Things To Do Today: Wednesday 13 April 2016

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Take two tours of Strawberry Hill House today (see below). Image: Steve Keietsu

Must-read stuff:

Bit broke? No worries, there are loads of things to do for under £5 this week.

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News round:

Catch up with the day's big stories.

Things to do today:

MORNING MUSIC: Hear some of the country's greatest budding violinists at the Southbank Centre today as they compete in the semi finals of  the Menuhin Competition. Relax to the sounds of pieces by Beethoven, Béla Bartók and George Enescu. £5 (+booking fee), just turn up, 10am

OPERA UP CLOSE: As it's 400 years since Shakespeare's death this month, Broadgate Circle has invited the Olivier award-winning OperaUpClose to perform songs, operatic arias and ensembles at the circle. Pieces this Wednesday include Verdi's Macbeth and Schubert's Who is Silvia? The perfect accompaniment to lunch. Free, just turn up, 12.45pm

PELICAN WALK: Last week, we told you about the law forbidding the touching of pelicans. Today, take a walk past these magnificent birds in St James's Park. Stroll through London's oldest royal park, past The Mall and Horse Guards Parade and be back in time to watch the pelicans at feeding time and meet their keeper. £5, prebook, 1.15pm

GARDEN TOUR: Take a tour round the spectacular gardens of Strawberry Hill House — Horace Walpole's gothic home, and the inspiration for his novel The Castle Of Otranto. You can also linger for a Twilight Tour of the house this evening at 8pm. Free (£20 for Twilight Tour, prebook), just turn up, 3pm

If your house looks like this, you might want to consider today's book swap. Image: Veronica K

BOOK SWAP: Just finished a book? Never fear, drop into this launch of Novellic — the book club app at The Parcel Yard, King's Cross. Bring a tome you want to swap, mingle with book lovers and switch your book for a new one. All genres welcome and there's be food and drink too. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm

ACOUSTIC NIGHT: Hanbury Hall hosts a night of acoustic country and folk tunes from apples...i'm home, Patchwork Skies, Ben Edgington and Simon Morely. Head to Spitalfields to help celebrate the opening of this new venue. £5/£3, just turn up, 7pm

THE RENT TRAP: It's a phrase familiar to many Londoners, but how do we get out of The Rent Trap? This new book shows how people are fighting back against unafforable living costs and vicious landlords. Head to Housmans Bookshop for the launch of this book by Samir Jeraj and Rosie Walker. £3, just turn up, 7pm

COMEDY: Future Sellouts: How to Laugh like a Million Dollars answers all of life's important questions tonight at Dogstar, Brixton — like why you're not called Dickie and why your laugh sounds like someone who can't afford a mortgage. Comedians Imran Yusef, Bec Hill, Liam Williams and more, take to the stage. £6-£8, just turn up, 7.30pm

SPARROWS OF PARIS: With jazz echoing Paris of the 1920s-1950s, think vintage French chansons and gypsy jazz at tonight's Troubador gig. Sparrows Of Paris feature vocals from Carolyn Saint-Pé plus accompaniment from Josh Middleton, Joe Perkins and Julia Doyle. £6, prebook, 8pm

Good cause of the day

A night of top cabaret and cocktails awaits you at Cabaret Vs Cancer's Cabaret Cavalcades this Wednesday. From tops acts, including burlesque artists, fire breathers and some rather cheeky performers to boot — this is an old school night of glamour, all in a good cause. Grab your ticket and head to Dalston's Fontaine's Bar. £8.80, prebook, 13 April, from 6pm