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42 rad things to do in London this weekend

Jon Reid[Photo: John Reid]

It’s almost the weekend, gang! And that can only mean three things – fun, fun and fun. Get down with Skream as he begins his three-month residency at XOYO, have a go at rollersoccer in Victoria, or wave a final farewell to the festive season at the Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival before it closes. Here’s everything you need to know about the next couple of days…

Things to do 

Ceilidh Club, Cecil Sharp House, TONIGHT, £16.50, concs £10. Find a partner for a high-energy Scottish country dancing night with attitude, complete with a live band and a caller to guide you through the steps. No experience required. Tartan not necessary, but definitely encouraged.

Sweat Lodge Yoga, Coq d’Argent, Saturday, £25. A lodge has appeared on the terrace at French restaurant Coq d’Argent, and it’s the perfect spot for a bracing Saturday morning yoga session. Mats (and heaters) are provided, and the Vinyasa class is taught by Karin Lilleberg, who has practiced yoga for more than a decade.

Food Poetry, Keats House, Saturday, free with admission. The Keats House Poetry Ambassadors present an hour-long session packed with mouth-watering poetry on the subject of food.

Fall, Fell, Fallen, Purcell Room, Sat-Sun, £18. January in London – only one thing is ever for certain: the London International Mime Festival. This year there’s a typically stellar line-up, including this circus show from Lonely Circus.

Rollersoccer, Queen Mother Sports Centre, Sunday, £10. Have a go at rollersoccer (apparently it’s pretty funny as well as being a good cardio work out), beginners are welcome at this ten-year anniversary session.

Sunday UpMarket, Brick Lane, Sunday, free. Here, you’ll find a buzzing mishmash of mopey students, bona fide locals and edgy attention seekers riffling through vintage stalls, quirky crafts by up-and-coming designers and stacks of old vinyl.

The Hammersmith Textiles, Vintage Fashion and Accessories Fair, Hammersmith Town Hall, Sunday, £5 general, £10 early bird. This unique vintage shopping event brings together around 100 traders from the UK and further afield, selling sought after goods spanning the decades from 1800 to 1980.

London Boat Show, ExCeL London, all weekend, £20, £15 concs, free under-16s, advance and off-peak prices available. If it floats, you’ll find it at The London Boat Show, a ten-day tribute to all forms of waterborne transport. Every size of vessel is represented among the hundreds of show boats; everything from kayaks to superyachts will be brought by specialist independent builders, multinational companies and everything in between.

Lights of Soho Presents God’s Own Junkyard, Brewer Street, all weekend, free. This exhibition returns work from Bracey’s 40-year career to the part of London he started out in with a dazzling display of pieces borrowed from the artist’s gallery of signs, God’s Own Junkyard.

Southbank Centre Winter Festival, Southbank Centre, all weekend, free. LAST CHANCE. It’s your final chance to celebrate the cold season at the Southbank Centre, which turns off its fairy lights for the year this weekend. Alongside a fistful of fun pop-ups and activities, take a final wander around the Christmas market, or escape the freeze in the cosy Scandinavian Lodge.

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


Eating and drinking

Jinjuu, Soho, opens today.  Judy Joo, of Iron Chef fame opens her first London restaurant in Soho this month. The menu at Jinjuu will feature her interpretation on Korean street food.

Gone Camping, The Pickle Factory, all weekend, £55. Get a breath of fresh air and a sense of adventure at this pop-up dining experience from The Art of Dining, who have turned a shed in Bethnal Green into a Scout’s dream playground for a series of five-course feasts.

Snaps and Rye, Westbourne Park. Scandinavian cooking has been a big deal here in London for a few years, but much of it has been Swedish in origin or orientation. Snaps & Rye is Danish. You’d have to be well versed in the region’s cuisines to spot the finer points of difference, but whatever the national origin, the result is sensationally good.

…or see Time Out’s recommended restaurants.

Stewart Lee – A Room With a Stew


Stewart Lee – A Room With a Stew, Leicester Square Theatre, Fri-Sat, £20.50. ‘A Room With a Stew’ sees the influential comic testing ideas for the fourth series of ‘Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle’. But, as this is Stewart Lee, don’t expect these new routines to be messy and joke-less, even when testing new material Lee is always spectacularly funny.

Bec Hill in… Ellipsis, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12.50, £10 concs. London-based Australian comic and cartoonist Bec Hill might seem super-confident, but she has as much self-doubt as the rest of us, as she reveals in her confessional solo show.

Tony Law – Enter the ToneZone, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£20. As usual, Law makes it seem as if he’s unprepared, never quite finishing a thought before gliding into the next topic. The sense of loose, ill thought-out chaos is relentlessly silly. Deliciously barmy, unpredictable lunacy. Classic ToneZone.

Sex Appeal IV, Bloomsbury Theatre, Sat, £20. Sex-positive laffs for this annual benefit in aid of Brook, the young people’s sexual health charity. Al Murray the Pub Landlord is on hosting duties, introducing a large line-up of top acts including David Baddiel, Mark Thomas, Shappi Khorsandi and Doc Brown.

Sara Pascoe – The Museum of the Robot Pussycats, Etcetera Theatre, Sunday, £7.50. Work-in-progress material from Sara Pascoe, 2014 Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee and supremely smart stand-up.

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

 Jocelyn Brown

Live music 

Jocelyn Brown, Hideaway, TONIGHT, £20. Best known for her ’80s dance anthem ‘Somebody Else’s Guy’, this soul diva has also had hits with acts as diverse as John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Todd Terry.

Fortuna Pop’s Winter Sprinter, The Lexington, TONIGHT, £8.50-£10.50. Long-running London indie label Fortuna Pop presents four days of indie fun, with a slight leaning towards spiky twee but a fine range of artists involved.

Joanna Gruesome, Power Lunches Arts Café, Fri-Sat, £11. Mixing up early My Bloody Valentine’s sweet fuzz with punk thrust and indie-pop jangling, the impeccably named Joanna Gruesome are an exciting four-piece from Cardiff whose debut album ‘Weird Sister’ was a real treat.

…or take a look at all 29 live music events in London this weekend.

DJ Yoda


DJ Yoda, The Old Queen’s Head, TONIGHT, £16.50. Decknician DJ Yoda drops a stunningly eclectic mixture of genres into his beats, taking in country, soul, nursery rhymes and ’80s pop alongside the more usual funk and soul samples.

Joe Goddard, The Nest, TONIGHT, £13.50. Hot Chip and The 2 Bears man Joe Goddard always a ton of projects on the go, so it’s easy to forget that he’s also a stellar DJ. Tonight he gets back behind the decks to spin anything from house to bashment to disco to punk funk to pop, with support from Isaac Tichauer and Andre Bratten.

Skream at XOYO, Old Street, Sat-Sun, £13.50. To kick off his XOYO residency, eclectic party-starter Skream breaks out his selector skills in full force with an all-night-long set. Expect pretty much any damn thing to be rinsed out, including house, disco, garage, techno and perhaps even a bit of – whisper it – dubstep.

Feeling Gloomy v Old School Indie feat The Smyths, Great Portland St, Saturday, £20, £16 adv. Top Smiths tribute act The Smyths perform a special two-part set, playing Mozza and co.’s 1985 classic ‘Meat is Murder’ in full, followed by a second set of other Smiths hits from across the years.

…or take a look at all 19 parties planned in London this weekend.

 National Gallery


London Short Film Festival, various locations, all weekend, prices vary. Now in it’s twelfth year, The London Short Film Festival showcases independent films from across the UK. January’s festival will also be open to international filmmakers.

Or at the cinema…

National Gallery ★★★★★ For his latest exploration of an institution, the great American documentary-maker Frederick Wiseman, now in his mid-eighties, turns his inquisitive lens on the employees, patrons and paintings of London’s National Gallery.

Into the Woods ★★★☆☆ ‘Into the Woods’, the 1987 fairytale mash-up musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, has fallen under Disney’s spell, getting the lavish big-screen treatment courtesy of ‘Chicago’ director Rob Marshall.

Foxcatcher ★★★☆☆ Channing Tatum gives the performance of his career as Mark Schultz, the bruised but unbowed Olympic wrestler who signs up to a new training centre run by oddball millionaire John DuPont (Steve Carell), the scion of a serious old-money family.

Taken 3 ★★★☆☆ We catch up with ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) in yet another emotional tangle. Daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) is unexpectedly pregnant, while ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) is falling out of love with her second husband (Dougray Scott) and slipping back into Bryan’s rugged orbit. Then a body is discovered, Bryan is framed, and the chase is on.

…or see all of the latest releases.



Golem, Young Vic, Fri-Sat, £10-£35. With new show ‘Golem’, the animated vistas conjured by theatre company 1927 have become so stunning that the story could be about pretty much anything. Whereas the company’s visuals have previously been mostly influenced by German Expressionism and silent movies, here animator Paul Barritt lobs in everything from ‘Metropolis’ to ‘Monty Python’ to ‘Morph’ to create an astonishing, acid yellow world that looks like ‘Nathan Barley’ reimagined by Fritz Lang.

3 Winters, National Theatre, Lyttelton, all weekend, £15-£50. This subtle epic from Zagreb-born Tena Štivičić goes some way to shed light on Croatia’s difficult relationship with its own past.

Assassins, Menier Chocolate Factory, all weekend, £30-£39.50, £29.50 concs. ‘Assassins’ is about the nine men and women who have attempted – with mixed results – to assassinate US Presidents. With an excellent book from long-term Sondheim collaborator John Weidman, it’s a blackly humorous and thoroughly disturbing survey of American marginalisation.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices here.

Rich Hardcastle: Mr Detective Man

This week’s best new art

Rich Hardcastle: Mr Detective Man, Mead Carney Gallery, Fri- Sat, free. After featuring in Hardcastle’s ‘Dark Tales’ exhibition last year, the Adonis model David Gandy takes the lead role in the photographer’s latest series inspired by crime thrillers.

A Crazed Flowering, Frameless Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. JG Ballard proves to be a constant source of inspiration for artists. Here, three recent art graduates, Freya Douglas-Morris, Nicholas Johnson and Lucy Whitford draw on themes of apocalypse in the dystopian writer’s novel ‘The Crystal World’.

Fig-2, ICA, all weekend, £1 day membership. Throughout 2015, 50 weekly exhibitions will be presented in the ICA’s studio space. Using the same premise as Fig-1, an exhibition series conceived by Mark Francis and Jay Jopling 15 years ago that featured projects by Jeremy Deller and Oliver Payne + Nick Relph, Fig-2, curated by Fatos Ustek, will present the works of emerging and established artists, designers, architects and filmmakers.

The Anti Gallery Gallery Show, Espacio Gallery, all weekend, free. Thirty-five artists stage a takeover of the Espacio Gallery in protest against the consumerism of the art world and turn it into a demonstration site, an encounter space and an ideas laboratory.

Flim Flam Flum, KK Outlet, all weekend, free.  The wonderful Nous Vous fill Hoxton’s KK Outlet with work they’ve created over the last six months including new drawings, objects, visual research, sounds and prints.

Orbital Projects I: London, Hotel Elephant, Sat-Sun, free. The Unturned, an online platform and archive for contemporary artists present this exhibition of work from Nina De Angelis and Ion Macareno, in collaboration with collective Common Objects and galería JosédelaFuente.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… the ultimate weekend in Barcelona or dinner for two at the iconic BT Tower

Grab… £18 for two courses and a glass of prosecco at Forge & Co, Shoreditch

Book… these gigs while you still can

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