15 Things to Do this Weekend in London: 4-5 January

The first weekend of 2020 is upon us! Better make it a good one…

Lead image: The Wonder Factory in Dalston in an Instagrammer’s paradise

1 The Clash: London Calling
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

2 Circus 1903 at Southbank Centre
Until 5 January
Circus 1903 – the internationally acclaimed turn-of-the-century family spectacular from the producers The Illusionists and the award-winning War Horse puppeteers – takes us back to the mesmerising Golden Age of Circus. On now at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall with new acts for 2019 including the Brazilian Wheel of Death, the mesmerising production features larger-than-life puppet elephants alongside a huge cast of amazing and dangerous circus acts including acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, trapeze artists, high-wire performers and more. Tickets £29.50-£125.
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre Belvedere Road SE1 8XX; circus1903.com

3 Dick Whittington and His Cat at Hackney Empire
Until 5 January
The famous Hackney Empire panto returns with Dick Whittington and His Cat for 2019, promising its trademark magic and spectacle in a dazzling re-imagining of the classic rags-to-riches tale. The show stars Grande Dame Clive Rowe in his 13th Hackney panto appearance following an award-winning East End comeback last year. Rowe plays Sarah the Cook, alongside panto debuts from Tarinn Callender (Hamilton) as Dick Whittington and Annette McLaughlin as Queen Rat (Harry Potter and The Cursed Child). The cast also includes Hackney favourites Kat B and Tony Whittle as Vincent the Cat as Alderman Fitzwarren respectively, and welcomes Christina Tedders as Alice Fitzwarren and Sue Kelvin as Fairy Bowbells. Tickets £10-£38.
Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street E8 1EJ; hackneyempire.co.uk

4 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

5 The Queen’s House, Greenwich
Until 12 January
You’ve got just two weekends left to enjoy the ice rink at The Queen’s House in Greenwich. Set against the stunning backdrop of The Queen’s House, the south east London ice rink offers winter worshippers the chance to skate in the beautiful surrounds of a UNESCO World Heritage site, take in the spectacular views across London and enjoy warming treats from the food and drink stalls. Open from 10am till 8pm daily. Prices for a 45-min skate (including skate hire) start from £6.75 for kids and £13.50 for adults. Tickets can be bought online (there’s £2.50 transaction fee) or in person at any Royal Museums Greenwich ticket desk.
Queen’s House, Greenwich SE10 9NF; rmg.co.uk/skate

6 ABBA: Super Troupers, The Exhibition at The O2, North Greenwich
Until 31 August
Let’s be honest, we’ve all sung along to Mamma Mia at some point in our lives and now you can celebrate ABBA’s incredible musical legacy at the O2 with this very special immersive exhibition. It has been conceptualised and curated by Jude Kelly MBE, former artistic director at The Southbank Centre, and it documents the Swedish band’s stellar rise to fame through personal items, photographs, costumes and lyrics.
Peninsula Square, North Greenwich SE10 ODX; theo2.co.uk

7 MELTDOWN: Visualizing the Climate Crisis at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill
Until 12 January
Unlike wildfires and flooding, glaciers are not part of the weather system and when looking at glacier mass loss over time, one can see the result of global heating, making glaciers key indicators of the climate crisis. Since 2008, climate change charity Project Pressure has been commissioning artists to document changes to vanishing glaciers, the consequences for billions of people, and efforts made to limit melting. These works have been brought together as MELTDOWN, which is broken down into three chapters: The Importance of Glaciers, Current Issues and Meltdown Consequences. The series of striking art works includes Richard Mosse’s photograph of the ice cave under the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland; and Noémie Goudal’s large-scale photographic installation mirroring the shifting glacial landscape. Entry is free.
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ; horniman.ac.uk

8 Peter Pan Goes Wrong at Alexandra Palace
Until 5 January
Following their multi-award-winning success with The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Mischief Theatre returns with their riotous spin on a timeless classic, Peter Pan Goes Wrong. It will be showing at Alexandra Palace this month, and it’s a pantomime that is every bit as appealing for adults as it is for children. Times and ticket prices vary.
Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY; alexandrapalace.com

9 Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security at Science Museum, Kensington
Until 23 February
Catch the last couple of months of this fascinating exhibition at the Science Museum, which uncovers the remarkable world of code-breaking, ciphers and secret communications. From the trenches of the First World War to the latest in cyber security, the exhibition traces over a century’s worth of communications intelligence through fascinating artefacts such as hand-written documents, declassified files and previously unseen artefacts from the Science Museum Group’s and GCHQ’s historic collections. As a result, it’s a must for the aspiring James Bonds and Bond Girls amongst us. This is free to enter.
Exhibition Road, South Kensington SW7 2DD; sciencemuseum.org.uk 

10 Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea
Until 3 May
One of the hottest exhibitions in town, take advantage of the stillness of London during the holidays to check out Tutankhamun – your last chance to see these glittering world heritage artefacts before they permanently return to Egypt. Commemorating 100 years since the groundbreaking discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, there are more than 150 pieces on display at Saatchi Gallery – three times the quantity that has travelled in previous exhibitions. More than 60 of these are travelling outside Egypt for the first time. Tickets from £24.50 for adults and £16.50 for children.
Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road SW3 4RY; saatchigallery.com

11 Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic at the O2 Arena, North Greenwich
Until 5 January
This magical show will be arriving at the O2 just after Christmas, with a cast of more than 50 characters – including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and of course a princess or two – skating their way into London. Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic offers you the chance to sing along to more than 30 unforgettable songs, including favourites like Frozen’s Let It Go to Toy Story’s You’ve Got a Friend in Me, and The Lion King’s Hakuna Matata. Tickets from £33. Performance times vary.
Peninsula Square SE10 ODX; theo2.co.uk

12 Queer City: The Museum of London LGBTQ+ Tour, Barbican
4 January

From Roman romances to Pride and persecution, explore the cultural heritage of London’s modern Queer community as seen in the museum’s collection. The Museum of London team leads this monthly cross-gallery tour, spanning almost 2,000 years of history, for free with advance bookings. Recommended for ages 11+. 2.30pm-3.45pm. The next tours take place on 1 February and 7 March.
150 London Wall, Barbican EC2Y 5HN; museumoflondon.org.uk

13 Aladdin and The Feast of Wonders at The Vaults, Waterloo
Until 14 January 
Christmas seems to come around earlier every year, and this year is no exception, with the launch of London’s first pantomime of the season – Aladdin and The Feast of Wonders. Following the sell-out success of Beauty and The Feast, Darling & Edge, the immersive events studio based in Hello Darling, has whipped up another thrilling theatrical adult pantomime, inspired by Aladdin and the Genie. Aladdin and The Feast of Wonders is an underground theatrical dining experience, a fully immersive, grown-up panto that rolls a five-course gastro banquet and party into one hedonistic night – it’s a wine-and-dine pantomime that turns the classic tale on its head. Tickets from £35 (Early Bird) to £55.
The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo SE1 7NN; thevaults.london 

14 Garçon Style by Jonathan Daniel Pryce at South Place Hotel, Moorgate
Until 17 January
South Place Hotel is hosting an exhibition previewing photography from Amazon’s #1 best seller, Garçon Style, by award-winning photographer Jonathan Daniel Pryce (AKA GarçonJon). The London Edit by GarçonJon is an intimate exhibition of his work taken from his new book, Garçon Style, which features interviews with a host of street style icons including musician Paul Weller, artist Rainer Andreesen and editor Blake Abbie, with a special foreword from Sir Paul Smith. From impeccable tailoring to vintage finds, the evocative images capture the myriad ways in which men express themselves sartorially. Each of the book’s four chapters reveals the unique character of a fashion capital in the late twenty-tens. The award-winning photographer’s work will be showcased in the hotel’s gallery space adjacent to The Secret Garden.
3 South Place, Moorgate EC2M 2AF; southplacehotel.com

15 Double Your Bar Tab at Pergola Olympia, Pergola Paddington, Lost in Brixton &The Prince
Throughout January
Pergola OlympiaPergola PaddingtonLost in Brixton and The Prince in West Brompton will be offering the chance to double your bar tab throughout January. The opposite to dry January, all four sites will be doubling the bar tab for groups who pre-order in advance, so you’ll get £100 worth of drinks for £50. Running Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with a pre-order minimum of £30 and max of £500. The drinks menu includes espresso martinis, margaritas, craft beers and quirky creations like a Pear Pisco Sour and Mexican Mule, which can be accompanied by dishes from the resident food traders. To book, email the venue direct on:
contact@pergolapaddington.com / contact@pergolaolympia.com


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