Things To Do This Weekend In London: 23-24 September 2023

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Things to do this weekend is sponsored by London Transport Museum.

All weekend

A woman with blue hair and wearing a blue top leaning back in a chair and looking at the camera.
It's the first weekend of The Missing Thread at Somerset House. Image © Eileen Perrier

THE MISSING THREAD: September's been an excellent month for new fashion exhibitions, a trend which continues with The Missing Thread at Somerset House, covering the untold stories of Black British fashion. It charts the shifting landscape of Black British culture from the 1970s to the present day, and the unique contribution it has made to design history, with music, photography, art and design covered in addition to catwalk fashion. 21 September-7 January

FUTURE OF FOOD: Catch the final couple of days of new culinary festival Future of Food, which takes place across Regent Street and St James's. You can see inside Regent Street's urban farm, taste Michelin-starred menus, take part in cocktail masterclasses, and do plenty more to keep your taste buds tantalised. 18-24 September

FLOWER FESTIVAL: British-grown flowers, foam-free sustainable floristry, and the creativity of the UK-based floral designers are all celebrated at the Strawberry Hill House Flower Festival. Go on tours led by festival curators; take part in tablescape, hand-tied bouquet or floral crown masterclasses; or simply enjoy the beauty of the gothic house adorned with flowers. 22-24 September

TURNING TIDES FESTIVAL: Summer festival season isn't over yet. Greenwich Peninsula hosts two days of free live music and DJs, as well as performing artists and entertainers in the form of Turning Tides festival. African fusion band Afriquoi headline Saturday, with London-based, all-female group Los Bitchos leading things on Sunday. Advance booking required. FREE, 23-24 September

A display of five cylinder-shaped ceramic pots, decorated in different blue and white patterns.
Ceramics in the City comes to the Museum of the Home.

CERAMICS IN THE CITY: The work of 45 leading ceramic artists is the centre of attention at Ceramics in the City at the Museum of the Home, where you can meet the makers and browse and buy unique items including tableware and ornamental objects. FREE ENTRY, 23-24 September

SMALLS FILM FESTIVAL: The Curzon Hoxton is taken over by The Smalls Film Festival, celebrating short films across various categories including animation, documentary, comedy and drama. Shorts from each category have been programmed together into a feature-length screening, with entries from all over the world. 23-24 September

KAYAK TASTER SESSIONS: As part of Totally Thames Festival, take part in a kayak taster session, and have a go at using a sea kayak on the Thames. The 90-minute sessions are hosted by London's only dedicated sea kayaking club CKC, and take place near Kew Bridge. Age 18+. 23-24 September

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN: Claiming to be the world’s largest music and philosophy festival, HowTheLightGetsIn returns to Kenwood House. Ruby Wax, David Baddiel, Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart are confirmed as speakers this year, with music performances by Badly Drawn Boy, Walt Disco and Saffiyah, among others. 23-24 September

PUNCHDRUNK: Immersive theatre legends Punchdrunk bring to a close their current production, The Burnt City — their first London show for several years. The whole point of Punchdrunk shows is that there's no fixed narrative: you're invited to roam wherever you like, to follow characters and explore spaces at your whim. Until 24 September

RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE REMATCH: As one immersive theatre experience closes, another opens — this one at Dock X London, a theatrical retelling of the Rumble in the Jungle, the George Foreman and Muhammad Ali championship bout in 1970s Zaire. Until 29 Oct

SHAKESPEARE'S FIRST FOLIO: This year marks 400 years since the publication of Shakespeare's First Folio, something the National Maritime Museum celebrates with exhibition The Tempest and the Thames, displaying one of only 50 known copies of the First Folio and exploring the connections between the Bard and the sea. This weekend is your last chance to see it. Until 24 September

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Explore 100 years of transport history inside Acton's hidden gem

A vintage tube sign: 'tickets and trains' - with an arrow

Here’s a rare treat for tube enthusiasts, Routemaster fanatics, and anyone with a soft spot for London history. London Transport Museum is opening the doors of its Acton Depot to the public this week — for the final time in 2023. This working museum store is usually off-limits to the public, with a handful of open days each year being your only chance to delve into its 320,000-strong collection of station signs, maps, ticket machines, heritage vehicles and so much more.

From Thursday 21 September through to Sunday 24 September, the Acton Depot is showcasing the stories of the people — past and present — who have shaped London's public transport network. Travel back in time and chat to costumed characters such as tube map designer Harry Beck, and Joe Clough — Britain's first Black bus driver. Discover original London Underground artworks, take a mini-tour or listen to revealing talks. There's even the chance to get behind the controls of a real Victoria line driving cab, or go for a ride on the London Transport Miniature Railway (Saturday and Sunday only)!

Tickets to Depot Open Days: Transport and Stories are on sale now! They cost £17 for adults and £8.50 for children. What's more, kids aged 3 and under go free, making it a great shout for a family day out. Get yours today.

Saturday 23 September

A young man standing alone and dancing, with a large choir behind him, and a seated orchestra alongside him.
The Multi Story Orchestra performs at Southbank Centre

CALLIGRAPHY WORKSHOP: Ever fancied learning calligraphy? Here's your chance, as Forty Hall in Enfield hosts a beginners' pointed nib calligraphy workshop. Start by mastering individual letters before turning them into words, learning various techniques so you can recreate it at home. 10am-12.30pm

MODEL RAILWAY SHOW: Choo choo! All aboard for Whitewebbs Museum in Enfield, where a model railway show is taking place. View 15+ layouts created by the Enfield Whitewebbs Railway Modellers, and buy and trade pieces of kit you need for your own layouts, with children's activities to keep little ones entertained. 10am-4pm

DESIGN YOUR OWN MAP: Head to the Design Museum to get creative with cartography at a one-day design your own map workshop. Illustrator Lucia Vinti shows you how to combine analogue and digital drawing techniques, including drawing, painting or collaging by hand, to create a unique map of your chosen location. Age 18+. 10am-4pm

FINDING DORY: Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory is the film at this week's Family Film Club at Barbican Cinema. It's a cheap way to entertain the family, with tickets at £3.50 per adult and £2.50 per child — though note that all children must be accompanied by an adult, and vice versa. 11am

FRANK SINATRA: My Way, Come Fly With Me, Strangers In The Night and 30-odd other hits get an airing at Ilford's Kenneth More Theatre this afternoon, as Robert Habermann steps into the shoes of Ol' Blue Eyes.  2pm-4pm

BOURGEOIS & MAURICE: Cabaret superstars Bourgeois & Maurice bring their hit show Pleasure Seekers back to Wilton's Music Hall, with impressive songs and outfits, and an 8ft pinata. Today's shows are the last ones in the current run. 2.30pm/7.30pm

MULTI STORY ORCHESTRA: Peckham-based Multi Story Orchestra gives two performances of its current show, The Endz, at Southbank Centre. It tells the story of friendship between young people in Peckham and the struggle of living in an unequal society, through song, rap, spoken word and music. 5.30pm/8.30pm

MARY BEARD: Classicist and historian Mary Beard talks Roman emperors in a special evening at Barbican. From Julius Caesar to Alexander Severus, learn what's fact and what's fiction about the legendary rulers, and get an insight into their everyday lives. 7.30pm

DAWN FRENCH: Comedian and actor Dawn French takes over the London Palladium, performing her show Dawn French is a Huge Twat, in which she shares stories of the most embarrassing mishaps and misunderstandings that have happened to her throughout her life and career. 7.30pm

THE WOLLATON GNOMES: 44 years ago today, a group of children out for an evening walk in the Midlands were chased by 30 gnomes in small cars, an incident which became known as the Wollaton Gnomes. Mark the anniversary of the bizarre encounter with an online talk by folklore historian Dr Simon Young, who discusses the incident, as well as others which occurred around the same time. 8pm-9.30pm

Sunday 24 September

People in various shepherd and sheep costumes posing in front of a flock of sheep.
Baaa-my happenings on Southwark Bridge today.

SHEEP DRIVE: One of London's wackiest annual events is the London Sheep Drive and Livery Fair. Each year, a chosen celebrity has the honour of herding sheep over Southwark Bridge — previous celebs have included Kate Humble and Mary Berry, but keep an eye on the website for this year's announcement. Watch this baaa-my even unfold over the day, and visit the livery fair next to the Monument afterwards. FREE, 10am-4pm

PADDLE STEAMER TRIP: Hop on board Paddle Steamer Waverley — the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world — for either a morning, afternoon, or evening cruise as part of Totally Thames. Various times from 10.30am

RUBBISH ROMEO & JULIET: Take the kids along to Artsdepot in North Finchley for a performance of Rubbish Romeo and Juliet. Three actors bring Shakespeare's play to life using only a box of tatty wigs, a flowery dress, an airbed, and plenty of anarchy. Clowning, slapstick and clever and mischievous storytelling elevate the performance. Age 5+. 11am/2pm

BIG LONDON FLEA: 60 traders take over EartH Hackney for the Big London Flea, offering you the chance to browse and buy furniture, homewares, vintage attire, industrial electricals, lighting, and unexpected oddities spread across two floors. 11am-5pm

A woman trying on a red pair of glasses in a mirror, in front of rails of clothing.
Browse for a bargain at the Big London Flea.

HARVEST FESTIVAL: The London Pearly Kings and Queens Society holds a harvest festival, starting in Guildhall Yard, with live entertainment before moving to a church service at St-Mary-le-Bow. FREE, 1.30pm

1001 NIGHTS: Storytelling experts Crick Crack Club are at the British Museum for performances of some of the tales from Arabian folktale collection 1001 Nights. Egyptian storyteller and performer Chirine El Ansary gives the performance, which is suitable for age 14+. 2.30pm

BREAKUP MONOLOGUES: Comedian Rosie Wilby hosts a live recording of her podcast, The Breakup Monologues, at The Bill Murray in Islington. Guests including comedians Ria Lina, James Barr and Njambi McGrath discuss funny, bizarre and poignant tales of heartbreak. 4pm-5pm

ADULT CRAFT SESSION: Colour expert and Londonist contributor Momtaz Begum-Hossain runs a mindful crafting events for adults in Royal Docks. Unleash your inner artist and enjoy the therapeutic powers of crafting. Projects could include anything from painting and collage to mindful sewing and embroidery. All materials are provided and no previous art/craft experience is necessary. Age 16+. 4pm-6pm

Groups of people sitting at tables watching a screen in front of them in dim lighting.
Taste Film tackles The Devil Wears Prada.

DEVIL WEARS PRADA: 2006 fashion-centric film The Devil Wears Prada is the latest to get the Taste Film treatment. Settle down to watch the movie accompanied by an 'eat what you see' dining experience, with drinks and dishes served at specific points to pair with what you seen on screen, including mini smoked salmon cream cheese bagels, and hot vanilla espresso martini. A single cube of cheese is notably absent from the menu. Takes place at The Refinery City Point. 6.45pm

WORDS OF PEACE: The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe celebrates International Peace Day with Words of Peace, a one-night summit of non-violence hosted by actor Mark Rylance. The candlelit event features song, poetry and prose performed by several actors, artists and musicians, with money raised going to UNESCO and UNHCR. 7pm

TRAD IRISH MUSIC: Fiddler James Carty, box player and sean-nós Singer Diarmuid Ó Meachair, and multi-instrumentalist Caoimhín Ó Fhearghail combine forces for a night of toe-tapping traditional music at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith. 7pm

ILLEGAL EAGLES: The Eagles cover band The Illegal Eagles land at Fairfield Halls in Croydon for an evening of the rock group's best-known tracks, including Hotel California, Desperado, and Life In The Fast Lane. 7.30pm