Things To Do In London Today: Thursday 1 May 2014

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47/49 art space hosts an evening of discussion and performance. See details below


BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at YMCA Hall in Barbican, Asda in Charlton, St Michaels +All Angels Church in Blackheath and Ripple Centre in Barking. See site for terms and conditions

COMEDY FESTIVAL: London Sketchfest kicks off today and promises a rich line-up of established and up-coming sketch acts and even a comedy competition. The festival lasts four days and takes place at the Backyard Comedy Club. £13-55, prebook, until 4 May

DEPTFORD: Today the boroughs of Deptford and Greenwich celebrate May Day, with the traditional characters of Fowlers Troop and the Deptford Jack in the Green. Starting celebration point is the Dog and Bell pub in Deptford. Free, just turn up, from 11.30am

MUSIC IN A MUSUEM: Have a different lunch break at the Foundling Museum: violinist Viktoria Zora performs a programme including works by Handel as part of the Goldsmiths Student Showcase series. The concert is included in the museum's admission ticket. £7.50/£5, just turn up, 1pm

VIKINGS: British Museum's Project Curator Thomas Williams discusses the context, development and forms of Viking warfare. The lecture takes place at the BP Lecture Theatre and is connected to the ongoing exhibition about Vikings at the British Museum. Free, prebooking essential, 1.30pm

ISLINGTON: Islington Milkmaids Garland brings an old tradition to the present day, when in the past milkmaids used to wear a garland in order to celebrate May Day. There will be a parade around Islington, exact route to be confirmed but listen out for the sound of bells and music near a pub. Free, just turn up, from 2.30pm

TALK & PERFORMANCE:  Conspire Mono/Poly is an event that brings together arts, politics and science. Taking place at 47/49 art space close to Tower Bridge, the evening presents talks and performances from different expert speakers who present a creative interpretation of the concept of monopoly. £5+bf, prebook, 6.30pm

BARBICAN: Discover the history behind the original design of the Barbican Centre, one of the most intricate buildings in London. Barbican Explorers takes you on an architectural tour, meeting point is the Advance Ticket Desk inside the Silk Street entrance. £10.50, prebook, 7pm

KING LEAR: Join a one-off cinema event that intertwines with Shakespeare theatre. Rich Mix hosts a live broadcast of National Theatre production of King Lear. Academy Award winner Sam Mendes directs Simon Russell Beale in the title role of Shakespeare’s tragedy. £13.50-£16.50, prebook, 7pm

MAY DAY: The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston hosts a Nonclassical celebration of May Day. The evening starts with a free and live outdoor performance of Louis Andriessen's punchy Workers Union performed by The Riot Ensemble in Gillett Square, and continues at the pub. £5+bf, prebook, 7.30pm

LONDON STORIES: Listen to stories of 32 emblematic Londoners told by 32 contemporary Londoners, each one standing in one of the 32 pods of the London Eye. A few tickets remain with tickets now £15 (including a drink), prebook, 8pm

Good Cause of the Day

Book your tickets in advance for Friday 9 May. Actor, writer, comedian and all-round nice guy Michael Palin is helping Carlton Primary School in Gospel Oak raise money for its multi-sensory garden project. Ticket price include a talk from the comedian and a buffet dinner. £30+bf, prebook, 6.30pm

London Connection Puzzle

Your clues so far have been KNIGHTSBRIDGE and BIRDCAGE WALK. Today's additional clue is ALBANY STREET. What's the London connection? We already have a winner, so no need to email in.

From the Archive

Today is May Day and in ancient times Morris Men and girls in floaty white dresses used to celebrate it by dancing around the maypole. On this day last year, we took a look at London's traditional maypoles in the city centre.