Things To Do In London: Friday 18 September 2015

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All-male NYC ballet company 'the Trocks'.

'How to' guide to Asian supermarkets

If you're inspired by Malaysian Night tonight, and have the energy and patience to cook as well as eat, check our guide to making the most of your local Asian supermarket. Find out how to tell the difference between 20 different types of lentils and 11 million varieties of chilli oil.

Things to do

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The hair straightening gurus at ghd are opening a saucy Soho studio with daily dry styling with an S&M theme (sleek and movement). There are free smoothies before 4pm and cocktails after. Until 22 September. £10, prebook, 8.30am

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Merge returns to Bankside for its fifth year with another free month of wild and wacky stuff, including a bioluminescent sea water installation, a neuro physiologist musician, caravan theatre and an interactive sound and light installation operated by participants' brain data. Free, just turn up, noon


Have a cultured lunch break and catch the semi-finalists of the prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition at Broadgate Circle in the City today. Free, just turn up, noon


Did our guide to the delicious Asian nation's grub make you drool? Sample laksas, rendang, noodles and curries galore at Trafalgar Square's Malaysia Night, with all dishes under a fiver. Free, just turn up, noon


To whom do we owe thanks for the existence of London's royal parks? Find out with A Right Royal Ramble, along with other titbits from 500 years of history — a story of kings and highwaymen. £5, prebook, noon


London's streets and alleyways are crammed with the ghosts of libraries past — discover them on this walk around St James's and Bloomsbury with Alice Ford-Smith. Meet at Burlington House, £10, prebook, 6pm


The Spiegeltent has rocked up in Canary Wharf, and Daniel Sloss is performing his show Dark there tonight. See how the former teenage stand up is doing these days. £18.25, prebook, 7.30pm


Have a magical night at The Card Shark Show in Oxford Circus with Steve Truglia, one of only 300 associates of the Inner Magic Circle in the world. Fridays until 30 October. £20, prebook, 7.30pm

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We heartily recommend all-male troupe Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo at Holborn's Peacock Theatre. See the fabulous New Yorkers' take on Paquita, Esmerelda, Pas de Deux and a little bit of Swan Lake. Until 20 September, £49, prebook, 7.30pm

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If you didn't get World Cup tickets, head to Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick instead. Watch England Vs Fiji while munching on pulled pork or halloumi burgers and enjoying beer brewed right next to where you're sitting. Until 1 October. £5, prebook, 8pm

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Boogie on down to Motown, soul and rock'n'roll at The Phoenix in Oxford Street. Beehives and mop tops welcome. £4, prebook, 9pm

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If you've grown to love your commute as an opportunity to play Candy Crush, you'll love Miss Behave's Gameshow, featuring a live audience version of the addictive app with skittles and hammers. Plus cabaret, comedy and sequins. Also 25 September. £9, prebook, 9.30pm

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Good cause of the day

London obviously wouldn't be London without its cultural offerings, but we know many are notoriously underfunded. Support one such institution, the National Jazz Archive, at a concert this Friday at Chingford Assembly Hall. Boppy six-piece The Jive Aces blend swing, rhythm and blues and rock and roll and plays hits made big by the likes of Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and Big Joe Turner. Also on are Swing Museum with a more traditional set of '30s and '40s standards. £17, prebook, 7.30pm

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