Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 18-24 February 2019

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Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 18-24 February 2019

All week

Lesser-known works by Beatrix Potter go on display.

HALF TERM: With a whole school-free week ahead, we've got a helping hand for London parents and carers. Check out our guide to things going on in London in half term for ways to keep the kids busy.

INVISIBLE SUPERHEROES: Time's running out to see this exhibition about the 'invisible superheroes' who keep London working. Find out what civil engineers contribute to London in terms of infrastructure and transport. It's a family-friendly one, so ideal if you've got a budding engineer in the family. Institution of Civil Engineers (Westminster), free, just turn up, until 22 February

LSE 1969: Find out what was going on in the world of student activism at LSE in the years 1967-9. This free weekday exhibition uses archive documents, photos and film to explain this complex period of the university's history. LSE (Holborn) free, just turn up, 18 February-15 March

BEATRIX POTTER: From childhood sketches to later drawings, follow the evolution of Beatrix Potter's art in this new display, and see how she produced her famous Peter Rabbit and friends. V&A Museum, free, book ahead, 18 February-17 November

Monday 18 February

Phoebe Smith comes to Stanfords

SLEEP STORIES: Author and explorer Phoebe Smith has slept in some rather extreme spots. Hear her talk about them — and offer you some tips for better sleep — at Stanfords' new location. Stanfords (Covent Garden), £4, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.45pm

DOPING: Doping is rife in athletics, but with drugs and stimulants becoming more complex, can the technology used to detect their use keep up? And should doping really be considered as 'cheating'? A panel of experts discuss developments in doping. LSE (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

Tuesday 19 February

There's an open mic at The Ritzy

FLYING BOAT: In 2000, author Graham Coster wrote Corsairville, a book about the Corsair, a flying boat that was forced to make an emergency landing in Belgian Congo in 1939. Tonight, Coster recounts the story to mark the book's republication under a new name, The Flying Boat That Fell To Earth. Stanfords (Covent Garden), £4, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.45pm

BREXIT: No-one really know what's going on with Brexit, but Vernon Bogdanor — Research Professor in the Centre for British Politics and Government at King’s College — has written about the Constitution’s role within the future relationship between the UK and Europe. Hear him discuss his research with other experts. LSE (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

OPEN MIC: Local singer-songwriter Gabby Colledge hosts a friendly open mic night where musicians, comedians and spoken word artists share their latest work. Go along and give them some support — they might be famous one day. Ritzy (Brixton), free, book ahead, 7pm

Wednesday 20 February

Get the lowdown on volcanoes with Gresham College

ERIC PARRY: The work of leading architect Eric Parry forms the bulk of this new exhibition, which explores the role of drawing in contemporary architectural practice. Parry sees drawing as a crucial skill in his line of work, as a way to analyse and reflect on buildings, as well as designing new ones. Sir John Soane's Museum (Lincol's Inn Fields), free, just turn up, 20 February-27 May

VOLCANOES: It's thought that 800 million people worldwide live close to active volcanoes. Professor of Geology Sir Stephen Sparks talks about the impact eruptions can have, not just in terms of injury and destruction, but in wider society, including economic factors such as airline disruption. He discusses the most up to date methods of hazard prediction and risk management. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

JAWDANCE: Monthly poetry open mic night Jawdance brings together poets from London and beyond to show-off their work. Don't fancy performing? That's fine — friendly, supportive audience members are welcome too. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), free, just turn up, 7.30pm

Thursday 21 February

Find out what's going on beneath the streets of London

BEYOND RETRO: Legendary vintage fashion emporium Beyond Retro goes south for a huge garage sale, selling off thousands of items with prices starting at £1. The sale's on for four days with new items added every day, so pace yourself. Bussey Building (Peckham), free entry, just turn up, 21-24 February

EXHIBITION LAUNCH: Attend the private view of new exhibition Unforsaken, by artists Jimmy Turrell and Richard Turley, which is the antithesis to the current Marie Kondo craze. They used 1000 second-hand objects including books, board games, and vintage postcards that Jimmy bought on eBay for £150 to draw, paint and collage. The Book Club (Shoreditch), free, book ahead, 6pm-2am (exhibition runs until 16 May)

SUBTERRANEAN CITY: Find out what's going on beneath your feet. Antony Clayton, author of Subterranean City: Beneath the Streets of London, talks about lost rivers, utility subways, ‘ghost’ underground stations and government bunkers and tunnels, and touches on some folklore too. Kensington Central Library, free, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

Friday 22 February

There's a tour of the V&A's video games exhibition purely for BSL users

VIDEOGAMES: With just two days until it closes, the V&A offers a tour of the Videogames exhibition purely for British Sign Language users. Join a curator for the interpreted talk and tour about the design process behind some of the video games on show. V&A Museum (South Kensington), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

TATE LATES: Tate Modern keeps its doors open late for an evening with award-winning poet and artist Shagufta K Iqbal, who reads from her debut poetry collection, Jam is for Girls, Girls Get Jam. It covers themes of racism and gender inequality, and she takes part in a Q&A afterwards. Tate Modern, free, book from 5pm on the day, 7pm-10pm

Saturday 23 February

See Chinese state graphics in Walthamstow

CULTURAL REVOLUTION: Browse posters and state graphics from China in the 1960s and 1970s in this new exhibition, which is on tour from Oxford's Ashmolean Museum. Images of Chairman Mao Zedong, and the colour red, are rife in the posters, which promoted political messages William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), free (suggested donation £5), just turn up, 23 February-27 May

ART 50: This day of free art, performances, photography and film explores what it means to be British today, and celebrates the diversity of the nation at a time when its identity is not as clearcut as it has been previously. Barbican, free, just turn up, all day

FLEA MARKET: Rummage around in search of bargains at the Big London Flea, where homeware, furniture, vintage clothing, lighting and other oddities are on offer from 50 specially selected traders. Earth (Hackney), £1 entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm

Sunday 24 February

Hugglets Bear Fest comes to London

ANTIQUES FAIR: Over 140 expert exhibitors from all over Europe come to Victoria for the Adams Antiques Fair, a huge monthly event running since the 1970s. The traders really know their stuff, but that doesn't mean there isn't a bargain or two to be had. Royal Horticultural Hall (Victoria), £4, booking recommended, 10am-4.30pm

BEAR FEST: If you go down to the woods today... you won't find any bears because they're all in west London for Hugglets Bear Fest, an annual gathering for teddy bear collectors. Thousands of teddy bear makers and fans from all over the world assemble to trade teddies and accessories and make new purchases (prices range from a few quid to thousands), as well as learning how to look after their fluffy friends. Kensington Town Hall, £4, just turn up, 10.30am-4pm

JAZZ JAM: The guest performer at today's Jazz Jam is trumpet player and composer Mark Armstrong. Wind up your weekend with a chilled out afternoon of live jazz in a bookshop, with everyone from hardcore jazz fans to casual passer-by welcome. Foyles Charing Cross Road, free, book ahead, 12pm-3pm

Last Updated 15 February 2019