Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 7-13 May 2018

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Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 7-13 May 2018

Free and cheap things to do is sponsored by Chang Beer.

All week

See twenty years of London-themed linographs at gallery@oxo.

LINOGRAPH LONDON: From the Baroque beauty of St Paul's Cathedral to the Brutalist National Theatre, acclaimed British printmaker Paul Catherall has been capturing London's iconic buildings in his bold colour block linographs for over two decades. See his ode to the city's ever-changing skyline at Futures Past, a major new retrospective. Gallery@oxo (Southbank), free, just turn up, 3 May-13 May

BUILD A BIENNALE: Do you have what it takes to put on a a proper art show? Find out with a week of workshops, discussions, and participatory performances at Tate Modern, where you'll learn all about the contemporary art scene. Highlights include behind-the-scenes installation of large scale works, silk-scroll making and a crash course in crowdfunding. Tate Modern, free, book ahead for some events, 8 May-13 May

THE LIVING LIBRARY: It's alive! Omnibus Theatre has transformed into a living library with interactive installations and immersive performances to celebrate the power of books. Be swept away on a sensory journey and discover local  readers' recollections on the life-altering impact of storytelling. Omnibus Theatre (Clapham Common), pay what you can, book ahead, 9 May-13 May

RE:IMAGINED: When mulling over where to see great art in the city, we're betting a hospital in Tooting isn't necessarily at the top of your list. Re:Imagined 2018 is giving emerging artists the opportunity to showcase their work in a unique space. All the pieces on display up up for grabs, with 100% of the proceeds going to St George's Hospital Charity. St George's University Hospital (Tooting), free, just turn up, 9 May-25 June

Monday 7 May

DREDGELAND: Listen in on a weird and wonderful live podcast broadcast as kooky comedians John Dredge and Andy Harland present a radio magazine show like no other. With an untrained agony aunt, an incomprehensible quiz and shrunken celebs, this fringe preview act has it all. The Cavendish Arms (Stockwell), free, just turn up, 6pm

SPETTACOLO: There's a tiny Tuscan village that observes a rather unusual tradition. Every year since the end of the second world war, the residents have written and starred in a play about their lives. US film-making duo Jeff Malmberg and Chris Sellen spent four years observing and filming this annual piece of meta-theatre for their documentary, which is being screened for the first time ever as part of the Herne Hill Free Film Festival. The Half Moon (Herne Hill), free, just turn up, 7.30pm

SHOOT FROM THE HIP: Angel Comedy Club's resident improv troupe are back with witty banter and unpredictable mayhem. The Camden Head (Islington), free, just turn up, 8pm

Tuesday 8 May

The cosmic meets the every day in Let There Be Light.

LET THERE BE LIGHT: Immerse yourself in images of the every day set against an absorbing galactic backdrop at Let There Be Light, a retrospective of the work of renowned Greek artist Angelos that tackles spiritual wealth and societal decay. The Hellenic Centre (Paddington), free, just turn up, 10am-8pm

FACTS AND FAITH: As centuries of philosophy, scientific endeavour and the enduring popularity of magazine horoscopes make plain, humans are constantly grappling for meaning. With new cognitive research suggesting that our species is naturally religious, where does that leave both facts and faith? Museum of London, free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

CELEBRITY SHAKESPEARE: Not only did that Shakespeare bloke achieve quite a bit of posthumous fame himself, he also helped immortalise famous figures of the ancient world. See how he shaped our image of long-dead royalty, politicians, war heroes and villains at this free lecture. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

Wednesday 9 May

Elf Lyons gets fiscal while Alison Thea-Skot delivers sizzling character comedy at The Betsey Trotwood.

ROOKIE COOKERY: Learn how to make delicious and healthy meals on the cheap with a free six week cookery course. Kitchen novices will benefit from vital shopping, budgeting and cooking tips to ensure your diet is as fulfilling and ethical as your wallet allows. Redmond Community Centre (Hackney), free, book ahead, 4.30pm-6.30pm

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: Check your privilege (or lack thereof) at the London School of Economics, where they'll be breaking down the controversy-generating issue of affirmative action and its relationship to social justice. Old Theatre, LSE (Houghton Street), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

OLD FASHIONED: You won't be hearing any Kings of Leon or Oasis at this classy open mic night. The Old Queen's Head has a strict pre-1965 policy for those stepping up to the microphone. So dig out your favourite jazz standards, vintage RnB (no, TLC does not count) and classic rock'n'roll for night of retro rhythms. The Old Queen's Head (Islington), £3, just turn up, 7.30pm

EDINBURGH PREVIEWS: Three cheers for work in progress season, bringing free and dirt cheap comedy to our doorsteps. Tonight you can catch Elf Lyons getting fiscal with her one woman musical about the economy to the tune of a full orchestra. She's followed by chaotic character comedian Alison Thea-Skot, as heard on BBC Radio 4. The Betsey Trotwood (Clerkenwell), free, just turn up, 7.45pm-10pm


Sponsor message

Go on a sensory trip to Thailand with Chang Beer this weekend

Chang Beer’s multi-sensory foodie event is back in London as part of a four-city UK tour, and it already has us feeling peckish.

With some of London’s top Thai restaurants taking part, and each one serving up a delicious signature dish, Chang Sensory Trails is pretty much the nearest you can get to a taste of Thailand without hopping on a plane.

It’s completely free to attend, and it looks set to be a real feast for the senses — live music and art feature alongside the delicious food, and there’s plenty of Chang beer to wash it all down, too.

Chang Sensory Trails takes place on 12 May, noon until 10pm, at Last Days of Shoreditch. Register your interest on their Facebook page to ensure you don’t miss out.


Thursday 10 May

Visit a restaurant dedicated to the smelliest food on the planet.

CARNABY STYLE WEEKENDER: Carnaby Street probably isn't your first port of call if you're feeling thrifty but, from today through to Sunday, there's a line up of free events and workshops. Get a complimentary haircut at Pankhurst London or learn how to screen print a t-shirt with Jack Wills. There's also loads of in-store discounts. Carnaby Street, free, book ahead, until 13 May

BAD BREATH-TAURANT: Feast on some of the world's most delectable dishes entirely for free at pop up dining experience KOSHU. The catch? Everything on the Japanese-inspired tasting menu boasts an undeniably pungent odour. Mouthwash brand Dentyl is on hand to rescue you from embarrassing bad breath situations, so you're free to devour the smelliest of snacks with abandon. Koshu, 25 St Anne's Court (Soho), free, just turn up, 12pm-5.30pm

FIGURE IT OUT: What place does figurative painting have in our digital age, and where you can create a bona fide work of art on your smartphone? Find out what contemporary painters reckon at this new exhibition. Leonita Gallery (Queen's Park), free, book ahead, 6pm-9pm, exhibition until 31 May

I ROBOT: Chris Bateman is rocking up to Hoxton Square to let you in on a little secret....you're actually a cyborg. The award-winning games designer, author and philosopher is here to explain how we became human-machine hybrids and explore our relationship with technology. Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, free, book ahead, 6pm-9pm

Friday 11 May

Reclusive jazz saxophonist Steve Williamson is hitting up Southbank Centre with his tantalising trio.

UP CLOSE WITH MARILYN: Get up close and personal with a silver screen siren at an intimate new photography exhibition that celebrates the many faces of the one and only Marilyn Monroe. Proud Central (Charing Cross), free, until 24 June

CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL: Drool over all things cocoa at Canopy Market, where world-class master chocolatiers are pitching up for you to sample their sweet treats. There are also demos and masterclasses including a sinfully indulgent chocolate and wine pairing session if you're tempted to fork out a few quid. Canopy Market (King's Cross), free entry, just turn up, 12pm-8pm, until 13 May

STEVE WILLIAMSON TRIO: Enigmatic saxophonist Steve Williamson brings his trio to Southbank Centre for a night of contemporary classical and progressive jazz compositions. He'll also perform with members of Tomorrow's Warriors StringTing. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 5.30pm

MOZART AND MENDLSSOHN: If strings are more your thing, head to The Musical Museum for a programme of Mozart, Glass and Mendelsohn performed on the violin, viola and cello. The Musical Museum (Brentford), free, just turn up, 7.30pm

Saturday 12 May

Meet inventors, play with robots and get creative at London College of Communication.

COMMUNITY KITCHEN: Cook up a storm with neighbours you've never met at South Norwood's weekly community kitchen. You'll create a waste-saving three course meal while making friends with people from all walks of life before sitting down to dine. South Norwood Baptist Church, free, just turn up, 10am-2pm

DIGITAL MAKING PARTY: Be inspired to get crafty with computers at an interactive design project showcase. You'll meet inventors of robots, strange musical instruments, and drones, and then try your hand at digital making yourself. London College of Communication (Elephant & Castle), free, book ahead, 11am-3.30pm

FESTIVAL OF COMMUNITIES: Try out an x-ray machine made of Lego, compete in slime races and play a life size game of operation at the QMUL-run Tower Hamlets Festival of Communities, which explores living and learning across the borough. Stepney Green Park, free, just turn up, 11.30am-5pm

ORGAN AFTERNOON: Throw out your tambourine, take a knife to your bongos, because organs are Bach, baby. Head to Christ's Chapel and have a go on the beautifully restored George England organ with the supervision of the South London Society of Organists. Christ's Chapel (Dulwich), free, just turn up, 3pm-4.30pm

Sunday 13 May

Spend your Sunday making new four-legged friends.

MAY FAYRE: Celebrate Mr Punch's 356th birthday with some marionette mayhem in Covent Garden. Punch and Judy enthusiasts from all across the nation gather together to mark Samuel Pepys’ first recorded sighting of a Punch and Judy-style show in Covent Garden in 1662. St Paul's Church Garden (Covent Garden), free, just turn up, 11am-3pm

PET THERAPY: Cuddle kitties or relax with Therapaws dogs at animal charity Mayhew's open afternoon. In the extremely unlikely event you get tired of dishing out snuggles, there's a veggie BBQ, cocktails and garden games. Trenmar Gardens (Kensal Green), £3, just turn up, 11am-4pm

LIVE COLOURING BOOK: Give the kids free rein to draw on the walls with the world's first live colouring book. Artists in the making aged 3-6 (and their grown-ups) can unleash their creativity at Gallery Different, where a black and white line drawn clubhouse will be transformed into a vibrant work of art, courtesy of kids channel Cartoonito. Gallery Different (Fitzrovia), free, just turn up 2.30pm-4pm

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

A Secret London Tour


How well do you really know London? Visit the streets that inspired Harry Potter locations and see London's most superstitious hotel. On Matt's tour you will explore hidden places and discover stories unknown to even the most knowledgeable of Londoners. Get tickets

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

Hidden London Tour


Visit old pubs, even older churches, hidden rivers, mysterious tunnels and more on this tour of hidden Londo. You'll hear tales of the myths and legends which made the City of London what it is today, and find out the area's links to nursery rhymes and literary figures. Get tickets

Forgotten Old London


Have you visited London's Roman ampitheatre? What about London's Medieval market places? Hear weird and wonderful tales of our beautiful city as you take a walking tour, seeing everything from centuries-old churches to the hanging place of William Wallace. Whether you've lived here all your life or are visiting for a few days, you're sure to learn something new about London. Get tickets

Last Updated 18 May 2018