Free And Cheap London Events: 18-24 May 2015

By Londonist Last edited 38 months ago
Free And Cheap London Events: 18-24 May 2015

All Week

Al Vandenberg, High Street Kensington from the series On a Good Day. Part of Staying Power at the V&A.

BIRKBECK ARTS WEEK: Birkbeck Arts Week is a series of free events from the School of Arts ranging from visual arts to Shakespeare to theatre to cinema. All events free, booking essential, 18-23 May

PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION: The Deutsche Börse 2015 Photography Prize is on at The Photographer’s Gallery — and there’s no clear winner this year ★★★☆☆ Free, until 7 June 2015

WHAT IS LUXURY?: The V&A’s new exhibition, What Is Luxury?, focuses on luxurious objects in everything from fashion to diamonds. The collection of items ranges from the elegant to the downright impractical ★★★☆☆ Free, just turn up, until 27 September. Also on at the V&A is Staying Power ★★★★☆, a photographic exhibition which explores the history of black culture in London. Free, until 24 May

UP YOURS: Artist Gram Hilleard uses postcards to offer translations of developer speak into cynical, plain English. Free, until 7 June

LAST CHANCE: Henry Hudson’s Plasticine Art needs to be seen up close to be believed. Free, until 29 May

ILLUSTRATION AWARDS: See this year's entries to the V&A Illustration Awards at the museum. Works consist of book, editorial and student illustration. Free, just turn up, 18 May-2 August

Monday 18 May

PINT OF SCIENCE: Spend three days learning about all sorts of scientific topics, from dark matter to medicine to climate change, at various pubs across London. £3 per event, prebook, 18-20 May

Tuesday 19 May

Test your film knowledge at the Bigger Boat Film Quiz

GENERAL ELECTION: If you're not sick of the whole thing yet, head to this Gresham College lecture at Museum of London, which seeks to make sense of the outcome of last week's election. Free, just turn up, 6pm

TESTING MACHINE: Head to John Harvard Library in Borough for a talk about David Kirkaldy's materials testing machine, located at a Victorian testing works in Borough and setting international standards in testing materials. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm

BOAT QUIZ: You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat film quiz celebrates its 10th anniversary at Hackney Picturehouse. Test your film knowledge in this multimedia quiz, complete with film and sound clips. £5, prebook, 6.30pm

FILM PREMIERE: The Romanian Cultural Centre hosts the UK Premiere of Where Are You Bucharest? (2014), a documentary film by Vlad Petri about the 2012 anti-government protests in Bucharest. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director. Free, prebook, 7pm

VICTORIA PARK: See Travis Elborough in conversation with Ken Worpole, Senior Professor at The Cities Institute, London Metropolitan University, about the London Park as an ideal for urban life and what must be done to ensure its continuing importance to convivial existence in the city. Free, prebook, 7pm

IMPROBABILITY PRINCIPLE: Professor David J. Hand, author of The Improbability Principle, is at Conway Hall to talk about why miracles and coincidences happen in everyday life. £5, prebook, 7.30pm

LOLITICS: Join Chris Coltrane, Robin Ince, Josie Long, Kate Smurthwaite and David Trent at the Black Heart in Camden for a friendly political comedy night. £3, just turn up, 8.30pm

Wednesday 20 May

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: Join the curator of Savage Beauty at the V&A, Claire Wilcox, for a lunchtime lecture about the life of fashion designer Alexander McQueen and this most recent exhibition about him. Free, just turn up, 1pm

CROSSRAIL ARCHAEOLOGY: The construction of Crossrail is resulting in one of the most extensive archaeological programmes ever undertaken in the UK, and there is a series of talks being held in conjunction with it. Tonight, hear about The Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company. Free, prebook, 6pm

PUBSCI: This month's PubSci at the Old King's Head in Borough focuses on genitals. Professor Menno Schilthuizen from Naturalis Biodiversity Center and Leiden University talks about how the shapes and functions of genitalia have been moulded by complex Darwinian struggles. Donations welcome, 6pm

EAT SLEEP CYCLE: Cycling enthusiast Anna Hughes rode 4,000 miles solo around the coast of the UK. Today Anna is at Stanfords in Covent Garden to share stories, photos and readings from her journey and also sign copies of her book. £3, prebook, 6.30pm

DAVID NICHOLLS: The author is at Foyles on Charing Cross Road to talk about his recently released book, Us. Among his other works is One Day — we expect this event to sell out. £5, prebook, 7pm

PALESTINIAN MEMOIR: The Mosaic Rooms hosts the launch of Return: A Palestinian Memoir, a new book by Ghada Karmi. She was exiled from Pakistan in 1948, but returned to write this book. Free, prebook, 7pm

Thursday 21 May

MANSION TOUR: Moor Park Mansion, a Grade I listed Palladian mansion in Rickmansworth, set within over 300 acres has an open day with guides leading tours around the house. Dress code states no jeans or trainers. Donations welcome, from 10am

TURKISH LITERATURE: Sema Kaygusuz, one of Turkey’s leading female writers and author of The Well of Trapped Words, will be talking about her work, alongside the collection’s translator, Maureen Freely, renowned translator of Orhan Pamuk. Takes place at the SOAS Main Building in Russell Square. Free, 6pm

CIVIL WAR: Guests at today's National Theatre platform include historian Diane Purkiss and political activist John Rees. Tying in with Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, currently playing at the National, the evening is an examination of events in England in the 1640s and more recent parallels and resonances. £4/£3, prebook, 6pm

TEMPORARY TATTOOS: Head to Drink Shop Do for a chance to design, draw and make your own transfer tattoos while sipping on a cocktail or two. Free, from 7pm

POETRY AND SCIENCE: King's College hosts a series of poetry readings chaired and introduced by Ruth Padel, Poetry Fellow in the Department of English. Tonight, poetry meets science in the form of Dame Gillian Beer, whose work has included research  on the Victorian novel and its relation to Darwin's theories. Free, prebook, 7pm

Get yourself a temporary tattoo at Drink Shop Do

Friday 22 May

ANATOLIAN CULTURE: The Anatolian Cultural Fete marks its ninth anniversary with a four day event in Clissold Park. Items on the programme include band concerts, children's theatre and, er, oil wrestling. 22-25 May

DIY CULTURES: Rich Mix opens a new exhibition, DIY Justice, which focuses on the War on Terror, prisons crisis and curtailment of civil liberties, and ways we can fight back. Free, 22 May-12 June

LUNCHTIME CONCERT: Award-winning sitarist, composer and singer Shama Rahman performs a lunchtime concert at Southbank Centre. Her music mixes English, Bengali, Bulgarian and West African folk traditions. Free, 1pm

FIVE NATION FILM: Head to Southbank Centre for an evening of short films curated by artist and filmmaker Magda Fabianczyk. See how filmmakers from five partner nations (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan) explore the theme of social justice. Free, 7pm

Five Nation Film at Southbank Centre

Saturday 23 May

TREE WEEK: London Tree Week begins today with a plethora of leafy events including walks, family activities, exhibitions and conservation days. See individual events for pricing and booking information. 23-31 May

WANDSWORTH HERITAGE FESTIVAL: There's a fortnight of events on offer for all age groups to celebrate heritage in the borough of Wandsworth as part of Wandsworth Heritage Festival 2015. See individual events for pricing and booking information. 23 May-7 June

CITY TO CITY: Join leading poets from four countries at Southbank Centre for an afternoon of readings and discussion. Free, 2.30pm

Sunday 24 May

BOARD GAMES: Head to Drink Shop Do in King's Cross for a day of board games and easy listening tunes. Chuck in a Bloody Mary for the perfect Sunday. Free, all day

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

Last Updated 17 May 2015