Free And Cheap London Events: 13-19 April 2015

By Londonist Last edited 36 months ago
Free And Cheap London Events: 13-19 April 2015

Interesting and unusual things to do for a fiver or less this week, sponsored by CommuterClub.

All Week

Tracey Emin's bed is back at Tate Britain. Copyright Tracey Emin

EMIN’S BED: See Tate Britain's display featuring work by Tracey Emin and Francis Bacon, including Emin’s famous bed installation and two of Bacon’s oil paintings, selected by Emin. Free, until June 2016

ARTS EMERGENCY: An immersive exhibition opens at The Cass Bank Gallery on Whitechapel High Street, curated by Bob and Roberta Smith (who'll be in residence throughout). Get your Arts Emergency Kit including prescriptions from the likes of Jarvis Cocker, Samantha Morton and Vampire Weekend and get involved with politics and the arts. Free, until 3 May

STRANGE CREATURES: Been to the Strange Creatures exhibition (★★★★☆) at the Grant Museum of Zoology yet?  It uses art, taxidermy, and even toys to show the difficulties of portraying new species of animals to those who had never seen one — a zoological Chinese whispers, if you will. Free, just turn up, until 27 June

LAST CHANCE: Cotton to Gold: Extraordinary Collections from the Industrial North West  (★★★☆☆) is on at Two Temple Place, displaying items bought and owned by wealthy cotton magnates, from ivory artefacts to taxidermy birds. Free, until 19 April

Monday 13 April

CARD MAKING: Head to Drink Shop Do for a session of inappropriate card making to mark the Queen's upcoming birthday. Free, from 7pm

COMEDY: Arthur Smith headlines at the Good Ship in Kilburn, with other sets from Meryl O'Rourke, Dave Green, Jenny Bede and Nick Hall. £5/£4adv, prebook, 8pm

Tuesday 14 April

Head to Drink Shop Do for a Speakeasy evening

SPEAKEASY: Enjoy an evening of poetry, prose and monologues at Drink Shop Do's Speakeasy. Arrive early to reserve a reading slot. Free, from 7pm

POETRY AND REMEMBRANCE: Today's Gresham Lecture at Museum of London focuses on why poet Thomas Gray wrote two versions of his famous Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. Free, just turn up,  6pm

WORKING IN AFGHANISTAN: BBC Radio 4 presenter Roger Bolton hosts Dr Tommy Wide, Managing Director of Turquoise Mountain, at the Imperial War Museum, as he talks about his organisation's mission to revive Afghanistan’s traditional crafts and architecture. Free, prebook, 7pm

Wednesday 15 April

CITYREAD: As part of Cityread London, Ben Aaronovitch (author of Rivers of London) is at Barbican Library for a talk, Q&A session and book signing. Free, prebook, 7pm

MUSIC HALL: There's an old-style music hall evening at Lauderdale House in Highgate with plenty of music and dancing. £5, prebook, 8pm

HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE: To mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, Middlesex University London hosts a screening of Night Will Fall, about the horrific discoveries made when Allied forces liberated the Nazi concentration camps in 1944-45. Free, prebook, 5.30pm


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Thursday 16 April

The Poetry of Dolls and Murder at Wellcome Collection

PARCHED CITY: Author of Parched City Emma Jones gives a talk about how perceptions of London's drinking water have changed as the city has evolved. Takes place at Barbican Library. Free, prebook, 12.30pm

REMEMBRANCE IMAGE PROJECT: To mark the centenary of the First World War, Simon Gregor is photographing a selection of First World War sites, using these images to promote awareness and debate about the war and the role of remembrance. He's at the National Archives in Kew to talk about the project and show some of the images. Free, prebook, 2pm

FREE TALK: Learn about the arts and democracy and why the CIA funded Jackson Pollock in a talk from Arts Emergency co-founder Neil Griffiths at the CASS on Whitechapel High Street. Free, just turn up, 5.30pm

LITERATURE LOUNGE: Head to Keats House in Hampstead for London Literature Lounge, an evening of poetry with an open mic hosted by Anjan Saha. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

LIBRARY TOUR: Take an evening tour of the refurbished Grade II* listed Library at Bishopsgate Institute and find out more about its unique and fascinating history and the collections relating to the history of London. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

OF DOLLS AND MURDER: Tying in with the current Forensics exhibition, Wellcome Collection holds a screening of Of Dolls and Murder, a documentary about forensics featuring Frances Glessner Lee’s 1940s dollhouse crime scenes, known as the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. Free, prebook, 7pm

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: Author and biographer Andrew Wilson is at Gay's The Word bookshop in Bloomsbury to talk about his Alexander McQueen biography, Blood Beneath The Skin. £3, prebook, 7pm

JESSE ARMSTRONG: Peep Show/Fresh Meat writer Jesse Armstrong has a novel out (Love, Sex and Other Foreign Policy Goals). He’s reading from and talking about it at Bookseller Crow in Crystal Palace. £3, prebook, 7.30pm

MEXICAN POETRY: Head to the Poetry Library at Southbank Centre for an evening with Mexican poet Tedi López Mills, marking the start of The London Book Fair this week. Free, prebook, 8pm

Friday 17 April

DOG WALKING: Take your pooch to Forty Hall Estate in Enfield for the weekly social dog walk around the estate, finishing up in the cafe. All money raised goes to the Cinnamon Trust. £4 (including tea/coffee), from 10am

ROMAN FORT: Tour the remains of the western gate of London’s Roman military fort, located beneath the streets next to the Museum of London. £2.50, prebook, from 2pm

Saturday 18 April

Join in a Crafty Makes workshop at Southbank Centre

RECORD STORE DAY: Today is Record Store Day, celebrating the UK's independent record shops. Plenty of stores have events going on including free performances from local musicians. Find your nearest store.

SPRING FESTIVAL: Chrisp Street Market in Poplar hosts its inaugural Spring Festival, complete with petting zoo, vegetable orchestra, interactive workshops and delicious street food.

SOUTHBANK CENTRE: There are plenty of free and cheap things to do at Southbank Centre today, including exhibition tours (free) a crafty makes workshop (free) and a vintage family dance workshop. See individual events for details.

Sunday 19 April

EDIBLE BUS STOP: The Friends of Crystal Palace Park need help weeding the Edible Bus Stop and planting some new yummy edible things. Free, 2pm-4pm

OPEN GARDEN: The South London Botanical Institute in Tulse Hill is home to 500 labeled species grown in a formal layout of themed borders. Today it's open to the public to raise money for charity as part of the National Gardens Scheme. £3, just turn up, 2pm-5pm

TOWER OPEN DAY: The tower at Christ Church in Erith has been added this year, and today there's an open day, with access to ground floor displays about the history of the tower, and CCTV links to the ringing chamber and belfry for those unable to climb the stairs. Free, just turn up, 3pm-5pm

South London Botanical Institute is open to the public

Check out our map of free things to do in London for more frugal fun.

Last Updated 12 April 2015