The best things to do in London this weekend (31 May & 1-2 June 2019) from Brockley Max to Camden Rocks and Jeff Wayne’s Immersive War of the World’s Experience
Lead image: Summer by the River
1 Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience
31 May-31 August
The team behind Somnai, one of 2018’s most raved-about immersive experiences, is back with a new gig – Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience. Prolific composer Jeff Wayne has partnered with cutting-edge ‘layered reality’ company dotdotdot to re-imagine his Musical Work into a multi-sensory experience of immersive theatre, virtual reality, augmented reality holograms and other cutting-edge technology. You’ll be thrust you right into the centre of the of HG Wells’ Victorian England and the Martian invasion of 1898, where you’ll be able to smell the grass and feel the chill of the story’s famous Horsell Common, and physically feel the ground shake as the first cylinder lands. Tickets from £49.50.
56 Leadenhall Street EC3A 2BJ; dotdot.london/TWOTW
2 Summer by the River, London Bridge
30 May-1 September
Sprawling arts and entertainment festival Summer by the River returns for 2019 with a touch of The Hamptons’ coastal elegance about it. With unrivalled views of Tower Bridge, The Tower of London and the City skyline, the riverside walk and The Scoop will come to life with open-air cinema and theatre, live comedy and music performances, fun family days, fitness classes and summer sports on the big screen. Pop-up guru Jimmy Garcia will deliver his hugely popular BBQ Club, and cycle café pioneers Look Mum No Hands return to transform The Pier area at London Bridge City into a bar serving wholesome food, drinks and its own programme of events. There’ll also be a table tennis area and a new pop-up staging area in Hay’s Galleria championing emerging musicians.
London Bridge City SE1 2DB; londonbridgecity.co.uk
3 CATFEST, Catford
31 May-2 June
The Catford Constitutional Club’s annual three-day festival fundraiser, CATFEST, returns to Catford with a weekend of activities centred around art, music, and mindfulness. This year, the event is raising funds for mental health charity MIND, and as such the festival will feature workshops, talks and wellbeing activities, as well as plenty of craft beer and live bands. Join Almond Blossom Yoga for mindfulness infused vinyasa flow class, join a Sand Art Creations workshop, learn the basics of essential oils at Intro to Aromatherapy with Neals Yard, join the Menstural Magic Circle, or learn a Caribbean Cultural dance accompanied with Deanna & Marta of Nzinga Dance. To book workshops see eventbrite.com.
Catford Broadway, Catford SE6 4SP; catfordconstitutionalclub.com
4 As I Live and Breathe by Claire Morgan at the Horniman, Forest Hill
18 May-4 May 2020
As I Live and Breathe is a series of thought-provoking works by award-winning visual artist Claire Morgan exploring our relationship with nature, drawing on the theme of waste and the impact that humans have on their surroundings. A dramatic large scale installation suspended from the ceiling and descending over two floors will captivate visitors, composed of thousands of fragments of colourful waste polythene torn by hand from used shopping bags. Inside the Natural History Gallery, four taxidermy specimens of prolific residents of urban London – the grey squirrel, red fox, carrion crow and rose-ringed parakeet – feature fragments of torn bin bags protruding from their mouths.
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ; horniman.ac.uk
5 London Festival of Architecture, across London
London Festival of Architecture, the world’s biggest annual architecture festival, returns this month to explore the theme of ‘boundaries’. The packed programme of some 400 events and activities will open the doors to iconic tours and architectural installations, as well as energetic debates, Studio Lates, workshops and exhibitions. Highlights include LFA Symposium: Thresholds or barriers? taking place at the Royal Academy, explores the role and application of boundaries in architecture and placemaking (14 June), and aLL Design presents an aLL Alsop Whistlestop Tour, a self-guided tour that features new Neuron Pod Building for Queen Mary University in Whitechapel, Peckham Library, the Palestra and more.
6 Sub-Zero Espresso Martinis at Sea Containers
31 May-1 June
12th Knot, the rooftop bar at Sea Containers London, is toasting the launch of the world’s first sub-zero Espresso Martini nitro tap from Grey Goose this weekend. Kicking off at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, you’ll find a selection of ice-cold Grey Goose Espresso Martinis in a myriad of flavours, as well as sparkling cosmopolitans and cocktails to keep you going until 2am (cocktails priced 313 each). Throwing back to the golden age of discothèque, Disco Noir will see 12th Knot completely transformed into an homage of the era with a giant glitterball, laser walk way, custom-made DJ booth and soundtrack from a London-based DJ collective, Housekeeping. Nibbles and sharing plates from the 12th Knot kitchen will also be available.
20 Upper Ground SE1 9PD; seacontainerslondon.com
7 Brockley Max, across Brockley
31 May-8 June
Brockley Max, the annual community arts festival, returns for its 18th year to celebrate local talent across venues in Brockley, Ladywell, Crofton Park and Honor Oak. Spanning nine days, the event offers a packed programme of 70 events, from music and comedy to art and theatre. Opening Night on Friday 31 May kicks off at 4.30pm with an afternoon and evening of music on the street, and the event comes to a close on Saturday 8 June with Art in the Park, chock full of creative workshops, storytelling, theatre performances, a craft market, live music and dance performances from 12pm-6pm. And there’s plenty more in between, including Annual Summer Party on 1 June (brockleymax.co.uk
8 Right Queer, Right Now at Stour Space, Hackney Wick
Hosted by LAGLA LGBTQ+ Lawyers’ Association, Right Queer, Right Now is a photographic celebration of modern LGBTQ+ pioneers, showcasing a photographic tribute by Diana Thompson of Fashion Loves Photos. The event will feature a mixture of performers, activists and icons, shining the spotlight on 12 individuals including Jamie Windust (campaigner, public speaker and editor of Fruitcake Magazine), Lottie Moor (influencer and body/sex positive writer), Sadie Sinner (production & entertainment manager at UK Black Pride and founder & curator of The Cocoa Butter Club) and Trudy Howson (LGBT Poet Laureate. Tickets for opening night are £8 with all profits going to one of the only remaining LGBT+ domestic abuse charities, GALOP. Exhibition continues till 14 June.
7 Roach Road, Hackney Wick E3 2PA; rightqueerrightnow.com
9 Camden Rocks Festival, across Camden
Camden Rocks returns to celebrate Camden’s illustrious rock ‘n’ roll past and glowing future with some 400 bands playing across 20 venues over two days, from The Dublin castle to the Electric Ballroom and Dr Martens Boot Room. Headliners include Frank Turner and Deaf Havana alongside The Pigeon Detectives, Ash, Carl Barat and Wheatus. Bands from 12pm. The Official Camden Rocks Festival after shows will take place at The Underworld on both evenings from 11pm (advance tickets £10). Day tickets £40, weekend tickets £70.
10 Champions League Final at Flat Iron Square, Southwark
Southwark foodie hub Flat Iron Square proved itself a hot spot to watch the World Cup last year, so why not recreate a little of the magic with this weekend’s Champions League final? The summer sports screenings are back, and for just £5.50 you can grab a ticket to watch Liverpool take on Tottenham in what’s sure to be a tense Champions League final. Based just off Southwark Street, near Borough Market, Flat Iron Square is home to 13 top notch food options surrounded by a handful of bars including Omeara Cantina’s Tequila cocktails, Tap & Bottle, and three outdoor bars in the garden. Doors 5pm, kick off 8pm.
Flat Iron Square, 64 Southwark Street SE1 1RU; flatironsquare.co.uk
11 The Animal Ball Art Show by Elephant Family, Mayfair
Until 31 May
The Animal Ball Art Show is a fundraising exhibition for Elephant Family, the conservation charity mitigating human-wildlife conflict in Asia founded by Mark Shand. To date, over 150 projects have been funded, including restored migratory routes and the stamping out of illegal trades. The nine-day exhibition will showcase 27 pieces of artwork, from photographs to sculptures, by some of the most notable names in contemporary art including Subodh Gupta, Tracey Emin, Joana Vasconceles, Nick Brandt, Philip Colbert and Rob and Nick Carter. The artwork is available to buy on Paddle8 and, throughout the exhibition, tickets will be available to buy for the famous Animal Ball hosted by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall on 13 June at Clarence House. Open 10am-6pm.
9 Cork Street Galleries, Mayfair W1S 3LP; paddle8.com
12 Peckham Levels Open Studio Weekend
31 May-2 June
Peckham Levels, SE15’s community hub, is opening up all seven levels for two days of workshops, talks and DJ sets this weekend. Known for its upper level street food traders, bars and more, Peckham Levels’ closed lower floors house a myriad of local creatives who will open their studio doors for a unique insight into their craft, including Darkroom studio Bright Rooms, multidisciplinary practice Playdate and ceramics artist Evelyn Pelayo. Foundation FM, London’s emerging all-female radio station, will be airing live throughout the weekend, Peckham Vision, the campaign group behind sustaining the multi-story project, will host a talk unveiling the history of the car park and, at 6pm, DJ sets from South London’s best DJs including Ellie Prohan, Mr Play and Abigurl will take over the space well into the night. Friday 5pm till late and Sat-Sun 10am-6pm (levels 5 & 6 till late).
Peckham Town Centre Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4TG; peckhamlevels.org
13 London’s First Pineapple Gin Parlour, Soho
That Boutique-y Gin Company celebrates International Pineapple Day with an immersive pop-up celebrating the ‘king’ of fruits this weekend. The multi-sensory event – a bid to reinstate the pineapple as the ultimate symbol of hospitality and decadence – will feature a Pineapple Museum curated by food historian Tasha Marks, unlimited cheese and pineapple, a menu of refreshing pineapple cocktails and even scratch & sniff wallpaper. That Boutique-y Gin Company, which makes a multi-award-winning Spit-Roasted Pineapple Gin, will invite Brand Ambassador Gareth Waughington to lead six exclusive Pineapple Cocktail Masterclasses throughout the weekend (buy masterclass tickets here: designmynight.com). 12pm-late.
15 Bateman Street Gallery, Soho W1D 3AQ; thatboutiqueygincompany.com
14 The Departure Lounge, Lewisham Shopping Centre
Until 7 June
The Departure Lounge is a taboo-busting pop-up installation that uses the metaphor of travel together with medical science and personal stories to explore what it means to have a ‘good death’. Situated in a busy shopping centre in Lewisham – chosen because it is the birthplace of the hospice movement – the enticing and positive space aims to empower people to talk more openly about our inevitable last journey. In 2017, there were 49,412 deaths in London and 498,882 in England as a whole, meaning that approximately 1 in 10 deaths in the country were in the capital that year.
Molesworth Street, Lewisham SE13 7HB; departure-lounge.org
15 Maybe It’s Because I’m A Londoner! at Galerie Prints, Wimbledon
Until 16 June
Maybe It’s Because I’m A Londoner!, in collaboration with AKG Archives, Getty Images Archive London & Mirror Group Archives, is a breathtaking new photographic exhibition at Wimbledon’s Galerie Prints. With Brexit drawing closer we must ask ourselves, who we are as Britons? And as Londoners? Featuring 64 archival images showing the changing face – and faces – of London from the 1920s to present day, this exhibition offers a rare insight into what has always made this city so great – diversity, contrasts, resilience, passion and fashion. Admission £5. Print prices start from £205.
152 Arthur Road, Wimbledon Park SW19 8AQ; galerieprints.com
16 Romeo and Juliet, Royal Opera House
Until 11 June
This spring, the Royal Ballet is reviving Kenneth MacMillan’s dramatic ballet masterpiece, Romeo and Juliet. Set to Sergey Prokofiev’s seminal score, the performance will feature a number of principal and debuting dancers in the roles of Juliet and Romeo in the performance at the Royal Opera House. The work has been performed by The Royal Ballet more than 400 times since it was premiered at Covent Garden in 1965, making Romeo and Juliet a classic you can’t miss.
Bow Street, Covent Garden WC2E 9DD; roh.org.uk
17 MARTINI Fiero Waterfront Pop Up, Paddington
Until 21 June
The Fiero Waterfront pop-up is MARTINI’s genius way of launching it new summer aperitivo, MARTINI Fiero – a leisurely cruise to Little Venice and back on a vintage Riva yacht, with an aperitivo picnic and MARTINI Fiero & Tonics. On the bustling waterfront, you can enjoy MARTINI Fiero & Tonics alongside an exclusive menu created by Italian streetfood maestros Pasta e Basta, featuring authentic dishes like n’duja calabrese crostini, creamy burrata pugliese and cured meat platters, or opt for the cruise experience. The waterfront pop-up is open on selected dates from 22 May-21 June, 12pm-9pm. The MARTINI Fiero Riva yacht will be available for walk up and pre-bookings on 22-24 May, 31 May, and 7, 14 & 21 June. Groups of four can book ahead by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Merchant Square, Paddington Basin W2; martini.com
Until 30 June
Open Space has launched a temporary ‘art cafe’ cafe in Peckham where everything – from the food to the furniture and tableware – is both a functional object and an artwork. Even the food is a work of art, with a regularly changing seasonal menu created by Inês Neto dos Santos, a London-based Portuguese artist and co-curator of the exhibition, who is known for her food-based practice, using what we eat as a medium of artistic expression and social commentary. Taking place at AMP Gallery in Peckham, the exhibition and cafe will be open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10am-6pm. Go forth and Instagram your lunch free of judgement!
1 Acorn Parade, Peckham SE15 2TZ; openspacecontemporary.com
19 Aqua nueva x Sorolla: An Edible Art Menu
Until 7 July
Spanish restaurant aqua nueva, located just off Oxford Street, is partnering with The National Gallery and its newest exhibition Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light, to bring the reverend painter’s vivid artworks to life in food form. Highlights of the menu – listed on a specially designed artist’s ‘palette’ menu card – include Young Fisherman, Valencia, 1904 (an edible net containing its ‘catch’ of grilled mackerel, anchovies and roasted peppers), Sewing the Sail, 1896 (a dessert designed to look like a summer garden, incorporating seasonal fruit sorbet, sweet jelly and fresh fruit, topped with a strawberry meringue), and Maria Painting at El Prado, 1907 (a white chocolate and passionfruit bavaroise accompanied by a selection of bright edible ‘paint’ that you use to create your own designs).
5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (entrance 30 Argyll Street) W1B 3BR; aquanueva.co.uk
20 Van Gogh and Britain at Tate Britain
Until 11 August
The latest EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain, is Tate Britain’s highly anticipated exhibition of the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings in the UK for nearly a decade. Exploring how Van Gogh was inspired by British art, literature and culture throughout his career, and how he, in turn, inspired British artists like Walter Sickert and Francis Bacon, the exhibition includes some of his most famous works, such as Shoes and Starry Night on the Rhône and the very rarely lent Sunflowers from London’s National Gallery. Running until 11 August.
Millbank SW1P 4RG; tate.org.uk
21 FOOD: Bigger than the Plate at the V&A, South Kensington
Until 20 October
The V&A’s new exhibition FOOD: Bigger than the Plate explores current experiments at every stage of the food system, from compost to table. The exhibition brings together the politics and pleasure of food to ask how the collective choices we make can lead to a more sustainable and delicious food future. Do check out Selfmade, a gastronomic experiment showcasing five cheeses cultured from human bacteria – a Cheshire cheese made using Alex James’s bacteria, Comté made using Heston Blumenthal’s bacteria, mozzarella made using Professor Green’s bacteria, Stilton made using Ruby Tandoh’s bacteria, and Cheddar made using Suggs’ bacteria. Selfmade is one of over 70 contemporary projects in FOOD: Bigger than the Plate that explore innovation in sustainability. Tickets £17.
Cromwell Road SW7 2RL; vam.ac.uk