The Resident’s pick of the best things to do this weekend in London from the Winter Lights Festival at Canary Wharf to Crisis’ Icebreaker Challenge at Tooting Lido and a Burns Night Ceilidh in Blackheath
Lead image: The Crisis Ice Breaker Challenge
1 Winter Lights Festival, Canary Wharf
Winter Lights festival at Canary Wharf was an absolute cracker last year, and this year it’s back to add a little sparkle to the post-festive period. The free event sees an eclectic mix of 25 spectacular installations and experiences, with both fresh and returning artworks. Highlights include Sky on Earth by Uaii Studio, a UK premier that will transform Columbus Courtyard into an electrifying life-sized storm cloud made of foam, illuminated by lighting and accompanied by the rumble of thunder; Mountain of Light by Angus Muir Design, a towering installation brought to life by a dramatic repertoire of lighting effects controlled by you; and Constellations by Studio Joanie Lemercier, a London premier that takes you on a trip into deep space through a black hole created by projecting water onto a giant water screen. Most works are best viewed from dusk, with installations switched off at around 10pm each day, and don’t forget to drop by the Winter Lights Bites street food hubs.
2 The Anti-Diet Riot Fest at Colours Hoxton
New Year, New You? Stuff that – it’s time to celebrate yourself with this mini-festival that rebels against January’s toxic diet culture. It’s two years since Anti Diet Riot Club first launched to try and combat society’s obsession with thinness, narrow beauty ideals and fat phobia, and to celebrate, this is the initiative’s biggest event yet. Visitors can look forward to more than 20 speakers and 12 hours of activities, all taking place across three rooms, alongside creative writing and yoga workshops, stalls, food and much more. Tickets from £25. To book see eventbrite.co.uk
2-4 Hoxton Square N1 6NU; antidietriotfest.co.uk
3 Curtains at New Wimbledon Theatre
Catch comedian Jason Manford in Curtains at New Wimbledon Theatre this weekend. From the creators of Cabaret and Chicago, this Tony award-winning backstage murder mystery musical will have you laughing and guessing right to the final curtain. Jessica Cranshaw, star of the new Broadway-bound musical Robbin Hood, has been murdered on stage on opening night, and the entire cast and crew are suspects. Local detective, Frank Cioffi – a huge musical theatre fan – has his work cut out trying to find the killer while giving the show a lifeline. This hilarious whodunnit is packed full of catchy songs, unforgettable characters and plot twists galore, Tickets from £13.
93 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1QG; atgtickets.com
4 Crisis Icebreaker Challenge, Tooting Bec Lido
Londoners are being encouraged to plunge themselves into the ice-cold waters of Tooting Bec Lido this weekend to raise money for people experiencing homelessness. The annual Crisis Icebreaker Challenge, part of a series of events happening across the capital this winter, sees fancy dress-clad swimmers either jump into the freezing waters of the outdoor pool, swimming one width, or taking part in the relay race as a team of four. Swimmers are also encouraged to get friends and family involved by sponsoring their involvement, as all the money raised will go towards Crisis’ year-round services. The registration fee is £25 and fundraising and fancy dress encouraged. This event will also take place at Parliament Hill Lido on Saturday 25 January. Click here to sign up.
Tooting Bec Lido, Tooting Bec Road SW16 1RU; crisis.org.uk
5 Adventure Travel Show, Olympia London
Olympia London is hosting the 24th year of the UK’s only event dedicated to discovering the world off the beaten track – the Adventure Travel Show. Discover the hottest new destinations, gain top tips and advice from the experts, uncover hidden travel gems, enhance your skills with the Adventure Planning, Trekking and Cycle Touring Seminars, or immerse yourself in the Adventure Travel Film Festival. You can also hear from travel experts like Sir Ranulph Fiennes – The World’s Greatest Living Explorer, as quoted by The Guinness Book of Records – who will be talking about his life’s expedition work and record-breaking achievements in Living Dangerously at 11.30am on Saturday 18 January. Tickets from £11. Workshops carry an additional fee.
Hammersmith Road W14 8UX; adventureshow.com
6 Calçotada Winter Festival at Tapas Brindisa Shoreditch & Battersea
From 18 January
Tapas Brindisa is celebrating the traditional Catalan winter festival of Calçotada, which pays homage to the humble calçot onion, only available from late January to March. The calçots are chargrilled in huge bundles on open fires, dipped in romesco sauce and washed down with plenty of cava. The Brindisa calçot feasting menu will be available every weekend at Brindisa Battersea and Shoreditch, kicking off with a vegan feast in Shoreditch on 18 January. The menu will feature dishes such as flame-roasted vegetables, baked potatoes with tomato sauce and Catalan spinach, and whole grilled Spanish artichokes, finishing with a vegan take on the classic Crema Catalana. A menu for omnivores, featuring roasted poussin, Butifarra sausages, and sourdough toast with alioli, will be available alongside the vegan menu at Battersea and Shoreditch from 25 January. Served 12pm-5pm for £35pp. To book, email email@example.com
152 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3AT & Unit 25, Battersea Power Station, Circus Road West SW11 8EZ; brindisakitchens.com
7 See Pablo Picasso’s La Minotauromachie at Phillips, Mayfair
Phillips in Mayfair unveils a very rare etching by Pablo Picasso on 16 January. La Minotauromachie will be exhibited for a week before going to auction on Thursday 23 January, with the piece set to be the highest value edition to ever have been sold at Phillips. Picasso kept the group of prints from which La Minotauromachie originates for his own use, gifting more than half of them to the select few closest to him. This work is new to the auction market and was purchased directly from Marina Picasso. Phillips will host an exclusive panel event in conversation with Ann Dumas (RA) followed by a cocktail reception on the evening of Thursday 16 January. The work will then go on view to the public (free entry to the gallery) until 23 January when it will be offered in the Editions auction with an estimate of $1,000,000-1,500,000.
30 Berkeley Square, Mayfair W1J 6EX; phillips.com
8 FAME by Teiji Hayama at Unit London, Mayfair
16 January-15 February
FAME, the first London solo exhibition by the critically acclaimed Japanese artist Teiji Hayama, introduces a new body of oil paintings examining what it means to be famous in the digital age. Hayama, a Central Saint Martin alumni, introduces a new body of 17 specially created oil paintings depicting some of Hollywood’s most historic and glamorous faces, including David Bowie, Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor, but he presents them in a way that emphasises their imprisonment within the digital world, subjected to an exhausting existence under the spotlight. The exhibition also coincides with the launch of a new interactive and sustainable digital catalogue at Unit London, allowing guests the chance to unlock an exclusive Teiji Hayama AR filter on Instagram via a QR code.
3 Hanover Square, Mayfair W1S 1HD; theunitldn.com
The Friends of Blackheath Halls hosting a Burns Night Ceilidh in the Great Hall of this fantastic venue this weekend. The evening will feature traditional food, poetry, songs and a piper, all in honour of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard. It’s a great way to banish any sign of the January blues, with fun and laughter guaranteed. Tickets are £50. To book email firstname.lastname@example.org (note that tickets to this event cannot be booked online). 7.30pm.
23 Lee Road SE3 9RQ; blackheathhalls.com
10 Maidens, Myths & Monsters at Clapham Omnibus
Until 18 January
Maidens, Myths & Monsters marks the debut of Nikita Gill’s mythological world Great Goddesses on stage. As well co-creating the play with director Thomas Moore, Nikita will also take to the stage in this spell binding world premiere. So what’s the story? Olympus is falling. The time of the Gods is almost over. But there is one more story left to tell – the greatest story of all. For millennia Hera sat atop Olympus watching and waiting while her family fought, her husband philandered, monsters were made, wars left their mark and stories were unwritten. She has been treated as a punch line to Zeus jokes for too long, but hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. 7.30pm. Tickets £16.
1 Clapham Common Northside SW4 0QW; omnibus-clapham.org
11 The London International Mime Festival, various venues
Until 2 February
The London International Mime Festival, back for its 44th year, is an annual showcase of the very best contemporary visual theatre, embracing cutting edge circus, dance, juggling, physical comedy and more. Highlights including This Time by Ockham’s Razor, showcasing spectacular new takes on trapeze routines; The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel by Told by an Idiot, a hilarious and moving homage to two men who changed the world of comedy forever; and Dead Good by Vamos Theatre, a witty, wordless theatre show about two terminally ill friends who decide to embark on one final, death-defying adventure. Plus, workshops for 2020 include an exclusive course taught by faculty members from the École Jacques Lecoq, Paris, and a residential course celebrating 30 years of the David Glass Ensemble.
12 The Wonder Factory, Dalston
Until 9 February
The Wonder Factory is an Instagrammer’s dream. The interactive pop-up art exhibition, located in a 6,000 sq ft commercial space in Dalston, features 15 uniquely decorated rooms full of brightly coloured interactive installations. Highlights include a 250 sq ft marshmallow swimming pool, an outer space-themed mirror room full of lights to create the illusion of an infinite star field, an indoor beach with beach huts and candy pink sand, an orchard of blossom trees bearing coloured macaroons as their fruit, a three-meter wall of touch LED lamps that you can create works of art on, a confetti cyclone room, and a corridor filled with balloons levitating on streams of air. Tickets £23. Open Thursday-Sunday 12pm- 8pm (9am-9pm on weekends).
Unit B, Dalston Works E8 2FQ; thewonderfactory.co.uk
13 Cirque du Soleil Luzia at Royal Albert Hall
Until 1 March
Cirque du Soleil return to the Royal Albert Hall with Luzia, a dazzling luminous spectacle playing in Europe for the first time. Luzia takes you to an imaginary Mexico, where light (‘luz’ in Spanish) quenches the spirit, and rain (‘lluvia’) soothes the soul. The show is like a waking dream, taking audiences from an old movie set to an undersea world, and from a cenote to a city alleyway, passing smoothly from an urban setting to the natural world, from the past to the present via fascinating Mexican mythology and traditions. Breathtaking acrobatic performances feature as standard, and water has been integrated into this year’s performances adding a level of acrobatic complexity never-before-seen under the Big Top at Cirque du Soleil. Tickets from £39.75.
Kensington Gore, Kensington SW7 2AP; royalalberthall.com
14 The Boy Friend at The Menier Chocolate Factory, Southwark
Until 7 March
The Menier Chocolate Factory is showing a major revival of Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend this month. Directed by Matthew White, Wilson’s all-singing all-dancing love letter to 1920s musical comedies is the first major London revival in over 10 years. Set in Madame Dubonnet’s finishing school in the south of France, these perfect young ladies burst into song at the least provocation, and forbidden boy friends are forever popping through the French windows to sing and dance with them. Since its premiere in 1953, this light-hearted soufflé of a show has delighted audiences worldwide and has become one of the most well-loved British musicals of all time.
53 Southwark Street SE1 1RU; menierchocolatefactory.com
15 The Clash: London Calling at the Museum of London, Barbican
Until 19 April
The Clash’s groundbreaking London Calling was an album that rocked the music scene, serving as an anthem for London and for music lovers globally – and now you can go behind the scenes of its making. Released as a double album in the UK in December 1979 and in the US in January 1980, the Museum of London is celebrating the album’s 50th anniversary by showcasing personal objects, images, music and memories from the band’s history – some never seen before – in a free display. London Calling was driven by a fierce desire for social justice, and the album’s music and lyrics remain as relevant today as they were on release. Items on display include Paul Simonon’s broken Fender Precision Bass, smashed on stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21st September 1979, and Joe Strummer’s notebook from the period when the London Calling album was rehearsed and recorded. The exclusive exhibition also examines how the capital influenced The Clash as they became the most popular British band of the 20th century.
150 London Wall, Barbican EC2Y 5HN; museumoflondon.org.uk