What’s On in London This Weekend: 7-9 September 2012

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London’s gone festival-crazy this weekend: can you fit them all into your schedule?

The Mayor’s Thames Festival

The River Thames is the stage for The Mayor’s Thames Festival – London’s largest free festival. For its sixteenth year, the programme of events in, on and alongside the water include some which tell the stories of the river’s ships. HMS Belfast will host choirs and drummers for a piece inspired by the vessel’s arctic sea battle in 1943, and  Turner Prize-nominated artist Richard Wilson has used ships horns to make the Cultureship De Walvisch sing her own sea shanty, retracing her cargo journeys of the past. The spectacular Night Carnival finale returns with 1,500 illuminated dancers, drummers, lantern-carriers and masqueraders parading the streets, followed by a huge fireworks display against the city skyline. 8-9 Sep


The Paralympic Games may be drawing to a close, but the renewed cultural focus on disability hopefully won’t. The Unlimited Festival involves disabled and deaf artists in some striking pieces. If you can catch her show, Scottish dancer Claire Cunningham will stage one of her personal and unforgettable performances with her crutches – Ménage à Trois explores her 20-year relationship with them and asks if it’s possible to find love when there are already three of you in a relationship. Until 9 Sep

Hackney Film Festival
East London’s celebration of all things cinema is back for a third year showcasing film screenings, Q&As, live cinema shows and film artist performances from the creative borough. Independent and Bafta-winning films are on the bill of short films at Rio Cinema: highlights include The Odyssey, where director Asif Kapadia collects Londoners’ opinions of the 2012 Olympics using aerial photography, audio interviews and archive footage. For an abstract experience check out Saturday’s ‘expanded cinema’ evening, where artists will distort film and fuse it with other mediums using tape recorders, lenses, projectors, animation and the Victorian zoetrope. 7-9 Sep

Future Cinema Presents Grease

Danny, Sandy and the gang from cult teen movie Grease will transform Barnes Common into a 1950s USA high school set this weekend, for one of Future Cinema’s immersive productions. The location was only revealed a few days ago and details are always cryptic, but it looks like we can expect a funfair, sleepover at Frenchie’s, food at Frosty’s diner and of course, a screening of the classic motion picture at the end. Tickets are selling fast – but a new batch of tickets for Friday and Saturday are being released at 1pm today. 7-9 Sep

Got some tips for what to do this weekend? Add them below.