest move on London’s fringe theatre scene this year, Tooting Arts Club perform Stephen Sondheim’s murderous musical in one of the capital’s oldest (and tiniest) pie and mash shops.

Grand Guignol, Southwark Playhouse, Fri-Sat, £18, £16 concs. Carl Grose’s grisly tribute to the repertoire of the great Théâtre du Grand Guignol, which gave its name to a whole genre, is part backstage comedy, part genre pastiche, and delivers admirably in both belly laughs and butchery.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices here.


This week’s best new art

Mirrorcity Events Weekend, Hayward Gallery, all weekend, free with exhibition ticket. Get immersed in a weekend of performances, live music, talks, film screenings and walks that reflect on the themes in the Hayward’s autumn blockbuster group show ‘Mirrorcity’.

A Victorian Obsession, Leighton House Museum, all weekend, £10, concs £6. The museum’s permanent collection will be temporarily replaced with a hang of outstanding pieces by Albert Moore, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, John William Waterhouse, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, John Melhuish Strudwick, John Godward and Lord Leighton.

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, all weekend, £3. The prestigious photographic portrait award returns with a showcase of the most talented and exciting photographers working across the globe.

Allen Jones RA, Royal Academy of Arts, all weekend, £11.50, £8-£9 concs. 2013 may have seen our interest in pop art reach fever pitch, but there’s still more on the horizon with this retrospective show of pop-indebted work from the ’60s onwards by this British artist.

Bryan Adams: Wounded – The Legacy of War, Somerset House, all weekend, free. The harsh realities of war are conveyed in these striking portraits of British Armed Forces servicemen and women injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars by the musician-turned-photographer.

House of Voltaire, Green Park, all weekend, free. Pop-up art shop from the brilliant Studio Voltaire selling editioned and specially commissioned artworks and design by a host of famous names including Helen Marten, Linder and Jeremy Deller. This year marks the support of fashion house Chloé.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… a Samsung Galaxy tablet and phone and a trip to The Shard or tickets to a festive performance of the ‘Nutcracker’

Grab… £30 tickets for three courses and a cocktail for one at Harvey Nichols.

Book… these gigs while you still can

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