Things To Do This Weekend In London: 17-18 September 2022

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Much of London will be shut down on Monday 19 September, a bank holiday set aside for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. We haven't included listings for that day.

It's worth double checking events you're intending to go to on Saturday and Sunday are definitely going ahead.

All weekend

The 'Chinese Garage' in south London, an Asian pagoda-style building, now used as a wine warehouse, with ornamental pond outside.
Where will Open House Festival take you this year? Photo: Londonist

OPEN HOUSE LONDON: It's the most wonderful time of year, when all manner of London buildings and structures which are usually off-limits to the public fling their doors open and welcome us in. Take a look at our pick of events for Open House London 2022. 8-21 September

LONDON PODCAST FESTIVAL: It's the final weekend of London Podcast Festival at Kings Place, which sees both mainstream and niche podcasts filmed in front of a live audience, with some of the recordings streamed online too. There's still to catch James Acaster, How2Wrestling, and various workshops aimed at anyone who wants to get into podcasting. Until 17 September

FOOD FOREVER: It's the final weekend of Food Forever, Kew Gardens' summer festival looking at where our food comes from, and how to make it more sustainable. Enjoy four art installations and a major exhibition on the theme, and there's also a free daily walking tour about edible plants. Until 18 September

PHOTO-FANTASTIC: Southbank Centre opens a new exhibition, Photo-Fantastic, in which local Black and dual heritage photographers respond to the current In the Black Fantastic exhibition. The photographers, from Lambeth and Southwark, took part in a free week-long course before producing their photos, which explore mythology, science fiction, spiritual traditions and folklore. FREE, 13-29 September

A woman, wine glass in hand, looks at a glass cabinet of books at the Firsts London Rare Book Fair
Firsts London Rare Book Fair at Saatchi Gallery

GREENWICH COMEDY FESTIVAL: Frankie Boyle, Rosie Jones, Reginald D Hunter and Sophie Duker are among the headliners at Greenwich Comedy Festival, taking place in a seated arena in the grounds of the National Maritime Museum. Arrive early to make the most of the pop-up bars and street food stalls running alongside the festival. 14-18 September

RARE BOOKS: Banned books is the theme of this year's Firsts London Rare Book Fair, taking place at Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea all weekend. Fascinating censored books are on display — and for sale — including a 1933 edition of Ulysses featuring an original erotic fore-edge painting inspired by the novel’s “Circe” episode, and a first edition of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. 15-18 September

YINKA ILORI: Artist Yinka Ilori — best known for colourful works such as these psychedelic pedestrian crossings — is the subject of a new Design Museum exhibition. The playful show invites visitors to dive into Ilori's colourful world through joyful installations, patterns and graphics. Expect to see this one all over Instagram... FREE, from 16 September

DECOLONISE FEST: Decolonise Fest — the UK’s only punk festival created by and for people of colour — is back as an in-person event for the first time since 2019. Head to Signature Brew Haggerston for three days of music, panels, and workshops designed to centre and celebrate the contributions of people of colour to the DIY punk scene. 16-18 September

Three people on three separate boards, stand up paddleboarding in the docks at Canary Wharf
Watch paddleboarding in Canary Wharf

LONDON SUP OPEN: Head to Canary Wharf to watch a spot of paddleboarding. The London SUP Open brings together professionals from all over the world for sprints and distance races. Note: the participatory public element of this event has been cancelled, out of respect to the Royal Family. FREE, 16-18 September

ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHY: The 14th Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition opens at Royal Observatory Greenwich on Saturday. Ogle awe-inspiring scenes from this year's shortlist, capturing the Milky Way rising, galaxies colliding, stellar nurseries, and the luminous Aurora Borealis. From 17 September

QUEEN'S PARK BOOK FESTIVAL: The annual Queen's Park Book Festival is back, 50 guests taking part in 20 different events. Hear from Robert Harris about his new novel, Act Of Oblivion, celebrate the centenary of James Joyce's Ulysses, and hear a discussion about the controversy surrounding the Qatar World Cup. 17-18 September

A table laid out with a display of publications by Critical Muslim
Celebrate a decade of Critical Muslim

A CRITICAL MUSLIM DECADE: Celebrate a decade of Critical Muslim, a quarterly publication by the Muslim Institute at St John’s Church, Waterloo. The weekend includes panels, performances and exhibitions of CM's best work over the past ten years, covering geopolitics, art, culture, religious debates. The event is open to everyone, of all faiths and beliefs, and none. 17-18 September

CHELSEA HISTORY FESTIVAL: The National Army Museum, the Royal Hospital Chelsea and Chelsea Physic Garden team up again for this year's Chelsea History Festival, which covers local, national and global history. There's a special concert celebrating 40 years of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse, a walking tour focusing on the spies of Chelsea, and another about Chelsea in the Blitz, and plenty more on the programme for all ages. 17-25 September

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL: The 20th anniversary edition of London Design Festival continues its aim of showcasing London as the design capital of the world. At time of writing, the programme has yet to be announced, but we're expecting the usual blend of displays and exhibitions, talks and more. 17-25 September

Saturday 17 September

An open book, held open with a piece of red and white string tied in a heart shape.
Go on a blind date with a book

BOOK BLIND DATE: Solo Craft Fair, an independent shop in Elephant & Castle, hosts Blind Date With A Book. Head along to the display outside the shop, and pick your next read — it's full of 'blind books' meaning the cover is obscured by wrapping, with only a few words to describe the novel inside. You might just find your new favourite author. Plus, if you've got any books at home you've already read, you can bring them along to swap. 2pm-4pm

UKRAINIAN BALLET: Final chance to see the United Ukrainian Ballet performing Giselle at the London Coliseum, raising money for the DEC Ukraine Appeal and The United Ukrainian Ballet Foundation. 2.30pm/7.30pm

CANDLELIGHT CLUB: The Candlelight Club's September party kicks off its next season of events. Think a mysterious, Gatsby-style speakeasy, taking place in a secret location, with live jazz music, compere Champagne Charlie, a fortune teller, and cocktails flowing all night. 7pm

BLASPHEMY AT THE OLD BAILEY: Kennington's Cinema Museum screens 1977 film Blasphemy At The Old Bailey as part of its BBC Centenary LGBTQ+ screening series. The event includes discussion by some of those involved in defending Gay News against Mary Whitehouse, a court case that became the last successful blasphemy trial in the UK. FREE, 7.30pm

MOMENTUM: A mixed bill of seven dance pieces on the theme of losing, finding and moving on, are performed at Sadler's Wells tonight. Momentum features works by artists with experience at Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and Nederlands Dans Theater. 7.30pm

QUEERTOPIA: Rich Mix in Shoreditch hosts a night dedicated to the celebration of queer live music. Queertopia has a headline performance from NIMMO, supporting performances from emerging queer artists Toby Corton and Amaroun, and DJ sets fromqueer nightlife staples Bestley and D’Vey, all hosted by drag queen Barbs. 7.30pm

MY VOICE WAS HEARD: Head to ArtsDepot in North Finchley for a performance of My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored, a theatre show tackling the subject of racial identity through the story of a pupil confronting his teacher who failed to defend him from the police. Age 15+. 7.30pm

Sunday 18 September

A woman rummaging through a rack of dresses at Frock Me! Vintage Fair
Have a rummage at Frock Me! Vintage Fair

HOUSEMAIDS TOUR: Head to the Charles Dickens Museum to be shown around the author's family home by a tour guide in character as the family's housemaid. Step back into 1838 and head what life was like, with a few pieces of Dickens family gossip thrown in too. 10am-12pm

VINTAGE FAIR: Rummage out a bargain or two at Frock Me! Vintage Fair at Chelsea Old Town Hall. Over 60 exhibitors are present, selling clothing and textiles dating back as far as the Victorian period. It's not unusual for a designer piece or two to pop-up at this event, so keep your eyes peeled. 11am-5.30pm

FEMALE CROOKS: Author Caitlin Davies is at Conway Hall in Holborn to discuss the history of female crooks — the lesser-known but equally dangerous female equivalents to the likes of the Krays, Robin Hood and Dick Turpin. Hear about jewel thief Emily Lawrence, bandit leader Elsie Carey and burglar Zoe Progl, and why they have been erased from history. 3pm

LONDON POLE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Beginner, semi-pros and complete professionals all appear at the London Pole Championships, taking place at ArtsDepot today. See them go head to head on both the static and spinning pole, showing off the strength, stamina and flexibility required for the sport. 3pm

SAUDHA BANGLA MUSIC: Celebrate the evolution of Bangla music at Rich Mix's Saudha Bangla Music Festival. Poet TM Ahmed Kaysher gives a brief introduction on the history and background of each genre (Kirtan, Shyamasamgeet, Ramprasadi Vaishnav, Baul, Pre-Tagorian, Pancho-Kobi, Adhunik all feature) with performances by singers of Indian and Bangladeshi origin. FREE, 4.45pm

FOLK MUSIC: Irish singer-songwriter Lisa O'Neill — whose song Blackbird featured in Peaky Blinders — performs a one-off gig at Southbank Centre, ahead of her new album being released later this year. 8pm