Things To Do In London: Monday 17 August

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Enjoy a three course meal accompanied by Japanese Blues

Literary London statues

London has been home to many a great artist and writer and still attracts creative types in their hoards. From authors Virginia Woolf and Oscar Wilde to lovable fictional characters like Paddington, London has immortalised its great literary figures in statues and dotted them around London.  

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Things to do

This year’s Meltdown Festival is curated by award-winning musician David Byrne. There will be interactive theatre plus music performances from CocoRosie and C.i.A. Check the Southbank Centre website for prices and booking details. Until 30 August

Explore Penny Woolcock's installation Utopia at Round House in Camden. An amalgamation of London voices all telling their individual stories. £5, prebook, noon

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Head to Buddha Bar in Knightsbridge to discover the sound of the UK's only professional player of the Japanese guitar Shamisen. Enjoy a three course meal and complimentary cocktail accompanied by authentic Japanese folk and blues. £30, prebook, 5pm

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Pure Fluke create strong, funny characters for women and ethnic minorities. Their new play How to Make Money from Art is on at Phoenix Theatre as part of the Camden Fringe. £7/£8.50, prebook, 6pm

Faber and The Quietus are hosting Whisky and Cigarettes — a gathering of talented writers who will discuss music, words and vices. John Doran, John Niven, DBC Pierre, Wyndham Wallace and Keeley Forsyth will be in attendance. £10, prebook, 7pm

Join the Queen of Hoxton for their Monday evening Ukulele Hootenanny session. For regular Ukers, beginners or anyone who is just uke curious. Hire one of their ukuleles for a £20 returnable deposit. Free, just turn up, 7pm

Get your knit on at The White Hart in Stoke Newington. A great way to make new friends and hopefully you'll end the session with a fully formed clutch bag. £25, prebook, 7pm

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If you're prone to jumping on the dance floor as soon as you hear a Beyonce track but are keen to perfect your dance moves, head to Drink, Shop and Do in King's Cross for a Beyonce style dance session. £10, prebook, 7pm-9pm

The Spiegeltent on the South Bank is home to an art class like no other. Expect a thrilling evening of circus and cabaret all captured by Dr Sketchy's artists. £20, prebook, 7.30pm

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American Iliza Shlesinger has already won TV shows in her homeland and played in Canada and Australia, so it’s about time she made it to Blighty. Catch her at the Soho Theatre until 29 August. £10-£20, prebook, 7.30pm

The weekend is a long way away so why not start it early at this Empire Cocktail Masterclass at Merchant House in Bank with gin, rum and port. £20, prebook, 7.30pm

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Head to the rooftop of Broadway House in Chelsea to see Ryan Gosling in Drive. There will be BBQ food, drinks and Pops (the world’s first champagne ice lolly) and you get a free bag of popcorn with your ticket and, well, Ryan Gosling. £15, prebook, 9pm

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Good cause of the day

The Compassionate Friends is a charity providing support through help, advice and friendship for those who are going through bereavement after suffering the loss of a child. The charity has signed up to the Easy Fundraising scheme which allows people to make donations simply by doing their normal shopping through a website that helps them donate as they spend.

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