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47 sizzling things to do this weekend

Venesha Thompson[Photo: Venesha Thompson]

Learn how to tie dye on a rooftop in east London, sample seriously good food at Streatham’s Food Festival or celebrate the life and work of Marilyn Monroe with a season of films dedicated to her at the BFI. Here are all the coolest things to do this balmy weekend.

Things to do 

Late at Tate: Speculate, Tate Modern, TONIGHT, free. Late at Tate returns with a new programme curated by 15-25 year olds, marking two years of the national ‘Circuit’ programme which strives to engage young people with little access to the arts. The latest series of events titled ‘Speculate’ are inspired by the collection displays and explore the themes of disruption and transformation.

Floating Cinema on Tour, Brentford Lock, Fri-Sat, free. Back for 2015, The Floating Cinema begins its tour from the South East to the West of England with three days at Brentford Lock. A diverse programme of film screenings, participatory events, workshops and talks will take place onboard the mobile arts space as it cruises down the canals on its journey to Bristol.

Tie Dye High Five, Queen of Hoxton, Sat, £15. The organisers will be teaching you how to tie dye, dip dye and create the coolest tropical clobber around. Plain T-shirts and a cocktail will be provided as part of the ticket price, and you can also BYOW (Bring Your Own Whites) to make use of the unlimited dyes.

A Stitch in Time: A Day of Embroidery, British Library, Sat, free. Drop in to the British Library for this celebration of everything that can be created with a needle and thread. Watch the experts in demonstrations and masterclasses, have a go for yourself in hands-on workshops, listen to talks and find fibre-based answers at the sewing surgery.

Urban Ninja, Russell Square Gardens, Sat, £30-£60. Definitely not a walk in the park, but this fitness challenge is well worth a go if you think you’re ‘ard enough.

London Nocturne, Smithfield Market, Sat, free. International riding stars headline at this annual cycling event, with races around Smithfield Market and family entertainment throughout the day.

Festival of Love, Southbank Centre, Sat-Sun, free. The Southbank Centre’s having quite the love-in this summer with the return of their Festival of Love – two months’ worth of installations, activities, pop-ups and performances that celebrate humankind’s most overwhelming emotion.

Euroart’s Open Studios, Gaunson House, Sat-Sun, free. The Euroart Studios in Tottenham is an artist-led cluster of 70 work spaces housing fine artists, fashion designers, filmmakers, architects and every other type of creative practitioner under the sun. For one weekend only, the doors of the artistic hub will be open to the public for a taste of what’s being made inside, as well the chance to enter a silent auction and art raffle.

London Map Fair, Royal Geographical Society, Sat-Sun, free. Back for 2015, the largest antique map fair in Europe features 40 dealers selling maps (ranging in date from the 15th-20th century), atlases, travel books, globes, sea charts, town plans, topographical prints and other ephemera priced £10 to £100,000.

Picnic in the Park, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Sun, free. Communities from across east London are invited to gather together for a huge picnic in the Olympic Park for the annual Big Lunch. Take your own food and settle down for a variety of entertainment, including storytelling, face painting, treasure hunts, magic shows, cookery demonstrations, music, puppet shows, and special dance performances from Sadler’s Wells.

Run The Jewels, The Forum, Sun, £20. ‘Watch The Throne’? Pah. Ye and Hova may have star quality, but when alternative hip hop superstars Killer Mike and El-P bring their collaborative project to London you’ll know what’s really up.

Nordicana, Troxy, Sat-Sun, £37-£65 one day, £69-£120 weekend. Scandiphiles and Nordic Noir lovers: prepare yourselves for Nordicana, a two-day celebration of gripping crime dramas from northern Europe.

More London Free Festival, The Scoop, all weekend, free. Now in its thirteenth year, the More London Free Festival is again bringing an impressive line-up of events and performances to the concrete amphitheatre below the Mayor’s leaning glass blob of an office on the South Bank.

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

Synaesthesia by Kitchen Theory

Eating and drinking

Synaesthesia by Kitchen Theory, Maida Hill Place, Fri-Sat, £65 dinner, £32 lunch. Dinner’s got to do more than just taste good in this demanding world of ours, and Kitchen Theory are cooking up some serious stimulation with their latest supperclub series, Synaesthesia. Audio-visual aids and food-related lessons will accompany this seven-course experimental feast cooked by chefs with Michelin-starred kitchen experience.

Hackney Drinks Market, Hackney Downs Studios, Sat, free. This monthly gathering of London producers is a more liquid sister to the Dalston Food Market, so if your passion is for things that come in bottles you’ll be in thirst-quenching heaven.

Streatham Food Festival, various venues, all weekend, prices vary. A long weekend of eating and food events to celebrate all the edible excellence SW16 has to offer. The Streatham Food Tour, an indecisive eater’s dream, allows you to stop off at as many of the 31 participating restaurants as you can manage, to try a taster of their signature dish then rate it on a specially-designed map.

EatChiswick, Chiswick High Road, all weekend. This week-long festival celebrates all things culinary with special offers and events taking place in local restaurants, bars, pubs and food outlets. A street food market will pop up on Chiswick High Road on Saturday June 6. Guests can buy a wristband for £10 which will allow access to exclusive offers and half-price event tickets.

…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.

Jackie Mason Live at the Adelphi – Ready to Rumble, Adelphi Theatre, Sat, £50-£85. Three years after his ‘farewell’ show, the US stand-up and self-styled ‘Ultimate Jew’ is back in London.

Katherine Ryan – Glam Role Model, Fairfield Halls, Sat, £17. Biting Canadian stand-up Katherine Ryan finds humour in the things in life than make us bitter, and now she’s bringing her brand new solo show, ‘Glam Role Model’, to the Soho Theatre.

Ali Brice – Edinburgh Preview, Hackney Attic, Sun, free. Madass character comic Ali Brice previews his latest Edinburgh Fringe show, introducing his alter-ego Eric Meat and a new bunch of loons. Plus Brice is joined by a comedy pal each night – so that’s an Ed preview double-bill, all for free!

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

Sleaford Mods

Live music

Sleaford Mods, Koko, TONIGHT, £15. Nasty, vicious, foul-mouthed but eloquent punk poetry by the Nottingham duo, railing over tin-can electronic beats with a flow like Mike Skinner after half a dozen Special Brews.

Capital FM Summertime Ball, Wembley Stadium, Sat, from £42.99. One Direction headline this all-day Wembley mega-gig, organised by London radio station Capital.

Nico Muhly/Britten Sinfonia: Sentences, Barbican Centre, Sat, £10-£35. Acclaimed composer Muhly conducts the world premiere of his new work ‘Sentences’, based on the life of Alan Turing and featuring guest singer Iestyn Davies. The century-spanning programme also includes work by John Dowland, Britten and Vivaldi.

Field Day, Victoria Park, Sat-Sun, £38.50-£83. Since 2007 Field Day has quietly become one of London’s very best music festivals, with a consistently excellent booking policy covering the world’s finest alternative acts. The bill regularly incorporates everything from weird pop and indie up-and-comers to underground dance producers and folk musicians.

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

Artwork Presents Art's House at The Nest


Artwork Presents Art’s House at The Nest, Dalston Roof Park/ The Nest, TONIGHT, £5-£15. One third of dubstep supergroup Magnetic Man, Artwork has also proven himself to be a solid, on-point solo selector through years of grafting behind the decks, and now he’s heading-up a series of day and night parties at Dalston Roof Park and The Nest.

Truman’s Yard Party, 2-3 Stour Road, TONIGHT, free. Expect resident DJs, burgers on the BBQ and special beers and brewery tours at this Hackney Wick party.

Optimo: Until the Music Stops, Sat, Village Underground, £8-£12. JD Twitch and JG Wilkes return to London for an extended set at the Village Underground, which is one of three parties they have planned here during the year.

Old School Indie, O2 Academy Islington, Sat, £8, £6 before midnight, £5 NUS, £4.50 adv. Get your Adidas Gazelles cleaned up, put that old Pulp T-shirt in the wash and sort your floppy fringe by Saturday because it’s time to throw yourself around to some classic indie anthems.

Sunday Sunset Barbecues, South Place Hotel, Sun, 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.

Seventh Day, Village Underground, Sun, £5-£15. The third instalment of Seventh Day features long-standing London techno talent and acclaimed producer James Ruskin at the helm. Also spinning heavy but danceable sounds are Jonas Kopp and Randomer.

Turntables, 119 Wallis Rd, all weekend, free. A pop-up party on a canalside Hackney Wick terrace, with DJs, street food vendors and cocktails.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.



Marilyn Monroe season: ‘Clash by Night’, BFI Southbank, TONIGHT, £8.35–£11.75. The BFI’s month-long tribute to the greatest movie star of them all kicks off with Marilyn’s first major role, in this adaptation of Clifford Odets’ play, a hoary slice of Broadway neo-realism in the Arthur Miller vein.

The Ipcress File, Stratford East Picturehouse, Sun, £9.50, £8.50 concs. Sandwiched between ‘Zulu’ and ‘Alfie’ on Michael Caine’s extensive and, let’s say, ‘varied’ filmography, ‘The Ipcress File’ was the first of four films in which the actor played gentleman spy Harry Palmer.

‘Menilmontant’ + live piano, Barbican Centre, Sun, £11.50, £10.50 concs. Time has dealt much more kindly with silent filmmaker Dimitri Kirsanoff than with most of his contemporaries. A Russian émigré in Paris who enjoyed little contact with other filmmakers, his extraordinary montages, dissolves and narrative ellipses nevertheless echo many of the early avant-garde film experiments.

Or at the cinema…

Spy ★★★☆☆ Star Melissa McCarthy and writer-director Paul Feig explore their unique (James) bond in this hilarious pastiche of spy movies.

…or see all of the latest releases.



Buckets, Orange Tree Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£20. A series of short plays about death written by Adam Barnard.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter, Landor Theatre, all weekend, £20. Ring the bell. Alert the Strallen sisters. Somebody wake up Cameron Mackintosh. There’s a half-decent new British musical playing in a pub theatre in Clapham.

Duncton Wood, Union Theatre, all weekend, £20, £17 concs. Holy moly! This all-singing adaptation of William Horwood’s fantasy novel about warrior moles is better than you might think.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

Roni Horn: Butterfly Doubt

This week’s best new art

Roni Horn: Butterfly Doubt, Hauser & Wirth, Fri-Sat, free. Drawing has always played an important role in the American artist’s work; she considers it her ‘primary activity’. This major showcase of her intricate drawings is presented in both Savile Row galleries and focuses on three recent series Or (2014), Hack Wit (2013, 2014) and Remembered Words (2013).

Julian Opie, Alan Cristea, Fri-Sat, free. The British artist who created the iconic Best of Blur album cover presents new innovative prints and animations in his distinctly pared-back style.

Agnes Martin, Tate Modern, all weekend, £12, £10.50 concs. The simplicity of the late American artist’s abstract work is their evocative strength. Working in New York during the 1950s sand 1960s, Martin became a prominent figure in the male-dominated field of abstraction, but soon left the city in search of solitude.

Modigliani: A Unique Artistic Voice, Estorick Collection, all weekend, £5, £3.50 concs. In these two rooms of modest drawings and small paintings, Modigliani’s increasingly intense and extreme reimaginings of the human figure are luminously powerful.

Duane Hanson, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, all weekend, free. Survey of the American artist’s lifelike and eerie bronze sculptures that satirise Middle Americans performing everyday activities, such as workmen with their painting paraphernalia or tourists taking a rest on a bench. Hanson’s hyperreal work will have you doing double takes.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win…a trip for two to Northern Ireland or tickets to Truck Festival 2015 for you and three friends

Grab…tickets to ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ at The Jetty

Book…these gigs while you still can

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