This weekend in London

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Fujifilm: My Life Exhibition

A self portrait of me reading a story to my daughter on a summer afternoon, by Akanksha Agarwal

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Fujifilm: My Life Exhibition
Get It While It's Hot
John Lewis Rooftop: The Winter Carnival
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits
Play Well
Halloween in London
Queen of Hoxton Rooftop: The Emerald City


Make the most of your precious time off with the LondonTown weekend guide, which gives you the lowdown on the best events and things to do this weekend in London.


Halloween in London


The fright fest of Halloween is upon us, when ghouls, ghosts, witches and warlocks come out to spook the living and the living dress up like the undead. Fake blood, fancy dress and trick-or-treat are traditional but there's plenty going on in the city if you really want to scare yourself silly. From late-night parties and scary films to family fun and foodie events, these are the best ways to celebrate Halloween in London. 


John Lewis Rooftop: The Winter Carnival

John Lewis Rooftop, 300 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1EX

Tube: Oxford Circus Station , Bond Street Station


Dates: 18th October 2019 to 5th January 2020


Boasting one of the largest rooftop gardens in London, John Lewis Oxford Street makes full use of the space with The Winter Carnival, placing curling lanes, fairground horses, bumper cars, street food stalls and a cocktail bar high above London's most famous street. Created in partnership with Philips Hue and Google, there's the chance to have a go on the Google Claw Machine where Google Nest products and a Google Pixel phone are available to win while the mounted Google Pixel means guests can capture photos of their curling game any time of day or night. Philips Hue, meanwhile, have helped to transform the rooftop dens into the House of Mirrors, House of Lights and the House of Fortune - customisable colourful escapes that are available for groups to hire. Jimmy Garcia joins in on the carnival fun by serving an American-style feast of popcorn shrimp and loaded corn dogs at The Carnival Diner and Background Bars present a menu of winter warmers at the bar.


Queen of Hoxton Rooftop: The Emerald City

The Queen Of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX

Tube: Liverpool Street Station


Dates: 24th October 2019 to 1st May 2020


Follow the yellow brick road up to The Queen of Hoxton Rooftop this winter for its latest pop-up extravaganza, The Emerald City. Transforming the east London rooftop into a world of green, complete with green beer, The Wizard of Oz themed residency provides the chance to feast on Kansas style food, toast marshmallows on fire pits and sip on emerald-tinted cocktails at a hidden bar. The WigWam has been re-erected for the occasion, this time morphing into a bewitching green den, and the venue's walls have been decorated with glistening emerald jewels. The food menu features a Green Witch Veggie Burger, Kansas Beef Pot Roast and Munchkin Pumpkin Pot Roast while drinks include Bad *itch Hot Chocolate, Pumpkin Spiced Mulled Cider and an Emerald Bellini. A programme of suitably-themed events include a Wicked Witches storytelling evening with Giles Abbott and an Emerald City Silent Disco.


Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London, W1J 0BD

Tube: Green Park Station , Piccadilly Circus Station


Dates: 27th October 2019 to 26th January 2020


He's famous for his fleshy, unflinching portraits but in this Royal Academy of Arts exhibition Lucian Freud's subject is himself. Featuring more than 50 paintings, prints and drawings in The Sackler Wing of Galleries, Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits is the first exhibition to focus on his self-portraits. Executed over almost seven decades on canvas, paper and etching plate, the artworks here chart the trajectory through Lucian Freud's development as a painter as well as his life, from young boy to old man. In short, it amounts to a candid and an ongoing study into the process of ageing.


Fujifilm: My Life Exhibition

The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL

Tube: Aldgate East Station


Dates: 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th Oct 2019


Providing a snapshot of what life is like in 2019, My Life is a new exhibition from Fujifilm. Taking place at the Truman Brewery, the exhibition is one of the largest crowdsourced exhibitions in the UK and is made up of images sent in from young people across Britain in order to illustrate a far-reaching insight into real life today. Showcasing cultures, relationships and realities, the exhibition is split into six categories - My Everyday, My Fun, My Tribe, My Surrounding, My Truths and My Adventures - to explore everything from what people do in their spare time to how relationships can impact our lives. Further to the photography display, the event includes a number of free creative workshops and street photography walks in order to put the new Fujifilm X-A7 to the test.


Get It While It's Hot

Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TN

Tube: Clapham Common Station


Dates: 25th October to 2nd November 2019


A brand-new festival of ideas, Get It While It's Hot at the Battersea Arts Centre invites the public to watch dancers, comedians, theatre makers and poets in rehearsals, providing an insight into the creative process. Visitors will be free to wander the historic old town hall building, meeting a number of artists in residence along the way. Artists taking part include comedian Adam Riches, interactive theatre devisors Coney, director and beatbox artist Conrad Murray, creative producer Lara Taylor, actor and director Jamie Beddard, and circus artist and director Aislinn Mulligan. At the end of each evening visitors can sit down for a meal (included in the price) to swap stories on their experiences before enjoying live music and DJs late into the night.


Natural History Museum Ice Rink

Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

Tube: South Kensington Station , Gloucester Road Station


Dates: 19th October 2019 to 12th January 2020


The earliest of London's winter ice rinks to open, the Natural History Museum's annual icing-over of its gardens kicks off from 19th October. The 1,000 square metre rink outside Alfred Waterhouse's imposing building is surrounded by 80,000 glowing pea-lights dangling from the overhanging trees and a sparkling 30 foot Christmas tree. Additional attractions include a smaller 100-square-metre rink for youngsters and a stylish balcony cafe/bar when you can warm your hands and insides on hot chocolate. Big-foots amongst you will be pleased to know that skates go up to adult size 15, while penguin skate aids are available for 5 on a first come first served basis.


Elizabeth Peyton: Aire and Angels

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London, WC2H 0HE

Tube: Leicester Square Station , Charing Cross Station, Piccadilly Circus Station, Embankment Underground Station, Covent Garden Station


Dates: 3rd October 2019 to 5th January 2020


This autumn, internationally-renowned artist Elizabeth Peyton will become the first artist ever to be given the run of the entire National Portrait Gallery. Not only will a new major exhibition display more than 40 of her works, there will also be a selection of her portraits dispersed throughout the gallery's permanent Collection. One of the world's leading artists, Peyton has been at the forefront of a re-evaluation of figurative art and traditional portrait painting, and this new exhibition will be the first to situate her within the historical tradition of portraiture. Key works from the first two decades of her career will go on display along with an investigation of the new direction that her work has taken over the past ten years. Portraits of Kurt Cobain, Frida Kahlo, Queen Elizabeth II, David Bowie and David Hockney will be among the works on display.



British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

Tube: King's Cross Station , Euston Station


Dates: 25th October 2019 to 25th February 2020


It has an estimated one billion followers across the world today, Buddhism is the subject of a major exhibition at the British Library in autumn 2019. Going back to its beginnings in north India in the 6th century BC, the display begins with the roots of one of the world's major religions and explores its philosophy and modern day relevance. Rare and colourful scrolls, painted wall hangings and folding books highlight the outstanding art found within Buddhist manuscripts and early printed works. Sacred scriptures written on tree bark are shown alongside calming ambient film and sound. You'll leave with a better understanding of Buddhism and its central role in developing writing and transmitting stories across Asia.


Play Well

Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE

Tube: Euston Square Station , Euston Station, Warren Street Station


Dates: 24th October 2019 to 8th March 2020


The Wellcome Collection explores the power of play and the important role it has in society for adults and children alike in its new autumn exhibition, Play Well. Split into three different sections - Nature/Nurture, Toys Like Us, and Rules and Risk - the exhibition delves into everything from the importance of play in childhood and its therapeutic abilities to the evolution of toys and the move from playing outdoors in the street to inside on the computer. As part of the exhibition, a group of young people aged 14-19 respond to the fears of safety and the rise of digital play with a series of games designed by them that explore loneliness, anxiety, commerce and teamwork in the digital sphere. Artist Adam James has created an accompanying commission that explores the role of play in the adult world; photographer Mark Neville shows how play can serve as a retreat from conflict with a series of photos depicting children playing in the aftermath of shelling in the Ukraine; and creative collaborative Toys Like Me looks at the power toys have when challenging stereotypes and changing attitudes.



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