Things To Do This Week In London: 25 April-1 May 2022

Things to do this week is sponsored by London Symphony Orchestra.

All week

Bird's eye view looking down on the Temple roof garden, which has been painted in colourful geometric shapes.
Last chance to see Temple looking like this

MARYLEBONE FOOD FESTIVAL: Celebrate culinary prowess at Marylebone Food Festival. Some events throughout the week have sold out, but plenty are still available including wine tasting, a Japanese cocktail masterclass and a street food tasting menu, all celebrating local restaurants, bars, cafes and food shops. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 26 April-1 May

BOURGEOIS & MAURICE: It’s the final week of musical comedy duo Bourgeois & Maurice’s current show, Pleasure Seekers, which sees them grapple to ditch cynicism via the medium of song and dance. Read our full review. Soho Theatre, from £12, book ahead,until 30 April

TEMPLE ROOF: If you’re in the area this week, take a detour to visit the roof garden on top of Temple station — it’s your last chance to see its current razzle dazzle colourful makeover by artist Lakwena Maciver before it’s removed. Temple, free, just turn up, until 30 April

Two comedy performers in heavy make-up and sombre faces, on a dimly lit stage
Last chance to see Pleasure Seekers at Soho Theatre

PHOTOGRAPHING PROTEST: Four Corners has an exhibition of work by photographers documenting political struggle and social change in Britain from 1968 to today. In particular, it centres the voices and perspectives of women and non-binary photographers — this week is your last chance to see it. Four Corners (Bethnal Green), free, just turn up, until 30 April

PERFORMANCE FESTIVAL: Celebrate dance in all its forms at the V&A’s Performance Festival, which continues throughout this week. The programme includes talks, pop-up performances, film screenings, curator tours and more — have a browse. V&A (South Kensington), various prices, book ahead, until 1 May

Three women in traditional Indian dance costumes
Celebrate dance at the V&A’s Performance Festival

LONDON LATIN MUSIC FESTIVAL: London Latin Music Festival La Linea continues, with concerts and gigs across several central London venues. Events this week include the first UK screening of Cuban film Mambo Man, accompanied by a live soundtrack, and Portuguese singer Sara Correia’s UK debut. Various locations and prices, book ahead, until 2 May

BETHNAL GREEN: Ogle a free photography exhibition depicting 24 Hours in Bethnal Green, as captured by photography students who spent a week in residence to capture life in the local community. Oxford House (Bethnal Green), free, just turn up, until 13 May

BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND: Good news, chums: The coming weekend is another long one. If you’re lucky enough to have it off work, take a look at our guide to spending the bank holiday weekend in London, whatever the weather and whoever you’re with. Do be aware, there’s major disruption at Euston station, and changes to some other transport services.

Monday 25 April

Jenan on a stage with a red curtain
Jenan Younis is one of the acts at Happy Mondays

PUB QUIZ: Get your thinking caps on for tonight’s pub quiz at the World’s End. Cash and drinks are up for grabs. If you’re hungry, grab some crispy belly pork nachos followed by a Nutella-filled bombolone. World’s End (Finsbury Park), £2pp, just turn up, 7.30pm

HAPPY MONDAYS COMEDY: Paul F Taylor headlines this week’s Happy Mondays Comedy show, joined by guests Madame Chandelier, Jimmy Mcghie, Jenan Younis , Sharon Jackson, and MC Siôn James. Amersham Arms (New Cross), £6.36, book ahead, 8pm

LONDON SHIPS: Woolwich, Blackwall and Deptford are just some of the areas of the capital where great ships have been built and launched. Join Footprints of London guide Rob Smith for a virtual tour of London’s shipbuilding history, from Tudor sailing ships to first world war battle ships. Online event, £8 per person/£16 group, book ahead, 8pm-9pm

JESTER JESTERS: More comedy, but in a different part of town. Jester Jesters invites comics to hone their fresh material in a room above the Betsey Trotwood pub. On tonight’s bill are Martin Creed, Maria Shehata, Gabriel Ebulue, Chris Timoney and heaps more. Betsey Trotwood (Farringdon), pay what you want (£3 minimum), book ahead, 8pm-10pm

Tuesday 26 April

10 performers on a black stage, with their hands in the air, smiling and looking at the camera
Try out different courses at the performing arts experience evening. Photo: Steve Gregson

LITTLE WARTIME LIBRARY: Hear from Kate Thompson, author of The Little Wartime Library, about an underground library in the disused Bethnal Green tube station during wartime. Thompson chats to Siddy Holloway, author of Hidden London: Discovering The Forgotten Underground, with a Q&A session afterwards. Online event, free, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

PERFORMING ARTS EVENING: Stage & the City performing arts school for adults holds an evening of free taster sessions and workshops, so you can have a go at drama, singing, dance and musical theatre — you may find yourself a new hobby. Age 18+. Jacksons Lane Arts Centre (Archway), free, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

MUSEUMS SHOWOFF: You won’t want to miss Museum Showoff’s 50th show, as it’s also the last show for the foreseeable future. For the uninitiated: a cabaret-style show with museum and archives staff each given nine minutes to talk about their subject in whatever format they like — topics this time include ‘sword lesbians’, museum fundraising and TikTok. The Phoenix (Oxford Circus), £7.70, book ahead, 7.30pm

GOLDFINCH COMEDY NIGHT: MC Sion James oversees Goldfinch Comedy Night, with Abandoman, Tadiwa Mahlunge, Stefano Paolini, Matthew McAloon and  Jennan Younis also on the bill. The Goldfinch (Tooting), £10, book ahead, 8pm-10.45pm

EVOLUTION OF HORROR: Attend a live recording of cinematic history podcast The Evolution of Horror. Each episode covers a particular film in-depth — tonight it’s 1977 David Lynch film Eraserhead. Probably not one for the faint-hearted. Genesis Cinema (Mile End), £8, book ahead, 9pm

Sponsor message

A night out at LSO’s Half Six Fix

Looking for something a bit different to do this week? Introducing the Half Six Fix, an affordable and accessible way to experience orchestral music, even if you know nothing about it.

In this week’s concert, LSO Music Director Sir Simon Rattle introduces and conducts Kurt Weill’s take on The Seven Deadly Sins, with an all-star cast of singers. Before the performance begins, you’ll get a brief lowdown on what the music is about, so you can follow the plot unfurling and watch the characters evolve, even if you’re new to the genre.

Half Six Fix events are all about enjoying great music in a chilled out atmosphere. Take your drinks in, and read the digital programme notes on your phone. Plus, the concert begins at 6.30pm and lasts just an hour, so you can still go for post-concert drinks or dinner and make an evening of it.

Sound good? We’ve got a special two-for-one ticket offer for Londonist readers, meaning you can treat a mate or date to a cultural night out for under £20 for you both. Book online, and enter promo code 241LDNHSF to get your hands on the discount.

The Half Six Fix takes place on Wednesday 27 April at 6.30pm at Barbican. Find out more and book your tickets.

Wednesday 27 April

A mannequin in a red dress and multicoloured headscarf, lying on a wooden chest of drawers, with other mannequins and items of furniture in the background
Bag a bargain at Wembley Antiques Market

ANTIQUES MARKET: Up and at ’em early if you want to bag a bargain at the monthly Wembley Antiques Market, where doors open at 8am. Traders from across the UK and Europe sell furniture, homewares, collectibles, jewellery and more. Not an early bird? Not to worry — with up to 700 traders at a time, there’ll be plenty left if you visit later in the day. Wembley Park, free entry, just turn up, 8am-4pm

LONDON SIGHTS: Join Adrian Seville, an international expert on the history of printed board games, for an online talk about a rare board game in the Foundling Museum’s collection. London Sights or All Round St Paul’s is a game, printed on a handkerchief, in which players race to encounter different sights from Victorian London. Online event, free, book ahead, 1pm-2pm

SCIENCE MUSEUM LATE: Gaming is the theme of this month’s Science Museum Late, which sees the institution stay open beyond its normal opening hours. Explore the usual displays and exhibits, take part in special gaming events, listen to talks, dance at the silent disco, and enjoy food and drink from the bars and cafes. Science Museum (South Kensington), free, book ahead, 6.15pm-10pm

A GLOBAL CONFLICT: Here in the UK, any discussion about the second world war tends to focus on the battles fought in Europe — but it affected people as far away as Asia, Africa and America too. Hear from a panel of experts about how we can shift away from this narrow view and move towards a more inclusive understanding of global history. Imperial War Museum (Lambeth), £15, book ahead, 7pm

JOURNEY TO THE MAYFLOWER: The (postponed) Mayflower400 lecture series, which was due to mark 400 years since the Mayflower set sail from Rotherhithe, continues. Today, hear from Stephen Tomkins, author of The Journey to the Mayflower, about the illegal underground religious movement driven to seek a new world on the Mayflower. Canada Water Theatre, £3.75, book ahead, 7.30pm

Thursday 28 April

A dimly lit bar area
Head to London’s own Cavern Club, in Raynes Park for some free rock n’ roll. Image: Cavern Club

ST BRIDE TOUR: Take a guided tour of the printing workshop, historic rooms, and library of the St Bride Foundation, which houses objects relating to the history of print on nearby Fleet Street. St Bride Foundation (Fleet Street), £10, book ahead, 11am-1pm

SUTTON HOUSE LATE: Visit Sutton House — Hackney’s oldest home, now a National Trust property — after hours, and hear stories about its history from your tour guide. Since being built in 1535, it’s been a Victorian school, a men’s club, the headquarters of a trade union, a family home, and a squat, so there are definitely some stories to be told. Sutton House (Hackney), £8-£13, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.45pm

LONDON DISASTERS: Londonist’s very own Matt Brown gives a London Society talk about the capital’s (mostly) forgotten disasters. Do you know where London’s worst lightning strike occurred? How did 41 people perish in Regent’s Park in 1867? Why do so few people remember the 1980 fire near Centre Point that claimed more lives than the King’s Cross fire? EH Smith (Farringdon), £5-£15, book ahead, 6.30pm

REWEIRDING: That’s the curious title of a special event tonight. In a two-part show, hear from C.J. Schüler on the Great North Wood that once covered much of south London. Then, learn about the Deptford Jack in the Green, an old folk tradition of the spring, now going strong again after being reinvigorated in the 1980s. Amersham Arms (New Cross), £5, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

THE AID FUNDRAISER: Terry Alderton, Tony Law, Dane Baptiste, Glenn Moore, Paul Tonkinson, Hannah East, Charlie George, Arthur Smith and Patrick Monahan are the comedians on the bill for The Aid Fundraiser. The comedy show is raising money for homelessness charity Crisis. 21 Soho (Soho Square), £16.50, book ahead, 7.30pm-10pm

OPERATION MINCEMEAT: Dark musical comedy Operation Mincemeat (not to be confused with the current Colin Firth movie) has already enjoyed plaudits and sell-out shows aplenty. Tonight it reopens in a new venue, promising fast-paced, hilarious and twisted hijinks involving a well-dressed corpse and a plot to foil the Nazis. Riverside Studios (Hammersmith), £25, book ahead, until 9 July

Friday 29 April

Three candles in hurricane vases on a wooden table in an otherwise dark room, with a bookcase behind.
Soane Lates are always popular events

TRADER WEMBLEY: Street food, comedy, kids’ activities, music, live sport and more are on the programme at The Big Weekender, the launch event for new venue Trader Wembley. Choose which events you dip in and out for, or make a weekend of it. Trader Wembley (Ealing Road), various prices, book ahead, 29 April-1 May

SOANE LATE: Always a popular event, tickets for the later slots at this Soane Lates event have sold out, but at time of writing, earlier slots are still available. One of our favourite things to do by candlelight in London, it’s a chance to explore the home of collector and architect Sir John Soane in a whole new light, with experts dotted around the museum to offer insight into specific objects and rooms. Sir John Soane’s Museum, £25, book ahead, 6pm-8pm

DOCKLANDS LATE: Also staying open late tonight is Museum of London Docklands, to celebrate the final week of current exhibition, London: Port City. Join a curator for a tour of the exhibition, enjoy live music, watch short films to bring characters from the docks to life, or just enjoy the museum with food and drinks. Museum of London Docklands, £10, book ahead, 6.30pm

FOOD IN PRISONS: The British Library continues its Food Season with a discussion about the reality of prison food. Find out what prisoners actually eat, and the impact it has on their health. The panel includes a psychologist, ex-prisoner and prison food reformer. British Library or online, free, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

Saturday 30 April

A man in blue hat and dungarees and orange jumper smiles at the camera, with a street market taking place behind him
Support Black-owned businesses in Hackney

BLACK EATS LDN: BlackEatsLDN & Bohemia Place Markets have teamed up for a series of markets championing Black-owned businesses in Hackney. Browse and buy from artisan traders and food and drink stalls. Bohemia Place (Hackney Central), suggested donation £2, book ahead, 30 April-1 May

BEYOND THE ROAR: Meet the curators of National Archives’ current Beyond The Roar exhibition, which celebrates the release of the 1921 census data. Hear from the team about some of the surprises which emerged from the data, and view objects including international peace treaties, textile samples and lonely hearts ads from the era. National Archives (Kew), free, book ahead, 30 April-1 May

CANALWAY CAVALCADE: If you go down to the canal over the May Day bank holiday, you’re in for a big surprise. Dozens of canal boats moor up in Little Venice for the Canalway Cavalcade, a vibrant festival with live music, children’s activities and boat-based fun. Little Venice, free, just turn up, 30 April-2 May

POP BRUNCH: Enjoy BBQ food courtesy of Michelin-starred chef Richard Gali, one hour of bottomless mimosas/bubbles and lashings of cabaret — all served up in an art deco ballroom. London Cabaret Club (Holborn), £19.50-£49.50, book ahead, 12pm-4pm

KING’S DAY: 27 April is a big deal in The Netherlands — it’s when the country celebrates the birthday of current ruler, King Willem-Alexander. London’s own Dutch Centre celebrates the occasion today, with a free Koningsdag event, open to anyone and comprising of a flea market, traditional Dutch children’s games, a treasure hunt, food and drink, tours, and of course, a rendition of the Dutch national anthem. The Dutch Centre (Liverpool Street), free entry, just turn up, 1pm-6pm

ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY: Seen this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition yet? Tonight there’s a chance to admire the winning and shortlisted starry photos, as well as hearing a panel discussion between the judges and some of the photographers. National Maritime Museum (Greenwich), £12, book ahead, 6pm-8pm

Sunday 1 May

Two young women surrounded by purple smoke, wearing winter clothing and holding a banner reading 'WE ARE SHEWOLVES'
Shewolves at Poplar Union

BEER CRAWL: If you’ve not yet indulged in the hoppy pleasures of the Blackhorse Beer Mile, this is a good day to do so. Visit all six breweries — including Truman’s, Exale and Wild Card — in the locale, and collect a stamp at each one to nab a free pint glass. There’s also live music, brewery tours and street food. Blackhorse Beer Mile (Walthamstow), free, just turn up, from brewery opening times

OLD JEWISH QUARTER: Be led through London’s East End, and learn about everything from the art of Petticoat Lane spiel to Queen Vic’s fave PM, Disraeli, on this walking tour of an area of the city that many Jewish people have called home. Starts at Tower Hill station, £15, book ahead, 10.15am-12.30pm

THE ART OF PROTEST: The Stop Shopping Choir use a combination of speech and song to share their message at this week’s Sunday Assembly. The group was formed as a result of actor and playwright William Talen’s 1998 protest against over consumerism in Times Square, New York. Conway Hall (Holborn) or online, free, book ahead, 11am-1pm

BAD INFLUENCE: Did you know London has its own version of the Cavern Club? Well it does, and this afternoon, “rocking blues goliaths’ Bad Influence are playing here for free. The Cavern (Raynes Park), free, just turn up, 3pm

SHEWOLVES: Described as “somewhere between Booksmart, Little Miss Sunshine and Thelma & Louise”, Shewolves is a theatre show telling the story of Priya and Lou, two 14 year old girls who set out to change the world and face challenges along the way. Age 12+. Poplar Union, £8-£12, book ahead, 7.30pm-8.30pm

Urban oddity of the week

A very old tube map, with lines of the wrong colour and set out geographically rather than the schematic plan of the modern map

While you’re admiring the dazzling roof of Temple station (see above), don’t forget to check out the building’s other unusual feature. Close to the underground exit, you can find this vintage tube map. It’s fun to study. Lines are geographic rather than drawn in a schematic way. It contains all kinds of crazy lost station names, like Brent, Enfield East, Marlborough Road and Mark Lane. Meanwhile, if you head far enough off to the east on the ‘District Railway’, your train will eventually reach Southend.

Another quirky fact about Temple, which very few people know, is that it inspired the novel “The Scarlet Pimpernel”. Its author, Baroness Orczy, found the platform to be the “dullest, dreariest, and most dismal spot in the world”. So much so that her mind wandered into the realms of fantasy, and the Pimpernel was born.

Good cause of the week

Mount Street Gardens in Mayfair. Image by John Salmon under creative commons licence

Take a tour of London’s most exclusive district, while helping raise money for Ukraine. That’s the idea behind David Cohen’s guided walk of Mayfair on 8 May (2-4pm), which doubles as an Amnesty International Fundraising tour.

As well as taking in some of the key sights of Mayfair (including the brilliant Handel/Hendrix house and the former US Embassy), the tour will also visit places with connections to the current war. You’ll pass a famous shop run by an extraordinary Russian entrepreneur who was lucky to escape with his life from Putin’s Russia. He rebuilt it in the West by establishing what is possibly the world’s most luxurious wine shop. The tour will then end at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral.

The walk costs a minimum of £5, but you’re encouraged to donate more. The money raised will be divided evenly between Amnesty International and the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

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