Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 10-16 September 2018

Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 10-16 September 2018

All week

John Virtue's paintings come to Fortnum's & Mason

THE MASQUE OF BLACKNESS: With 25 drawings per second of animation, it took seven years and Herculean effort for Epoh Beech to complete her hand-drawn short film The Masque of Blackness. Inspired by Ben Jonson’s Jacobean play of the same name, as well as Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the 12-minute animation takes the viewer on an imaginative, mythology-inspired odyssey from West Africa to the River Thames. Gallery 46 (Whitechapel), free, just turn up, 6 September-6 October

MIKA ROTTENBERG: Explore Goldsmiths University' shiny new centre for contemporary art at its inaugural exhibition —  seven galleries' worth of film installations and sculptural objects by Argentine artist Mika Rottenberg. In works especially commissioned for the exhibition, she'll explore the body's psychical and psychological limitations. Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art (New Cross), free, just turn up, 8 September-4 November

FORTNUM'S X FRANK: It's better known for its food hall than fine art but for the next month or so Fortnum & Mason shows off a formidable collection of works from modern British artist John Virtue. See his distinctive monochrome paintings (and maybe pick up a posh preserve or two on your way out). Fortnum & Mason, free, just turn up, 10 September-20 October

Monday 10 September

SASS YOUR SUCCULENT: Houseplants are having a bit of a moment right now, so if you want yours to stand out from the crowd, you're going to have to give it a little extra oomph. This workshop provides all the knowledge and materials you need to sass up a lovely pot for your plant. Drink, Shop & Do (King's Cross), £5, just turn up, 6pm

DEATH RIGHTS: Sex worker rights activist Maggie Mayhem examines the dire (and sometimes deadly consequences) of certain cultural attitudes and laws. She'll share her research on why the freedom of sex workers to advertise their services is vital to their safety and human rights. The Book Club (Shoreditch), £4, book ahead, 6.30pm-10pm

MONDAY NIGHT MUSIC: There's plenty of indie, folk, and alt-jazz to discover at New Moon, The Half Moon's weekly musical showcase. This week, the west London watering hole is welcoming The River, The Breaks, The Curious Zookeepers, and The Famous Blue Raincoats. The Half Moon (Putney), £2.50, book ahead, 7.30pm

Tuesday 11 September

Sip sustainable spirits at Theatre Deli

PING PONG PARLOUR: It's your last chance to show off your backhand at Walthamstow's free pop up ping pong parlour. They provide the bats and balls — just bring yourself and your A game. The Mall (Walthamstow), free, just turn up, 9am-6pm

STOCKWELL GREEN: Head to a south London laundry-turned-community centre for a look into Stockwell's past. Local historian Bill Linskey reveals why the ancient village green was built over during the Victorian era. The Old Laundry (Stockwell), free, just turn up, 7pm

SPIRITS TASTING: Get a taste (or two) of the most sustainable spirit brands on the market. From Quinoa-based vodka and kumquat liqueur to gin using botanicals from Uzbekistan, there are plenty of innovative new tipples for you to try. Theatre Deli (Broadgate), free, book ahead, 7.30pm

Wednesday 12 September

Fitness guru and Instagram star Amy Victoria Long leads a free outdoor workout.

THAMES TRADESMEN: Back in the day, you could buy anything from a parrot to a tiger from the traders of the River Thames. Learn all about those who used to hustle on London's waterways at this illustrated talk. Guildhall Library, free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

FLOATING FITNESS: Personal trainer and online coach Aimee Victoria Long runs a free floating fitness class. She'll even chuck in a few health tips. Merchant Square (Paddington Basin), free, book ahead, 5.30pm/6.15pm

CRAP FILM CLUB: Gratuitous nudity, sumo wrestling, cross-dressing spies, and a skate-boarding assassin? Sounds about right for a 1980s B movie. Join the club dedicated to bringing you the best so-bad-it's-good films out there for a screening of ridiculous action thriller Hard Ticket to Hawaii. The Book Club (Shoreditch), £5, book ahead, 7pm

NOUVEAU COMEDY EXPRESS: Acclaimed comic Tez Ilyas headlines Brixton's pay-what-you-can stand up night. All the money raised will go to local charity Stockwell Good Neighbours, so don't be too stingy. Dogstar (Brixton), by donation, book ahead, 7.30pm


An invitation to Londonist's beer launch party

Love London? Love beer? Then we've got some very exciting news to share. Londonist has teamed up with the talented folk at Fourpure Brewery to create our own unique, Londony brew. And we want to you to celebrate its launch with us this weekend. So join us for an epic party at the Fourpure brewery on Sunday 16 September. There'll be live music, the chance to win some Londonist swag and, naturally, lots and lots of beer. More deets and booking info can be found here — and you can book tickets here.


Thursday 13 September

The Amazons play Floating Pocket Park

INTERIOR DESIGN INSIGHTS: Bored of your bedroom? Lounge lacking a little lustre? Enlist the help of an interior designer and start really planning your home makeover. British Institute of Interior Designers member Gail Race is offering free 30 minute consultations — so come armed your colour swatches, floor plan and Pinterest boards. Theatre Deli (Broadgate), free, book ahead, 2pm-5pm

THE AMAZONS: English alt-rock band The Amazons are making some noise on Grand Union Canal's floating park for the penultimate Sunset Sessions gig of the summer. There's also a street food market in case you get peckish. Paddington Basin, free, just turn up, 5.30pm-8pm

THE PEOPLE'S PHILOSOPHER: Learn about the longest serving president of the National Secular Society at this free talk from NSS historian Bob Forder. He'll be talking about the life and work of Chapman Cohen on the 150th anniversary of the man's birth. Conway Hall (Holborn), £4, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

POETRY NIGHT: Two of London's most exciting poets — A K Blakemore and Richard Scott — pop into an east end bookshop to read from their latest collections. Except melancholic romance, rage, and an ode to Soho. Pages of Hackney, £4, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

Friday 14 September

Magpies, metaphors, and a mountain in Megan Rooney's new performance work

WORLD WIDE WANDER: As part of Street Wisdom's global festival of wandering and wondering, explore Southwark's urban environment with street guide Nick Hammond. He'll help you fine tune your senses before you're off on a street quest for hidden messages, chance meetings, and unexpected discoveries. Meet at Borough Market, free, book ahead, 9.45am-1pm

IAN HISLOP: Private Eye editor and HIGNFY team captain Ian Hislop joins broadcaster Janina Rameriz for a chat about The British Museum's I object: Ian Hislop's search for dissent exhibition. You can see what we made of the show dedicated to history's rebels and renegades here. The British Museum, £5, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.45pm

BACK TO SCHOOL QUIZ: Dig out that blazer and tie, because you're about to go back to school. All that SATs revision will finally come in handy at London Rollergirls' school-themed pub quiz, featuring fancy dress, a boozy tuck shop, and a bonus recess round. Limehouse Town Hall, £5, book ahead, 7.30pm

PARK NIGHTS: In Sun Down Moon Up, the latest work from storyteller Megan Rooney, the tale of a group of female magpies who invade Mount Athos is told through movement, words, and sound. See this exploration of nature, humanity and forbidden space as the sun sets over Hyde Park. Serpentine Pavilion, £5, book ahead, 8pm

Saturday 15 September

Pick the brain of leading academics and try out the latest tech at UCL.

IT'S ALL ACADEMIC: Grill leading academics, get your hands on the latest tech, and explore the future of humanity at UCL's free festival of learning. Highlights include the opportunity to conduct a robot orchestra, Egypt-inspired shadow puppetry, and a talk on medieval magic. UCL (Bloomsbury), free, book ahead for some events, 10am-5pm

A DAY FOR AMY: Celebrate the life and legacy of north London local-turned-global superstar Amy Winehouse in her old stomping ground of Camden. There are musical performances, the chance to get an Amy-esque hair and beauty makeover, and talks on topics such as mental health awareness and addiction. And, thanks to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, it's all completely free. Amy Camden Market Amphitheatre (Camden), free, just turn up, 1pm-6pm

HENDON PAGEANT: A very nostalgic knees up is coming to the RAF Museum in the form of the Hendon Pageant — a revival of the hugely popular 1930s aircraft shows. Expect live jazz, swing dance classes and fairground fun. RAF Museum, free entry, just turn up, 11am-5pm  

DANCING IN THE STREETS: Cia Moveo bring their outdoor dance work from the streets of Barcelona to Enfield. Conseqüències blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality in a performance that explores the impact of being late, off the mark and out of step with the rest of the world. Library Green (Enfield Town), free, just turn up, 1.30pm/3.30pm

Sunday 15 September

Things are about to get messy at Theatre Deli

COSTERMONGERS HARVEST FESTIVAL: See London's Pearly Kings and Queens celebrate the harvest in quintessentially English style at the Costermongers Harvest Festival, with marching bands, mayors, Morris dancers, and a maypole. Guildhall Art Gallery, free, just turn up, 12pm

ECO ARTS AND CRAFTS: Get the kids engaged with sustainability in a fun afternoon of stories and crafting. They'll use off-cuts to make animal art before storyteller Lou Lou Bland brings forgotten folk tales about the natural world back to life. Theatre Deli (Broadgate), free, book ahead, 12pm-3.30pm

CARICATURE WORKSHOP: Learn how to turn your friends, family, and favourite celebrities into cartoons with the help of professional caricaturist Helen Pointer. But remember, with great power comes great responsibility — so don't go making any of your subjects cry with your exaggerated renderings. Charing Cross Library, free, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...

Lost London Walking Tour


London is a city of incredible transformation. With structural remains that date back to ancient history still in existence, this unique walking tour takes in Lost London in all its former glory. From the Titanic booking office to the graveyards of man's best friend, you'll discover the weird and wonderful places that used to exist in the capital but are now only committed to memory. Using old photographs, newspaper cuttings and stories from the past, you'll be amazed at what has largely been written out of our history books...   Get tickets

Step on Board the Haunted Tube Express


The London Undergound is over 150 years old, and it's seen a thing or two in its time. Are you brave enough to face the ghosts of the Underground? Travel through the home of the Bank's Black Nun, learn about the elderly angel who saved a tube worker from death, and come to face to face with Farringdon's screaming spectre. Bring your oyster card and discover the hidden secrets of the Underground. You'll need to have an Oyster card or travelcard for this event. Get tickets

Secrets of the Square Mile


The City of London is home to spectacular skyscrapers, but it’s also home to some fascinating history. Join Matt on a tour of the Square Mile’s ancient alleyways, old churches and imposing architecture - including two sites associated with the occult, and one of the City's most haunting memorials to the power of the Blitz.  Get tickets

Paddle Boarding in East London - Beginners


Take to the waters and glide about in this beginner paddleboarding session. By the end of it, you'll be standing up and paddling solo, and there's plenty of help on hand to improve your technique. Change of clothes required.  Get tickets

Last Updated 11 September 2018