London On The Cheap

By paulcox Last edited 121 months ago
London On The Cheap

We're splitting into two camps right about now: those who are happy to make the most of the holiday season and let the mulled wine wash over them, and those who are studiously avoiding all things red and green. There are plenty of diversions for both sets out there, so we'll try to give equal time this month. In either case, free heating usually comes in the bargain.

Friday:We haven't been this excited about a Late at Tate in a while. The directors of the Tate Britain are courageously handing over their gallery to the mad souls across the river at Vauxhall's Beaconsfield collective, who will be transforming it into... an airport terminal? Everything we know about what goes on at Beaconsfield fills us with anarchic anticipation.Saturday: Craft fairs are the name of the game this Christmas, and we're all for it. So long as you have to scour around for inexpensive gifts, why not enjoy doing it? Maybe even learn how to make something yourself? On the north side today, Bust magazine is bringing their popular NYC and LA Craftacular to the suddenly hip St. Aloysius Social Club in Somers Town. On the other end, the utterly unique Pullens Yards are packing the mews with festive events all weekend in Southwark.Sunday: The Lock Tavern's free Late Night Tales are trying to get us excited about guest DJs again, with an excellent line-up of musicians with dependable taste sharing the intimate details of their personal record collections. Tonight it's Tom Findlay of Groove Armada, who probably knows what he's on about.Monday: The Wolf poetry magazine launches its 19th issue tonight with free readings at the Poetry Studio by some fine London talent, including Somerset House's prize-winning Poet in Residence Ruth Padel.

Tuesday: A Scotsman, an Aussie, a Kiwi and a Londoner walk into a pub... Sounds like the set-up for a joke, but it's actually going to be a whole bunch of jokes: the Brilliant Comedy Night at the George on the Strand. The promising line-up includes Vladimir McTavish, Johnny Kats, Neil Cole, and Ro Dalziel. No online listing yet, but it's from 7.30-11 and you can book free seats in advance if you call 07914-697-105.

Wednesday: Don't even try to avoid free caroling events this month. They're going to find you anyway, so why not go to one at beautifully historic St. Giles-in-the-Fields, with the London College of Music Chamber Choir singing in recognition of International Medical Corps UK's operations in the DR Congo and Iraq. We've seen this week how heroic these doctors can be; take along a few quid to donate towards texting charges.Thursday: Performance artist Nikhil Chopra is spending the second of three days living in a tent in Kensington Gardens, channeling assumed personalities from Indian history. It's part of the Serpentine Gallery's major new opening Indian Highway, so check out the rest of the show too while you're down there. And if you visit with any of Nikhil's characters, bring the poor fellows a thermos of hot chai.Image courtesy of I, Max via the Londonist flickrpool. Check out London is Free for more ideas of things to do for nowt. Check the websites for more information.

Last Updated 04 December 2008