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Page last updated at 19:33 GMT, Thursday, 22 April 2010 20:33 UK
What's on and things to do in London this weekend

Our tips to help you plan ahead and get the best out of your weekend in and around the capital: Friday 23 - Sunday 25 April.

Fly the flag

Hang out the bunting and wave the red and white flag: Friday is St George's Day, bringing a host of free events to the capital, including parades, food festivals, theatrical events, children's activities and more.

The following weblinks are useful pointers to further information:

And these, too, if you're venturing outside the capital over the weekend; the English Heritage link contains details of what's billed as the biggest St George's Day event in the country, at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire:

In London, meanwhile, England's patron saint is celebrated with the revival of a tradition not seen in the City since the mid-16th century.

St George
St George is thought to have lived in the third century AD

St George, mounted on horseback and accompanied by the legendary figures of the King, his daughter and the lamb led by a maiden, will lead a pageant escorted by the Band of the Parachute Regiment, soldiers and armoured combat vehicles.

The parade starts at Armourers Hall and heads along Gresham Street and Paternoster Square to St Paul's Cathedral, returning to Coleman Street by crossing Cheapside and Poultry.

Pub landlords and landladies along the route, from The Globe, The Red Lion and several others, are hosting collecting tins to raise funds on behalf of organisers, City Livery company Armourers and Brasiers.

St George's Day Pageant, Friday 23 April, Armourers Hall, 81 Coleman Street EC2, from 11.45am, return and march off colours at 12.30pm approx.

Elsewhere, the day will also see the English flag raised at City Hall ahead of a musical celebration, backed by the Mayor of London, in Trafalgar Square on Saturday.

Concert on the Square

Time for a good old English knees up and where could be more appropriate than a stone's throw away from the Cenotaph, beneath the watchful eye of Lord Nelson.

Saturday's musical extravaganza in Trafalgar Square is the climax of this year's week-long Rhythm of London mini season.

Joe Brown
Brown has worked as a rock and roller for more than five decades

Song sheets will be provided and voices are expected to be raised on numbers such as Down at the Old Bull and Bush, Let's go down the Strand and other music hall favourites.

Headlining the show in the second half is a musician with the distinction of headlining above The Beatles - this back in 1960, mind: guitar legend Joe Brown, who recently celebrated 50 years in the business, accompanied by his five piece rock and roots band.

Arrive early for performances by young musicians and groups from schools in London, plus young Tooting guitarist Jamie West and other winners of the 2009 'Busking Underground' competition.

St George's Day concert, Saturday 24 April, Trafalgar Square WC2, 1pm - 6pm. Free admission.

England through the lens

Coinciding with St. George's Day is We Are England, a visual interpretation of Englishness commissioned by Commonwealth Games England ahead of the Delhi games that take place later this year.

John Somerton: 'Apples'
Competition entries could be of anything that represents England

Here then is a series of photographs that takes in historic landmarks, traditional scenes and live sporting events - representations of England, as the organisers put it, "in all of its glory".

The exhibition includes prize winning work by teenagers, amateurs and professional snappers, including Josh Tucker's London at Dusk and Apples by John Somerton.

We Are England, ongoing to 29 April, SW1 Gallery, 12 Cardinal Walk, Roof Garden Level, Cardinal Place, off Victoria Street SW1. Tuesday - Friday 12noon - 6pm, Saturday 12noon - 4pm. Free admission. Tel: 020 7963 4024

Englishness on stage

Is it the looming election that has brought singer/songwriter and activist Billy Bragg to London's theatre scene?

Billy Bragg
Bragg's take on Englishness has inspired the Wellcome's production

More likely it's St George's Day again, or the run up to it and the aftermath, for the Barking bard's take on Englishness has provided the inspiration - and the music - for Pressure Drop, the first production by the Wellcome Collection at its gallery space.

Written by director Mick Gordon, this play-cum-gig-cum-installation asks questions about identity and social and political influences.

Specifically, it follows three generations of a white, working class family as they struggle to define themselves in a changing landscape.

Bragg, 52, sings specially written material onstage with his band; he's looking forward to it. "I'm so fired up...", he told us recently.

Pressure Drop, ongoing to 12 May, Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road NW1, evenings at 7.30pm, except Sunday. £20, £15 concs. Box office: 0844 412 4318

Race day

The youngest is 18, the oldest 86 and 83 years of age. Who? Competitors in this year's London Marathon of course, which sets off this Sunday in Blackheath and Greenwich along with over 50,000 participants.

The race finishes in traditional style at the Mall between Green Park and St James's Park.

London Marathon runners in the Mall
The Mall is the end of the long and winding marathon road

Chances are, you or someone you know will be supporting one or more of the runners - not for nothing is the event the largest single annual fundraiser in the world, with £47.2 million raised in 2009.

So where's the best place to watch the race, assuming curiosity, charity and the fine weather prospects all add up to make this your first time as a spectator?

Our tips include Greenwich Park for the start of the event, Tower Bridge to see the runners twice - once across the bridge and again as they come back past the Tower of London - and the Embankment, where with 23 miles gone, spotting your pal shouldn't be a problem.

You can also listen live: BBC London 94.9 will be at various locations across the marathon route including the Greenwich start, Docklands and Canary Wharf, the Embankment and the Mall.

Special sporting guests will be joining our presenters and reporters from 8am on the day of the race.

For more places to watch and recommended pubs and landmarks along the route visit the race's official website:

Virgin London Marathon, Sunday 25 April, Greenwich and Blackheath Park and various locations, elite women runners at 9am, wheelchair race for men & women at 9.20am, elite men's race, UKA/England Athletics Championships and all other participants at 9.45am.

Also for your consideration

The return of the East End Film Festival, with a busy 8-day programme of screenings and film-focused music and arts events spread across a dozen venues and locations.

Weekend highlights take in artist documentary The Rime of the Modern Mariner, about the London Docks and a free outdoor screening of Hitchcock's 1927 silent classic, The Lodger, with a live accompaniment.

Avatar has become the highest grossing movie of all time

To mark Earth Day 2010 and the Blu-ray and DVD release of film blockbuster Avatar, a giant, interactive 'real-life' Tree of Souls will be erected at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park for three days from this Saturday.

Made of fibre optic 'branches', the installation can be made to glow and pulsate when visitors' phones and iPods are plugged into it; a screen built into the tree will also store images and messages and social networking status updates.

Jack Dee, Charlie Watts and Acker Bilk are among a cast of notables paying tribute to the late Humphrey Lyttelton, trumpeter, raconteur and doyen of the radio panel show.

The celebration concert takes place on Sunday at the Apollo Hammersmith; tickets are priced at £35 and £25.

Bragg drama to explore Englishness
20 Apr 10 |  Arts & Culture
Your London Marathon guide
25 Apr 10 |  Things to do
Best views for the London Marathon
14 Apr 10 |  Things to do
London Marathon 2010 Travel Guide
16 Apr 10 |  Things to do



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