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43 delightful things happening in London this weekend

Posted at 12:15 pm, January 16, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Free, Fun London, Music & Nightlife, Outdoor London

Nigel Hopes[Photo: Nigel Hopes]

Grab this weekend with both hands as there’s a lot to pack in. Start planning a worldwide trip at The Adventure Travel Show, take in worldwide sounds at Gilles Peterson’s annual awards night, or take a closer look at the weird and wonderful beings that roam our planet at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Here are all the best things to do in London this weekend…

Things to do 

Ceilidh Club Burns Night, Hammersmith Town Hall, Fri-Sat, £29.50, £15 concs. Celebrate Burns Night a week early, with three hours of energetic ceilidh dancing and a buffet dinner of haggis, neeps and tatties, plus all the appropriate extras such as piping in and addressing the haggis. Get booking now.

StartUp 2015, Somerset House, Saturday, free. Turn your hobby, habit or pipe dream into a real-life money-making scheme with the help of this one-day festival of entrepreneurship. Budding business-owners will get hints and tips in talks from companies such as Eventbrite, It’s Nice That and Moo.

Pin Your Way to Victory, Paper Dress Vintage, Saturday, £20.Vintage hair expert Hula Lula will guide visitors back in time to recreate the famous victory roll style.

The Adventure Travel Show, Olympia London, Sat-Sun, £8/£10 one day, £12/£15 both days, free under-16s. This large-scale show is just the excuse you need to get bitten by the travel bug and book yourself a new long-haul adventure.

Butterflies in the Glasshouse, RHS Garden Wisley, Sat-Sun, free with admission. In January each year hundreds of butterflies are released into the jungle-like environment of the Glasshouse to feed on the nectar plants, flirt with each other and be admired by visitors.

Hackney Flea Market, Abney Hall, Sat-Sun. Over 25 traders will be offering an eclectic selection of vintage clothes and furniture, handmade jewellery, comics, records and antiques.

IgniterHive: More Than Just Fitness, Pineapple Dance Studios, Sunday, free. To celebrate the launch of their social enterprise, IgniterHive are offering free dance sessions at various locations across the capital.

London Model Engineering Exhibition, Alexandra Palace, all weekend, £11, £10 seniors, £4 under 15s. How do you get more than 1,000 steam trains, planes, boats, tanks and trucks up the biggest hill in north London? Shrink them. This exhibition and fair will see the full spectrum of modelling assemble itself very precisely into Alexandra Palace for a nineteenth year in 2015.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Natural History Museum, all weekend, £12.60; £6.30 concs. Celebrating its fiftieth year, the renowned competition exhibition returns to the Natural History Museum with images of the most extraordinary species on the planet captured by professional and amateur photographers.

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

 Gone Camping

Eating and drinking

Gone Camping, The Pickle Factory, Fri-Sat, £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.

Indian Food Walk, Southall Rail Station, Saturday, £15. Award-winning food writer and chef Monisha Bharadwaj leads this walk through Southall, making stops at specialist supermarkets where unusual ingredients can be found, and on the main street in town for tastings of exclusive sweets and traditional Indian foods.

Duck Pond Artisan Food and Craft Market Ruislip, Manor Farm, Sunday, free. As if artisan craft markets weren’t wholesome enough already, this monthly collection of stalls from local artists, food producers and independents takes place in and around a thirteenth century barn, so before and after their shopping session visitors can explore the herb garden, orchard and remains of a motte-and-bailey castle.

Rum Kitchen, Soho. Caribbean classics are on the menu: saltfish fritters, jerk chicken wings, curry mutton, roti and all-rum cocktails to wash ’em down.

Hampshire Hog, Hammersmith. The Hampshire Hog in Hammersmith sounds like the start of a tortuous tongue-twister, but it’s actually a ‘pub and pantry’, run by the team who put the Engineer gastropub in Primrose Hill on the map.

…or see more recommended restaurants.

 Andrew Maxwell's London Loves


Andrew Maxwell’s London Loves, Prince of Wales, TONIGHT, £12, £10 adv. Mischievous Irish raconteur Andrew Maxwell has been a London dweller for 20 years now. He’s practically a Londoner, we’d say. To celebrate his two decades in our capital, the Radio 4 star is performing this topical show, all about London.

Jerry Sadowitz – Card Tricks and Bile, Leicester Square Theatre, Fri-Sat, £19.50. Bile-spitting master magician, comedy genius and raging psychopath Jerry Sadowitz gives ‘offensive’ a whole new meaning. For this limited run at the Leicester Square Theatre, he’s showing off his card magic skills rather than his enraged stand-up, performing expert slight-of-hand.

Alex Edelman – Millenial, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £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.

Kraken, Soho Theatre, all weekend, £17.50, £15 concs. Kraken was one of our absolute favourite comedy shows from the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe. It’s a ludicrously silly show from New Zealand mime artist Trygve Wakenshaw, and his mind is brimming with childlike silliness.

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


Live music

Kindness, Electric Brixton, TONIGHT, £15. ‘World, You Need a Change of Mind’ – the exquisite debut album by Adam Bainbridge under his Kindness alias – was our favourite LP of 2012. Now he’s back with his warm, luscious and eclectic mixture of disco, soul, funk, R&B and more besides.

The Line of Best Fit: Five Day Forecast, The Lexington, TONIGHT, £7-£10. Woman’s Hour headline the final night of music mag TLOBF ‘s five-day series at Islington indie pub, The Lexington.

Die Antwoord, O2 Academy Brixton, Saturday, £21.50. The South African hip hop trio, whose name translates from Afrikaans as The Answer, combine a mixture of trashy electro beats with some gloriously bizarre lyrics.

Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards, Koko, Saturday, £30-£32. The tenth annual Worldwide Awards from superb selector GP also acts as a showcase for some of the very freshest talents around, plucked from the worlds of funk, hip hop, jazz, dub, house, electronica and more.

…or take a look at all 38 live music events in London this weekend.

Hip Hop Vs R&B


Hip Hop Vs R&B, Jazz Cafe, TONIGHT, £10, £6 adv. Hip hop gets in the ring with R&B to do musical battle, as London’s premier hip hop crew, The Doctor’s Orders, bring special guests to Camden’s Jazz Cafe.

Gloria’s with Andy Butler + Krystal Klear, XOYO, TONIGHT, £13.50. Expect a prime party fuelled by the energy, eccentricity and ethos of Sink The Pink, and soundtracked by some outstanding DJs.

Work It Presents Spooky Black Aftershow Party, The Victoria, TONIGHT, £7. Super-savvy R&B party crew Work It host the official aftershow bash for the debut London show from viral R&B sensation and beat-maker Spooky Black in Dalston.

Supa Dupa Fly, Ace Hotel, Saturday, £10 on guestlist by emailing acehotel@supadupaflylove.com. DJ MK from Kiss FM and Clara Amfo from 1Xtra are the guest DJs helping to spin the grooves.

Romare, Oslo, Saturday, £5. Ace Afrohouse innovator and hip hop meddler Romare plays a set ahead of the launch of his anticipated debut album ‘Projections’, released in February.

…or see all 20 parties planned this weekend.

Classic Cinema Club: ‘Gold Diggers of 1933


Classic Cinema Club: ‘Gold Diggers of 1933’, Ealing Town Hall, TONIGHT, £7, £6 concs. This archetypal backstage musical has some semblance of a plot (songwriter Dick Powell turns against his wealthy parents in wishing to marry chorus girl Ruby Keeler) and much Depression-era wisecracking, but most notable is the vulgar, absurd and wonderfully surreal Busby Berkeley choreography.

Chinatown, The Rio, Saturday, £8.50. The hard-boiled private eye coolly strolls a few steps ahead of the audience. The slapstick detective gets everything wrong and then pratfalls first over the finish line anyway.

The Long Goodbye, Curzon Richmond, Sunday, £8.50. Along with ‘The Big Sleep’, Robert Altman’s 1973 crime story is the most intelligent of all screen adaptations of Raymond Chandler’s work. Altman stays pretty close to the novel’s basic narrative (though there are a couple of crucial changes).

Or at the cinema…

Whiplash ★★★★☆ You already know the ferocious jazz teacher played by JK Simmons in the electrifying New York-set drama ‘Whiplash’ if you’ve seen things like ‘Full Metal Jacket’, ‘Battle Royale’ and – just to be clear – the grizzly bear in ‘Grizzly Man’. Clad fully in black, biceps bulging, Simmons’s Fletcher exudes attitude: he rules the top department of an elite New York music school with a clenched first.

Wild ★★★☆☆ Reese Witherspoon seizes on the role of Cheryl Strayed, spiritually broken and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail during the summer of 1995.

…or see all of the latest releases.



Orfeo, Roundhouse, Fri-Sat, £10-£75. Regarded as the first fully formed opera, ‘Orfeo’ premiered in 1607 and is a beautifully poised, slowly unfolding and heart-rending tale of love triumphing over death and the power of music to bewitch even the guardians of hell.

Othello, Lyric Hammersmith, Fri-Sat, £15-£35. With trademark style, theatre company Frantic Assembly breathe brutal new life into Shakespeare’s tale of manipulation, sexual jealousy and murder.

Bat Boy: The Musical, Southwark Playhouse, Fri-Sat, £12-£22. Inspired by the greatest ever scoop in the lunatic tabloid Weekly World News, it’s a playfully gruesome satire that revels in its own weirdness and takes gleeful potshots at the prejudices of Bible-belt America.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices here.

Danh Vo

This week’s best new art

Danh Vo, Marian Goodman Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. Ahead of representing Denmark at the forthcoming fifty-sixth Venice Biennale, the Danish/Vietnamese artist presents new sculptural work about displacement and the impact of immigration.

Adam Dant: The Budge Row Bibliotheque, Bloomberg SPACE, Fri-Sat, free. Known for chronicling Britain’s social and political history through large-scale detailed, cartographic drawings, Dant casts his eye over the fabric of the City of London as the first artist in Bloomberg’s ‘The Homecoming’ exhibition series.

Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915-2015, Whitechapel Gallery, all weekend, £11.95, £9.85 concs. Picking up where Tate Modern’s tremendous 2014 Malevich exhibition left off, this international survey looks at the legacy of the Russian artist’s suprematist black square paintings and how abstraction has been used to channel political ideas over the past 100 years.

Unseen, Courtauld Gallery, all weekend, £7, £6 concs. The Courtauld’s new Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery launches with a display of drawings not seen for over 20 years. Designed by Stirling Prize winners Witherford Watson Mann Architects, the new space dedicated to drawing will showcase a dynamic annual programme.

Jerwood Encounters: The Grantchester Pottery Paints The Stage, Jerwood Space, all weekend, free. Sculptor Giles Round and painter Phil Root aka The Grantchester Pottery, a decorative arts studio, curate work by the Pottery’s associated artists including Michael Fullerton, Sophie von Hellerman, Cally Spooner and Sam Windett.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… tickets to the 2015 EE Bafta ceremony or golden tickets to View: A Festival of Art History.

Grab… £18 tickets to ‘Bat Boy: The Musical’ at Southwark Playhouse, including programme.

Book… these gigs while you still can.

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