Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 15-21 April 2019

Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 15-21 April 2019

All week

Reduce Speed Now is installed at Somerset House. © Justin Brice Guariglia

EASTER HOLIDAYS: School holidays don't need to be expensive. Take a look at our Easter holidays guide for entertainment ideas for all budgets.

REDUCE SPEED NOW: To mark Earth Day, American artist Justin Brice Guariglia installs new artwork in the courtyard of Somerset House. Reduce Speed Now! is formed of nine large solar-powered LED signs usually seen on motorways, presenting words by international activists, philosophers and poets on the subject of climate change. Somerset House, free, just turn up, 16-19 April

WARHOL'S ORBIT: This exhibition showcases shots by photojournalist Nat Finkelstein, focusing on people who moved in the same circles as pop artist Andy Warhol. Finkelstein spent three years capturing photos of the artists, producers and magicians who visited Warhol's hedonistic studio, the Silver Factory. Proud Galleries (Embankment), free, just turn up, until 9 June

SMOKE AND MIRRORS: Get an insight into the psychology of magic at Wellcome Collection's new exhibition. Objects including a gorilla costume worn by Derren Brown, Harry Houdini’s Bell Box, and Tommy Cooper’s fez, are used to question what magic can tell us about the human mind, and whether our senses can be 'hacked'. Wellcome Collection (Euston), free, just turn up, until 15 September

Shots of Warhol's contemporaries by Nat Finkelstein are on display at Proud Galleries © Nat Finkelstein Estate

Monday 15 April

GOTHIC BOOKCLUB: Find out more about Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, who wrote the horror book when she was still a teenager, at Gothic Bookclub. The book being discussed this month is In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein by Fiona Sampson, a biographical look at Shelley's life. Strawberry Hill House, free, book ahead, 7.30pm

OPEN MIC STORYTELLING: London is the theme of tonight's Spark London storytelling evening, so summon up your best tales about the capital and share them with the audience. Stories must be true, about you, and five minutes long. Not much of a public speaker? Just sit back and watch others tell their tales. Ritzy (Brixton), £5, book ahead, 8pm

AUTHOR TALK: Author Rachel Malik discusses her novel Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves, a true story about her own grandmother, who was billeted to a farm as a Land Girl, far from the city where she grew up. Stoke Newington Bookshop, £2.50, just turn up, 8pm

Tuesday 16 April

Stay late at Somerset House

TEXT MINING: With machine processing of text becoming more common — such as the use of automatic chatbots to replace humans — find out a bit more about the history of text processing, and how it might be applied in the future. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

EARTH DAY LATE: Somerset House stays open late to mark Earth Day, an international event focusing on the environment. Events include tours, a chance to talk to some of the artists who have created Earth Day installations, panel discussions and a pop-up bar. Somerset House, free, just turn up, 6pm-9pm

CITIES ON THE EDGE: Helen Marriage, artistic director of Artichoke Trust — and therefore the woman responsible for bringing us light festival Lumiere London — talks about cultural disruption and how to work in public space to re-energise urban areas. The Exhibitionist Hotel (South Kensington), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm

Wednesday 17 April

Learn about why we should be mining volcanoes

EASTER FILM NIGHTS: Everyone's invited to a free screening of animated film Hop, about a young rabbit whose destiny is to become the Easter Bunny... until he sets his sights on becoming a rock star instead. It's an outdoor event, so dress warmly and bring a blanket — and maybe an Easter egg to nibble on while you watch. Merchant Square (Paddington), free, just turn up, 5pm-7pm

MINING VOLCANOES: Often seen as dangerous and to be avoided, volcanoes are also full of natural resources, including diamonds, copper, and geothermal energy. Hear from Dr Herrington, Director of Science at the Natural History Museum, about why — and how — we can harness and benefit from these natural resources. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

JAWDANCE: Poetry open mic night Jawdance brings new and established performance poets to the stage to showcase their latest work. Sign up on the night if you want to perform, or just watch the show put on by others. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), free, just turn up, 7.30pm

Thursday 18 April

HIP HOP HOUSE PARTY: Kick off the bank holiday weekend with a hip hop house party, taking over three floors of lively venue Queen of Hoxton. Head downstairs for hip hop karaoke and live out your rap fantasies, or listen to DJs playing classic rap, modern trap, and current R&B floor fillers. Queen of Hoxton, £5, book ahead, 8pm-2am

Good Friday 19 April

Watch the Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square

THE PASSION OF JESUS: One of London's annual traditions is the Wintershall Players' free open-air performance of The Passion Of Jesus, taking place in Trafalgar Square every Good Friday. It tells the story of the last few days of Jesus's life and it's very popular — thousands of people usually turn up to watch so get there early to get a good view. We chatted with the guy who plays Jesus last year. Trafalgar Square, free, just turn up, 12pm/3.15pm

THE RAILWAY CHILDREN: Classic children's book The Railway Children is brought to life by an expert storyteller in free family-friendly performances. Hear the tale of three children who move to Yorkshire with their mother after their father is taken away. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 1pm/2pm/3pm

WIDOW'S BUN CEREMONY: Every Good Friday, a hot cross bun is varnished and hung from a pub ceiling in a tradition known as the Widow's Bun ceremony. Find out more about the history of the tradition, then go along and see it for yourself. The Widow's Son (Bow), free, just turn up, 3pm

Saturday 20 April

The Feast of St George takes place in Trafalgar Square

EASTER FAIR: Taking place over two days, Horniman Museum's Easter Fair brings stalls to the museum's gardens, along with an Easter trail, craft workshops, storytelling and more. Why not combine it with a trip to the current Brick Wonders exhibition. Horniman Museum (Forest Hill), free entry to fair, just turn up, 10.30am-4.30pm, 20-21 April

CLASSIC CARS: Motor vehicles of various vintages park up in Waterloo to wallow in the admiration of classic car fans. Wander among them, taking in their beauty — and take a snap or two for the 'gram. Lower Marsh (Waterloo), free entry, just turn up, 12pm-4pm

FEAST OF ST GEORGE: As it's the closest Saturday to St George's Day, a huge free festival takes place in Trafalgar Square celebrating England's patron saint. The Feast of St George features live music, dancing, a street food market, craft stalls, comedy and a family zone, complete with knight training school. Trafalgar Square, free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm

Easter Sunday 21 April

Celebrate springtime at Fulham Palace

EASTER TRAIL: Take the kids along to Gothic castle Strawberry Hill House for an Easter egg trail in the grounds. Follow the Walpole Explorer Egg Hunt, and get a chocolate prize at the end if you manage to collect all the stamps. Strawberry Hill House (Twickenham), £2, just turn up, 10am-4pm, 21 and 22 April

SPRINGTIME: Celebrate the arrival of spring with a day of family-friendly events across the house and gardens at Fulham Palace. Listen to seasonal stories, take part in Easter craft sessions, and follow an Easter egg trail. Fulham Palace, free, just turn up, 11am-5pm

REGENCY SEWING: Fanny Brawne — fiancee and muse of Romantic poet John Keats — was a skilled seamstress. To mark 200 years since she moved into the house next door to Keats, beginning their relationship, have a go at sewing your own Regency-style sampler, under the guidance of people who know their way round a needle — no experience necessary. Keats House (Hampstead), free, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

Last Updated 12 April 2019