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45 cheery things to do in London this weekend

biglacos[Photo: biglacos]

If the election results have left you feeling less than cheery this morning (understatement of the year), you’re not alone. Sure, you could just sit indoors all weekend and rant at the TV, but that’s not going to do anyone any good. Instead why not get out there and distract yourself, drown those sorrows and remember what a brilliant city we’re lucky enough to live in.

Things to do 

Rumble in the Jumble, Oval Space, Saturday. Fancy rifling through your favourite celeb’s cast-offs? At Rumble in the Jumble, you can do just that – and it’s all in aid of a good cause. The Music Circle (a charitable organisation made up of women in the music industry) have asked famous faces to donate an impressive array of bits and pieces – look out for Graham Coxon’s specs, Daisy Lowe’s designer bag and Mark Ronson’s suit.

Refashion East SWAP, Toynbee Studios, Saturday, £2. We’ve all got stuff lurking at the back of our cupboards or under our beds, tags intact but never worn. Swap your unloved stash with like-minded fashion fans at Refashion East’s SWAP.

Seven Dials Spring Shopping Event, Covent Garden, Saturday, free. Grab a 20% discount over 120 shops, bars and restaurants across Seven Dials and St Martin’s Courtyard from noon-5pm Brands including Urban Outfitters, Fred Perry, Tatty Devine, Offspring, Kiehl’s, Larsson & Jennings and Orla Kiely are al taking part.

London Pet Show, ExCeL London, Sat-Sun, £12.50. This annual fur-filled show is moving to the ExCel centre in 2015 for a weekend of barking, jumping, stroking and shopping. The fair is aimed at both pet owners and anyone looking for advice on taking the plunge.

Silicon Milkroundabout, Old Truman Brewery, Sat-Sun, free. The Silicon Milkroundabout free job fair is back for 2015. The event brings together hundreds of UK companies over two days to showcase their career opportunities open to developers, data scientists, product managers, designers and digital marketers.

Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival, St Paul’s Church, Sunday, free. The annual Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival (which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2015), brings together Punch and Judy professors from around the country for a day of jolly old-fashioned fun.

London Cycle Sportive, various venues, Sunday, from £40. Get on your bike for this race from Dulwich Park to the 1948 Olympic Velodrome at Herne Hill. There are three route lengths to choose from, and each of them takes you through Box Park and into the Surrey Hills before getting to the Olympic track for a finishing lap.

Urban Village Fete, Greenwich Peninsula, Sunday, free. London hasn’t exactly got a traditional village green, so it makes sense that we repurpose something grander to host a fete. This modern version of the traditional British fair will take place in the newly redesigned Greenwich Peninsula, just next door to The O2.

The Great Hampstead Bark Off, Parliament Hill, Sunday, free. With a dog-themed-cake bake off, a dog show, and prizes awarded in categories like ‘cutest pup’ and ‘best rescue’, this day out promises to be a treat for man’s best friend and their owners alike. The event, in association with charity All Dogs Matter, will also give you the chance to meet some lovely mutts in need of a new home.

Cockpit Arts Spring Open Studios, Holborn, all weekend, free. Award-winning social enterprise Cockpit Arts supports more than 170 of the country’s best designer-makers, and its open studio weekends in Holborn (May 8-10) and Deptford (May 15-17) are a great opportunity to buy unique and beautifully made pieces direct from the artists.

SPIN London – The Urban Cycle Show, The Sorting Office, all weekend, £10 per session, £15 weekend. This mini-festival celebrates the urban cycling scene with international brands and smaller independent makers in fixed gear, single speed, custom and BMX bikes in attendance as well as emerging cycle fashion brands, cyclic artwork, talks, demonstrations and workshops.

The Alice Look, V&A Museum of Childhood, all weekend, free. Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ turns 150 in 2015, and to mark the anniversary this exhibition will bring together garments, photographs, rare editions and illustrations which show how Alice has both followed and influenced fashion over the decades.

London Craft Week, various venues, all weekend, prices vary. This new week-long festival of activities and exhibitions celebrates craftmanship in all sorts of interesting nooks and crannies across London. Famous galleries and specialist workshops alike will host events to showcase both ancient skills and exciting new talent.

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

Street Feast

Eating and drinking

Street Feast, Fri-Sat, £3, free before 7pm. Street Feast returns to Kingsland Road in 2015 for a summer-long stretch of night markets for those who like to be seen eating. The tempting line-up of street food favourites includes flavour-packed Korean burritos from Kimchinary, delicate Taiwanese buns from Bao London, crisp fried chicken from Spit and Roast and juicy burgers from Mother Flipper, among many others.

Hop-up Craft Beer House, Café Del Marsh, Saturday. This Waterloo café will be selling beers from a special selection of London breweries – one from each point of the compass – for one day only, with sustenance provided by scotch egg maestros Scotchtails.

Dalston Food Market, Petchey Academy, Sunday. This weekly food market brings locally produced food and drink to an already hungry east London crowd. It’s set on the lawns within a Dalston secondary school and visitors are welcome to settle in for picnics and enjoy the live music as well as the food.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Knightmare Live – Level 2


Knightmare Live – Level 2, Udderbelly, TONIGHT, £15.50, £14 concs. ‘Welcome, watchers of illusion, to the castle of confusion.’ Yep, the slapstick stage show version of the iconic kids’ TV show takes up residency at the Udderbelly. There’s no CGI realm here, rather some shambolic sets and costumes, but it’s mighty fun to both play and observe, with Tom Bell making a brilliant Lord Fear.

Max and Ivan – The Reunion, Udderbelly, Saturday, £12.50, £11 concs. Max and Ivan deservedly bagged a nomination at the 2013 Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards for their latest offering, ‘The Reunion’. It’s a warm, very funny, engrossing hour and it’s a feel good triumph.

Abandoman – Hot Desk, Udderbelly, all weekend, £15.50, £14 concs, £20.50 Sirloin seats. Incredible hip-hop impro team Abandoman just keep getting better and better. The multi-award winning troupe duo – made up of Rob Broderick and James Hancox – create off-the-cuff raps and songs from a handful of audience suggestions with astonishing results, and each year their show has a different format, theme or narrative running through it.

Women of the Year Comedy Fundraiser, Royal Court Theatre, Sunday, £30. It’s the sixtieth anniversary of the Women of the Year, and to celebrate new president Sandi Toksvig and council member Maureen Lipman have put together this comedy fundraiser, featuring an impressive line-up.

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

Kings Of Convenience

Live music

Kings of Convenience, Bush Hall, TONIGHT, £25. Summer’s back – and so are Norwegian folk-pop perfectionists Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe, returning after a long absence to fill a few hundred Londoners with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Super Furry Animals, O2 Academy Brixton, Fri-Sat, £32.50. Though they never officially split up, we’ve heard very little from psychedelic Welshmen SFA since their last round of gigs in 2009. But lately there have been whispers about the eccentric indie crew getting back to business, and now here’s a big London show – super indeed.

Sam Amidon, Islington Assembly Hall, Sunday, £15. This Vermont-born alt folk singer and fiddler updates the sounds of the old West, and has also been working for several years now on a film, ‘Plywood Superstar’, which will end with Jimi Hendrix wandering around a river in northern Canada trying to catch fish with his hands.

Voices Now, Roundhouse, all weekend, free-£17.50. Leading choral director Stephen Layton and fiddle player Kathryn Tickell are among the curators of this joyous weekend celebration of choral music-making, allowing diverse professional and amateur choirs to collaborate.

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

 Benji B Presents Deviation


The XOYO Residency Series: Benji B Presents Deviation, XOYO, Saturday, £13.50. After great stints from the likes of Skream, Jackmaster and The 2 Bears, the latest resident DJ in Shoreditch club XOYO’s continuing series has been announced as Benji B, hosting a special three-month run of his ace Deviation parties.

Nepal Earthquake Fundraiser, Brixton Jamm, Saturday, £8-£10 adv. This night will help raise funds for Circus Kathmandu, a charity providing support for Nepalese youth. Brixton Jamm host the party which will see Basement Jaxx, Scratch Perverts, Kissy Sellout, Audio Bullys, Alabama 3 and more take to the stage.

Sunday Sunset Barbecues, South Place Hotel, Sunday, free. Slick weekly Sunday daytime parties on a seventh-floor terrace of a hip hotel, featuring DJs, spritzers and a Michelin-starred chef manning the BBQ.

Disco Picnic Summer Warm-Up, Number 90, all weekend, £3, free before £4. Disco Picnic is a rather ingenious foodie-party pop-up project that combines street food, DJs, live music, fashion markets, workshops and more all under one roof – a sort of mini-festival.

Turntables, 119 Wallis Rd, all weekend, free. This deliciously fun – and just plain delicious – pop-up seriously impressed us last year, so we’re chuffed to hear that it’s back in town. As before, it’s set on and around the considerable terrace space of Hackney Wick canalside venue Shapes and once again, there’ll be all kinds of delicious street food on offer, plus summertime cocktails from Butlers Gin and Quiquiriqu Mezcal, and specially brewed Turntables lager.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.



Classic Cinema Club: ‘Spirit of the Beehive’, Ealing Town Hall, TONIGHT, £7, £6 concs. Victor Erice’s remarkable film sees rural Spain soon after Franco’s victory as a wasteland of inactivity, thrown into relief by the doomed industriousness of bees in their hives.

London Turkish Film Festival: ‘Thou Gild’st the Even’, Rio, Saturday, £8.50. The London Turkish Film Festival returns with another packed programme of films from the continent-straddling nation. The central strand this year is a tribute to director Onur Ünlü (‘Polis’, ‘Son of the Sun’), whose latest work ‘Thou Gild’st the Even’ won the Best Film prize at the 2013 Istanbul Film Festival.

Juliette Binoche Season: ‘Horseman on the Roof’, Ciné Lumière, Sunday, £10, £8 concs. 1832. Provence is gripped by cholera. Angelo flees Austrian assassins determined to stamp out exiled Italian revolutionaries, and meets mysterious Pauline de Théus, a woman so brave and loyal that she’s prepared to travel the ravaged land alone in search of her husband.

Papercut Cinema, The Paperworks, Sunday, free. This new open-air cinema which runs for 8 weeks, will focus on films all about music. Both documentaries and feature length films will be shown and the series kicks of with ‘This is Spinal Tap’.

Or at the cinema…

Girlhood ★★★★☆ The title makes you think of Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ – but that takes away from the specialness of this French coming-of-age-drama which is powerfully attuned to race, solidarity and the dead ends that many kids have to be smart enough to avoid.

Top Five ★★★★☆ On the surface, this is an artist-in-a-rut comedy in the vein of Woody Allen’s ‘Stardust Memories’. But more deeply, it is also perhaps a semi-autobiographical reflection of the dead-end choices Chris Rock himself might be feeling.

…or see all of the latest releases.

The Angry Brigade


The Angry Brigade, Bush Theatre, Fri-Sat, £20, £12.50-£15.50 concs. ‘The Angry Brigade’ is a play about anarchists, and to that end wunderkind writer James Graham has rather gamely issued a text note saying that the director can stage its dual plot lines – one following the titular ’70s terrorist cell, the other following the police squad assigned to track them down – in any order they choose.

Everyman, National Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£35. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Everyman in Rufus Norris’s production of the 15th century morality play.

Carrie: the Musical, Southwark Playhouse, Fri-Sat, £18-£22. Whether you think Stephen King’s 1974 novel ‘Carrie’ is a key feminist tract or just a spot of lurid prose, there’s no denying it’s the height of horror. Blood, death, bullying, telekinesis and abuse: it’s an unsettling mix of ‘Matilda’, ‘Misery’ and ‘Mean Girls’, and the 1988 musical, here running in London for the first time, revels in the darkness.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

Collect 2015

This week’s best new art

Collect, Saatchi Gallery, Fri-Sat, £17, £12 concs. The annual contemporary craft fair presents 35 international galleries showcasing the most exciting, experimental and world-class examples of applied arts craftsmanship.

The Americans Are Coming, Chris Beetles Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. The adage, the pen is mightier than the sword really comes to life in this survey of American cartoons with political bite. Including 300 original illustrations from the last 100 years by the likes of post-war political cartoonist Pat Oliphant, Punch contributor Arnold Roth and Snoopy creator Charles Schulz, the show covers everything from satirical cartoons to gag comic strips.

A Clockwork Jerusalem, AA Gallery, Saturday, free. First shown at the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2014, this exhibition uncovers how a British form of modernism originated through architectural artefacts.

Every Object Tells a Story: A Cabinet of Curiosities, 33 Fitzroy Square, all weekend, free. Over 250 objects have been selected for their extraordinary backstories and historical significance in this fascinating show that covers the past 5,000 years.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… a playful or sophisticated Regent Street shopping spree or a pair of tickets to the very first Citadel Festival

Grab… 50% off tickets to ‘Woolf Works’ at the Royal Opera House

Book… these gigs while you still can

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