Things to do this weekend in London: 29-30 January 2022

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The whole weekend

The brilliant Beano exhibition is still running at Somerset House. © Beano/Horace Panter

BURNS NIGHT EVENTS: Burns Night was Tuesday, January 25, but the celebrations continue through the weekend. Browse our events guide to find out more about a ceilidh in Marylebone, a family celebration in Paddington and other ways to toast Rabbie Burns.

GREAT GARDEN BIRD WATCHER: Help the RSPB monitor the number of wild birds in London by participating in the Big Garden Bird watch. If you are lucky enough to have a garden or outdoor area, spend an hour counting and recording the number and types of birds that visit, then report to the RPSB. The charity uses the data to spot any patterns, anomalies or species that may be at risk. January 28-30

WILD AND WONDERFUL: This exhibition celebrating the connection people have rediscovered with nature during the pandemic – and spotlighting artists who use natural materials – comes to King’s Road, with handcrafted paintings, prints and glass sculptures for sale. 508 Gallery (Chelsea), free, just come, until January 31

WELCOME COLLECTION RETURNS: After a (new) forced closure linked to Covid, The Welcome Collection opened its doors for the first time this year, giving you the opportunity to explore its displays and exhibits related to medicine and science. (Euston), free admission, Reserve in advance, from January 25

Take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. Picture: RSPB

FRANCIS BACON: Irish-born artist and Soho decorator Francis Bacon is the subject of a new Royal Academy of Arts exhibition which opens on Saturday. Take a closer look at his visceral paintings in Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, which focuses on his fascination with animals and how he shaped and distorted his approach to the human body. Royal Academy (Mayfair), £22-£24.50, Reserve in advance, January 29-April 17

BATTERASEA LIGHTS: We’re already a few weeks away for Battersea Light Festival, so why not come over this weekend if you haven’t already? Six light installations are dotted around the area surrounding Battersea Power Station, including digital origami tigers and a light “greenhouse”. Cheers, free entertainment – just what the doctor ordered. Battersea Power Station, free, just show up, until February 27, 2022

BEANO: There’s still time to see the Somerset House exhibition devoted to all things Beano (which our reviewer gave 5* when it opened). Relive some of your favorite Beano moments with artwork, archival items and memorabilia featuring Dennis, Gnasher and co – or, if you’re a certain age, introduce your kids to the world of comics iconic. Somerset House, £16 / £12.50, Reserve in advance, until March 6, 2022

LIFE BETWEEN ISLANDS: Also in progress is Life Between Islands, an exhibition of works by Anglo-Caribbean artists from the 1950s to the present day. It features works by those who came to the UK as part of the Windrush generation, as well as the many generations of Anglo-Caribbean artists whose creativity makes British art so much richer. Tate Britain, £16, Reserve in advance, until April 3, 2022

saturday 29 january

Shopping for snowdrops at Myddelton House Gardens

SNOWDROPS SALE: It’s snowdrop season, and if you’re thinking of growing your own white flower garden, head to this sale of snowdrops. Stock up on new varieties and take time to explore the fascinating gardens while you’re there. Myddelton House Gardens (Enfield), £4.50, just show up, 10.30am-12pm

PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS: Want to improve your portrait photography skills? Montcalm East resident photographer Harry Adams runs a series of masterclasses – today’s emphasis on basic photo editing and post-production skills. East Montcalm (Shoreditch), £15, Reserve in advance, 11am-1pm

YOUNG POLAND: In conjunction with the current Young Poland exhibition, the William Morris Gallery is offering a day of lectures by experts from the Polish arts and crafts movement. Discover how the movement has influenced today’s artists and take a virtual tour of the exhibition. Online event, £10 suggested donation, Reserve in advance, 11am-4.15pm

It’s all guts, hearts and brains to Poplar Union

UNMETHODICAL TROOP: Last chance to catch a group of six-person acrobats Barely methodical troupe at this year’s London International Mime Festival. Their show, Kin, features deadpan humor, disarming emotion and jaw-dropping acrobatics, and it wraps up tonight. Sadler’s Well, £18-£45, Reserve in advance, 5 p.m.

ANATOMY PARK: Choreographer Joel O’Donoghue presents a trio of new dance-theatre pieces on the body, focusing specifically on the gut, heart and brain. Tea, cake, knitting and bad cabaret are also on the table, apparently, which certainly piqued our interest. Poplar Union, £10/£8, Reserve in advance, 7:30-9:15 p.m. (and there’s a casual matinee tomorrow at 3 p.m.)

RHAPSODY: It’s the last night of the UCL Live Music Society’s biggest show of the year. Rhapsody has a 20-song setlist, including (but not limited to) jazz rearrangements of pop to rock tunes with added horns, pop mixes, soft vocal numbers, pure funk, and a rock original with strings . Bloomsbury Theatre, £8.50, Reserve in advance, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday January 30

No rules! Family party at Dulwich Picture Gallery

FAMILY PARTY: Take the kids to the Dulwich Picture Gallery for the No rules! Family party. Linked to the current exhibition Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beauty, the festival consists of creative workshops using marbling, paper pulp, fabric art, light projections and more. Dulwich Picture Gallery, £15 per adult, Reserve in advance, 10am-5pm

BABY BOWERY BALLROOM: Celebrate legendary performance artist Leigh Bowery with family sessions arts, crafts and music. Take part in a costume design workshop followed by a gallery tour to see Bowery’s incredible creations. Aimed at ages 3-7. Fitzrovia Chapel, £10 for an adult and a child, Reserve in advancevarious sessions 10.30am-6pm

CHARLES I: Each year, the anniversary of the execution of Charles I is commemorated. The event begins at 11am in the Mall, when the King’s Army – the royalist part of English Civil War society – assemble in full dress, with mounted troops and arms, and march to Horse Guards parade for a memorial service. Worth a look if you’re in the area. Free, come, 11 a.m.

REFLECTING GREENWICH: On the final day of the Reflecting Greenwich exhibition, join guide Ian Porter for a walk through Greenwich Maritime Historic Sites, many of which feature in the exhibit. See how some views are remarkably unchanged from the time they were painted, while others are now dramatically different. Old Royal Naval College (Greenwich), £10, Reserve in advance, 11.30am-12.30pm

COMEDY CLUB 4 CHILDREN: It’s never too early to introduce school children to the art of the good joke. Comedy Club 4 Kids does just that, bringing respected comedians on stage to do what they do best, with toned down jokes for younger audiences. 6 years and over. artsdepot (North Finchley), from £9, Reserve in advance, 12pm/2.30pm

CITY GARDENS: Following the destruction of the blitz, the sites of many damaged buildings became small city gardens. Footprints of London Guide Marilyn Greene leads a tour of some of these sites, including where Sir Christopher Wren’s churches once stood. Meet outside the Museum of London, £12/£9, Reserve in advance, 2 p.m.

London Footprints organizes a walking tour of the city gardens

HAMLET OF DULWICH: The women’s first team will face Saltdean United at Champion Hill – and with the latter bottom of the table, Dulwich’s best will be looking for three points. Champion Hill Stadium (East Dulwich), £4.32, Reserve in advance, 2pm KO

HISTORY TOUR: Join an expert for a guided tour around Fulham Palace, residence of the bishops of London. Explore inside and out, including the Victorian Chapel and Tudor Great Hall, soaking up its history as you go. Fulham Palace, £8, Reserve in advance, 2-3:15 p.m.

TAKING OVER THE FAMILY: Camden Art Center continues its series of family recovery days, inspired by the ongoing Building As Body exhibition. Today the focus is on the networks and systems of our bodies, with activities looking at how materials are transported through a network. Camden Center for the Arts, free, Reserve in advance, 2-4:30 p.m.

SUNDAY CONCERT: Cellist Robert Max is this week’s performer Sunday concert, which can be watched in person or online. He performs six Bach Cello Suites in their entirety. Conway Hall (Holborn) £12 / online £10, Reserve in advance, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.

WEAPONS OF MASS HILARITY: Darius Davies (host and co-creator of Edinburgh’s sold-out hit show Hate ‘n’ Live), the fabulously twisted Shirley & Shirley, and the no-frills Moroccan Laila Alj star in this brilliant monthly comedy showcase . 2Northdown (King’s Cross), £11, Reserve in advance, 7-9:45 p.m.

COMEDY EVENING: Comedy Collywobblers welcomes Simon Brodkin, Roman Harris, Karen Hobbs, Steve Bugeja and Vix Leyton for a night of laughs, with Sion James as MC. The Railway (Streatham), £10 in advance / £15 overnight, doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m.

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