Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 11-17 November 2019

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Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 11-17 November 2019

All week

The Regent Street Christmas lights begin on Thursday. Image: Shutterstock

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: More of London's Christmas lights are switched on this week, including Marylebone, Seven Dials, Kingston and — the biggie — Regent Street, which happens on Thursday. Full details in our Christmas lights guide.

CHRISTMAS MARKETS: Yes, we know it's only mid-November, but London's Christmas markets are setting up shop already. The big one this week is the Country Living Christmas Fair, although plenty of smaller (and cheaper) markets and fairs are open too. Just think how smug you'll feel when you've got everything wrapped before the start of December.

21ST CENTURY FERLINGHETTI: Last chance to see this exhibition celebrating poet, publisher, painter and activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who marked his 100th birthday this year. See examples of his work which are being exhibited in the UK for the first time, and hear and watch audio and video clips from his archive. National Poetry Library (Southbank Centre), free, just turn up, until 17 November

Monday 11 November

Take a free ballet class

FREE BALLET: Who says nothing in life is free? Try a free adult ballet taster session, aimed at anyone age 18+ who always wanted to try ballet, but never got round to it. It's never too late to learn to pirouette. Camden Town (address provided on booking), free, book ahead, 1pm/6pm (sponsor)

YOGA CLASS: Ballet not your thing? Try a free yoga class instead. The hour-long session, run by a qualified instructor, is upbeat and designed to encourage vitality and rejuvenation in your body. Yoga mats are provided. Oxford Street (address provided on booking), free, book ahead, 6pm-7pm (sponsor)

POWELL AND PRESSBURGER: History of film expert Professor Ian Christie gives a free talk about second world war film making duo Powell and Pressburger, also known as The Archers. Although Churchill himself wasn't keen on their work, its patriotism was appreciated by the British people. Ciné Lumiere (South Kensington), free, book ahead, 6pm

Tuesday 12 November

Learn about Madagascar's missing megafauna

MISSING MEGAFAUNA: The Zoological Society of London — the charity behind London Zoo — hosts a panel of experts to talk about the extinct species of Madagascar, and what can be learnt from them. The island has undergone an ecosystem collapse, with giant lemurs, hippos and elephant birds among the historic species wiped out. ZSL (Regent's Park), free, just turn up, 6pm-7.45pm

IMPERIAL LATES: Imperial College stays open late for an evening themed on the infectious. Meet staff and scientists, learn about their work, and take part in discussions, debates and activities — a ball pit and a free drink are among the offerings this month. Imperial College (South Kensington), free, book ahead, 6pm-9pm

SMOKE COMEDY: Jordan Brookes headlines the final Smoke Comedy show of 2019, trying out new work ahead of an appearance at Soho Theatre in December. He's joined by Richard Todd, Emily Woods, Liz Guterbock and Maddie Campion. The Sekforde Arms (Clerkenwell), £5, book ahead, 7.30pm-10pm

Wednesday 13 November

Get stuck into neuroscience in your lunch hour

NEUROSCIENCE: Spend your lunch break hearing from neuroscientist Soyon Hong about her work on what immune cells do in the brain, from their role in learning and memory to their contribution to ageing and dementia in Alzheimer’s. There's a chance to ask your questions at the end too. Wellcome Collection (Euston), free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

KEYHOLE SURGERY: The aptly-named Professor Roger Kneebone gives a free talk about keyhole surgery. Find out how operations have changed completely in just a few decades thanks to the minimal access procedures, and hear from retired surgeons from the 1980s, who re-enact how they used to do things. Probably not one for the squeamish. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

CHILD MIGRANTS: Cameroon-born writer, poet and playwright Eric Ngalle Charles and Scottish doctor and singer-songwriter Anna Macdonald appear together for an event looking at the way poetry and music can help parentless child refugees overcome trauma. Charles arrived in the UK after fleeing persecution in his village, and Macdonald founded the charity Play for Progress, which helps traumatised and unaccompanied child refugees. King's College (Strand), free, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

Thursday 14 November

Gun salutes take place at Tower of London

GUN SALUTES: Brace yourself for a series of gun salutes today, marking the birthday of Prince Charles. It begins with 41 rounds in Hyde Park at 12pm, followed by 62 rounds at the Tower of London at 1pm. Free, just turn up, 12pm/1pm

SAVING THE WORLD: Get ready to think bigly for a theatre performance/talk about sustainability, and what you can do to save the world. The interactive show covers what individuals, finance and policy can come together to help the world's climate. Broadgate Theatre, £5, book ahead, 12.30pm-1.30pm

TUDOR COURT: Hear about the turbulent politics of mid-Tudor England, with particular reference to Sir Thomas Gresham. Under his service to three monarchs, Gresham's intellectual forward-thinking stood him in good stead, allowing him to forge relationships with important people, including Queen Elizabeth I herself. Barnard's Inn Hall (Holborn), free entry, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

Friday 15  November

Watch Wall-E at No Planet B Film Club

WRITE IDEA: The 11th WriteIdea Festival — a free reading festival — takes place all weekend. An impressive line-up of more than 20 authors are on the programme over three days. It begins today with Colin Grant talking about the Windrush Generation. Idea Store Whitechapel, free, book ahead, 15-17 November

TERRIERS: Professor Peter Stanley discusses the 50,000 British Territorials who served in India during the first world war. The 'Terriers' believed Lord Kitchener had 'promised' that they would return to Europe to fight the Germans, but in reality, many of them remained in India until late 1919. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

WALL-E: No Planet B Film Club presents a free screening of Pixar film Wall-E, about the last robot left on Earth, who spends his days tidying up rubbish one piece at a time. A special guest from Greenpeace gives a talk before the film, and snacks are available for a small donation. Tate South Lambeth Library, free entry, just turn up, 3.45pm-5.30pm

Saturday 16 November

Have a rummage at the Amnesty Book Sale

VAGINA MUSEUM: From crowdfunding campaign to securing a venue, London's — and the world's — first Vagina Museum has been a long time in the making. It's been hosting events for a while, but today it opens its first full exhibition, Muff Busters: Vagina Myths And How To Fight Them. Vagina Museum (Camden), free, just turn up, from 16 November

BOOK SALE: Amnesty International's annual book sale is the stuff of legend in south-east London, and we don't expect this year to be any different. Browse through hundreds of books — some of them brand new — from novels to biographies to non-fiction works, and take home a few tomes at bargain prices, while doing your bit for charity. Church of the Ascencion (Blackheath), free entry, just turn up, 10am-4pm

DAYLIGHT CLUBBING: Music venue Omeara hosts the UK's first accessible clubbing event for disabled people and their carers. The debut event is a Jungle and D&B special, produced by London-based DJ and mental health volunteer Tony Gurney, and if successful, it's hoped that it will become a regular event. Omeara (Southwark), £5 (includes free carer ticket), book ahead, 2pm

Sunday 17 November

Strawberry Hill House hosts a Christmas Festival

TRAPPED IN ZONE ONE: Group art show Trapped In Zone One aims to raise awareness around issues of homelessness, and the importance of helping vulnerable young people in society. Money raised from the sale of works goes to YMCA North London. Great Art (Hackney), free, just turn up, 17-24 November

CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL: Gothic mansion Strawberry Hill House hosts a Christmas Festival, incorporating 40 stalls selling gifts, crafts and local produce. Wander through the historic rooms of the house, and St Mary's University next door. Tuck into a hog roast and mulled wine. Author talks which are part of Richmond Literature Festival also take place. Strawberry Hill (Twickenham), £5, book ahead, 10am-4pm

Last Updated 08 November 2019