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42 fabulous things to do in London this weekend

Happy. Photo: Rob Sutherland

[Photo: Roy Sutherland]

Celebrate the Queen’s official birthday with a grand parade, dance until dark at Mister Sunday’s all-day party or explore some of London’s rarely seen gardens as they open their gates to the public this weekend. Here are the best things to do from Friday to Sunday.

Things to do 

Last Chance Saloon, Museum of Brands, TONIGHT, £10. Due to the dramatic growth of their collection, the Museum of Brands will be moving later in the year to a larger premises in Notting Hill. To toast their time at the current location, an Americana themed late opening will take place with food, drink and heaps of entertainment on the bill.

World Naked Bike Ride, various London locations, Sat, free. This protest against oil dependency and the way the cult of the car dominates contemporary life is also an unfettered celebration of individuality of the human body. Many of the 1000+ people expected to turn out will opt to bike in the buff, though full nudity is optional; the dress code is ‘as bare as you dare’.

Trooping the Colour: The Queen’s Birthday Parade, Horse Guards Parade, Sat, free. Although Trooping the Colour is also known as the Queen’s Birthday Parade, this prime piece of pageantry doesn’t take place on Her Maj’s actual birthday (that’s on April 21) but on her official birthday, a Saturday in June being more likely to provide decent weather for the proceedings.

Marie Claire @ Work Live, BAFTA, Sat, £95. Spend your Saturday learning how to work smart and live better at this one-day conference hosted by Marie Claire. Over 20 powerful, game-changing women will take to the stage across the day, covering everything from dealing with stress, launching your own business, creating stand-out CVs and honing presentation skills.

Open Garden Squares Weekend, various locations, Sat-Sun, free. In 2015 more than 200 gardens not ordinarily open to the public will unlock their gates for a weekend to take part in this annual event, held in association with the National Trust. Spanning 27 boroughs, the gardens take in all sorts of spaces, from traditional squares to roof terraces and allotments, as well as gardens belonging to historic buildings, schools, shops and cafes.

Clapton Jumble Trail, Chatsworth Road Market, Sun, free. This crowd-sourced street sale is back for the third year running and newly re-christened as the Clapton Jumble Trail. Part of the nation-wide Jumble Trail initiative, local sellers are invited to set up stalls outside their homes, flogging anything from bric a brac and toys to vintage clothes and cakes.

Bard’s Yard, St Leonard’s Church, Sun, free. The Spitalfields Crypt Trust have been busy over the last few months working with local homeless people and those recovering from addictions to create a small oasis in the heart of Shoreditch. Inspired by Shakespeare himself, the students have created a garden complete with mosaic stepping stones, apple and plum trees, wild flowers, herbs, benches and a wishing well.

The Cally Festival, Caledonian Road, Sun, free. Thousands of people are expected to attend the 2015 edition of this annual one-day festival which sees the Caledonian Road closed to traffic and filled with entertainment. The main stage will host performances from local talent, Story Street will be home to poetry and spoken word, a Caribbean party and soundsystem will pop up on Lyon Street and the Arty Block Party is your chance to get creative.

Kopparberg Urban Forest, 37-41 Whitepost Lane, all weekend, free. A five-week, loosely Scandinavian-themed pop-up in Hackney Wick featuring top bands, DJs, bars and street food.

Pullens Yards Summer Open Studios, Elephant & Castle, all weekend, free. Meet the designers, makers and artists who inhabit the studios in Pullens Yard at their annual open weekend in south London. Visitors can also use the opportunity to buy and commission unique pieces of work straight from the creators and explore the square which is one of the Open Garden Squares Weekend’s venues.

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


Eating and drinking

Model Market, Lewisham, Fri-Sat, free before 7pm, £3. Last year the makers of Street Feast brought their night-time street food party to an abandoned 1950s covered market in Lewisham. Foodies of south east London loved it so much that it’s back in 2015, serving delicious portable dinners from the likes of Rola Wala, Mother Flipper and SmokeStak.

Fork to Fork Festival, Kensal Rise, Sat. Wahaca co-founder Thomasina Miers and founder of Caravan restaurants, Laura Harper-Hinton are behind this one day festival complete with chef demos, talks and tasting and of course, heaps of great food and drink.

The Secret Garden, 409 Clapham Road, all weekend. After a sell out pop-up last winter, chef Jimmy Garcia returns with his latest offering ‘The Secret Garden’. For four months, a space nestled behind the wooden door at 409 Clapham Road will be transformed by the Firecracker Work set designers and will host this dining experience which sees tabletop BBQs, botanical cocktails and edible gardens on the menu.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Stewart Francis


Stewart Francis – Pun Gent Tour, Bloomsbury Theatre, TONIGHT, £20. Slick Canadian one-liner merchant Stewart Francis is back on the road, stopping off at the Bloomsbury Theatre with his ‘Pun Gent’ tour. As seen on ‘Mock the Week’ and ‘Live at the Apollo’, he has a gift for exquisitely crafted gags of the highest order.

Tommy Tiernan – Out of the Whirlwind, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £20-£25. What a treat. Multi award-winning Irish superstar Tommy Tiernan performs an intimate run at the Soho Theatre with his new solo show ‘Out of the Whirlwind’. Tommy tackles the big issues of today – sex, religion and family – with a mix of his personal demons and trademark sense of outrage.

Slapdash Festival, The Miller, Fri-Sat, £8. This four-night mini-fest celebrates all things improvised, and features an impressive truly international line-up of improv performers. There are troupes from Estonia, Italy, Switzerland, alumni from Second City and even a live link-up with a group from iO in Chicago.

James Acaster – Represent, Udderbelly, Sat, £15.50, £14 concs. James Acaster’s a true Time Out fave. The triple Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee just gets better and better. His shows suck you into his quizzical world, where seemingly unimportant problems are picked apart in exquisite detail.

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


Live music

Arca, St John-at-Hackney Church, TONIGHT, £13.50. He’s worked with Kanye, Björk and FKA Twigs, but the ghostly electronica and experimental beats of Venezuelan producer Arca are entirely his own, and utterly beguiling to boot. Tonight he plays a rare live show.

GoGo Penguin, Koko, TONIGHT, £17.50. Celebrating a Mercury Prize nomination for their album ‘v2.0’ – which continues to display their eclectic influences, ranging from Brian Eno and Massive Attack to EST, Debussy and Shostakovich – pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner comprise this high-octane, Manchester-based trio.

Leftfield, The Forum, Fri-Sat, £32. Following the release of ‘Alternative Light Source’ – their first released an LP of original material since 1999 – Leftfield are back to curate play the new stuff and awesome oldies like ‘Phat Planet’ and the trance-tastic ‘Shallow Grave’.

British Sea Power, Roundhouse, Sat, £19.50. The euphoric Brighton indie group revisit their debut album ‘The Decline of British Sea Power’.

Alison Moyet, Royal Hospital Chelsea, Sun, £40-£50. Basildon belle Moyet is still perhaps best known for her work as one half of Yazoo, despite 30-plus impressive years as a solo artist. She’s actually much better live than on record, with her blues influences spurring her on, and the power and lustre of her voice soaking her material with depth, verve and emotion.

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

Mike Skinner and Murkage present: Tonga


Mike Skinner and Murkage present: Tonga, The Waiting Room, TONIGHT, £5. This under-the radar party is run by one Mike Skinner (formerly everyman rapper The Streets and now a successful solo DJ) and Manchester-based music and arts collective Murkage (which frequently works with top grime producers and MCs).

Bangface Boat Party, Tower Millennium Pier, Sat, £25. One of the few certain truths in dance music is that industrial strength rave crew Bangface know how to party. Thus, this pirate-themed boat bash from them hosted on party vessel The Dutch Master should be all kinds of ridiculous fun.

Hundreds Boat Party with Jonas Rathsman, multiple venues, Sat, £25 (boat party and afterparty). Swedish master of melodic house Jonas Rathsman will be throwing around all kinds of deep grooves at this boat party, alongside various DJ pals. It’s a daytime affair (2pm-6pm) and after mooring up, the action switches from water to dry land, hitting Dalston club The Nest for an all-nighter from 10pm.

Crew Love, Studio 338, Sat, £30. Ultra-hip house label and DJ collective Crew Love return to London after blasting their musical love through Studio 338 last year. As well as tons of funky beats and slick house sounds (from the likes of Wolf + Lamb, Soul Clap, Pillow Talk, No Regular Play and many more), there’ll be coconut stalls, cocktails and fun out on the club’s vast terrace.

Mister Sunday, Oval Space, Sun, £5-£10. Justin Carter handles this special London MSN party, while Eamon takes the reigns over the pond in the Brooklyn chapter, making for a transatlantic disco odyssey.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.

The Look of Silence


Classic Cinema Club: ‘Stray Dog’, Ealing Town Hall, TONIGHT, £7, £6 concs. More from Kurosawa, as his favourite actors Toshirô Mifune and Takashi Shimura play detectives in Japan’s uneasy postwar period during the US occupation. When Mifune’s pistol is stolen, he is overwhelmed by a feeling of dishonour and sets out on a descent into the lower depths of Tokyo’s underworld, which gradually reveals Dostoyevskian parallels between himself and his quarry.

Origins Festival: ‘Ten Canoes’, British Museum, Sat, £3, £2 concs. This celebration of indigenous cultures features a strong film strand, including this poetic fable from 2007. Different modes of storytelling are at the heart of this rich, wise and unique collaboration between filmmaker Rolf de Heer and the Aboriginal community of Ramingining in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Mother Joan of the Angels’ + ‘A Short Film About Killing’, Rio, Sun, £10, £8 concs. A double bill of rigorous Polish masterpieces, although ‘Mother Joan of the Angels’ takes a less OTT approach to the same pseudo-historical source material explored by Ken Russell in his baroque horror masterpiece ‘The Devils’.

Or at the cinema…

The Look of Silence ★★★★★ Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer follows ‘The Act of Killing’ with another powerful, hauntingly beautiful documentary about Indonesia’s brutal past.

Jurassic World ★★★☆☆ The fourth film in the series and the first in 14 years, ‘Jurassic World’ serves up another theme park and another bunch of knuckleheaded scientists cloned from the same strand of foresight-impaired DNA. It has absolutely no reason for being – except for the obvious – but at least it chomps through your time painlessly.

…or see all of the latest releases.



1984, Playhouse Theatre, Fri-Sat, £19.84-£85. Headlong’s audacious re-working of Orwell’s ‘1984’ is great, queasy theatre.

Image of An Unknown Young Woman, Gate Theatre, Fri-Sat, £20, £15 concs. In her new play, Elinor Cook grapples admirably with the way images can quickly become symbols for a conflict and how they work for and against a situation, manipulating, distorting and galvanising.

Teddy, Southwark Playhouse, Fri-Sat, £18, £16 concs. A swinging ’50s music-infused tale of love on the streets of London.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

Doug Aitken

This week’s best new art

Doug Aitken, Victoria Miro Mayfair, Fri-Sat, free. LA-based artists Doug Aitken, whose 30-day ‘Station to Station’ extravaganza arrives at the Barbican later this month, presents five pieces that explore the concept of time. Using various media including light and sound, Aitken creates sensory and auditory experiences for the viewer.

Philip Guston, Timothy Taylor, Fri-Sat, free. Not wanting to be limited by abstraction, Guston began to focus on figuration in the late 60s that took inspiration from the streets around his home in Woodstock. Here, Guston’s provocative nature as an artist, who would not be confined by a movement is revealed through amusing gestural paintings that cover a cornucopia of subject matter.

Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair, Brick Lane Yard, Sun, £5. Gavin Turk, Tracey Emin, Pam Hogg, Bob and Roberta Smith and Polly Morgan will be amongst the artists offering limited edition and one off creations from the boots of classic and vintage cars at this unique event.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Piccadilly, all weekend, £13.50, £10-£12.50 concs. The world’s largest open-submission exhibition has a colourful makeover for 2015.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… a Zurich city break for two with Zurich Tourism or a styling session and tickets to Original Penguin’s launch party

Grab… 50% off tickets to ZSL London Zoo’s Sunset Safari on Friday June 12 and 19

Book… these gigs while you still can

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