Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 21-27 May 2018

All week

Scale Rule have unveiled this year's Next Generation Design Pavilion.

CHELSEA FRINGE: Get involved in all sorts of horticultural happenings across the capital at the Chelsea Fringe — there's plenty to do that won't cost you a penny. Discover your borough's most beloved trees, do you best Blue Steel under a giant geranium arch that's begging to be 'grammed, or soak up some rays at a floral human-powered sundial. Various locations, book ahead for some events, 19-26 May

THE MATRIX OF WATER: German-born artist SaySay.Love spent six months photographing water across the world, from Africa to Poland, oceans to the inside of bottles. Discover a new-found appreciation for this vital resource through his interpretations of its mercurial structure and beauty. Coningsby Gallery (Fitzrovia), free, just turn up, 9am-6pm, 21 May-26 May

DESIGN PAVILION: Some seriously impressive London-based GCSE students designed this kaleidoscopic pop-up pavilion on the theme of sustainability. They're inviting you to take a moment to look up and absorb the natural beauty that can be found in the heart of the city. St James' Churchyard (Clerkenwell), free, just turn up, 10am-9pm, 22 May-22 August

Monday 21 May

Fair pay for fair work? St Paul's Institute's policy recommendations mean business.

FAIR PAY: What's next for the fat cats at the top of the corporate ladder? Ahead of the government's expected proposals for legislation on executive pay, St Paul's Institute present its findings on how executive compensation can be made fairer and more transparent. Wren Suite (St Paul's Cathedral), free, book ahead, 2pm-4:30pm

BE REASONABLE: Enlightenment philosophy pit the rationalists against the empiricists, with the latter coming to dominate contemporary intellectual life. But have  we been too quick to dismiss the likes of Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza? Four experts discuss at LSE's philosophy forum. Old Theatre, LSE (Houghton Street), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP: If you suffer from stage fright, this taster session could be just what the doctor ordered. Take the first step in going from mediocre MC to orator extraordinaire with the help of public speaking coach Micahel Sokolin. Abbey Centre (Westminster), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.15pm

Tuesday 22 May

Find unexpected beauty in an urban landscape and hear old folk ballads at the foot of a traditional gypsy caravan.

FATE UNKNOWN: Discover the methods used to trace the paths of persecution of those impacted by the Holocaust at the world's oldest archive of material from the Nazi era. You'll hear from an expert at The Wiener Library's international tracing service, as well as from German-Jewish genealogy expert Jeanette R. Rosenberg OBE. The Wiener Library (Russell Square), free, book ahead, 10.15am-12.30pm

TAKING THE BISCUIT: First there was Lionel Rich Tea, now it's supermodel Naomi Campbell's turn to have her luminous visage recreated atop a sugary tea time snack. Transform an ordinary rich tea biscuit into something that would make Tyra Banks quiver in her boots over a drink or two. Drink, Shop & Do (King's Cross), free, just turn up, 6pm

ALGORITHMIC INVASION: In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, what better way to learn more about data mining and its threat to democracy than a quirky drama-doc that's part expert interviews, part alien invasion melodrama? Don't miss this exclusive preview of Mind-Reading Algorithms are Stealing our Democracy along with a Q&A with data experts, the director, and the cast. Lush Studio Soho (Beak Street), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.30pm

GYPSY CARAVAN: Gather round a traditional gypsy caravan to hear stories of women and power. Meryl Pugh reads from her debut poetry collection, while an all-female folk ensemble perform traditional songs from the British Isles and America. The Norfolk Broads Sutton House (Hackney), £5, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 23 May

Rock out with The Rolling Stones at Genesis Cinema.

PEWTER-FUL: See the winning entries of Pewter Live — an annual competition showcasing the best in pewter craftsmanship. To mark the contest's 30th anniversary, all the pieces on display revolve around the theme of celebration. Pewterers' Hall (London Wall), free, just turn up, 10am-5pm

INCLUSIVE POP UP SHOP: Fashions may come and go, but inclusivity should never go out of style. Blue Badge Style works to redefine disability through its range of elegant, en vogue products to suit every taste and need. Discover their range at this one-off pop up event featuring live jazz from pianist Mark Pampel and champagne sponsored by Pol Rodger. Charlie Allen Bespoke (Islington), free entry, just turn up, 4pm-10pm

REASON TO HOPE: Find out how we can all affect positive change when it comes to ending the pervasive violence against women and girls worldwide at this panel discussion featuring Tell MAMA director Iman Abou Atta OBE, Lisa Gormley, and Dr Elaine Storkey. St James's Church (Piccadilly), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm

THE ROLLING STONES ON FILM: It may not be their highly anticipated Olympic Park show, but you can catch The Rolling Stones in concert via the silver screen at Genesis Cinema. Go back to the summer of '69 and the super group's historic Hyde Park gig, as captured in The Stones in the Park. Genesis Cinema (Stepney Green), free, book ahead, 6.30pm

Thursday 24 May

Join a cast of actors, scientists and literary researchers for a contagious evening of cabaret.

NOF: The work of contemporary artists sits alongside that of Israeli old masters in a celebration of landscapes past and future. See an eclectic mix of paintings, video, sculpture, and photography in the heart of Camden Market. Provender Building (Camden Market), free, just turn up, 10am-6pm, until 29 May

HERBAL TEA WORKSHOP: Make your own tea blends using culinary, medicinal and wild herbs at a drop in workshop with Hackney Herbal. Milliken (Clerkenwell), free, just turn up, 11am-3pm

THE PERFECT SCHOOL: Attention educators — what do you think makes a perfect school? Artist Paul Maheke invites you to use your imagination at a workshop for rethinking school structures and conjuring up new possibilities for children's learning environments. Serpentine Gallery (Kensington Gardens), free, 6pm-8pm

CONTAGION CABARET: Germophobes, look away now. The Contagion Cabaret is town to bring stories and songs about superbugs and pestilential plagues that have infected our collective imagination for generations. Don't forget your hand sanitiser. The British Academy (Westminster), free, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

Friday 25 May

This Friday, Borough Market is set to be absolutely buzzing.

URBAN BEES: Get ready for a hive of activity at Borough Market, which will be buzzing with inspiration on how you can let more urban bees into your life. Make some fuzzy friends at Bermondsey Street Bees' glass hive and see how you can sweeten up your cuisine with a live honey cookery demo. Naturally, there are plenty of sticky samples for your to get your paws on. Borough Market (London Bridge), free, just turn up, 10am-4pm

ROMAN DEAD: Unearth the secrets of a Roman sarcophagus, on display for the first time since its surprise discovery last year. With ancient skeletons over 200 objects from Roman London burials, you'll discover how folks dealt life's great inevitability in old Londinium. Museum of London Docklands (West India Quay), free, 10am-6pm, until 28 Otober

FEEDING TIME: Feeling peckish? From man-eating mammals, to a hamburger grown in a lab, this food-themed museum late might make you lose your appetite. Nevertheless, you'll find plenty of fascinating titbits to chew over regarding the science, history and future of human and animal sustenance. Natural History Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 6pm-10pm

ONCE UPON A MIC: At the top of The Castle, in a land, far, far away — at least for those in south west London — a fantastical feast of spoken word, comedy, music and magic awaits. Enjoy an eclectic mix of talented performers at this cosy candlelit parts showcase. Upstairs at The Castle (Aldgate), £5, just turn up, 7.30pm

Saturday 26 May

A trio of ZSL scientists get on their soapbox.

YAMAHA LEARNING LAB: Guitarist Stuart Shields will be strumming away at Yamaha Music to show off the Yamaha electric guitar and Line 6 Helix ranges, including the Gear of the Year award-winning guitar processor. Yamaha Music (Wardour Street), free, book ahead, 10.30am-5pm

PUMP HOUSE PROSE: Amid the tranquil charm of Battersea Park's Old English Garden, a troupe of local actors will scrutinise our flirtatious, sometimes amorous, and occasionally hateful relationship with nature via readings from the likes of J.G Ballard, Edoard Glissant, and Ursula Leguin. Pump House Gallery (Battersea Park), free, just turn up, 2pm-5pm

SOAPBOX SCIENCE: Learn how to stop being such a scourge on the earth's natural resources, with three kick-ass scientists at a sustainability-themed edition of Soapbox Science — an annual alfresco celebration of women in science that promises to be bigger than ever before. Gabriel's Wharf (Southbank), free, just turn up, 2pm-5pm

CAMDEN HEAD COMEDY: Angel Comedy Club's flagship stand-up nights are always a barrel of laughs. Best of all, they cost absolutely nothing — so get down there an hour or so early to nab yourself a seat while they're still going. The Camden Head (Islington), just turn up, 8pm-10pm

Sunday 27 May

Get crafty at the Royal Academy of Arts.

LANDSCAPE LANTERNS: Light up your afternoon with a free workshop exploring the changing seasons while making beautiful willow lanterns. Kids can decorate their creations using printed leaves and colourful landscapes inspired by Royal Academy artists like John Constable and JMW Turner. Clore Learning Centre, Royal Academy of Arts (Mayfair), free, just turn up, 11am-3pm

HANDS ON ARCHAEOLOGY: Wannabe Indiana Joneses will be in heaven at this afternoon archaeology session. This time, you'll learn how to date the huge quantities of pipes found at Fulham Palace,and discover its Bishops' tobacco use with centuries-old links to North America. Jessie Mylne Education Centre (Fulham Palace), free just turn up, 1pm-3pm

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...

A Secret London Tour


How well do you really know London? Visit the streets that inspired Harry Potter locations and see London's most superstitious hotel. On Matt's tour you will explore hidden places and discover stories unknown to even the most knowledgeable of Londoners. Get tickets

Lost London Walking Tour


London is a city of incredible transformation. With structural remains that date back to ancient history still in existence, this unique walking tour takes in Lost London in all its former glory. From the Titanic booking office to the graveyards of man's best friend, you'll discover the weird and wonderful places that used to exist in the capital but are now only committed to memory. Using old photographs, newspaper cuttings and stories from the past, you'll be amazed at what has largely been written out of our history books...   Get tickets

Hidden London Tour


Visit old pubs, even older churches, hidden rivers, mysterious tunnels and more on this tour of hidden Londo. You'll hear tales of the myths and legends which made the City of London what it is today, and find out the area's links to nursery rhymes and literary figures. Get tickets

Forgotten Old London


Have you visited London's Roman ampitheatre? What about London's Medieval market places? Hear weird and wonderful tales of our beautiful city as you take a walking tour, seeing everything from centuries-old churches to the hanging place of William Wallace. Whether you've lived here all your life or are visiting for a few days, you're sure to learn something new about London. Get tickets