The best things to do in London this weekend (6-7 July 2019) from alfresco theatre to Pride and Turning Tides Festival, which launches of London’s first linear riverside park
Lead image: The Glory at National Theatre’s River Stage
1 Turning Tides Festival, Greenwich Peninsula
5-7 & 12-14 July
The Tide, London’s first linear riverside park, designed by the co-creators of New York’s High Line, launches this month with Turning Tides Festival – back-to-back weekends of live music, performance art, wellness events and Riverside Feasts on Greenwich Peninsula. Leading the line-up of Turning Tides Festival is former Supergrass singer Gaz Coombes, British singer Laura Mvula and iconic drag act Sink the Pink. There’ll also be sober ravers Morning Gloryville, Riverside Feasts with guest chefs at the 27m-long picnic table, a pop-up cinema and art installations by Yoko Ono and LA-based conceptual artist GERONIMO.
The Tide, Greenwich Peninsula SE10; turningtides.london
The huge Pride in London parade takes place on 6 July, sweeping through the streets of central London in a riot of colour to celebrate diversity and activism. This year, Pride celebrates 50 years since the birth of the modern LGBT+ rights movement. The parade sets off from Portland Place at midday on Saturday 6 July, moving down Oxford Circus, along Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, then Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall and passing Trafalgar Square before finishing on Whitehall around 5.30pm. The route is long, raucous and packed in places, so if you fancy beating the crowds and taking it all in in comfort, bag yourself a seat at the Pride in London Grandstand on Waterloo Place (tickets £20-£50).
3 WingJam Chicken Wing Festival at Bussey Building, Peckham
How better to celebrate Independence Weekend than with a whiskey and wing festival? Award-winning Bulleit Frontier Whiskey and London’s most exciting chicken wing festival, Wing Jam, have joined forces to dish up American-style whiskey and wings to south London. Headed for the Bussey Building in Peckham for WingJam’s chicken wing festival and rooftop party. Embodying the true American spirit, you’ll be offered a complimentary cocktail from Bulleit Whiskey’s pop-up bar on arrival, before perusing a variety of delicious sticky, crispy or spicy wings made by some of the country’s top street food vendors – all at £1. Then you can dance the night away to a full line up of live bands and DJs while sipping on craft beers and Bulleit Whiskey cocktails. Tickets £13.50.
133 Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST; wingjam.co.uk
4 Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF), various locations
Until 6 July
Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF), London’s leading festival of outdoor theatre and performing arts, runs into July with fantastic shows across Royal Greenwich, Royal Albert Dock and Tower Hamlets. Highlights include My House, a pop-up circus theatre house (4-5 July), and the closing performance from Cristal Palace, which fuses dance, music and acrobatics, transforming General Gordon Square into a glittering outdoor ballroom by means of a high-flying chandelier, followed by spectacular fireworks (6 July from 9.30pm).
1 July-15 August
‘Where Babel separated, visual art connects,’ says Syrian-Armenian artist Kevork Mourad, who’s solo exhibition, Seeing Through Babel, at The Ismaili Centre launches on 1 July. In the Old Testament story of Babel, mankind is punished for attempting to construct a tower to heaven, an act of hubris that led God to create multiple languages to prevent such collusions happening again. Running in partnership with the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, the exhibition features a six-metre hanging sculpture created using Mourad’s trademark techniques – monotypes and drawing onto the surface of the work. Designed to allow visitors to walk in and around it, the artist intends to connect people with different languages and cultural backgrounds.
1 Cromwell Gardens, Cromwell Gardens Entrance, South Kensington SW7 2SL; the.ismaili
Until 7 July
Chinese artist Mao Jianhua launches his debut UK exhibition, Spirit of the Valley, with an immersive experience at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea this weekend. The new series of 48 specially commissioned works will immerse you in Jianhua’s spiritual exploration of the Chinese mountains, with large-scale works and music to help induce a meditative state. A very spiritual person, Jianhua derived the title of his exhibition from a phrase of verse by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, which draws parallels between the mystery of the creative process and that of nature. His greatest inspiration is the Yellow Mountains, an area of outstanding natural beauty in Eastern China and a place of artistic pilgrimage for thousands of years.
Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 4RY; maojianhua.com
7 Glass Room x VII Hills Floating Negroni Bar, Victoria Embankment
Until 24 July
Glass Room, Bateaux London’s restaurant and bar on the Thames, has teamed up with award-winning Italian dry gin brand, VII Hills, to launch the capital’s only Floating Negroni Bar in time for Negroni Week. Hop on board Glass Room, docked at Embankment Pier, for an unrivalled sailing experience with 360-degree views of London’s famous landmarks, complete with an Negroni in hand available when you pre-book a lunch, afternoon tea or dinner experience. VII Hills’ talented brand ambassador Gabriele Manfredi has created four exclusive VII Hills Negronis, from the Bateaux Signature Barrel-Aged Negroni, to the Fiori De Pesco, a peachy concoction made with VII Hills, peach liqueur, Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino and Campari. Tickets start from £39 for a 90-minute lunch sail.
Embankment Pier, Victoria Embankment WC2N 6NU; bateauxlondon.com
8 Pure Sport’s Medicine’s Rooftop Pilates Classes, One New Change Rooftop
From 5 July
‘Tis that time of year when we must all proceed to the rooftop! Vitamin D has been in short supply so far this summer, so the chance to start your day with rooftop Pilates is not one to be passed up. Pure Sport’s Medicine – leaders in musculoskeletal medicine with seven clinics across London – are hosting rooftop Pilates classes on the One New Change Rooftop. Overlooking the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral, the revitalising class – complete with great views – will help you get the most out of your morning workout. Classes take place form 7.30am-8.30am on Fridays 5, 12, 19 & 26 July. Suitable for any ability. Mats are provided. Tickets are £20.
One New Change Rooftop, St Paul’s EC4M 9AB; puresportsmed.com
9 Into The Woods Live Music Summer Festival, Leamouth Peninsula
Goodluck Hope, Ballymore’s newest development on Leamouth Peninsula, east London, is hosting Into The Woods festival featuring the likes of Vanessa White, Michael Rice, Flawless and Donel. Hosted in partnership with Three Bears Entertainment, a music production company located at the adjacent London City Island development, Into The Woods is the first summer music festival of its kind to hit Leamouth Peninsula, a vibrant community that has recently been bolstered with a host of new art galleries, creative workspaces and studios. In true 4th of July style, you’ll also be able to indulge an American BBQ with sliders in brioche buns, chicken and veg skewers, falafel and beetroot salad, served alongside signature cocktails and mocktails. 6.30pm-10.30pm. Tickets are £15. Over 18s only.
Orchard Place, Leamouth Peninsula E14 0JU; goodluckhope.com
10 Summer Nights at the Bandstand in Greenwich Park & Regent’s Park
The bandstands of Greenwich Park and The Regent’s Park will come alive this summer with free performances from a variety of local concert bands, jazz big bands, small groups and choirs – perfect for a summer picnic. Taking place every Saturday and Sunday from 22 June to 8 September at Regent’s Park, you’ll find the Mardi Gras Jazz Band (12.30pm-2.30pm) and Belvedere Concert Band (3.30pm-5.30pm) performing this weekend. Over at Greenwich Park, performances takes place every Sunday from 23 June with KIX Jazz Orchestra performing this weekend from 3pm-5pm. Free.
For further details, see regentsparkmusicfestival.org.uk and friendsofgreenwichpark.org.uk
11 Bottomless Brunch Pride Party at The Rooftop at The Trafalgar St James
Position yourself at the heart of the Pride weekend celebrations without battling the crowds up on The Rooftop at The Trafalgar St. James. The rooftop destination, which overlooks Trafalgar Square for great views of all the action, is celebrating Pride weekend with a bottomless Prosecco or Mimosas brunch. You’ll be able to hear the music and celebrations from Trafalgar Square below, while dining on sharing style starters including Parmesan & Truffle Arancini, and Mozzarella & Pesto Salad, plus a choice of main courses including Croque Madame with Rocket Salad & French Fries, and Flank Steak Tagliata with Rocket Salad. There’s also an optional Pride Rainbow dessert menu for just £5 per dish and a Pride cocktail priced £13. Brunch is served from 12pm-2pm & 2pm-4pm, priced £49pp. Tickets available here.
2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square SW1A 2TS; trafalgarstjames.com
12 The Jaguar x Wimbledon Fan Zone, Shepherd’s Bush
Catch all the Wimbledon action without jostling the crowds in SW19 at the Jaguar x Wimbledon Fan Zone at Westfield London. Open every day throughout the Championships, the state-of-the-art fan zone comes complete with a big screen, bean bags, deck chairs and the chance to win a pair of tickets to Wimbledon if you play the Jaguar Ace Pace Wimbledon Edition app in the purpose-built Wimbledon Centre Court experience. Also on site will be a fleet of Jaguar’s latest Pace series including the electric I-Pace, which will be available for test drive bookings, bars, restaurants and fellow Wimbledon partners Pimm’s, Lanson and Häagen Dazs. Open 10am-8pm.
Ariel Way, Shepherds Bush W12 7GF; uk.westfield.com
13 The Unprecedented Case at Sutton House, Hackney
The Unprecedented Case is an innovative performance-piece created by children from across Hackney, working together with soprano singer and performance artist Nina Guo. Through music and performance, the children will tell stories from Hackney’s history and the lives of people who have called the east London borough home over the last 500 years Some will be funny, some will be moving, some will be completely unprecedented. They will travel from Tudor Hackney – when Hackney was just a village – through the centuries to The Big Stink, all the way to the 1980s, and back. The Unprecedented Case project is a partnership between education charity Hand Of, the Parliamentary Archives and the National Trust. Free admission. RSVP here. Doors 5pm.
2 & 4 Homerton High Street E9 6JQ; handof.co.uk
14 A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Until 27 July
A Midsummer Night’s Dream returns to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre for the first time in seven years in a new production directed by Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. Running from 28 June until 27 July, the production see the lovers’ world transformed into a place of magic, laughter and healing through live music, playful adventure and physical invention. To conclude the season, Jamie Lloyd directs Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita from 2 August until 21 September. Tickets from £25-£65.
Inner Circle, Regent’s Park NW1 4NU; openairtheatre.com
15 Xanadu at Chiswick House and Gardens
Until 8 July
Giffords Circus returns to Chiswick House and Gardens this summer with a new show, Xanadu, celebrating the flower power movement is at its height. It’s midsummer 1973 in Hyde Park and the hippies, hipsters, rock stars, musicians, wild women and global nomads gather to play, sing, dance, protest and perform. Policemen and a family of out-of-towners get caught up in the celebrations as Nell Gifford builds a pleasure dome and, as evening approaches, the ever more chaotic event careers towards a joyful, transcendental finale. Giffords will also be hosting a pop-up rustic restaurant, Circus Sauce, serving a three-course menu which changes depending on the seasonal produce of the area. Tickets from £15 (kids £10).
16 Frieze Sculpture Park, Regent’s Park
3 July-6 October
Frieze Sculpture Park returns to Regent’s Park this summer, showcasing some 20 sculptures from renowned artists such as Tracey Emin and Anish Kapoor. The exhibition has been curated by Claire Lilley, Director of Programmes at the award-winning Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Taking art into the outdoors, you’ll be able to admire the sculptures while meandering through the park’s English Gardens. Free.
17 River Stage at National Theatre
5 July-4 August
The National Theatre’s River Stage Festival kicks off this weekend, bringing leading arts and performance companies to the riverside for free summer fun. This weekend, East London cabaret mecca and drag pub The Glory celebrates Pride with a weekend of back-to-back shows and parties, including the best of their sensational drag queen contest LIPSYNC1000, plus their drag king battle Man Up. Next weekend, Shubbak Festival brings the best of the Arab cultural scene to the River Stage with family activities, bands, spoken word and DJ sets.
Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PX; nationaltheatre.org.uk
18 Little Earth Baby’s Eco Mama and Baby Fair, Shoreditch
Little Earth Baby is hosting its first Eco Mama and Baby Fair to promote natural products for babies and sustainability for the planet. Find everything from clothing and bedding to toys and kitchen essentials from brands who really care about sustainability. On the Friday there’ll also be an essential oils workshop, focused on mother and baby, where DoTERRA Wellness Advocate Susannah Keene will talk you through using natural remedies for everyday health and wellbeing (2.30pm), and a drinks reception sponsored by Xeco and Sekforde in the evening (7pm-9pm).
133-135 Bethnal Green Road E2 7DG; littleearthbaby.com
19 Shakespeare in the Squares, various locations
Until 11 July
Shakespeare in the Squares continues its 2019 tour of London’s beautiful, privately-owned square gardens with an alfresco production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The tale of swapped lovers and fantastic beasts will be set in pre-war 1920s Britain, where the lovers seek to escape the constraints of convention and find freedom in the forest. This weekend’s performances take place at Paddington Street Gardens W1 on 28 June, Little Wormwood Scrubs W10 on 29 June, and Ladbroke Square Garden W11 on 30 June. Tickets £25.
20 Promenade Performance of Hamlet, St Paul’s Church
Until 27 July
Iris Theatre presents an outdoor promenade performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the beautiful grounds of St Paul’s Church this summer. Amid the rubble of the old politics a populist King rose to power, promising a return to England’s golden age. But now he is dead, murdered, and in the following bloodbath his brother has seized the throne. There is whisper of a resistance, gathering in the dark. To be or not to be? Can the nation’s heir, Hamlet, find the answers? Tickets £20 (under 16s £15).
Bedford Street, Covent Garden WC2E 9ED; iristheatre.com
21 Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Until 8 September
Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking at Dulwich Picture Gallery shines a spotlight on a brief but intense period of inspirational printmaking during the 1930s. The exhibition is the first major show of work by artists from the Grosvenor School, including teacher and artist Claude Flight and his students Sybil Andrews, Cyril Power, Lill Tschudi, William Greengrass and Leonard Beaumont. The school played a key role in the story of Modern art, becoming a leading force in the production of printmaking and linocuts. The Grosvenor artists were renowned for their iconic, vibrant prints that championed the energy of contemporary life in the interwar years. As part of the exhibition, Japanese paper cut artist Nahoko Kojima has created a unique eight-metre-long crocodile sculpture, cut entirely from one sheet of paper, for the gallery’s entrance hall.
Gallery Road, Dulwich Village SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk
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