Things To Do This Weekend In London: 20-21 April 2024

All weekend

People enjoying the sunshine at Roof East
Roof East reopens for the season. Can't guarantee the weather will be this glorious though.

ROOF EAST: Rooftop bar and venue Roof East reopens for the season in time for this weekend, with crazy golf, batting cages, ping pong and other games high above Stratford, along with bars and street food. Rooftop Film Club are also back at the venue for another year — this weekend, they're screening Wonka and Past Lives on Saturday, and Barbie and Pulp Fiction on Sunday. From 18 April

CERAMIC ART LONDON: Work by 118 makers from all over the world is on display at Ceramic Art London, which moves to Olympia for the first time this year. It's organised by the Craft Potters Association, with the final pieces curated by a panel of experts. The artworks are for sale, with prices ranging from under £100, to £10,000+. 19-21 April

KOHIMA 80th ANNIVERSARY: The National Army Museum marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Kohima, a three-month conflict between British and Japanese forces which took place in India during the second world war. Historians, authors and armed forces personnel take part in a series of talks this weekend to tell the story of Kohima. 20-21 April

QUEER EAST FESTIVAL: Originally founded as a film festival, Queer East Festival expands this year, celebrating all manner of LGBTQ+ visual arts and performances from East and Southeast Asia and its diaspora communities. Screenings, workshops and performances take place at various venues around London, with two UK premieres, a world premiere and a 20th anniversary celebration this weekend alone — check out the full programme. 17-28 April

Image: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 'The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula', 1610. Intesa Sanpaolo Collection. Gallerie d’Italia - Napoli © Archivio Patrimonio Artistico Intesa Sanpaolo / foto Luciano Pedicini, Napoli

TULIP FESTIVAL: Over 100,000 tulip bulbs bring a riot of colour to the gardens of Hampton Court Palace for its annual Tulip Festival — one of the UK's largest displays of planted tulips (though plenty of other places have fantastic tulip displays too). Wander through the formal gardens and historic courtyards, and see 'floating' bowls in the Great Fountain and a free style of planting in the kitchen gardens. Until 29 April

WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS: One of the highlights of the London photography calendar is the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House. They're doing things a bit differently this year, with photographs printed, projected and presented digitally to 'enhance your visual experience'. There's also a display dedicated to the works of Edgar Martins, the 2023 Photographer of the Year, telling the story behind his project. 19 April-6 May

BEHIND THE BLUE DOORS: See what lies Behind The Blue Doors of a distinctive Georgian building in Brixton, as a free exhibition of shots by documentary photographer Jim Grover goes on display at Lambeth Archives. Find out the stories of the residents of the Trinity Homes Almshouse, including a former Buckingham Palace footman, and the building’s first male resident. FREE, 19 April-1 June

THE LAST CARAVAGGIO: The National Gallery's new display, The Last Caravaggio, showcases the last known work of Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula is coming to London for the first time in 20 years, displayed alongside a letter that details its creation, which together give an insight into the artist's final years. FREE, 18 April-21 July

Saturday 20 April

Crowds watchjavascript:void(0);ing the stage at Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square
Eid in the Square takes place in Trafalgar Square.Photo: Robin Webster via creative commons

SALON PRIVÉ: It's the final day of Salon Privé at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, showcasing sets of wheels that you almost definitely can't afford. Still, it's a good chance to ogle the latest models from Aston Martin, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and the like, many of which get their UK debut at the show. Classic cars are on show at the Concours de Vente part of the show. 10am-5pm

CLASSIC CARS: Once a month, the Waterloo Classics Car Club meets, parking up classic vehicles on Lower Marsh with everyone welcome to wander around and admire them. FREE, 11am-2pm

PYSANKY PAINTING: Pysanky is an ancient Ukrainian art method used for decorating Easter eggs, and you can learn how to do it at a workshop at Southwark Cathedral today. Learn the history and symbolism behind Pysanky and master the art of using different tools and dyes to build up a pattern layer by layer. 11am-5pm

EID IN THE SQUARE: Trafalgar Square's the setting for Eid in the Square, London's official Eid celebration to mark the end of Ramadan for the Muslim community. Market stalls, live performances and family-friendly activities take place throughout the afternoon. Find out about other Ramadan and Eid events in London this year. FREE, 12pm-6pm

ROCKETMAN IN CONCERT: Oscar-winning film Rocketman, released in 2019, tells the story of musician Elton John's life and career. Watch it on a large screen at Southbank Centre, accompanied by a live orchestra playing some of John's best-known hits including Your Song, Tiny Dancer, and I'm Still Standing. 4pm/8pm

SWIFTIE SATURDAY: Taylor Swift fans will need no reminding that the singer’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department, is released on Friday. Head to Waterstones Gower Street on Saturday night to celebrate the album with Gower Records, with a bookseller-led discussion of the record, a quiz and bracelet making. 6pm

People sitting at tables drinking, in front of a stage
Woolwich Works hosts a comedy night

NETBALL SUPERLEAGUE: Show your support for local netball team London Pulse, who are at their home court, the Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park, taking on Team Bath in national competition the Netball Superleague. 7pm

THINKING DRINKERS: Comedy quiz meets drinks tasting at the Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz at the Leicester Square Theatre. Comedians and drink experts host as you make your way through five drinks while competing for prizes. 7pm

LIVE AT THE WORKS: Paul Chowdhry, Jen Brister, Abi Clarke and Gbemi Oladipo are the comedians on the line-up for this month's Live at the Works, a comedy show at Woolwich Works. Chowdhry takes the extended headline slot in the three-hour show. 7.30pm

MINORITY REPORT: Based on the 2002 film — itself based on a 1956 book — of the same name, the stage adaptation of Minority Report opens at the Lyric Hammersmith tonight. It's set in 2050, with a neuroscientist running a Pre-Crime programme, detaining people for crimes before they are committed — until she gets caught up in a future crime herself. 7.30pm

ENO: Barbican Cinema hosts the UK premiere of Eno, a documentary about visionary musician and producer Brian Eno. It's a clever one, as it uses special software which combines original interviews with Eno’s archive of unreleased footage and music so that each screening is unique, presenting different scenes and music in a different order. Followed by a post-film conversation with Brian Eno, filmmaker Gary Hustwit and digital artist Brendan Dawes. 8pm

TAYLOR SWIFT ALBUM LAUNCH: Another one for Swifties as regular disco night Club de Fromage also celebrates the new album, playing every track from it, plus other Swift songs, and the regular pop, rock, indie, power ballads and disco tunes. Anyone in fancy dress gets to queue jump. 10.30pm-3.30am

Sunday 21 April

Runners taking part in a previous London Marathon
Photo: Julian Mason via creative commons

LONDON MARATHON: It's that time of year again, when thousands of runners pound the pavements in London, many in bizarre costumes to raise money for good causes. This year's London Marathon follows the usual route and format. Even if you're not watching or taking part, be aware of widespread road closures, bus diversions and the like. From approx 9.30am

CHEESE MARKET: The monthly Chiswick Cheese Market — AKA 'Cheesewick' — is back, bringing together cheesemakers from all over the country to sell their products, along with breads, chutneys, and everything else you need to make cheese all the more enjoyable. There's a particular focus on spring cheeses this month. Though to be honest, we didn't realise that cheeses had different seasons until now. 9.30am-3pm

FAMILY RAVE: Take the kids along to Big Penny Social for the Hotsy Totsy Family Rave. Dance along to tunes played by DJ Joy Alarm, with rave props and a face painter on hand. Aimed at children under eight years old and their families. 10am-12.30pm

ANTIQUES FAIR: It's that time of month again — Westminster's Royal Horticultural Halls are taken over by the Adams Antiques Fair, bringing together 120 antiques dealers from across the UK selling antique jewellery, silver, decorative pieces and collectables. 10am-4.30pm

ST GEORGE’S DAY: Celebrate the patron saint of England (as well as Ethiopia, Catalonia and various other regions) at the annual St George’s Day Festival in Trafalgar Square. It's free and everyone's welcome, with live music and entertainment — think Morris dancing, sea shanties and the like. Bear in mind that, combined with the London Marathon, central London is likely to be VERY busy today. FREE, 12pm-6pm

Head shot of Salman Rushdie
Hear from Salman Rushdie at Southbank Centre. Photo: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

SALMAN RUSHDIE: After surviving a murder attempt in 2022 in which he lost an eye and the use of one hand, Indian-British novelist Salman Rushdie has written a memoir, Knife, in which he details the attack and his fight for survival. Hear him at Southbank Centre or via livestream reflecting on the experience, interspersed with live readings from actors Adeel Akhtar and Anjana Vasan. 2.30pm

YILDIRIM BEKÇI: Singer Yıldırım Bekçi is joined by a 40-strong choir — and an orchestra — at Edmonton's Millfield Theatre, performing Turkish makams. 2.30pm

IN THE ROUND: Camden Roundhouse's In The Round festival continues with jazz musician and keyboard player Joe Armon-Jones headlining tonight's gig, with special guests including Sinai Soundsystem, Yazmin Lacey and Nala Sinephro. 6pm

FOUR TOPS MOTOWN SHOW: There's a tribute to American Motown quartet The Four Tops at the Leicester Square Theatre, in the form of cover band Soul Satisfaction. Supported by Motown Express, they perform songs including Reach Out, Baby I Need Your Loving, and Loco in Acapulco, as well as other hits by the likes of Thee Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and Marvin Gaye.  7.30pm

DAVID NICHOLLS: Following the recent success of the Netflix adaptation of his novel One Day, author David Nicholls talks about his new book, You Are Here. It's described as a love story 'of first encounters, second chances and finding the way home'. Find out more with Nicholls in conversation with writer Dolly Alderton. 7.30pm