The best things to do in London this weekend from a Dachshund disco in Shoreditch to a new immersive theatre and dining experience in Wembley
Lead image: The History of Wimbledon Football Club is part of Mitcham VR Festival (photo: Charlie Strank)
1 SAMPLE Spring at Greenwich Peninsula
Back for spring, Greenwich Peninsula and HemingwayDesign present SAMPLE Spring, London’s most vibrant urban market. Celebrating its 10th Edition this spring, the event champions the best creatives from the world of food, fashion, homewares, health and beauty, with a line-up DJs and workshops to create a great alfresco hangout for the weekend. As well as artisan food stalls with vegan brownies, gluten-free baked goods and smoked salmon, you can also indulge in street food from Rendang Thank You Ma’am, Original Fry Up Material and Grate Gourmet Rosti. SAMPLE Spring takes place in the roomy public spaces outside the O2 Arena, from Peninsula Square outside NOW Gallery to The Tide, the newly landscaped elevated walkway and linear park stretching along the Thames. Free entry. 11am-7pm.
Greenwich Peninsula SE10 0ES; greenwichpeninsula.co.uk
2 House of HOLI at Cinnamon Kitchen, the City
Cinnamon Kitchen’s iconic powder-paint throwing pop-up returns to the City for its sixth residency this month. Leave the drab and dreary winter at the door, don your protective white suit and step into the madness at the House of HOLI for 30 minutes of paint-pelting fun to mark the Indian festival of colour. This year, there’ll be an added burst of colour thanks to the Franklin & Sons’ Holi bar, transforming the terrace into a tropical garden bar with vibrant blooms, an insta-worthy floral hoop and flower-adorned entrance, as well as Holi-inspired cocktails. Play Holi tickets are £12pp, or you can book the House of Holi pod for £250 per session for up to 25 players (click here to book). Chef Vivek Singh will also be hosting an exclusive Holi Supper Club on 5 March (£45 pp) and a Holi cookery masterclass on 14 March (£225pp).
9 Devonshire Square EC2M 4YL; cinnamon-kitchen.com
Can I Help You? by Playing ON brings to life their late co-founder Philip Osment’s final play. Susan Aderin (Guerrilla, Sky Atlantic; Peer Gynt, National Theatre) will appear as Fifi alongside Gabriel Vick (Les Misérables, BBC; Once, West End) as Francis in this poetic and uplifting examination of how race and gender intersect with issues of mental health. An off-duty English policeman is about to throw himself off Beachy Head when he is met by a Ghanaian woman carrying a laundry bag and a cat box. Over the course of one night, two very different people learn what it truly means to be touched by the magic of hope. A nuanced and compassionate piece, it finds hope in the bleakest of circumstances. Tickets £16 with Pay What You Can previews available from the Box Office.
Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common Northside SW4 0QW; omnibus-clapham.org
4 Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet! at Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich
Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet!, the disco for grown-ups, returns to where it all started this weekend – at the fabulous upstairs ballroom overlooking the Thames at The Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich. Mum-of-two, Nikki Spencer, from Lewisham, started HSDY in her late 40s as she wanted to be able to go out dancing without feeling like she was gate-crashing one of her teenager daughters’ parties, and the event is celebrating its 10th birthday! The HSDY 10th Birthday Disco Ball will feature vinyl DJs playing feelgood 70s & 80s, soul, funk and disco classics and choreographer-led dance routines to get everyone into the groove, including Carwash (complete with shiny rags), Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet (of course!) and Love Train. Plus there’s a best outfit competition, eco-friendly glitter face painting and free retro sweets and ice pops. 7.30pm-12pm. Tickets are £15, with 10% of profits going to Cancer Research UK (click here to book).
Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NW; haventstoppeddancingyet.co.uk
5 Darling Dog Brunch Clubs at Hello Darling, Waterloo
7-8 March & 23-29 March
Hello Darling is celebrating Crufts and London Dog Friendly Week with the launch of their all new Darling Dog Brunch Clubs. Dine with your doggies at ease with this brand-new bottomless brunch menu compete with a specially created a la carte menu of dog friendly food, such as spinach frittatas and chicken hot pot with brown rice and peas, as well as Pawsecco. The special menu will be available for a limited time only, to coincide with Crufts on 7 & 8 March and London Dog Week from 23-29 March. For humans, Hello Darling’s new bottomless brunch menu features twists on classic dishes, such as boiled eggs with smoked haddock rarebit soldiers, and French toast with caramelised apple and crispy bacon, including 90 minutes of unlimited cocktails (choose from Peach and Apricot Bellini, Blood Orange Mimosa, Darling Margarita, Kir Royal and Bloody Darling) for £25-£30. Email email@example.com to book your spot.
131 Waterloo Road SE1 8UR; hellodarling.com
6 Mitcham VR Festival
Showcasing the latest immersive technologies, Mitcham VR Festival will be the culmination of FilmMerton, the year-long project aiming to encourage participation with film throughout the London Borough of Merton. Curated by VR industry expert Mária Rakušanová, this special one-off community event will showcase cutting-edge interactive Virtual Reality and 360-degree films. Get to grips with a range of immersive experiences, from sci-fi thrillers to romantic dramas and documentary investigations to comedy flicks. Highlights include Gloomy Eyes, the impossible love story of a zombie boy and a human girl starring Colin Farrell; Memoria: Stories of La Garma, which allows you to explore the memories of a 16,500-year-old cave; The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets, which invites you to explore wonderful miniature worlds; and All the Fun of the Fair, which transports you back in time to the Mitcham Fair through Augmented Reality. Free.
General Giles Social Club, 12-16 Upper Green West, Mitcham CR4 3AA; digitaldrama.org
7 Eternal Youth by Dan Hall at JM Gallery, Notting Hill
Eternal Youth by photographer Dan Hall showcases bold snapshots of contemporary identity, where striking portraits depict the contrasts and similarities of the young and old at opposite ends of adulthood. At once delicate and fierce, Hall’s evocative images convey raw power and emotion, focusing on self-reflection and consciousness, with a contemporary edge. The series explores forms of intimacy and vulnerability, from the delicacy of two young lovers bathing to the poignancy of an older woman looking at herself in the mirror. Joy and beauty radiate alongside a sense of sadness, caught in the full-hearted smile of an older woman gazing out her window or the complicit stare of two teens smoking a cigarette. Echoing the thematic emphasis on touch, the series is all shot on 35mm film. Profits from prints and an accompanying photo-book will be in aid of Young Minds, the UK’s leading mental health charity for the young, and Age UK. Private view Friday 6 March at 7pm.
230 Portobello Road, Notting Hill W11 1LJ; danhallphotography.com
8 Identity Festival at Museum of London Docklands
The Museum of London Docklands is inviting families to celebrate their individuality at a free two-day family festival celebrating #Identity. The festival will be full of lively, thought-provoking and creative activities exploring who we are and what makes us different from others around us. Over the weekend, families can learn all about Bangladeshi culture by taking part in a Bengali street food workshop, making their own traditional hand fans or opting for some decorative henna, as well as immersing themselves in other cultures with a Silent Disco Zone exploring music from around the world, a Conversation Booth allowing visitors to record their own story, a zine-making workshop encouraging people to share their own identity, and performances by east London community and arts groups. 12pm-4pm. Free.
No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay E14 4AL; museumoflondon.org.uk
9 The Cockapoo Cafe & Dachshund Disco, Shoreditch
Cockapoos of the capital are invited to take their humans along to a cafe filled with ‘pupcakes’ and excessive ‘doggy decor’ when The Allegory in Shoredtich is transformed into a dedicated Cockapoo Cafe this month. All dog lovers are welcome, so it’s no biggie if you don’t have your own pooch, you can still cuddle Cockapoos, meet some new furry friends and enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience. There’ll be brunch and lunch options, puppy love-themed cocktails and spritzes, Pawsecco and Champaws on tap, pupcakes, and a free PUPUCCINO on the house for all dogs. Don’t miss the Kiss-Me-Cam, Love Bench or Kissing Frame either – perfect for those Insta moments. More of a sausage dog person? A Dachshund Disco is taking place on the same day (time slots differ). Dog Owners & Adult Guests £10, Dog Lovers (no dog) & Adult Guests £14.
1A Principal Place, Worship Street, Shoreditch EC2A 2BA. Book in advance at pugcafe.com
7 March-4 April
Mariah Gale plays Sonya alongside Rory Keenan as Andrey in Brian Friel’s one-act masterpiece, Afterplay. When Andrey and Sonya were young, they were told how their lives should be – marriage, children and happily ever after. Decades later they meet by chance in a Moscow café to discover their dreams have given way to a rather different reality. In the course of their encounter, they catch sight of what might have been, and the possibility of a different future. In this masterful one-act play, Brian Friel (Translations, Faith Healer, Dancing at Lughnasa) revisits characters from Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya and makes them his own; hauntingly evoking what might have happened if two of Anton Chekhov’s most iconic characters from two of his greatest plays had met. Tickets £15-£30.
103 Notting Hill Gate, Kensington W11 3LB; thecoronettheatre.com
Until 17 May
Cold Feet and Downton Abbey star Robert Bathurst is currently treading the boards alongside Rebecca Johnson (The Trip, The Flood) in Love, Loss & Chianti at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. Love, Loss & Chianti is a double-bill that beautifully combines acclaimed poet Christopher Reid’s Costa Book Prize-winning, startlingly beautiful exploration of grief (A Scattering) with his fictional comedy about a reckless attempt at rekindling an old flame (The Song of Lunch). Directed by Jason Morell and set to a backdrop of Charles Peattie’s witty and richly inventive animation, this is an evening of two parts – one autobiographical, one fictional; one sad, one funny. If you’ve ever suffered a loss, and/or been on a rubbish date, this one’s for you… Tickets £30.
101 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith W6 9BN; lovelossandchianti.com
12 Barnes Music Festival, various locations across Barnes
A magnificent event filled with some of the most talented musicians the area has to offer, Barnes Music Festival is always a highlight of the local events calendar. This year’s theme is Musical Journeys: A Voyage of Discoveries. Throughout history, musicians and musical ideas have crossed borders and thrived on new perspectives and connections, shaping the music and career of many a composer and musician. Highlights this year include the Opening Concert: Journeys across Europe with Hugo Ticciati and O/Modernt Ensemble on Saturday 7 March, Howard Goodall presents The Beatles: a musical appreciation on Sunday 8 March (sadly sold out), The Queens’ Favourites: Linos Piano Trio, on Wednesday 11 March, and The Cunning Little Vixen: A most extraordinary and unconventional opera, on Saturday 14 March.
13 The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor at the Sydenham Centre
7 March-5 April
From humble beginnings in Baghdad to sailing the seven seas in search of adventure, join Sinbad on his incredible voyages in Spontaneous Productions’ latest production, in association with Kirkdale Bookshop. With giant birds, an amorous mermaid, a hungry giant, two dancing camels and a murderous sultan to contend with, can Sinbad get home in one piece? Expect a magical story, amazing original songs and dance routines, comedy, special effects, animation and lots of audience participation. Shows at 2pm & 4pm every Sat & Sun from 7 March-5 April. Adults £10, kids aged 3+ £5 (under 3s free but must sit on laps).
Upstairs at the Sydenham Centre, 44a Sydenham Road SE26 5QX; spontaneousproductions.co.uk
14 Waiter! There’s a Murder in my Soup! at Troubadour Wembley Park
Until 29 March
Travel back to the year 1946 in this immersive theatre event, where socialites, dignitaries and cultural bigwigs have gathered for the grand opening of Marchioness du Jour’s performance. But all is not as it seems… When a chilling murder is discovered on the hat rack, the lavish soiree quickly becomes a crime scene, and over the course of dinner – yep, that’s an IRL three-course meal in the newly opened Studio 5ive restaurant at Troubadour Wembley Park for you and your mate/date – renowned detective Susan Gusset and her fellow diners must race against time to unmask a killer before coffee is served. The specially curated menu includes dishes such as heritage beetroot with lambs lettuce, hazelnuts and goat’s curd & braised beef cheek with heritage carrots and parsley puree. Tickets are £49.50 (click here to book).
3 Fulton Road, Wembley HA9 0SP; troubadourtheatres.com
15 Immersive Experience Pods on the London Eye, Waterloo
The London Eye is celebrating its 20th birthday by creating five immersive experience pods – a pub (hurrah!), a plant-filled pod, a Royal pod, a showbiz pod and a Big Birthday Party pod. The pub pod, The King Vic, will be decked out like a traditional East End boozer, while the Royal Parks-inspired plant-filled pod will offer a little tranquillity while you journey around the Eye, and finally, the West End pod will feature songs from popular musicals. A further 15 pods will play host to a variety of one-off experiences that celebrate culture, the arts and entertainment of London, from cocktail masterclasses to silent discos. Proceeds from birthday weekend bookings will go to children’s charity Merlin’s Magic Wand.
The Queen’s Walk, off Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7PB; londoneye.com
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