15 great things to do this weekend in London from LGBTQ+ theatre in Vauxhall to literary festivals in Dulwich & Richmond and the Winter Art & Antiques Fair at Olympia
Lead image: Wimbledon Festival of Music
1 Stop Kiss at Above The Stag, Vauxhall
6 November-1 December
Stop Kiss, the award-winning 1998 play by Diana Son, is coming to Above The Stag, the UK’s only dedicated LGBTQ+ theatre, for a four-week run. The play follows the story of a young couple, Sarah and Callie, who are viciously attacked after sharing their first kiss, leaving Sara in a coma. Stop Kiss, produced by theatre maker and LGBT rights advocate Kylie Vilcins and directed by Rafaella Marcus, explores relationships and the depth of human emotion and compassion. Showing Tues-Sat at 7.45pm and Sunday at 3pm & 6.15pm. Previews on the 6th & 7th November are priced at £15, and £22.50 thereafter.
72 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall SE1 7TP; abovethestag.com
2 Stages of Making at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill
19 October-19 April
Stages of Making is a new exhibition at the Horniman that turns the tables on conventional museum exhibitions, putting the materials, acts and processes of making centre stage, rather than the finished works. Co-produced by a collective of nine local community members – who have taken inspiration from the Horniman’s anthropology collection and the museum’s design history – in collaboration with artist Katie Schwab – each artwork has a story to tell about design, techniques and materials. Exhibits are displayed at various points of production, and everything is either made from re-purposed materials or sourced with care. Visitors can also take part in daily Making Time drop-in sessions or booking onto one of the specialist workshops.
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ; horniman.ac.uk
3 Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia
Doesn’t it feel like Christmas? Well, it will soon… The Spirit of Christmas Fair returns to Olympia with Christmas workshops and stalls for those who want to start the gift shopping early. The event puts everything from seasonal products, festive decorations and home accessories to children’s toys all in one convenient spot with some 900 hand-picked independent boutiques and designer-makers. You can also take part in interactive workshops, from festive centrepiece-making to English sparkling wine masterclasses, or head for one of the three stylish Louis Roederer Champagne Bars. Tickets from £20.50.
Hammersmith Road W14 8UX; spiritofchristmasfair.co.uk
4 The Night Watch, Richmond Theatre
Presented by The Original Theatre Company and York Theatre Royal, The Night Watch is the thrilling and beautiful story from the award-winning, number one best-selling author, Sarah Waters, who also wrote the brilliant Tipping the Velvet. Adapted for stage by Olivier-nominated playwright Hattie Naylor, The Night Watch, which also enjoyed a televised run on the BBC a number of years ago, is set in London in the 1940s, a time when hearts beat faster and life burned more brightly. It’s a tender, tragic and beautifully poignant portrait of four ordinary people caught up in the aftermath of an extraordinary time. Tickets from £13.
Little Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ; atgtickets.com
5 Dulwich Literary Festival
Dulwich Literary Festival returns with an unmissable week of events featuring the internationally bestselling author of Wild Swans Jung Chang, Booker Prize-winning writer Howard Jacobson, TV presenter and children’s author Konnie Huq, and the sensational author behind BBC hit series Apple Tree Yard, Louise Doughty. Taking place at Dulwich College and Dulwich Books, the festival opens with an enlightening event on mudlarking with Lara Maiklem, who will share 15 years of findings from the banks of the River Thames. Classicist, stand-up comedian & Radio 4 broadcaster Natalie Haynes will kick start the main weekend with a Friday night foray into the women myths forgot as she discusses her new book A Thousand Ships, a retelling of the Trojan War from an all-female perspective. Ticket prices vary.
6 Handle With Care at Camden People’s Theatre
Until 9 November
Camden People’s Theatre’s Handle With Care festival programme asks if Generation Snowflake is as hyper-sensitive as we’ve been told. Headlined by EUROTRASH’s new show, Trigger Warning (22 October-9 November), the UK’s most exciting theatremakers strike out beyond their safe spaces to explore this timid new world. Presented by two charming hosts, Trigger Warning is a pre-show disclaimer to a show you may never see, an absurdist comedy, exploring the politics behind safe spaces and the culture of offence. Tickets £12.
58-60 Hampstead Road, Camden NW1 2PY; cptheatre.co.uk
7 Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair
The Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair is back this month set in the impressive former cartridge factory at the Royal Arsenal, presenting a curated showcase of more than 500 specialist artists and exhibitors. Buy directly from artists working in the unique craft of printmaking – from etching and lithography, to woodblock and screen-printing. Exciting emerging talent sits alongside established practitioners such as Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin and Norman Ackroyd RA. An accompanying programme of activities and events led by industry experts offer visitors of all ages an insight into the practice of printmaking and what to look for when starting to build your own collection.
No. 1 Street, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich SE18 6ST; woolwichprintfair.com
8 Handmade Chelsea at Chelsea Old Town Hall
Handmade Chelsea, part of Handmade in Britain, is an annual contemporary craft and design fair taking place over three days at the beautiful Chelsea Old Town Hall. The event celebrates the best in high-end design and craftsmanship from more than 100 highly skilled international and UK-based designer-makers. Shop for gorgeous textiles, jewellery, ceramics, glass and more from a handpicked selection of designer-makers, who will be on hand all weekend to talk about their work all weekend. Tickets from £8.
Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road SW3 5EE; handmadeinbritain.co.uk
9 Lee Green Open Studios, various venues
9-10 & 16-17 November
Lee Green Open Studios celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a bumper event featuring more than 40 artists. Taking place over two consecutive weekends, you’ll find painting, printing, drawing, sculpture, jewellery, textiles, ceramics, glass and photography on display across 19 venues, from private studios to galleries and community spaces. There will also be demonstrations, workshops and a children’s art trail. Plus, collect nine venue stamps and you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher to buy Lee Green Open Studios artwork, as well as other prizes for fewer than nine stamps. Open from 11am-5pm. Free admission.
For a map and further details see leegreenopenstudios.com
10 Wimbledon Music Festival, various locations
Wimbledon Music Festival returns for its 11th season, this year with a programme exploring the fascinating relationships between music, mathematicians and architecture. The festival opens with Haydn’s depiction of the birth of the Universe, the Creation, featuring a stellar trio of soloists – Kate Royal, Benjamin Hulett and Jonathan Lemalu – alongside the London Mozart Players and the Academy Choir. There’s plenty of fun and theatrics too, including a spectacular Jazz-night, Swinging at the Cotton Club, with the Lindy Hop Dance Company and The Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra, and supertheatrics with Regent Opera’s updated version of Tosca. The festival concludes with a joyous exploration of numbers with the Philharmonia Orchestra in a programme of Bach, Bartok and Mozart. Concerts will take in a number of venues, including St John’s Church, Trinity United Reformed Church and King’s College School.
11 Celestial Conflict and Resolution at St Alfege Church, Greenwich
Thomas Tallis Society Choir will perform Celestial Conflict and Resolution – Motets by JC and JS Bach – at St Alfege Church, Greenwich, as part of the London International Festival of Early Music. Two spectacular cantatas for the feast of St Michael, portraying the battle for heaven, by two members of the Bach family – Johann Sebastian and his uncle Johann Christoph – will frame two more reflective works, the beautiful funeral motet O Jesu Christ, mein Lebens Licht and cantata 82, Ich habe genug, performed on this occasion in its less familiar version for tenor solo. The Thomas Tallis Society is delighted to welcome back renowned Bach specialist Nicholas Mulroy as soloist in a programme conducted by Eamonn Dougan and accompanied by the Orchestra of The Sixteen. 7.45pm. Tickets £14-£20.
St Alfege Church, 3 Greenwich Church Street SE10 9BJ. To book see ticketsource.co.uk/tts
12 The Winter Art & Antiques Fair at Olympia
The final important art and antiques fair of the autumn season, The Winter Art & Antiques Fair attracts thousands of art collectors, interior designers, antiques enthusiasts, collectors and anyone looking for that ‘one of a kind’ piece, from the UK and beyond. Leading industry experts will be offering insight and advice on the likes of Investing in the Decorative with Rachel Laxer from BIID and How the Antiques world has changed with BBC Antiques Roadshow Expert, Judith Miller. Art consultant Vanessa Curry will also be taking small tours around the fair to point out and discuss highlights for visitors keen to broaden their knowledge. Tickets from £20.50 in advance and £24.50 on the door.
Hammersmith Road W14 8UX; olympia-antiques.com
13 Hedonist Dinner by Searcys at The Gherkin, the City
The Hedonist Dinner by Searcys at The Gherkin promises to be a lavish night of fine dining with an indulgent five-course menu and fantastic views over the city of London. The menu starts with an octopus carpaccio, followed by stone bass with sea lettuce, Dorset clams and mussels, and, for the main course, seasonal Rhug Estate venison with blackberries and confit duck. There’s also a cheese course with truffled Baron Bigod and a chocolate temptation with confit orange sorbet for dessert. Each dish will be paired with some of the finest prestige wines from Searcys’ cellar, selected by head sommelier Jean-Baptiste Sory. 6.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets are £99pp.
30 St Mary Axe, the City EC3A 8EP; searcys.co.uk
14 Richmond Literature Festival, various venues
Richmond Literature Festival returns with books, tales, talks and workshops aplenty. This weekend’s highlights include award-winning writer, comedian and actor Katy Brand waxing lyrical about her first non-fiction book, I Carried a Watermelon: Dirty Dancing and Me, which explores how the iconic film impacted Katy’s own life (Friday 8 November at 7.30pm at The Exchange, Twickenham, tickets £10), Lara Maiklem Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames on Sunday 10 November at Orleans House Gallery (sadly sold out) and LOCAL AUTHOR DAY on Saturday 9 November at Twickenham Library, featuring a Historical Writing Workshop with Mary Chamberlain (10.30am-12noon) and a Crime Panel with Emma Curtis, Amanda Robson & Tony White (2.30pm-3.30pm; each event £8).
For the full listings and tickets see richmondliterature.com
15 Japanese Winter Light Festival at Mr Fogg’s Tavern & Gin Parlour, Covent Garden
Until 24 November
Mr Fogg’s Tavern and Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour in Covent Garden has transformed into a magical Japanese-inspired illuminated oasis in celebration of the Winter Light Festival. In partnership with the House of Suntory, the festival experience will welcome the curious to explore super Instagrammable Japanese light installations and cocktails inspired by the riches of Japanese nature. A striking red Torii (gate) frames the entrance to Mr Fogg’s Tavern, with delicate hues of pink Japanese blossom adorning the exterior. The perfect space to soak up Japanese culture this winter, Mr Fogg’s will serve up equally dazzling Japanese-inspired cocktails, made with Roku gin, Haku vodka and Toki whisky, as well as a food menu that will take you on a voyage through Japan, from chicken gyoza to tuna sashimi pizza.
Mr Fogg’s Tavern, 58 St Martin’s Lane WC2N 4EA & Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour, 1 New Row WC2N 4EA; mr-foggs.com