Things To Do In London: Friday 17 October 2014

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Image: Ralph & Russo via V&A


BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at St Paul's Church Hall in Stoke Newington, East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf and the usual donor centres. See site for terms and conditions.

CHOCOLATE WEEK: Yep, our favourite week of the year is here. As you’d expect, there are plenty of events going on in and around London celebrating the good stuff. Get in the mood by visiting some of London’s best chocolate shops, or grab some last minute tickets to a chocolate fashion show at Salon du Chocolat.

ETSY ART: 5th Base Gallery near Brick Lane is the venue for the first ever Etsy art exhibition. Specially selected sellers and artists from the online marketplace are displaying their work, chosen from over 600 applicants. Many mediums, from painting to ceramics, feature. Until 19 October

GROW HACKNEY: It's the start of Grow Hackney's celebration of Latin American and African music and art. All weekend in Hackney Wick, performers from Latin America, Europe and Africa celebrate Black History Month and Columbus' arrival in the New World in October 1492. Free, just turn up, until 19 October

FREE FILM FESTIVAL: London Fields Film Free Festival starts today. Totally run by volunteers and completely free, the festival brings a variety of screenings in different spots in the London Fields area. Check website for full schedule. Free, until 26 October

FASHION IN MOTION: The subjects of today's event at the V&A Museum in South Kensington are British couturiers Ralph & Russo. The brand is currently the only British label to show on the official Paris Haute Couture Week schedule, and they'll select their favourite looks for inclusion in the catwalk shows throughout the day. Free, prebook, 1pm/3pm/5pm/8pm

DRACULA ON SCREEN: Head to the British Library for an evening about the many film versions of Dracula that have been made over the years. Experts from Hammer, plus film makers and actors are on the panel. Followed by a screening of Dracula (1958). Part of the Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination exhibition. See our review of the exhibition. £10/£8/£7, prebook, 6.30pm

FINDING RHYTHMS: Bethnal Green's Backyard Comedy Club hosts a night of live stand-up, at the Backyard Bar. Channel 4's Simon Feilder hosts the evening which also features Gary Little, Archie Maddocks and Tom Allen. Money raised goes to prison music charity Finding Rhythms. £10, prebook, from 6.30pm

ROAR WITH LAUGHTER: ZSL London Zoo hosts the annual fundraising comedy night at the Eventim (Hammersmith) Apollo. Acts in the line-up include Sean Lock, Ed Byrne, Stewart Lee, Lucy Porter, Greg Burns, Seann Walsh and David O'Doherty. Some tickets left at time of writing. From £15, prebook, 6.30pm

BALLROOM DANCING: Start your weekend with a boogie, ballroom style, at Bishopsgate Institute. The social dance is open to anyone of all levels, and as well as ballroom, there will be Argentine tango and salsa and even some line and sequence dances to keep you on your toes. £10/£8, prebook, 7pm

CINETOPIA: Film lovers should head to Hill Station Cafe in Nunhead for Cinetopia. The regular event consists of a mystery feature film (you won't know what it is 'til its started), a two-course dinner from the Hill Station team and a film quiz with prizes. £16, prebook, from 7.30pm

MIKE WOZNIAK: The Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee presents The Mike Wozniak Experience, a show with guests, games and prizes. Tonight's guests include Will Adamsdale, Brendan Patricks, Cariad Lloyd and Joseph Morpurgo. At The Invisible Dot near King's Cross. £10, prebook, 8.45pm

COMEDY: We very much like the endearing and joyful Elf Lyons and she's doing her nerdy show about the Underground at Leicester Square Theatre tonight and Saturday. £8, prebook, 9pm

Find more London events in our Free & Cheap events listings. Want to see your event in these last-minute listings? Email us at at least 48 hours before the event, and we will consider it for inclusion. Note: due to high volumes of email, we can’t always reply.

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This week’s Things To Do In London is sponsored by Pact.

Good Cause of the Day

Calm AFTER The Storm is a dinner and entertainment event raising money to help people in the Philippines rebuild their lives one year on from Typhoon Haiyan. Taking place at the Savoy Hotel, big name chefs James Pare and Cyrus Todiwala have worked together to produce a multi-course gourmet meal with a Filipino twist. There's also a silent and live auction, and a showcase of Filipino musical talent including singer and songwriter Kate Torralba, and names from West End musicals. To book a place, make a donation (minimum £120 per seat) and send an email to

From the Archive

Two years ago, New Addington residents got a surprise when 22 large (man made) boulders landed on the high street. Many residents likened it to an alien invasion, but the real reason for their arrival was a little less exciting.