01 February 2013

We love weekends

THERE'S fun for all on offer in Hackney this weekend, unless you've got a clown phobia that is ...

Alter Ego talent contest at Hackney Empire, Mare Street

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see Hackney’s most talented young singers, dancers, rappers, actors and comedians compete for the Alter Ego 2013 crown. Comic Kat B hosts an evening of entertainment at Hackney Empire featuring headliners Krept & Konan and Paigey Cakey. Judges include the Empire’s celebrated panto director Susie McKenna, BBC 1Xtra’s Twin B, and comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli. Friday, 1 February

Make Chinese lanterns at the Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road

Take the kids to the Geffrye Museum on Saturday to construct and decorate a lantern to celebrate Chinese New Year. This fun, creative workshop is for children aged five to 11. Places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis, so be sure to get there half an hour early. Saturday, 2 February

Ulterior perform live at the Shacklewell Arms, Shacklewell Lane

English post-punk band Ulterior have embraced an even more confrontational industrial rock sound in the last few years. Band members Simmons, Honey, Mickey and MCG celebrate the launch of their second album The Bleach Room at a free event at the Shacklewell Arms in Dalston. Saturday, 2 February

The London Improvisers Orchestra at Café Oto, Ashwin Street

Improvising is normally a small group activity. Not in this case. A meeting of the London Improvisers Orchestra at Café Oto in Dalston brings together an intuitive ensemble of musicians of diverse ages and experience. The group is part of a varied heritage that stretches back to the free-jazz big bands of Chris McGregor and Mike Westbrook, the ensembles of John Stevens, and purely improvising groups such as the Continuous Music Ensemble. Sunday, 3 February

The Grimaldi Service at Trinity Church, Beechwood Road

Coulrophobics beware. Clowns from all over the country will congregate for a service at Trinity Church on Sunday to show their respect for Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837), the man who defined the clown's traditional (and for many terrifying) appearance, and persona, including face paint, garish oversize costume, bulbous red nose and the talent for turning tears into laughter. Sunday, 3 February

Clown Joseph Grimaldi will be remembered in a service at Trinity Church in Hackney

Clown Joseph Grimaldi will be remembered in a service at Trinity Church in Hackney

Clown Joseph Grimaldi will be remembered in a service at Trinity Church in Hackney Hackney youth Khallum Caller performs for a place in the Alter Ego final Make Chinese lanterns in a creative workshop at the Geffrye Museum in Hackney English post-punk band Ulterior will perform at the Shacklewell Arms in Hackney

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