Free And Cheap London Events: 13-19 July 2015

Kyra Hanson
By Kyra Hanson Last edited 34 months ago
Free And Cheap London Events: 13-19 July 2015

All Week

Discover work by Tunisian 'calligraffiti' artist eL Seed at The Shubbak Festival

ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHY:
It’s your last chance to see the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition at Royal Observatory, Greenwich. This year’s selection includes a stunning aurora-topped landscape (by overall winner James Woodend), a fresh look at the famous Horsehead Nebula and the ‘ripples in a pond’ of the sun’s surface. Free, until 19 July

SHUBBAK FESTIVAL:
A festival celebrating contemporary Arab culture which features over 100 international artists. Sixteen days worth of concerts, performances, installations, exhibitions, screenings and debates across a variety of London locations. Many events are free, check the website for a full programme of events. Until 26th July

STAYING POWER:
This crucial exhibition at the Black Cultural Archives has been extended to the end of July. Through portraiture and documentary photography it charts the experiences of Black British people from the 1950s through to the 1990s. Listen out for previously unheard oral testimonies which accompany the photos. Free, just turn up, until 31 July

BP PORTRAIT AWARD:
The annual free showcase of the most talented portraitists is back at the National Portrait Gallery. This year the competition had a record-breaking 2,748 entries — subjects include famous people, nudes, family portraits and photo-realism. Free entry, until 20 September

MORE LONDON FREE FESTIVAL:
From now until September, The Scoop at More London Riverside will be taken over by theatre, music, dance and film, as the More London Free Festival takes place. This month, the focus is on sport. Take a look at the calendar to see what’s on this week.

CHRISTINA BROOM:
Museum of London Docklands’s new exhibition is all about the UK’s first female press photographer, Christina Broom, a self-taught novice who turned photography into a business venture to support her family. Free, just turn up, until 1 November

Monday 13 July

PONGATHON MONDAYS:
Liven up your Monday evening with a round of pingpong at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green, accompanied by a soundtrack of disco, funk and electro tunes. Unleash your competitive side with loads of free to enter challenges and competitions. Free (cost to reserve a table), prebook, 6pm

FRAMING BLACK VISUAL ARTS:
As part of No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960-1990 join Guildhall Art Gallery for a hotly anticipated conversation between distinguished artists from the Black British arts scene: Eddie Chambers and Errol Lloyd. They'll be discussing the impact of notable Black artists in the late 20th century. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

SCIENCE MEETS FAIRY TALES:
Come and learn about the scientific discoveries which enchanted the authors of Victorian Britain who wrote them into fairy tales. Science in Wonderland, a talk at Conway Hall, explores the significance of stories by writers such as Hans Christian Anderson and Edith Nesbit. £5, prebook, 7.30pm

COMEDY:
Brighten up your Monday with some high quality comedy at The Good Ship in Kilburn. Following appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Joe Lycett will be previewing his Edinburgh show That's the Way: a-ha a-ha Joe Lycett. £2.50/£4, prebook, 8pm

Pongathon in action

Tuesday 14 July

ARTISTS FILM INTERNATIONAL:
Whitechapel Gallery's season of film and video produced by international artists starts today. Check the website for details of each film. Free, just turn up, until 27 September

SOMERSET HOUSE TOUR:
Ever wondered what the grounds of Somerset House looked like before the building was constructed? Join this guided tour to find out; tour includes access to the old Roman baths on Strand Lane. Free, just turn up, 1.15pm

STORYTELLING:
Liars' League are hosting a night of storytelling on the theme of Dungeons and Dragons. Expect haunted labyrinths, Amazonian swordswomen and feisty princesses. As usual stories will be brought to life by professional actors. £5, just turn up, 7.30pm

OPEN MIC NIGHT:
If you've been scribbling away poetry but never felt it was the right time or the right audience to read it out, now's your chance. Get down to the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden for their regular open mic night Poetry Unplugged. Always a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with an eclectic mix of readers. £4/£5, just turn up, 7.30pm

Wednesday 15 July

HELLMAN'S MEDITERRANEAN RETREAT:
Need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life? Then Hellman's (yes the mayo brand) is here to help. Head to Soho Square where Spanish chef José Pizarro and Salma Darling from The Mindfulness Project will be sharing recipes and hosting group meditation sessions. Free, prebook, noon-8pm

CART MARKING CEREMONY:
Discover the age old tradition of cart branding at Guildhall. Originally carried out to distinguish the city's carts, it's now become a ceremonial fair. Money raised goes to the Carmen's charity giving trust. Free, just turn up, 10.30am

BOOK TALK:
There's been much to protest about recently but we Londoners mastered the art of protest years ago as outlined in David Rosenberg's new book Rebel Footprints. Find out about the great protest movements that have shaped London from the chartists to the suffragettes at Housmans. £3, just turn up, 7pm

MUSIC:
Fancy a mid-week boogie? Head to 93 Feet East in Brick Lane's Old Truman Brewery for PRODIGAL JUMP!, a night of international music featuring 47SOUL said to be the rising stars of Arabic party music. £3/£5, prebook, 8pm

Thursday 16 July

STILL LIFE DRAWING:
Join the Fleming Collection for Still Life Afternoons, informal creative workshops where you'll use a variety of materials to create work inspired by the exhibitions. No need to be a pro, an artist will be on hand to help. Refreshments, materials and still life will be provided. £4, prebook, noon

LUNCHTIME CONCERT:
Listen to live jazz while you lunch at Cadogan Hall in Chelsea, as part of their series Out to Lunch. Today you can hear saxophonist Adam Waldmann. Get there early to guarantee a seat. Free, just turn up, 12pm

WAR ON WANT:
Join War on Want and a number of international activists at Rich Mix for a night of music, documentaries, spoken word and plenty of lively discussion about how wealth and power can be redistributed equally. Free, just turn up, 7pm

Still Life Afternoons at The Fleming Collection

Friday 17 July

ILLUSTRATION EXHIBITION:
Graduates from Camberwell Illustration are putting on an exhibition under the Hoxton Arches. Rock, Paper, Scissors features work by 45 artists all working across a diverse range of media, themes and styles. Look out for workshops and discussions taking place during the exhibition. Free, just turn up, until 21 July

DISCOVER DRAGONFLIES:
Can't tell your dragonfly from your damsel fly? Learn about these stunning insects from a museum scientist and how they can help us understand our changing climate. Takes place in the Attenborough Studio at The Natural History Museum. Free, just turn up, 2.30pm

POP UP ARCHAELOGICAL MUSEUM:
London is becoming well known for its rapid development but on this tour you can find out how ancient sites are being excavated and preserved by archaeologists at 100 Minories. Sites of archaeological importance include the Pool of London, St Katharine's Hospital and Dock and the Tower of London. Free, just turn up, 12.30pm

TALK:
This talk at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon focuses on Freedom and Expression, particularly exploring the creative expression of those with limited rights and freedom. The discussion panel is made up of organisations Freedom from Torture, PEN and Safe Ground. Free, prebook, 2pm

NIGHTLIFE:
No plans for Friday night? Head over to The Waiting Room in Dalston to hear Galaxians and Teej perform live. Stay for No Hands club night who'll be playing dance tunes that emanate those positive Friday night vibes including tracks from Caribou, Hot Chip, LCD Sound System and Talking Heads. Free/£5, prebook, 7.30pm

Excavation site, photo: Flo Laino (2015)
Excavation site at 100 Minories, photo: Flo Laino (2015)

Saturday 18 July

SUMMER BOOK FAIR:
If you’re in need of some new reading material head over to Brixton for its summer book fair at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton. Browse book stalls, pick up some publishing advice or join in with a creative writing workshop. Free, just turn up, 11am-4pm

WALTHAMSTOW GARDEN PARTY:
Last year 34,000 people gathered in Lloyd Park for Walthamstow Garden Party. This year promises to be even better with music, theatre, dance, craft and circus taking places across four stages. There'll be plenty of entertainment for kids while adults keep an eye out for the William Morris inspired cocktails. Free, just turn up, until 19 July

PERFORMANCE:
A day of performances from three artists who are taking part in exhibition Echoes and Reverberations as part of Shubbak Festival, which offers a perspective on contemporary Arab culture. The performances focus on the evocative potential of sound to tell stories or make ambient noise. Free, just turn up, 2pm-5.30pm

WHITECROSS STREET PARTY:
Look out for live painting at Whitecross Street Party in Moorgate. There's plenty of activities and events for all the family to enjoy, including an acoustic stage, street theatre and a carnival style parade. Free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm

LAMBETH COUNTRY SHOW:
Alongside the usual country style events — the horticultural show, animal displays and home grown veg stalls — this year the Lambeth Country Show is going distinctly urban with the main stage pumping out a mix of Dub, afro-beat, ska and reggae. Free, just turn up, 18-19 July

Sunday 19 July

STORYTIME SUNDAY:
Take the little ones along to Doodle Bar in Battersea for a morning of swashbuckling storytelling. Hear an exclusive reading of Captain Falsebeard in a Very Fishy Tale by author and illustrator Fred Blunt before the pirate themed activities begin. This event sells out every month so book early to avoid missing out. Free, prebook, 10am-2pm

BANKERS A FORCE FOR GOOD?:
According to Jonathan Parker bankers are a positive force for good in our society. We're sure this premise alone will produce strong murmurings of discontent. Hear him out and join in what we're sure will be a heated discussion at Conway Hall. £3, just turn up, 10.30am

NEPAL ROOFTOP FUNDRAISER:
Head to Queen of Hoxton's rooftop for artsy fun. Enjoy craft, cocktails and live painting accompanied by live music all for a good cause. During the night you'll be able to purchase candles, t-shirts and totes which will raise funds for the Tsum Valley region devastated by the Nepal Earthquakes. £2, just turn up, noon

TANGO AT SPITALFIELDS:
Head to Spitalfields to dance away that hangover — don't worry if you're not a Tango pro; there's a beginners taster class at 12.30pm. Free, just turn up, noon-4pm

SOCA ROAD MARCH:
Get in the carnival spirit with London's first Soca Road March launch party at Pop Brixton. Listen to Soca music, be dazzled by colourful costumes and don't miss out on delicious Caribbean food from Mama's Jerk. Free, prebook, 5pm

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

Last Updated 12 July 2015

TJ Mendez

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