Things To Do Today In London: Wednesday 11 October 2017

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Hoards of crafters are descending on Ally Pally this week. Photo: ARBaurial

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Things to do

WORK & PLAY DAY: It's BYOLaptop at Kube's baby-friendly co-working space, where mums can work away while little ones make friends and play. Emmanuel Church (West Hampstead), free, book ahead, 10am-3pm

KNITTING & STITCHING: Got a passion for craft? Don't miss the UK's biggest textile art, craft and design event at Ally Pally. Stock up on supplies, and get inspired or learn new skills at workshops and talks. Alexandra Palace, £15, book ahead, 10am-5.30pm, until 15 October

BLUEBIRD TEA: To celebrate Bluebird Tea Co's arrival at Camden Passage, it's throwing a massive parTEA, with tea cocktails, mini-workshops, matcha demos and plenty of cake. Free, book ahead, 6pm  

DIGITAL SKILLS: In this tech-heavy age, with the proliferation of fake news, online scams and hackers, digital skills are something we all need more of. Hone yours at this free Google Analytics workshop. Aldwych House, free, book ahead, 6.15pm-8.30pm

ANIMAL CSI: Thanks to the wonders of technology you can now see a live-streamed dissection from the Royal Veterinary College Labs, plus don some scrubs and get hands-on with a microscope. If you're of a squeamish disposition, probably best you stick to Bear Cam. Royal Institution, £16, book ahead, 6.30pm-10pm

Hear a 30-minute talk defending Modernism in the beautiful Sir John Soane's building. © Sir John Soane's Museum

DEFENDING STYLE: Were the Modernists bumbling fascists or ahead-of-their-time architects? This is the first of five Style: In Defence of... sessions held in the antique-filled, 19th century John Soane's building. Sir John Soane's Museum, £5-£10, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

LIFE DRAWING CLASS: Looking for an affordable life drawing class in a relaxed environment with a graceful performance artist as your subject? Head to this untutored session where you're welcome to bring your own materials. Blighty India Cafe (Tottehnam), £10, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

100 FILMS IN 100 MINUTES: A movie marathon for anyone with a seriously short attention span. Whizz through a 100 films in 100 minutes and expect to feel every emotion under the sun. Deptford Cinema, £4.50/£6, book ahead, 7.30pm

OPEN MIC NIGHT: A supportive platform for budding singers, songwriters, poets and musicians. Piano and keyboard provided. The Royal Standard (Blackheath), free, just turn up, sign up from 7.30pm, 8pm

JONI'S SOUL: Love Joni Mitchell? Then you'll love this night in homage to the talented songwriter, taking you on a nostalgic journey through her iconic albums. Half Moon (Putney), £12/£14, book ahead, 8pm

Art review: attack dogs

Image courtesy Jack Bell Gallery

Savage dogs surround us, both on canvas and in sculptures, in this gallery. These attack dogs by Lavar Munroe are symbolic of those used to hunt down black men during the slave trade and the dogs that are in use by law enforcement today. It's a vicious, confrontational and powerful show. Lavar Munroe: Gun Dogs at Jack Bell Gallery, 13 Mason’s Yard, SW1Y 6BU. Until 20 October, free. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Saturday)

Food review: A slice of New Orleans in Kingston

Kingston’s Poor Boys brings New Orleans to the outer-realms of London. The whole decor captures the Cajun vibe perfectly — look out for the vintage gold till at the bar. The restaurant takes its name from the main dish it serves, a Louisiana classic, the po’ (or poor) boy. The dish comes from New Orleans when the Martin Brothers gave free food to striking tram workers (who the dish was named for) — meat and seafood scraps on French loaves. That structure — apart from the scraps, it's prime cuts only here — remains in place for the tasty sandwiches Poor Boys serves today. The Reuben Boy has a touch of New Yawk about it — Salt Beef and Russian dressing  — and is solid, if not outstanding. Outshining the sandwich is the incredible mac’n’cheese topped with crispy onions. The strength of the flavour is unusual for a dish some dismiss as simple, which is what makes this so tasty.  Follow that up with one of the best brownies we’ve ever had — topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and popcorn — and you’ll barely be able to move afterwards. In a good way. Poor Boys, 5 The Griffin Centre, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 1JT★★★★☆ Harry Rosehill

Theatre review: Laughs shine through in a Stoppard classic

Tom Stoppard is a master of the verbose and meta. The Real Thing is a play he wrote at the peak of his powers, turning his skills to look inward at intimate inter-personal relationships. The play was reasonably autobiographical, but a 2017 audience is unlikely to know this, unlike the original 1982 crowd. Therefore the onus is on this modern production to make the audience connect. It does this expertly, leaning heavily into the laughs. Even if you don't completely get one of Stoppard's typically elaborate lines, the actors sell it with such conviction that it's hard to stop yourself giggling along. The stripped-back set also works in the play's favour — simple and elegant, it helps the audience to focus on the actors. Laurence Fox is fantastic in the lead role of Henry, deftly displaying both the cynical outlook and the romanticism beneath, to make the role work. His opposite number Flora Spencer-Longhurst is an equally excellent Annie, bringing a human defiance to the part. As the play strides into its more serious second act, it can at times be a struggle to follow. Snap out of it for a second and there's a fear you've missed a boatload, so much information crammed into each word. That's a recurring issue with Stoppard's plays, and although it's clearly intelligent, it never belittles the audience. Instead it brings them along for a witty and sweet ride, and many will see something they can relate to. The Real Thing, Rose Theatre Kingston, 24-26 High Street, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 1HL £17-£45, until 14 October ★★★★☆ Harry Rosehill

Good cause of the day: make a donation to Holborn Community Association

Holborn Community Association is a lively hub hosting an under-fives play group, kids' gymnastic and pottery classes, plus it runs exercise classes and coach trips for over 55s. Alongside needing your ongoing donations, they've also got a leaky roof that needs fixing. Make a donation to make a difference.

Funzing

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing.

East London Food Tour


Feast on the tastes of the East End... Chomp on pie and mash from a restaurant that's been open since 1900, and visit Russell Brand's not-for-profit café. There are seven stops in the food and drink tour across Shoreditch and Hoxton, so you better come hungry! Get tickets

Learn How to Shoot Like Robin Hood


Ever fancied yourself as Robin Hood? Join the 2020 archery team in London Bridge and discover how to shoot. The 1.5 hour 'get started in archery' class will teach you how to shoot (relatively) accurately as well as the scoring system and key archery terminology. The session finishes with a mini-competition where you can show off your new-found skills. Hit bullseye and get your tickets: http://bit.ly/2kyov7a (sponsor) Get tickets

The London Christmas Lights Bike Tour


Wrap up warm and explore Christmassy London with a cycling tour through the city. From the bustling Christmas markets to spectacular light displays and Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, get into the festive spirit pedalling around town. With great guides and clear roads (and hopefully skies), explore London in a different light. Get tickets

Delicious Portuguese Tapas Tasting


Feeling peckish? Taste some top Portuguese cuisine in this fantastic tasting experience with Erica. The menu includes delicious dishes like folhados de salsicha e queikjo (Portugese cheesy sausage rolls) and salami de chocolate (chocolate roulade). Is your mouth watering yet? Come and sip on some great sangria, devour some scrumptious food and enjoy the fabulous company.  Get tickets