Things To Do This Weekend In London: 18-19 March 2023

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All weekend

People browsing various exhibits at the Ideal Home Show
The Ideal Home Show is on all weekend — and into April.

VAULT FESTIVAL: It's the final weekend of this year's VAULT Festival — the final year in its current venue. There are still over 100 performances to catch this weekend alone, including coming of age show A Manchester Anthem, aerial circus spectacular Happy Factory, interactive burlesque show The Bargain Basement Gameshow-Cabaret, and plenty more. Until 19 March

RAILWAY MODELLING: Model railway enthusiasts from all over country gather at Alexandra Palace for the London Festival of Railway Modelling. 100+ exhibitors show off their layouts, and there's a chance to pick up rarer scales and gauges. 18-19 March

TEA MASTERCLASS: Tea retailer Whittard of Chelsea offers tea masterclasses at the Holmes Hotel in Marylebone. Learn how to taste and blend tea, and enjoy a tea and biscuit pairing, before taking home a goody bag. It's billed as a Mother's Day event, but there's nothing to say you have to take your mum along. 16-19 March

JAMES BOND PHOTOS: Camera brand Leica currently has a rather special exhibition at its Mayfair gallery, with photos depicting six decades of the James Bond films. Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig all feature. FREE, until 21 March

& JULIET: Picking up where Romeo & Juilet ends, but with Juliet still alive, the rather excellent & Juliet uses well-known pop songs to tell the story of Shakespeare's romantic heroine as she tries to navigate life after Romeo. It's at the Shaftesbury Theatre, but not for long. Until 25 March

The exterior of BFI Southbank at dusk
BFI hosts BFI Flare. Image courtesy of BFI + Luke Hayes

BFI FLARE: London's LGBTQIA+ film festival BFI Flare is an 11-day celebration of queer cinema featuring gala screenings, panel discussions, short films, and productions on the themes of Heart, Body and Mind. There are 40 events to choose from this weekend, but hop to it as some have already sold out. Most events take place at BFI Southbank but some are available online too. 15-26 March

IDEAL HOME SHOW: Pimp up your pad at the Ideal Home Show at Olympia. Interior designers, furniture suppliers, window and conservatory installation services, candle brands, home accessory stores, and garden DIY experts congregate under one roof to help you make the changes you want in your home. 17 March-2 April

EAT & DRINK FESTIVAL: As part of the Ideal Home Show, Eat & Drink Festival is also at Olympia, aimed at London's foodie types. Tuck into all manner of street food at The Great Eat, stock up your kitchen cupboards with produce from the Artisan Producers Market, and pick up tips, inspiration and possibly a new recipe or two from celebrity chefs on the Eat & Drink Stage. 17 March-2 April

BLACK AMERICAN ARTISTS: The Royal Academy has a new exhibition about some of the most influential Black artists from the south-east of the United States from the past century. Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers features sculpture, paintings, reliefs, drawings, and quilts, most of which will be seen in the UK and Europe for the first time, including work by the celebrated quiltmakers of Gee's Bend, Alabama. 17 March-18 June

CHERRY BLOSSOM: Some years, the cherry blossom starts to appear in London around this time, so keep your eyes open for your dose of the pink stuff — and swot up on the best places to see cherry blossom, if you're really keen to get an eyeful.

Saturday 18 March

A collage-style artwork centering around a downtrodden American eagle, surrounded by stars made from various pieces of coloured plastic
Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers opens at the Royal Academy. Thornton Dial, Stars of Everything, 2004.  Grown Deep Foundation, Atlanta. © 2023 Estate of Thornton Dial / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2023. Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio

SIX NATIONS: International rugby tournament the Six Nations come to a close today. Whether you're supporting England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France or Italy, here's our pick of places screening the Six Nations action. Until 18 March

MILITARY MEDICINE: Chelsea's National Army Museum holds a day of events focusing on military medicine and recovery. Real soldiers and medics are present to talk about their experiences, plus there are special talks, gallery tours, an information trail, and a chance to learn about operating a field ambulance. FREE, 10am-4pm

THE SECRET GARDEN: As part of Kinoteka Polish Film Festival, this week's Family Film Club at Barbican Cinema screens 1993 family film The Secret Garden. The film is in English, but was the work of Polish director Agnieszka Holland, and there's a pre-recorded introduction by her before the screening. 11am

MUSICAL ZOO: Kids keen to make some noise? Take them along to the Musical Zoo Family Workshop, hosted by Southbank Sinfonia at St John's Smith Square. Learn about the different families of instruments and have a go at playing some of them — or bring your own along to join in. Aimed at age 5-11 and their families. 11am

RIVER RACE: The Head of the River Race is rowed annually from Mortlake to Putney, with up to 400 crews of eights taking part. Get down to the river's edge to watch the action this afternoon — consider it a trial run for getting your spot for the Boat Races next weekend, as they take place on the same stretch of river, but in the opposite direction. FREE, 1pm

WASPS VS SNAKES VS RATS: Nightmare scenario, that. But Wasps vs snakes vs rats at the Royal Institution actually celebrates the positives of each of these species, with three scientists, each specialising in one, trying to win you over. Suitable for age 7+. 6pm-7.15pm

SPRING CEILIDH: Things get lively at Grand Junction, a church-turned-arts-venue, with a Spring Ceilidh. Celebrate the upcoming arrival of spring with the Ceilidh Liberation Front, and dance the steps accompanied by a live band. No experience necessary; everyone's welcome. 7pm

ONE NIGHT IN DUBLIN: The St Patrick's Day celebrations roll on in south London, as Fairfield Halls hosts One Night In Dublin. Award-winning Irish band The Wild Murphys perform classic Irish tracks including Galway Girl, Tell Me Ma, Dirty Old Town, The Irish Rover, Brown Eyed Girl, Seven Drunken Nights and more — turning the venue into a makeshift Irish pub. 7.30pm

HEART OF BRASS: The No Limit Street Band play their brass heavy take on feel-good classics, original songs and mashups all night at the Queen of Hoxton, alongside house, funk and disco tunes.8pm

THE CROWD SHOW: Writer, actor and podcaster Rob Auton is at Soho Theatre for his current production, The Crowd Show. It's a comedy/theatre/spoken word show about crowds, people and connection. 13-18 March

Sunday 19 March

Someone pouring a cup of tea
Join Whittard of Chelsea for a tea masterclass

MOTHER'S DAY: A reminder to pick up a card, flowers and chocolates. Perhaps treat your mum afternoon tea or something, eh?

RETRO GAMES FAIR: Traders from all over the UK come together for the Retro Games Fair at the Royal National Hotel, where retro video games, board games and merchandise are available to buy. 11am-4pm

TITANIC 25TH ANNIVERSARY: It's been 25 years since Kate refused to shufty up a bit on that floating door to make room for Leo. The Charlotte Street Hotel marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Titanic with a special 3D screening.  3pm

BENGAL TO BETHNAL GREEN: Live music event Bengal to Bethnal Green features performances by the UK's foremost Bengali singers, alongside Grand Union Orchestra’s house band. Taking place at Rich Mix, it celebrates the songs, music and language of Bangladesh and its diaspora. FREE, 4pm

SARAH KEYWORTH: Catch comedian Sarah Keyworth — who has appeared on Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Roast Battle — performing their latest show Lost Boy at Bloomsbury Theatre. It touches on topics such as personal loss and therapy, yet still stays on the right side of absolutely hilarious. Age 14+. 7pm

COMEDY CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Round off your week with even more laughs, as UK-based comedians with backgrounds in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean go head to head in the Comedy Champions League at Rich Mix. Exact line-up hasn't been announced yet, but it's strictly an 18+ event. 7.30pm

GIRLS' HORROR COMICS: Two supernatural British girls' comics, Spellbound and Misty, are the subject of this online talk by comics expert Julia Round. Find out about the now-forgotten genre which dealt with issues including Nazi soldiers, cursed choirs, deals with the devil, schoolgirl sacrifice, parallel worlds, monsters and criminals. 8pm-9.30pm