Interesting and unusual things to do for a fiver or less this week.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Going on throughout October, Black History Month celebrates African and Caribbean history in the UK with plenty of free and cheap events. Check your local council or take a look at our highlights.
Monday 14 October
KNITTING: To celebrate Wool Week, Knit Nation launch a week-long series of free fashion-focused knitting classes at John Lewis Oxford Street. All skill levels welcome and you don’t need to bring anything. Free, prebook, until 20 October
MO FARAH: The double Olympic and World Champion is at Waterstones Canary Wharf to sign copies of his autobiography, Twin Ambitions (Ricky Hatton is there tomorrow and David Weir there on Wednesday, also for book signings). Free, just turn up (early arrival recommended), from 12.30pm
Tuesday 15 October
GAY PHOTOGRAPHY: The Gay Photographer’s Network present their fourth annual Gayzed exhibition at The Strand Gallery, showcasing the work of the network’s amateur and professional photographers. Free, just turn up, until 20 October
LONDON’S LIONS: An illustrated talk and book signing by Valerie Colin-Russ about the huge number and variety of London’s lion statues, at City of Westminster Archives Centre. Free, prebook, 6pm
FREEDOM: Listen to panellists debate how to make the world a better place, under the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral. Today’s theme is ‘freedom’. Free, just turn up (early arrival recommended), 6.30-8pm
CRAP FILM: The Crap Film Club brings out a stonker tonight – Samurai Cop. Is he a samurai? Is he a cop? Is he even a professional actor? How did this get funded? What possessed anyone to create this? Such are the provocative questions prompted by this film. At The Book Club in Shoreditch. £4.50/£3.50, prebook for cheaper tickets, 7pm
ZOOLOGY SHOWOFF: The Grant Museum of Zoology hosts a ‘chaotic cabaret’ night, where staff and fans of 10 different museums in Bloomsbury take to the stage to show off their respective works. £5 suggested donation, just turn up, 7pm
Wednesday 16 October
PARLIAMENT: Attend an open lecture in the Houses of Parliament where Dr Caroline Shenton, author of The Day Parliament Burned Down, tells the story of the day in 1834 when a great blaze ripped through the House of Parliament. Free, prebook, 2.30-4pm
JAZZ: Kavuma/Fox quintet features some of the UK’s finest young, jazz talent (all successful and busy musicians on the circuit). They are playing bop, jazz and some original material at Foyles on Charing Cross Road. Free, just turn up, 6-7pm
KITCHEN FILM: Oxjam and Frenz team up at Strongroom Bar on Curtain Road to screen The People’s Kitchen, a film about a small group of people who challenge food waste. Followed by live music from Paul Mosley and Pelvic Floor. Free, just turn up, 7.30-11pm
STONE TEMPLE: The Moot With No Name is at Temple Bar with Andrew Collins, to discuss Gobekli Tepe – the oldest stone temple in Turkey. £3/£2, just turn up, 8pm
GYPSY MUSIC: The Kamao Quintet perform gypsy ballads, lively waltzes and original compositions at Shoreditch Town Hall tonight. Free, just turn up, 8.30pm
Thursday 17 October
BETHNAL GREEN: A series of film screenings at Saint John on Bethnal Green look at how London locations, East London and Bethnal Green specifically, have been cinematically re-imagined by different film-makers. Tonight, The Small World of Sammy Lee is showing. £4.40, prebook, 8pm
ARABIC: A night of oriental & Arabic music at Primo Bar features music from Hicham and performance from world acclaimed belly dancer Tara Lee. Free, just turn up, 8pm
Friday 18 October
UKRAINIAN CULTURE: A new exhibition featuring contemporary Ukrainian artists showcases at The Saatchi Gallery as part of Days of Ukraine, a festival of Ukrainian art, culture, fashion and music (there’s also a free concert and fair in Potters Field Park tomorrow). Free, just turn up, until 23 October
POSITIVITY: Inner Space is a ‘personal development centre’ in Covent Garden with frequent talks, courses and meditations. Tonight you can learn how to deal with pressure, tomorrow it’s all about making a positive difference, and on Sunday find out what is stopping you. All free, prebook, see website for times.
TECHNOLOGY/NATURE: What has technology ever done for nature? Join the Grant Museum of Zoology for a discussion and demonstration of some of the latest technological innovations in the field of wildlife conservation. Free, just turn up, 6.30-8.30pm
Saturday 19 October
THE BEATLES: Ok, so your chances of seeing The Beatles perform are pretty non-existent, but at Primo Bar writer and performer, Julian Burdock fills the gap with a Beatles Tribute act. Free, just turn up, 8pm
Sunday 20 October
IRISH CHARACTER: Very Extremely Dangerous, a new Irish documentary about Jerry McGill – a man who spurned a rock’n’roll career for a life of crime, robbing banks & running from the FBI – screens at Roxy Bar and Screen. £5, just turn up, 8pm
Check out our map of free things to do in London for more frugal fun.