Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 10-16 February 2020

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Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 10-16 February 2020

All week

Imagine Children's Festival returns to Southbank Centre

VALENTINE'S EVENTS: Looking for something to do with your significant other this week? Take a look at our guide to the best Valentine's events in London, including romance-themed museum lates, afternoon tea, and stargazing.

ARMY PHOTOS: It's the final week to the winning works from the Army Film and Photographic Competition. The images and videos give an insight into life in the army, at training bases as well as on the front line, across a variety of job roles and locations. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, just turn up, until 13 February

Catherine Bohart is among the comedians showcasing their work in progress at Pleasance Theatre

IMAGINE CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL: A family favourite every year, Imagine Children's Festival returns for half term. Southbank Centre brings together authors, performers and other celebrities for events focused on kids' literature. Theatre shows, music workshops and plenty of other activities are all part of the fun — and plenty of the events are free. Southbank Centre, various prices, book ahead, 12-23 February

COMEDY PREVIEWS: Pleasance Theatre's Work In Progress season goes on, giving the public a chance to see comedy on the cheap, and comedians a chance to hone their work. The shows are a fiver each, or three for £12, and options this week include Lulu Popplewell, Lily Phillips, Catherine Bohart and Norris & Parker. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £5 per show/3 for £12, book ahead, ongoing

Monday 10 February

The Jim Hammond Duo perform at Wilton's

PLANT DESIGN: Ever heard of Hugo de Vries? The Dutch botanist was one of the first to claim that science would allow plants and animals to be designed to order. History of Science professor Jim Endersby talks about his work, as well as other perspectives on plant mutation. Barnard's Inn Hall (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

FICTION LAB: The Royal Institution's monthly Fiction Lab is a book club for anyone who enjoys reading fiction with a science slant. This time, focus is on My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, a novel about one woman's experiment in narcotic hibernation. If you've read the book, why not drop by and discuss it with other literature lovers? Royal Institution (Mayfair), free, just turn up, 7pm

MONDAY NIGHT MUSIC: The Jim Hammond Duo perform at tonight's Monday Night Music session in the bar at Wilton's. Expect plenty of blues and country tunes at the intimate event. Wilton's (Limehouse), free, just turn up, 7.30pm-9pm

Tuesday 11 February

Get the background to the Thames Tideway Tunnel project.

THAMES TIDEWAY TUNNEL: Andy Mitchell CBE, Chief Executive Officer at Thames Tideway Tunnel, gives a talk outlining the engineering side of the project, from Bazalgette's original Victorian sewers to new infrastructure which will take London into the 22nd century. Institution of Civil Engineers (Westminster), free, book ahead, 4.30pm-7.30pm

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION: Find out how conservationists aim to create a world where wildlife thrives, by targeting the source of the problem: humans. Hear from ZSL experts about how the charity takes a holistic approach to conservation all over the world, with specific examples of projects where working with local people has led to success. ZSL (Regent's Park), free, just turn up, 6pm

CLITERATURE: The Vagina Museum's book club, Cliterature, is back in session. This time, focus is on Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, a short story collection merging horror, science fiction and fairytale. Vagina Museum (Camden Market), £3, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

Wednesday 12 February

Learn about the constitutional effects of Brexit

LUNCHTIME LECTURE: The towns of Dehua and Jingdezhen in China are known for their ceramics history. Hear from ceramicists Felicity Aylieff, Lucille Lewin and Peter Ting about their experiences in the towns and the people involved with the craft there. V&A Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 1pm-1.45pm

BREXIT AND CONSTITUTION: When Britain entered the EU in 1973, it had major consequences for the British constitution. Find out what the constitutional consequences of Brexit might be, with power shifting from Brussels to Westminster. Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (Russell Square), free, book ahead, 6pm-8.30pm

PHILOSOPHY OF LOVE ACTUALLY: The philosophy of rom com films is the subject of a special panel debate, which looks at the lessons we can learn from the likes of Roman Holiday, Bringing Up Baby and Love Actually. Participants include film critic Robert Hanks and senior lecturer in film studies, Catherine Wheatley. LSE (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

Thursday 13 February

Outing the Past at National Maritime Museum

IMPERIAL LATES: Future Commuter is the theme of a late-night opening at Imperial College. Experts offer an insight into what the future of transport might look like, including a look at electric vehicles with Shell, a VR experience based on cycling in London, and wearable tech that tells you when you're too tired or drowsy to be driving. Imperial College (South Kensington), free, book ahead, 6pm-9pm

OUTING THE PAST: As part of LGBT History Month, National Maritime Museum hosts OUTing the Past, an evening of free talks and conversations by presenters from across the UK. Among the talks is Lisa Power, ex-Switchboard Volunteer, who talks through some of the Switchboard Log Books. National Maritime Museum (Greenwich), free, book ahead, 6pm-9.30pm

MERMAIDS: South East London Folklore Society's February talk is about mermaids. Hear about different versions of merfolk which exist in cultures around the world, and trace where such myths originate. The Old King's Head (Borough), £5/£3, book ahead, 8pm

Friday 14 February

Terry Brighton discusses the men of the Light Brigade

HELL'S MILE: British military historian Terry Brighton gives a free talk about Hell's Mile, otherwise known as the Valley of Death, a battle faced by the Light Brigade. Hear stories from the written accounts of some of the survivors, and find out about the officer who was to blame for the disaster. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

NEW YORK BRASS BAND: Kickstart your weekend with some live music courtesy of the New York Brass Band. Expect things to get loud and lively, with cocktails and barbecue food available at the bar, and DJs keeping things going until the early hours. Blues Kitchen (Camden), £4.52, book ahead, 9pm

DRAG KARAOKE: New(ish) nightlife venue Colours keep things interesting on Valentine's Day with a drag karaoke special. Howl your heart out at the anti-Valentine's event, with break-up ballads and plenty of glitter. Colours Hoxton, free, book ahead, 9pm-11pm

Saturday 15 February

Lucy O'Brien appears at Polari

HALF TERM: With most London schools on holiday for the coming week, take a look at our guide to things to do in London in half term. We've covered exhibitions, theatre shows, and other things to see and do, as well as plenty of places to eat.

THE GREAT STINK: Families can travel back in time with a storytelling session themed on the great stink of London. Aimed at age 5+, it's a chance to learn about the smelly summer of 1858, and the dirt, disease and pollution which created it. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 15-16 February

POLARI: LGBT+ literary salon Polari hosts Lucy O'Brien as special guest. The writer, academic and broadcaster gives an illustrated talk about her Dusty Springfield biography, Dusty: The Classic Biography, hosted by Polari founder Paul Burston. Southbank Centre, £5, book ahead, 7.30pm

Sunday 16 February

Join All Dogs Matter for a Valentine's dog walk

VALENTINE'S DOG WALK: Show your pooch how much you love them at a Valentine's dog walk, raising money for canine charity All Dogs Matter. Wander across the heath with other dogs and their owners. Plus, there's a prize for best dog-human costume on the theme of 'loved up'. The Garden Gate (Hampstead), £5 per dog, just turn up, from 10am

QUEER TANGO: Queer Tango London hosts an LGBT History Month special. Celebrate the bars and night clubs of Buenos Aires, London or Paris, or the Berlin of Weimar Germany at a same-sex tango with authentic music, interspersed with short talks about the history of same-sex dancing. Colours Hoxton, £5, book ahead, 1pm-5pm

COMEDY: Round off your week with a giggle or two as comedian Arabella Weir showcases her latest work, Does My Mum Loom Big In This? The work-in-progress show takes place ahead of her debut UK tour, aimed at everyone who's had a mother or been a mother. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £5, book ahead, 7.30pm

Last Updated 07 February 2020