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44 exciting things to do in London this weekend

Posted at 12:45 pm, March 13, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment, Design, Food & Drink, Free, Fun London, Music & Nightlife

Wendy Dobing[Photo: Wendy Dobing]

It’s going to be a whopper of a weekend, guys! You can pick up some fabulous vintage numbers at the Southbank Centre’s Classic Car Boot Sale, whip up some delicious cocktails at The Zetter Townhouse and those of you lucky enough to have a ticket to the Alexander McQueen show can finally see those sensational designs at the V&A. Plus there are heaps of events to to help you treat your lovely mums on Mother’s Day. Here’s everything worth knowing about this weekend…

Things to do 

Florimania, Hampton Court Palace, all weekend, £18.20, £15.40 concs. The historical rooms will be filled with magnificent flower arrangements which illustrate how floristry has changed over the last 500 years. Entrance is included in the price of admission.

Classic Car Boot Sale, Southbank Centre, Sat-Sun, £4. Pedestrians with pockets full of change can pick up any number of retro bits and bobs from the 100 or so traders, or tuck into street food and quality tipples. You might even spot Kenickie buying Rizzo a drink.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, V&A, Sat-Sun, £17.60, £16.50 concs. More than 100 remarkable designs from fashion’s enfant terrible will be wowing London audiences following great success in New York.

FutureFest, Vinopolis, Sat-Sun, £50 per day pass, £80 weekend. What does the future really hold for us? We’re still holding out for tubes that fling us across town like they have in ‘Futurama’, but even if pipes aren’t in the pipeline there are lots of advances to get excited about, and they’ll all be explored on the line-up at this two-day festival of innovation.

Made by You, 3-10 Shoreditch High Street, Sat-Sun 12-8pm, free. You’ve probably got a pair in your wardrobe! Now Converse are celebrating their iconic Chuck Taylor All Stars with an installation by Damilola Odusote which documents how thousands of Londoners wear their Cons.

St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, Trafalgar Square, Sunday, free. London’s Irish community heads to Trafalgar Square to celebrate their patron saint – and everyone’s invited.

Meet the Mothers, Lee Valley Park Farms, Sunday, £9.50, £8.50 concs. This family day out is your chance to meet the parents and babies who live at Lee Valley Park Farms. Among the cute critters to say hello to are goats, llamas, chipmunks, reindeer, red bellied tamarins, guinea pigs and – new for 2015 – meerkats.

Crafternoon Cabaret Club, The Hospital Club, Sunday, £15, or £25 with afternoon tea. Craft and cabaret? We can’t believe we didn’t think of it first. All-comers at all levels are welcome at this award-winning monthly workshop, which lets you sew, stick, chop and stitch together a crafty item while enjoying a performance from a cabaret star.

Mother’s Day in the Garden with Matthew Biggs, Garden Museum, Sunday, £40 (for two). Treat your mum to some two-on-one time with ‘Gardener’s Question Time’s Matthew Biggs at this Mother’s Day special. Biggs will be set up in the museum greenhouse ready and waiting to answer all your horticultural queries in what sounds rather like a Santa’s grotto for the green-fingered.

Female-only Training Sessions at Lee Valley VeloPark, Olympic Park, Sunday, £30, £22 concs. Lady cyclists aged 12 and over who feel the need for speed will take charge of the Lee Valley VeloPark for these taster sessions, which count as Stage 1 of the centre’s four stage accreditation process.

Sunday Assembly & Morning Gloryville Mash Up, Conway Hall, Sunday, free (donations welcomed). Sunday Assembly and Morning Gloryville team up for this Sunday morning shakedown. Samantha Moyo of Morning Gloryville will speak about’The Power of Dance’and will also bring along some of her best dancers. Expect a cracking DJ and a house band.

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

Spring Chicken

Eating and drinking

Spring Chicken, Forza Win Dispensa, Fri-Sat, £35. A seasonal supperclub in Peckham with good poultry and good times at its heart.

Cocktail Masterclasses, The Zetter Townhouse, Sat-Sun, £50. Join experts David Wondrich & Tony Conigliaro for an ‘Old School vs. New School Cocktail’ session where you’ll learn to make between four and six cocktails and be given lots of handy tips for rustling up drinks at home.

Shackfuyu, Leicester Square. A stylish 12-month pop-up from restaurateur Ross Shonhan (Bone Daddies, Flesh & Buns) serving East-West fusion food. We hope it remains fused to the spot.

Shikumen, Shepherd’s Bush. An authentic Chinese restaurant at The Dorsett Hotel. The dim sum menu is a compact selection of exquisitely steamed, baked, and fried dishes ranging from classic har gau and xiao long bao to more sophisticated items such as scallop siu mai topped with tobiko and cheung fun filled with prawn and beancurd skin.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Comic Relief – Face the Funny


Comic Relief – Face the Funny, London Palladium, TONIGHT, £20. This year, Red Nose Day is being broadcast live from the London Palladium, and you can be in the audience. These two sessions feature a huge group of British comedy greats.

Alex Edelman – Millennial, Soho Theatre, all weekend, £15, £12.50 concs. ‘Millennial’ is an assured debut – it focuses on how well Edelman represents his Generation Y peers and is full of killer over filler material. He undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of him.

The 2000 Year Old Man, JW3, all weekend, £12.50. Canadian actor Kerry Shale and Radio 4 regular Chris Neill star in this recreation of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner’s classic comedy skit – it’s the first time ever than Brooks and Reiner have given permission for the semi-improvised sketch to be revived.

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

Clean Bandit,

Live music

Clean Bandit, Alexandra Palace, TONIGHT, £21.50. A big Ally Pally show for the smart pop four piece who mix dance beats with classical strings.

Idlewild, Roundhouse, TONIGHT, £22.50. Long-standing moody Scottish grunge-rockers Idlewild may not be quite as punky of riff or as pissed-off with the world as they were they formed almost two decades ago, but they’ve still got enough energy to write and record a new album, ‘Everything Ever Written’.

Caribou, O2 Academy Brixton, Saturday, £17.50. Dance beats, weird electropop and psychedelic textures by multi-instrumentalist genius Dan Snaith and his band.

Label Mates III, Shacklewell Arms, all weekend, £4-£10. A shedload of great independent labels each book a night at the Shacklewell Arms, adding up to ten days of underground and up-and-coming musical brilliance.

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



Kiasmos, St John-at-Hackney Church, TONIGHT, £18. Icelandic duo Kiasmos perform as part of Convergence, a series of events throughout March exploring the relationship between technology and music.

Cabaret Derangium, Theatre Delicatessen, TONIGHT, £12 adv,£15 on the door. A raunchy, interactive evening of comedy, art, music and burlesque. Expect tantalising performances from live acts and exciting installations.

Savage, Metropolis, Saturday, £5. A new weekly night of disco tunes and filthy fun, set in a strip club, from Sink The Pink.

Disco Dodgeball: Creatures of the Forest Vs Beasts of the Jungle, Shapes, Saturday, £60-£70 per team (six people). Expect an Olympic pool-sized dose of superb silliness at this party organised by masters of madness Regression Sessions. The idea is essentially to play dodgeball (that game beloved of US schools where you essentially batter other people with a bouncy ball) accompanied by DJs spinning disco soundtracks.

Rebel Bingo, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, Saturday, £11-£17 adv. There’ll be foul-mouthed number calling, prizes (which have previously included guitars, bikes and jukeboxes), glitter cannons and heaps of hedonistic energy.

Jay Electronica, Koko, Saturday, £15.50-£19.50. Enigmatic rapper Jay Electronica is hot property over in the US, and he’s not exactly an unknown quantity in the UK either. This is his first London show in four years and it should be quite the event.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.



Classic Cinema Club: ‘An Actor’s Revenge’, Ealing Town Hall, TONIGHT, £7, £6 concs. Yukinojo, a female impersonator in a Kabuki theatre troupe, takes revenge on the three nobles who forced his parents to commit suicide.

Cocktails & Movies: ‘Cocktail’, 20th Century Theatre, Saturday, £14, £22 with drinks. Enjoy a weekend of boozy movies with themed cocktails at the plush 20th Century Theatre. Alongside the likes of ‘The Big Lebowski’ and ‘Anchorman’ (plus, oddly, ‘The Goonies’) we find this guiltily entertaining Tom Cruise vehicle.

The Pop Up Screens Speakeasy, 20th Century Theatre, all weekend, £22. A sure way to make your favourite feel-good film feel even better is to mix a few alcoholic treats into the viewing process. This series of events from Pop Up Screens will present you with just the tipple to complement your chosen movie – knock back White Russians with ‘The Big Lebowski’, experience the Sex Panther with ‘Anchorman’ and have a Screaming Orgasm during ‘When Harry Met Sally’.

Or at the cinema…

X+Y ★★★★☆ At the core of this tender-hearted and moving British indie film is a fascinating relationship between a single mum, Julie (played by the superb Sally Hawkins), and her autistic teenage son, Nathan – played with equal smarts and insight by the young actor Asa Butterfield.

Suite Française ★★★★☆ This is a handsome and intelligent adaptation of the writings of Irène Némirovsky – the Russian-born French writer who died in Auschwitz and whose two unpublished novellas emerged in 2004 as one book, ‘Suite Française’.

…or see all of the latest releases.

The Royale,


The Royale, Bush Theatre, Fri-Sat, £20, £12.50-£15.50 concs. The real-life story of boxer Jack Johnson has inspired this new play by Marco Ramirez. Making its UK debut at the Bush this March, ‘The Royale’ tells of Jay Jackson, the first African-American heavyweight champion of the world.

Sweeney Todd, Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop (West End), Fri-Sat, £30-£67.50. Cameron Mackintosh creates a pop up pie and mash shop to home Tooting Arts Club’s excellent production of Sondheim’s musical.

Clarence Darrow, Old Vic, all weekend, £10-£65. Kevin Spacey bows out at the Old Vic by reprising his acclaimed turn as civil liberties lawyer Clarence Darrow.

Lardo, Old Red Lion Theatre, all weekend, £14, £12 concs. If you can’t stomach two hours of moose knuckles spilling out from Spandex crotches then steer clear of ‘Lardo’, Mike Stone’s brilliantly barmy play about the theatre of pro-wrestling.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

Bob and Roberta Smith: Why I Am So Angry

This week’s best new art

Bob and Roberta Smith: Why I Am So Angry, Handel Street Projects, Fri-Sat, free. Ahead of his campaign to stand against Michael Gove in Surrey Heath elections, the master of political slogan art presents new work that opposes the governments shocking disregard for the arts in recent press.

Johanna Billing: Pulheim Jam Session, Hollybush Gardens, Fri-Sat, free. The car dependent region of Pulheim in Germany is the site for the Swedish artist’s film. In the rural area made up of country roads, farms and fields, 60 cars with over a hundred people staged a traffic jam. Footage of this orchestrated event is interspersed with a jamming session from pianist Edda Magnason in a nearby barn.

John Stezaker: The Projectionist, The Approach, all weekend, free. Known for his collaged photographic masterpieces that marry disparate film-stills imagery in witty and ingenious ways, Stezaker returns to making large-scale monochromatic silkscreen prints.

Affordable Art Fair Battersea, Battersea Evolution, all weekend, £12 on door, £10 adv, £8-£10 concs. The south-of-the-river instalment of this popular art fair sets up shop with over 100 contemporary galleries selling works from £100-£5,000.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… tickets to the Fashion on the Ration exhibition and a London mini break or a Fortnum & Mason hamper worth £500

Grab… £22 tickets to Drive-In Film Club at Alexandra Palace, Pavilion Car Park

Book… these gigs while you still can

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