Things To Do In London This Weekend: 5-6 January 2019

All weekend

Make puppets on board the Cutty Sark

BUTTERFLY’S SPELL: See the first play by Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca brought to life using puppets… on board a barge. The family-friendly show is narrated in English, and tells the story of a poet who falls in love with an injured butterfly. Puppet Barge Theatre (moored in Little Venice), £13/£10/£9, book ahead, until 3 February

SPACE SHIFTERS: It’s your last chance to see our favourite exhibition of 2018. Mazes, mirrors, reflections and oil slicks all feature in mind-bending show Space Shifters. Hayward Gallery (Southbank Centre), £16.50, book ahead, until 6 January

MAUREEN LIPMAN: This weekend is your final chance to see Maureen Lipman’s show at Southbank Centre. She discusses her career, which spans West End shows, TV, radio, books, films and, most recently, Coronation Street. Southbank Centre, £36.50, book ahead, until 6 January

GLASSHOUSES TOUR: Warm up inside some of London’s largest greenhouses. Kew Gardens offers guided tours of its world-famous glasshouses, with a chance to learn about the species of plant grown there, including some which are extinct in the wild. Kew Gardens, included in entry price, book your spot on arrival, 12pm-1pm daily, until 11 January

PUPPET PALS: Take the kids to visit the Cutty Sark tea clipper ship in Greenwich, then make a puppet inspired by what they’ve seen. Choose which character you want to make: Nannie the ship’s figurehead, the captain, or one of the animals that lived on board. Aimed at age 4+ and their carers. Cutty Sark (Greenwich), included in admission, just turn up, 5-6 January

Saturday 5 January

Get competitive at GamePad

POPCITY: Watch international hip hop dancers go head to head (or take part yourself) at Popcity, a competition with dancers from all over the country. International performers, guest judges and live DJs all feature in the event, which is open to anyone interested in hip hop dancing. Ugly Duck (London Bridge) £10, book ahead, 11am-7.30pm

GAMEPAD: Calling all gamers: spend your Saturday afternoon at social gaming event Gamepad. Go up against others in games including Mario Kart, Fifa and Dragon Ball FighterZ, plus new releases including Starlink, Trials Rising and Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Redmond Community Centre (Manor House), £10, book ahead, 12pm-7pm

ABSOLUTE BOWIE: David Bowie tribute act Absolute Bowie takes to the stage, performing tracks from the singer’s late 90s/early noughties albums, such as Earthling, Outside, Heathen, Reality and more. The Half Moon (Putney), £14-£16, book ahead, 8pm

VOICES OF CUBA: Cuban troubadour Jesús Cutiño and his band celebrate the great singers and storytellers of Cuba at this gig showcasing the country’s unique musical heritage. Hideaway (Streatham), £15, book ahead, 9pm

Sunday 6 January

The Big London Flea is in Hackney.

WOMEN OF SOHO: Sex, brothels, parties, nudity, drunkenness and foul language all feature in this guided tour which looks at how women made Soho into what it is today, covering 300 years of history. Piccadilly Circus, £12-£9, book ahead, 10.30am-12pm

MUSEUM OPEN DAY: The Kirkaldy Testing Museum’s monthly opening is today. One of London’s lesser-known museums, it contains Kirkaldy’s unique Universal Testing Machine — the huge hydraulic powered machine he designed to test whether building materials were strong enough. Time your visit right and you might see it in action. We visited in 2015. 99 Southwark Street (near Blackfriars Bridge), £5/£4, just turn up, 11am-5pm

FLEA MARKET: Get your year off to a bargaintastic start at The Big London Flea. Rummage through furniture, homewares, vintage attire, industrial electricals, lighting, and unexpected oddities in a former cinema building. EartH (Hackney), free entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm

THAMES BLESSING: The Blessing of the River Thames is one of London’s more unusual annual events. Join clergy and congregations from Southwark Cathedral on the south side of the river, and St Magnus the Martyr on the north side of the river, for a ceremony which blesses the capital’s river, and the people who live and work on it. London Bridge, free, just turn up, 12.30pm

FESTIVALS OF LIGHT: Ever noticed all of the object in the V&A’s collection related to celebrations of light? Many religions have celebrated light at one time or another, and this tour through the museum focuses on objects related to these illuminated festivals, looking at how light is important to different cultures. V&A Museum (South Kensington), £12/£9, book ahead, 2.45pm-4pm

CLASSICAL MUSIC: Finish your weekend with a rousing concert of the music of Mozart, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky, performed by the Zoffany Ensemble. Conway Hall (Holborn), £10, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm

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2019-01-04 15:55:05 – Source: londonist.com