Things To Do This Weekend In London: 3-4 February 2024

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All weekend

The interior of a church, illuminated with different coloured floodlights
Saturday's your last chance to see Life by Luxmuralis. Image: Paul Marc Mitchell

MUSICALS EXHIBITION: This is the final weekend of the V&A Museum's free display, Re:Imagining Musicals, which looks at the evolution of musical theatre shows from Miss Saigon and My Fair Lady to modern classics including SIX the Musical, and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Costumes, photos, posters and set design all feature. FREE, until 4 February

JAPANESE FILMS: Japanese Film Festival The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme is at the ICA (and other UK locations) with films on this year's theme, Unforgettable: Memories, Times and Reflections in Japanese Cinema. Highlights this weekend include Undercurrent, about a woman struggling to manage the family business after her husband vanishes, and Ice Cream Fever, about an art graduate working part time in an ice cream shop. 2-11 February

QUENTIN BLAKE: A new exhibition of work by illustrator Sir Quentin Blake opens at Cromwell Place in South Kensington, showcasing never-seen-before artworks. The show moves away from his children's book illustrations to artworks aimed at a more mature audience, with originals for sale. FREE, 31 January-18 February

A Quentin Blake illustration of a man and dog standing at the edge of a cliff
There's a new exhibition of works by Quentin Blake

FASHION SALE: The Truman Brewery on Brick Lane hosts the Smart Works Fashion Sale, with vintage and sample pieces from a range of brands for sale, raising money for Smart Works charity, which supports unemployed women. You can pay for a slot on Saturday, with restocks after every slot, or attend for free on Sunday. 3-4 February

REMYTHED: Taking place at Omnibus Clapham, Remythed is a storytelling show that takes the myths and legends from the queer backgrounds of its five performers and retells them. The hour-long show promises to make you view figures from myths and legends in a way you've never seen them before. 3-4 February

KEW ORCHIDS FESTIVAL: You know spring is on its way when the Orchids festival returns to Kew Gardens. This year is Madagascar's turn in the spotlight; the country is home to some of the world's rarest plant species, so being able to see them at Kew is a real treat. They're accompanied by horticultural sculptures of Madagascan wildlife, including lemurs — and there's a chance to learn about Kew's conservation centre in Madagascar. 3 February-3 March

ENTANGLED PASTS: J.M.W. Turner and Ellen Gallagher. Joshua Reynolds and Yinka Shonibare. John Singleton Copley and Hew Locke. Just some of the artists featured in the Royal Academy's new exhibition, Entangled Pasts, 1768-now, which brings past and present together for a look at art's role in shaping narratives of empire, enslavement, resistance, abolition and colonialism. 3 February-28 April

Pink orchids inside a glasshouse at Kew
It's the first weekend of Orchids at Kew Gardens. ©RBG Kew

CLOCKWORK TREASURES: The Science Museum opens a major new exhibition, Zimingzhong 凝时聚珍, Clockwork Treasures from China's Forbidden City. Over 20 automata dating back to the 1700s and collected by Chinese emperors are on display, having travelled from The Palace Museum in Beijing to be displayed together in the UK for the first time. Find out about how technical skills, creativity and international trade combined to create the musical timekeeping pieces. 1 February-2 June

LEGION: The British Museum's huge new exhibition is Legion: life in the Roman army. Get the lowdown on the West's first modern, professional fighting force through the life and service of a real Roman soldier, Claudius Terentianus. Letters written on papyri by soldiers from Roman Egypt and the Vindolanda tablets — some of the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain — feature, with special trails and activities to make it accessible to younger visitors. 1 February-23 June

NATIONAL THEATRE ART: If you find yourself on South Bank with a few minutes to spare, swing into the National Theatre and have a gander at the current exhibition by Amelia Lancaster. Over two decades, she's taken photos of the Brutalist, concrete architecture, and used them as inspiration for her artworks. FREE, until autumn

FEBRUARY: With a new month beginning, take a look at our bumper guide of things to do in London in February and start planning the month ahead. It includes new exhibitions and musicals, sporting events — and a few events which are closing soon too.

Saturday 3 February

A man and a woman wearing hi-vis jackets and carrying placards, sitting side by side and laughing on a bench
Theatre show Just Stop Extinction Rebellion comes to Kennington

LUNAR NEW YEAR: London's Lunar New Year celebrations take over the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, which hosts a day of free, family-friendly activities themed on the Year of the Dragon. Watch Taiwanese ribbon dance and Korean harp performances, see a martial arts demonstration, learn to play mahjong, and find out about traditional Chinese tea ceremonies, among many other activities. FREE, 10am

WINTER WASSAIL: Get yourself over to Barnes to witness the Barnes Common Winter Wassail. Taking place at the Vine Road Recreation Ground, a Wassail Master oversees a session of storytelling, crafts and singing, in keeping with the traditional rural celebration to hope for an abundant crop in the coming year. 10am-1pm

THE JUNGLE BOOK: Take the kids to see  the adventures of Baloo, Mowgli, Bagheera and Shere Khan on the large screen, as Barbican Cinema's Family Film Club screens 1967 animated Disney film, The Jungle Book. 11am

OPEN GARDEN: Bell House in Dulwich opens its two-acre garden to the public, giving you a chance to explore its walled garden, house garden, and other areas, with tea and coffee available. 11.30am-1pm

BLACK CULTURE MARKET: St John's Waterloo hosts the Black Culture Market, a celebration of African and Caribbean culture and commerce. Black businesses selling gifts, cards, prints, jewellery, male grooming kits, skincare, clothes and accessories are all present — so you can buy products directly from the people who made them. 12pm-6pm

DOT COTTON'S COAT: Coinciding with the current Fashion City exhibition, Museum of London Docklands puts the focus on Dot Cotton's coat. Design historian Bethan Bide gives a talk about mass-manufacturing womenswear in the East End and the role that Jewish-owned companies played in that, including the brown tweed Alexon coat famously worn by Dot Cotton in EastEnders. 2pm

SIX NATIONS: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy go head-to-head once again in the Six Nations rugby tournament, which begins this weekend. Whoever you're cheering on, here's where you can watch the Six Nations in London. Today it's Italy vs England at 2.15pm, and Wales vs Scotland at 4.45pm.

MISERABLE RICH: Indie fivesome The Miserable Rich are at Rough Trade West in Notting Hill to play an acoustic set of tracks from their new album, Overcome, and to sign records. 5pm

Sophie Duker, holding her hands in a 'Vogue' style pose around her face
Sophie Duker guest DJs at Scared To Dance

LUXMURALIS: See St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square aglow with spectacular projections set to an atmospheric soundscape, celebrating the natural world. Life is an event by Luxmuralis, the projection art company who are making a habit of taking over impressive buildings and doing spectacular things with them — and tonight's the final night. 5.30pm-9.45pm

BURLESQUE EVENING: Get your glad rags on for a showcase of glitz and glamour in the form of An Evening of Burlesque. Cabaret, comedy, music and circus acts are all on the line-up, recommended for age 18+. 7.30pm

EXTINCTION REBELLION: Just Stop Extinction Rebellion is a romantic comedy play about finding hope when facing extinction — in which two people meet at an environmental activist group. It opens tonight at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington. 7.30pm (and until 10 February)

UKRAINIAN OPERA: The Ukrainian Opera & Ballet Theatre Kyiv are at Fairfield Halls in Croydon for a performance of Ellen Kent's take on Madama Butterfly. Korean soprano Elena Dee also features in the production, which is sung in Italian with English surtitles. 7.30pm

ANIME MUSIC: The City String Ensemble performs a concert of anime tracks. Kick back at EartH Hackney and listen to anime opening themes performed directly alongside Joe Hisaishi's Studio Ghibli soundtracks  — Pokemon, Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro are among the films featured. 8pm-10pm

SOPHIE DUKER: Regular alternative club night Scared To Dance has scored comedian Sophie Duker as tonight's guest DJ. Make your way to The Victoria in Dalston for post-punk, indiepop, new wave and art rock music played into the small hours.  10pm

Sunday 4 February

Two mannequins wearing coats in a display at Museum of London Docklands
Dot Cotton's coat (left) is the focus at Museum of London Docklands on Saturday. Photo: Londonist

CLASSICAL COFFEE MORNING: Start your Sunday right, tucking into hot drinks and pastries alongside a classical music performance. Award-winning Japanese-Australian pianist Rieko Makita performs works by Chopin, Ravel and Debussy for today's Classical Coffee Morning in the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall. 10am

DINOSAUR SHOW: Aimed at 4-11 year olds and their families, the Great Big Dinosaur Show is at Artsdepot in North Finchley. Inspired by Simon Mole’s book, A First Book of Dinosaurs, it features poems, raps and songs about the prehistoric creatures. 11am/2pm

VINTAGE FAIR: Head to Chelsea Old Town Hall for the Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Fair and browse and buy vintage and antique clothing, jewellery and textiles from 60 exhibitors from all over the UK. The fair spans the period from the Victorian era to recent designer labels. 11am-5.30pm

MICHAEL ROSEN: Spend an afternoon with children's author and poet Michael Rosen at Alleyn's School in Dulwich. The event celebrates his book, Getting Better, a memoir about the loss of a child, living with chronic illness, and coming close to death. 2.30pm

MEDIA SCANDALS: Fiona Fox, author and founding director of the Science Media Centre, talks about the the biggest science scandals which have made it into the media, spanning topics including animal research, GM foods and the pandemic. She advocates for scientists talking to the media, and shows the damage and misunderstandings which can occur when scientists are silenced. Watch in person at Conway Hall, or online. 3pm-4.30pm

MAD HATTER TEA PARTY: Enfield's Millfield Theatre hosts a Mad Hatter's Tea Party to mark World Cancer Day, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Your ticket includes sandwiches and cakes, unlimited tea and coffee, a glass of Bucks Fizz, and live entertainment. There's also a competition for best mad hatter hat or costume. 3pm

ONE LIFE: Newly-released film One Life is shown at today's Film Club at the Soho Hotel. It tells the story of Nicholas Winton who helped to rescue Jewish children during the Holocaust, in an operation known as the Kindertransport — which is commemorated with a statue outside Liverpool Street Station. 3.30pm

NT'S LOFT: There's free/cheap gospel, soul and rap music to be had at NT's Loft in Hackney this evening, courtesy of the house band and guest vocalist. Accompany the sounds with a cocktail or glass of organic wine. FREE before 7.30pm (£5 after)