If there's anything guaranteed to get our pulses racing, it's going underground. We don't just mean the tube (and that's more likely to send blood pressure rising than anything else), we mean catacombs, sewers, war bunkers and abandoned tube stations. King's College London is tapping into that curiosity and has themed its annual Arts and Humanities Festival around what's underground.
There's the metaphorical underground as well, like an exhibition and talk documenting the lives of older gay men in Hong Kong, a debate from Young Arab Voices discussing methods of social change and a cheery-sounding panel about death. There are also a lot of other free talks with London-centric themes: catch Antony Beevor and Andrew Graham-Dixon on the Blitz, academics and Museum of London archaeologists on the Temple of Mithras and London's Roman gods, a panel discussion on the city's crypts and cemeteries and a look at representations of subway systems in modernist art.
An Arts fest wouldn't be complete without performance, and you can hear the whole of Dante's Inferno being read out in one go in the stunning college chapel, see an immersive production of Orpheus and Eurydice or a site-specific production created for the 13th century crypt of St Etheldreda's church and a free comedy gig as Robert Newman does his most recent show about a new theory of evolution. And if you want to take a punt on people having overbooked and dropping out, you can sign up to the waiting list for tours of Aldwych tube station and guided tours beneath the King's campus, which includes the east wing of the old Somerset House.
The King's College London Arts and Humanities Festival runs 15-24 October at venues in and around King's College London. Most events are free. For more information and to book see the festival website.