Things to do today is sponsored by Cityread.
What we're reading
- Public report urges scrapping the Garden Bridge.
- A day in the life of London's night czar, Amy Lamé.
- Mystery moneybags clears out two Crouch End charity shops in one day.
- Wireless 'black spots' in the City of London to become a thing of the past.
Things to do today
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: As the school holidays enter their second week, banish boredom with our guide to things going on in and around London.
HAMLET FOR FREE: Under 25s can get involved in all manner of theatrical activities at Almeida Theatre's Hamlet For Free Festival. Events include acting masterclasses, writing workshops, sword fighting, and behind the scenes tours. Almeida Theatre, free, book ahead, 10-13 April
EXPLOSIVE FOOD: See food in a new light. An exploding light. Perfect for kids and adults. Royal Institution, £14/£10/£7, book ahead, 2.30pm-3.45pm and 6pm-7.15pm
SIGN LANGUAGE TOUR: A British Sign Language tour of the London, Sugar & Slavery display tells how London was involved in the transatlantic slave trade, for deaf and hard of hearing visitors. Museum of London Docklands, free, book ahead, 6pm
PUNDEMONIUM: Love a double-entendre? This event's for you. A game show based on linguistic puns and tomfoolery, led by guest pundits including comedians and poets. The Book Club (Shoreditch), £5, book ahead, 7.30pm
FILM SCREENING: Love or your career? It's a question that's troubled many for years and it's the central theme in American Friends. See it with an introduction from director Tristam Powell and a Q&A at the end. Snacks and a drink are included in the ticket price. Dulwich Picture Gallery, £9/£7, book ahead, 7.30pm
FEMALE THEATRE: Watch a selection of short theatre pieces dealing with the issues that women face today in Women Redressed: Act II. Jermyn Street Theatre, £15/£13, book ahead, 7.30pm
COMEDY AWARDS: Find out who will be crowned the winner of this year's Wegottickets Musical Comedy Awards. The night's a riotous showcase of the UK's best up and coming talent. Lyric Theatre, £15, book ahead, 7.30pm-10.15pm
FREE FILM: The final screening of Camberwell Free Film Festival is Victoria, a German drama shot in a single continuous take. Sun of Camberwell, free, just turn up, 8pm
Learn about writing a historical novel at Lambeth Palace
S.J. Parris, author of the novel Prophecy, will be in conversation with historian Tracy Borman for a night of literature and learning at Lambeth Palace. Prophecy — an Elizabethan spy thriller — is the chosen book for this year's Cityread, a month-long book celebration in London. Parris's novel stars real life spy Giordano Bruno and focuses on the plot to replace Elizabeth with Mary Queen of Scots.
Hear from the author, and learn about the plots that rocked Elizabethan England as well as what it's like to take real historical events and turn them into novels. The execution warrant of Mary Queen of Scots will be on display, along with Elizabethan manuscripts from Lambeth Palace Library's collections. Whether you're a history buff or a literature lover, this event is set to be a thoroughly inspiring evening.
S.J. Parris and Tracy Borman in conversation takes place on Wednesday 19 April at 6.30pm at Lambeth Palace. For further information and tickets, visit www.cityread.london/events
Art review: photography takes centre stage
The Zabludowicz Collection has put together a group show of their big photography stars. Wolfgang Tillmans, who currently has a big show at Tate Modern, gets a wall full of photos. A highlight is Andreas Gursky's chaotic collage of a ridiculously busy trading floor. Not all the photographers appeal to us, but there are some great works in this show. You are looking at something that never occurred at Zabludowicz Collection, 176 Prince of Wales Road, NW5 3PT, until 9 July, free ★★★☆☆ (Thursday-Sunday) Tabish Khan
Theatre review: Manhattan transfer
In The Life, drug-dealing guys and rent-by-the-hour dolls populate a side of 42nd Street far shadier than the tap dancing one at Drury Lane. The daily grit and the nightly grind are underpinned with a spectacularly revitalised score from Cy Coleman, fusing jazz and blues with his musical theatre roots and some spunky new script from still-got-it-baby director Michael Blakemore, 88. All the cast have dynamic vocals but sporting a Joan Armatrading wig as an ageing hooker who works out she's had 50% more men than the Grand Old Duke of York, Britain's best blues diva Sharon D Clarke is unmissable. The Life, Southwark Playhouse, Newington Causeway, SE1 6BD, £20-£25, until 29 April ★★★★☆ [Monday-Saturday] Johnny Fox
Good cause for the day
MUSIC AND COMEDY: A who's who of music and comedy stars collide in Symfunny 2 at The Royal Albert Hall. It's an eclectic mix, from Agnes Brown to Pete Townshend, but all are certain to put on a fabulous show. Proceeds go to Parkinson's UK, which fights the debilitating disease both medically and socially. Royal Albert Hall, £38-£22, book ahead, 19 April, 7.30pm
Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...
Learn about London's debauched, drunken and disorderly history on this tour of the sordid side of the West End. Have you heard the story of the 15ft high tsunami of beer which rushed through the streets of London? Or about London's unluckiest theatre and most morbidly-located church? This tour will take you from the Covent Garden to Somerset House, entertaining you with tales of hangmen and criminals, prostitutes and paupers and the eccentric characters of Georgian London along the way. Get tickets
Camden's known for its street art, but how much do you really know about it? Explore the street art of Camden, and learn about the people who make it from an insider. You''ll visit pieces of street art that are off the beaten track, and get an insight into their possible meaning and inspiration. This two-hour tour will enable you to see Camden in a new light. Get tickets
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
Get sorted into one of the four magical houses of Hogwarts, and go in exploration of the city’s famous filming locations on this 2-hour walking tour. You’ll meet your guide outside the Palace Theatre, where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is showing, and set off on your journey across town - following in the footsteps of Deatheaters, visiting the inspiration for Knocturn Alley, and marvelling at the Ministry of Magic. And you better brush up on your Potter knowledge, because you can earn points for your house along the way, by taking part in trivia quizzes. The winners? You’ll find out when the tour ends at Platform 9 3/4… Get tickets