Things To Do Today In London: Wednesday 5 April 2017

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Things to do today is sponsored by Cityread.

Michael Foreman Telling Tales at Chris Beetles Gallery

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Things to do today

EASTER HOLIDAYS: The school holidays are here, and there's plenty going on in London including family exhibitions, nature trails, egg hunts and museum workshops. Take a look at what's on near you, whatever their age, and whatever your budget.

ILLUSTRATIONS: Legendary children's book illustrator and creator Micheal Foreman has a massive career retrospective. Chris Beetles Gallery, free, just turn up, until 22 April, 10am-5.30pm

ROYAL SOCIETY TOUR: Take an unofficial tour through the Royal Society's history with Londonist contributor Laurence Scales. He'll tell you about some of the society's lesser known characters along with the heavy hitters such as Darwin and Newton. Note: This tour is NOT a visit inside the present Royal Society HQ. High Holborn, £12, book ahead, 2.30pm-5pm

GREAT FIRE OF LONDON: How much did the Great Fire really change London? Was it solely responsible for the architectural changes of the period? The Museum of London hosts this lecture about the inferno of 1666. Museum of London, free, book ahead, 3pm

PUBSCI: Science in a pub — an excellent combination. This month, hear from engineer Dr Fiona Nairn Scott, who will discuss the challenges of fireproofing iconic and historic buildings. The Old King's Head (Borough), free (there's a whip-round to cover costs), just turn up, 6pm for 7pm start

Dark Corners at Battersea Arts Centre

CRAP FILM CLUB: Celebrating the worst of the film world, Crap Film Club hosts a screening of 1986 indie slasher film Chopping Mall. Four young couples decide to spend the night in a shopping mall, but the security system malfunctions and robots turn into kill-bots.  The Book Club, £5, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

POLITICAL POWER OF MUSIC: Head to Housmans book shop in King's Cross for a talk by musician Dave Randall about his new book. It discusses how musicians have used their craft to spread political messages through the years. Housmans, £3, just turn up, 7pm

SPOKEN WORD: Witness a dystopian storytelling performance about the places in your brain where things hide and what happens when they come out to play. Dark Corners comes from the acclaimed spoken word artist Polarbear. Battersea Arts Centre, £12.50/£10.50, book ahead, 7pm

JAZZ MUSIC: Brasserie Zedel's jazz week is well into its groove now. Tonight its the turn of trumpeter and vocalist Pete Horsfall to dazzle the crowd. Brasserie Zedel, £17, book ahead, 7pm

HAIKU DAY: Shimmy along to Southbank Centre to celebrate International Haiku Day (prematurely — it's on 17 April). Hear Haiku poets reading their work. Poetry Library at Southbank Centre, free, book ahead, 8pm

MAGIC SHOW: Dip into a world of illusions and impossibilities at this midweek magic show, with puzzles, as well as parlour and street magic tricks. Adults only. The Illusioneer (Herne Hill), £15, book ahead, 8pm

PANTI BLISS: An evening of 'exquisitely tart-tongued comedy' at Soho Theatre from Panti Bliss. She invites you into her gender-discombobulating, stiletto-shaped world, exposing the stories behind the make-up, and remembers the shitstorm that came to be dubbed 'Pantigate'. £19-£14, book ahead, 9pm. Until 8 April


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Help solve an Elizabethan mystery with Cityread

Cecily Ashe has been murdered. Her body lies at the Charterhouse, and the Queen's spymaster suspects a plot to overthrow the crown. To uncover the truth, international man of mystery Giordano Bruno has been asked by her majesty to recruit a band of spies — will you join him?

It's time to go back in time and get involved in this immersive Elizabethan experience. Don your cloak and explore the historic cloisters of the Charterhouse.

Cityread is a month-long series of events all focused on one book. The novel of choice this year is Elizabethan thriller Prophecy, by S.J. Parris. If you think you can help solve the mystery, book tickets for Prophecy: Behind Closed Doors here - the event takes place every weekend in April.


Art review: Rubens & Rembrandt

The moment Samson's hair is cut, sapping away his strength. © The National Gallery, London

RUBENS & REMBRANDT: The two names alone should get art fans excited. The National Gallery has put up a new display of these two Old Masters in (the often hard to find) gallery B. Rembrandt's self-portraits are brilliant, showing a young artist on the up, and a somewhat morose old man towards the end of his years. Couple these with the bold Biblical scenes of Rubens and you're onto a winner. Rubens and Rembrandt at The National Gallery, gallery B. Until 16 July, free. ★★★★☆  Tabish Khan

Dance review: ballet about jewels is dazzling

Helen Crawford, James Hay and Anna Rose O'Sullivan in Emeralds. Photo: ROH/Alastair Muir

In Jewels — George Balanchine's 1967 ballet — the dancers depict various precious stones across three acts. In keeping with the gems' properties, the movements in Emeralds feel elegant yet fragile and mysterious, while Rubies sees ballet meet the Jazz Age with the introduction of a Stravinsky score. The dancing in Diamonds is pure and regal, but the corps de ballet's formations still introduce a certain dynamism. Casts vary over the run but the Royal Ballet possesses so many outstanding dancers, it has the right people for every required style. On the night we went Sarah Lamb positively sparkled in Diamonds. Abstract ballet doesn't get more joyous than this. Jewels, Royal Opera House, Bow Street, WC2E, £4-100, 1-21 April ★★★★★ Sam Smith

Good cause for the day

PERIOD PARTY: An evening celebrating periods and vaginas: vulva crafts, vagina games and a period pub quiz. All money raised goes towards Binti, a charity dedicated to providing sanitary towels to all women and girls and smashing shame around periods. Everyone welcome, vaginas not necessary. The Bell Pub, £5, just turn up, 6.30pm-9.30pm

Funzing

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing.

LDN Talks @Night|Neuroscience of Relationship Success
Relationships are not easy. Each of us has completely different brains, which affects our thinking, communication and different reactions to the same events. Problems occur when we try to understand other people's behaviour using only our brain. Often, even if we understand that we are different from another person, we still feel lost and misunderstood, affecting our own wellbeing and health in the relationship. In order to change that we need to look at the place where it all starts and ends, our brains, to understand what the recipe is for successful relationships. Get tickets

Talk: Is MDMA The Future of Therapy?
Ben Sessa is a child psychiatrist, who takes a developmental perspecitve on adult mental disorders and addictions. He's started looking at the benefits of MDMA therapy, which he believes is psychiatry's best opportunity for a therapeutic breakthrough. His talk focuses on using MDMA to tackle alcohol abuse and PTSD. Get tickets

Lecture: The Science of Psychedelics
Scientific research is no longer afraid of psychedelics, now studying how they affect the weirder aspects of human consciousness. LDN Talks @ Night present Dr David Luke, and engages in current study into pyschedelics and their historical use in shamanic rituals. Be prepared, you might leave with more questions than answers. Get tickets