Things to do this weekend is sponsored by Piccadilly Theatre.
FIREWORKS: Bonfire Night isn’t until Tuesday, but the majority of London’s firework displays take place this weekend. From huge events such as those in Battersea Park and Alexandra Palace, to smaller local events, we’ve got them all covered on our guide to fireworks in London.
24/7: Somerset House’s new exhibition, 24/7, looks at the non-stop nature of modern lives, and how we can protect ourselves from it, through over 50 artworks. They include an isolation chamber, and a copper blanket which blocks out smartphone signals. Somerset House, £14/£11, book ahead, 31 October-23 February
HARRY POTTER: There are still a few tickets remaining to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in concert. Watch Harry, Ron, Hermione and co tackle the trails and tribulations of the Triwizard Tournament on screen, while the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra performs the score live. Royal Albert Hall, from £19, book ahead, 1-3 November
GHOST HUNT: Things are getting spooky at the Garden Museum — no surprise, considering its housed in an ancient church. Join experts to try to make contact with some of the rumoured ghosts believed responsible for spooky sightings and weird happenings in the building, using augmented reality technology. Garden Museum (Lambeth), £5, book ahead, 1-3 November
RICHMOND LITERATURE FESTIVAL: Highlights from this first weekend of Richmond Literature Festival include a chance to hear from Downing Street’s first Researcher in Residence, and a look at the poetics of climate change. The programme continues for three weeks, so it’s worth looking ahead if there’s nothing that takes your fancy this weekend. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 1-24 November
ITALIAN LITERATURE: The Festival of Italian Literature is exactly that — a celebration of Italian writing through talks, workshops and other events. Topics covered include Brexit, global warming and translation, with DJ sets and comedy thrown in too. Coronet Theatre (Notting Hill), various prices, book ahead, 2-3 November
QUILTING BEE: To coincide with its current exhibition, Gunnersbury Museum hosts a weekend dedicated to quilting. Hear talks from textile artists and quilt experts, browse displays, and get involved in a charity patchwork project. Gunnersbury Museum, free entry (charge for some activities), just turn up, 2-3 November
CRAFT MARKET: Crafty Fox Market is back in its usual south London haunt for a weekend of handmade products created by independent designers. Browse and buy leather goods, ceramics, jewellery, t-shirt, paintings and illustrations and much more, from the specially curated selection of traders. Mercato Metropolitano (Elephant & Castle), free entry, just turn up, 2-3 November
BIBLE JOHN: Focusing on our fascination with true crime, theatre show Bible John is the story of three women murdered by an Old Testmanent-quoting serial killer nicknamed Bible John in 1969. The story picks up in 2019, when the killer still hasn’t been caught, but four women fascinated by the story try to change that. Age 14+. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £10, book ahead, 2-3 November
BATTLE OF IDEAS: A weekend of debates and events takes place at Barbican — with topics ranging from architecture and art, to science and technology. If you’re in a cerebral, thoughtful kind of mood, Battle of Ideas is the place to be. Barbican, £55 per day (£100 weekend ticket), book ahead, 2-3 November
TUTANKHAMUN: The largest collection of King Tutankhamun’s treasures ever to travel out of Egypt, comes to Chelsea for a whopping exhibition. Over 150 original artefacts from the Golden Pharaoh’s dazzling tomb go on display, including an ornate gilded shrine. When the exhibition tour is over, the treasures will return to Egypt for good, so see them while you can — book ahead, this exhibition will be popular. Saatchi Gallery (Chelsea), from £24.50, book ahead, 2 November-3 May
GLOBAL DICKENS: It’s the final week of Global Dickens, an exhibition looking at the impact Charles Dickens’s travels had on his life and work. Best-known for his work set in London, the author travelled to Europe and North America. Objects on display include his travelling bag, and a copy of David Copperfield that’s been to Antarctica. Dickens Museum (Bloomsbury), included in admission (£9.50), just turn up, until 3 November
PICTURING SCIENCE: Also closing this week is Picturing Science, a display of work by Marie Neurath. The illustrator work on books for children, producing images on topics including nuclear physics and reproduction. House of Illustration (King’s Cross), £8.80, book ahead, until 3 November
Breathing new life into Death of A Salesman
Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about aspiration, delusion and the hollowness of the American Dream is back in the West End… but not as you remember it. This masterful production from directors Marianne Elliott (War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Angels in America and Company) and Miranda Cromwell (Associate Director on Company and Angels in America) boldly reinvents Death of a Salesman by retelling one of the greatest works of the 20th century through the eyes of an African American family.
Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Suits, Selma) stars as Willy Loman in his West End debut, with Olivier award winner Sharon D Clarke playing his wife, Linda. The revival lands at Piccadilly Theatre following a sold-out run at The Young Vic, where it proved a critical triumph – lauded for how its deft reimagining of the Lomans as a black family imbues the play with new social resonance.
Death of A Salesman’s strictly limited, ten week West End run has already begun, so best get your skates on and snap up tickets before they’re gone. Prices start at £15.
Death of A Salesman at Piccadilly Theatre,now playing until 4 January.
Saturday 2 November
BREAKING BARRIERS: It’s the final day of Proud Gallery’s short exhibition, telling the stories of refugees through objects linked with their experiences, such as swimming medals. It’s the work of refugee charity Breaking Barriers, and features interviews with people helped by the organisation, alongside portraits of them. Proud Gallery (Embankment), free (donations welcome), just turn up, 29 October-2 November
FAMILY HISTORY DAY: Learn how to delve into your roots at the Migration Museum’s family history day. It’s for anyone who wants to trace their family tree, with a chance to pick up tips and advice on your research from experts, whether you’re new to genealogy, or have hit a wall with your current research and don’t know how to proceed. Migration Museum (Lambeth), £5, book ahead, 10.30am-4pm
REGENT STREET MOTOR SHOW: Regent Street shuts to traffic for the day — ironically, to make way for vehicles. The Regent Street Motor Show, organised by the Royal Automobile Club, showcases vehicles from the last 125 years, including veteran cars, sports cars, and modern low-emission vehicles. It’s a family-friendly event, with displays and entertainment throughout the day. Regent Street, free, just turn up, 10.30am-4pm
BAUHAUS BABY BALLROOM: Arts extravaganza meets family disco at Bauhaus Baby Ballroom, a family-friendly session of music, dancing, arts and general mayhem. The event celebrates 100 years of Bauhaus, so expect geometrical mobiles and Bauhaus badges. Whitechapel Gallery, free, book ahead, 11am-4pm
WANDERERS FC: South London’s Wanderers FC host the grand opening of their new home ground — the team’s first permanent home sine 1879 — with a free open day. The grand opening event includes a chance to watch two mens’ matches for free, win prizes, and purchase merchandise to show your support. Virgo Fidelis School (Upper Norwood), free, just turn up, 11.30am-5pm
FOLK FESTIVAL: Head to Walthamstow for a festival of folk music from England, Scotland, Ireland and the USA, in an ancient church. Walthamstow Folk Festival is curated by Tim Chipping of River Lea Records, and the line-up includes Vermont-based singer Sam Amidon, and British musician Emily Portman. St Mary’s Music Hall (Walthamstow), £30/£25, book ahead, 12pm
THEATRE OF LIGHT: For one night only, Stratford’s East Village comes alive with dancers, drummers and stilt walkers, all illuminated with LED lights. Bring your own glow sticks, or get some free UV face painting to get involved in the action. East Village E20 (Stratford), free entry, just turn up, 6.30pm-8.30pm
SWING DANCING: Dance your Saturday night away at a Halloween-themed swing dancing session. Lindy Hop, Jitterbug and Swing dance to music from the 1930s-1950s, whether you’re an experienced dancer or complete beginner. Hoxton Hall, £12/£10, book ahead, 7.30pm
GHOSTS OF STDS PAST: Sex Standing Up Comedy’s Halloween special features award-winning comedians sharing their sexiest horror stories. They tell all manner of bedroom tales, from getting things stuck in orifices, to finding you had a kink you never knew existed. Not one for those who blush easily. Sh! Women’s Exotic Emporium (Shoreditch), £17.50, book ahead, 7.30pm-10.30pm
Sunday 3 November
VETERAN CAR RUN: Early risers, head to Hyde Park to see vehicles taking part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run setting off. They gather in the park from 6am, beginning their journey to the south coast between 6.56am (sunrise) and 8.30am. Hyde Park, free, just turn up, 6am-8.30am
VINTAGE FURNITURE: From cushions and crockery, to mirrors, tables and chairs, the East London Vintage Furniture Flea is ideal if you’re looking to pimp up your pad, or just moved to a new place and need some furniture. Traders from all over the UK sell items from the 1950s to the present day, with big name brands and more unique pieces available. Before you go too mad, think about how you’re going to get that kitchen table home on the bus… York Hall (Bethnal Green), from £2.50, book ahead, 10.30am
LONDON’S BLOODY PAST: Join Historic London Tours for a rather gruesome trip through 1000 years of London’s history. The walk covers slaughter in Smithfield, the Black Death, Dickens, kings, ghosts, and a notorious slum. Lovely. Barbican station, £10, book ahead, 10.30am-12.30pm
HALLOWEEN POOCH PARADE: Get your dog into a Halloween costume (no, really), and head to Monument to join a parade down to Flat Iron Square. On arrival, there are games and a competition for the canine visitors, and food and drink for the humans, with the family-friendly fun continuing throughout the afternoon. Meet at Monument, £5 to enter dog competition, just turn up, from 10.45am
LONDON GAMING MARKET: Stock up on retro video games, board games and merchandise at the London Gaming Market — the more niche, the better. It’s also a chance to meet fellow gamers in London. Royal National Hotel (Russell Square), just turn up, £5 entry from 11am/£2 entry from 12pm
RARE BIRDS: Despite Brick Lane’s history as an animal market, the Rare Birds Market focuses solely on crafts, homewares and clothing. Stock up on bohemian fashion and artisan craft products, watch live performances and talks, and take part in craft workshops. 93 Feet East (Brick Lane), free entry (charge for workshops), just turn up, 11am-10pm
DIWALI IN LONDON: The pinnacle of London’s Diwali celebrations is the free festival in Trafalgar Square. Everyone’s welcome to enjoy live music and dance performances on the stage and through the square, plus Bollywood and puppet dancing workshops. The street food market sells snacks including vegan and vegetarian dishes and Indian sweets, and there’s information about the background of the festival for Londoners and tourists who aren’t familiar with the culture. Trafalgar Square, free, just turn up, 1pm-7pm
KRAY TWINS: Follow in the footsteps of the Kray Twins (if you dare), the criminal duo who terrorised the East End in the 1950s and 1960s. On this guided walk, led by an author who’s written about the Krays, visit The Blind Beggar pub where Ronnie carried out a murder, and Repton Boxing Club, where they both trained. Court Street (Whitechapel), £12, book ahead, 2.30pm-4.30pm (sponsor)
MY PENGUIN YEAR: Cameraman Lindsay McCrae worked on David Attenborough series, Dynasties. He spent a year living alongside penguins in the Antarctic (remember that penguin rescue scene?) and has written a book about enduring an eight-month long winter, getting a frostbitten nose, and rescuing those penguins. Hear him talking about his experiences. James Allen’s Girls’ School (East Dulwich), £10/£8, book ahead,3pm