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

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

All week

Be involved in building The People's Tower. Photo: Adam Hillier

ILLUSTRATION AWARDS: The Association of Illustrators displays a new exhibition showcasing all 200 shortlisted entries from its annual awards. Peruse work from 68 countries, including book covers, newspapers, murals and packaging, across a diverse range of styles. Somerset House, free, just turn up, until 28 July

THE PEOPLE'S TOWER: Help build a tower out of cardboard... then knock it all down again. The People's Tower is a City of London art project, made of 1000 boxes and reaching 20m high. Get involved by taking part in box-building workshops all week, helping out at the big build on Saturday — or tearing it all down on Sunday. Barbican/Guildhall Yard, free, book ahead for workshops, 15-21 July

TOUR DE FRANCE: Keep up with all the Yellow Jersey action as the Tour De France heats up. The final two weeks of the cycling competition are shown on a large open-air screen in Stratford, open to anyone who wants to drop by. International Quarter (Stratford), free, just turn up, 15-28 July

London Green Film Festival comes to Regent's Place

E H SHEPHARD: Artists E H Shephard is best known for illustrating AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh books, but there's more to his work than that. This exhibition focuses on his often overlooked cartoon output for weekly comic magazine Punch, which employed him for over 50 years. Chris Beetles Gallery (Mayfair), free, just turn up, 16 July-10 August

GREEN FILM FEST: Films and documentaries about how we can all lead more eco-friendly lifestyles take centre stage at the Green Film Fest, a 10 day programme of screenings. Films range from a look at the rising youth climate movement, to the family-friendly Babe: Pig In The City. Regent's Place, free, just turn up, 17-26 July

Monday 15 July

Learn about the working lives of early Post Office employees

POST OFFICE PENSION: Dr Kathleen McIlvenna talks about the pension applications and rewards for the Victorian Post Office, and the impact these early occupational pensions had on the lives of letter-carriers, clerks and telegraphists. She also covers how this type of occupational pension redefined expectations of the clerking classes in other industries. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

MICHAEL ROSEN: He's better known as a children's writer, but Michael Rosen's now turned his attention to his own memoirs. Hear him talk about his new book, So They Call You Pisher!, about the first 23 years of his life, growing up in a north London suburb with communist parents. Daunt Books (Hampstead), £5, book ahead, 6.30pm

SPARK STORYTELLING: Anyone's welcome to take the mic and tell a true tale on the theme of quitting at Spark Storytelling. Recall a story of a time when you did — or didn't — quit something, or just sit back and listen to other people's tales. Ritzy (Brixton), £5, book ahead, 8pm

Tuesday 16 July

Mark 400 years since the Mayflower's voyage

SOUTHWARK SPLASH: Over 450 Southwark primary school children mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's journey from Rotherhithe to America with special concerts. Today's performances tell the story of the beginning of the journey — you'll have to come back next year for the conclusion. Southbank Centre, £5, book ahead, 1pm/6pm

ASYLUM ARCHITECTURE: Tooting's Springfield Hospital, built in 1841, is now being redeveloped into apartments and new mental health facilities. Hear from psychiatrist and filmmaker Dr Khaldoon Ahmed about the construction of asylums in the 19th century and their eventual demise to luxury housing, covering architecture and the treatment of mental illness at the time. Tooting Library, free, book ahead, 6pm-7.30pm

LEVEL UP HUMAN: If you could redesign humans, what would you come up with? With all the ways we can now upgrade our bodies, from robotic limbs to bionic eyes, two science experts and members of the public put forward their pitches for a to-do list for humanity. Biologist and broadcaster, Simon Watt and comedian Rach Wheeley judge the efforts. Barbican, free, book ahead, 7.45pm

Wednesday 17 July

The Worshipful Company of Carmen's annual Cart Marking

CART MARKING: Every year, a fleet of vehicles parade around Guildhall Yard in a traditional ceremony of the Worshipful Company of Carmen — the second largest free event in the City, after the Lord Mayor's Show. Expect handcarts, horse-drawn and steam-powered vehicles, along with more modern modes of transport, culminating in the Lord Mayor branding each vehicle with a hot iron. Guildhall Yard, free, just turn up, 10.30am-12.30pm

TAI CHI: Master the Chinese martial art of tai chi — used in defence training and meditation — at a free workshop, led by experienced tai chi masters. Attend the whole session, or just drop in or a few minutes. Newport Place (Chinatown), donation to the London Chinese Community Centre, just turn up, 4pm-5pm

GLOBAL JAZZ: New jazz quintet Kalpadruma headline Global Jazz (an event previously known as Gypsy Nights), a celebration of the diversity of jazz and world music in London. Expect a blend of Arabic, Turkish, Indian, contemporary classical and jazz music. Ritzy (Brixton), free, just turn up, 8pm-11pm

Thursday 18 July

There's a summer street party in Marylebone

STREET PARTY: A whimsical walkway of recycled books is the centrepiece of the storytelling-themed Portman Marylebone Summer Street Party, a free local fete. Reading performances and talks take place in the Story Corner, with live music, an abundance of stalls, food and drink, and floristry workshops elsewhere. Marylebone, free, just turn up, 5pm-10pm

HAMPSTEAD POND: At The Pond is an anthology by 14 different writers, about the Kenwood Ladies' Bathing Pond on Hampstead Heath. History and personal essays feature in the book, and some of the contributors read their work at tonight's launch party. Daunt Books (Hampstead), £5, book ahead, 6.30pm

FANTASTIC BEASTS: Catch a free screening of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, the second film in the Harry Potter spin-off series. It's shown on a large outdoor screen — so cross your fingers for decent weather. International Quarter (Stratford), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

Friday 19 July

Stay late at Dulwich Picture Gallery

RIVER STAGE: Things go green at the National Theatre's River Stage this weekend, as National Park City Festival (see Saturday) curates the free programme. Watch an all-female hula hooping troupe or a performance of The Gruffalo, take part in a pedal-powered party, or choose from the many other shows on the programme. South Bank, free, just turn up, 19-21 July

PAVILION LATE: Bask in the bright colours of Dulwich's Colour Palace after hours at this gallery late. Listen to pop-up artists' talks, take part in speed drawing, learn stitching techniques, or tuck into food and drink as you listen to a live DJ. Dulwich Picture Gallery, free, book ahead, 6pm-10pm

SWING DANCING: Some Like It Swing is a swing dancing evening for all abilities. If you've never done it before, take part in the beginners' class to learn the steps, then lindy-hop until you drop at the social dancing portion of the evening. Genesis Cinema (Mile End), £5 for class (social dancing free), book ahead, 7.30pm

Saturday 20 July

Lambeth Country Show is free entry

LAMBETH COUNTRY SHOW: One of the biggest free events in London, Lambeth Country Show is a two-day agricultural fair/music festival/village fete. Watch livestock competitions and bird of prey displays, meet the animals from Vauxhall City Farm, and enjoy samba dancing and live music. Brockwell Park, free, just turn up, 20-21 July

NATIONAL PARK CITY: The National Park City Festival is a programme of events celebrating London's great outdoors, including fitness sessions, beekeeping and water sports. Browse the full programme — our picks include circus performances, a David Attenborough documentary, and a chance to get on a Carnaby rooftop. Various locations and prices (some events free), 20-28 July

STREET PARTY: Legendary Soho jazz club Ronnie Scott's celebrates its 60th birthday with a free street party. Jazz bands, saxophonists and other musicians perform in the traffic-free street, with pop-up bars, and children's entertainment including face painting and balloon modelling. Frith Street (Soho), free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm

Sunday 21 July

Immerse yourself in all things gaming

GAMES FAIR: Retro video games, board games and related merch are available to view and buy at the London Gaming Market. Browse games, computers, consoles, artworks and posters, arcade machines and more, and meet fellow gamers. Royal National Hotel (Russell Square), £2 entry, just turn up, from 12pm (or pay £5 to enter from 11am)

PORTOBELLO FESTIVAL: Portobello Green and surrounding areas come alive with free entertainment in the form of live music acts and DJs for Portobello Festival. Other entertainment includes circus and skating demos, plus street food stalls. Portobello Green, free, just turn up, 12pm-7pm

MUSIC FESTIVAL: Head to the bandstand in Regent's Park to enjoy a free afternoon of music, with the lake as a backdrop. Bring a blanket and a picnic, or hire a deckchair and settle in for the afternoon. Regent's Park, free, just turn up, 12.30pm-5.30pm

Last Updated 15 July 2019