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

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

All week

Time's running out to see the mind-bending art of Patrick Hughes

LAST TSAR: Last chance to catch The Last Tsar: Blood And Revolution. The historical exhibition looks at the lives — and mysterious 1918 deaths — of Tsar Nicholas II, last emperor or Russia, and his family. Science Museum, free, book ahead, until 24 March

MIND-BENDING PAINTINGS: We're loving the work of Patrick Hughes, a painter whose work forces you to look twice. Time's running out to see his mind-bending paintings, which seem to sway and swivel as you move from side to side — it's only when you get close that the illusion is broke. Alon Zakaim Gallery (Mayfair), free, just turn up, until 29 March

GARDEN OF DEATH: When it opened, Highgate Cemetery was popular both as a burial ground and as a garden, to the extent that visitor numbers had to be limited on Sundays. Browse through images and other archive items that show Highgate Cemetery as the Victorians would have seen it. Camden Local Studies Centre, free, just turn up, until 30 March

WAR PHOTOS: War photography is becoming increasingly common, but what about after the war? This exhibition showcases photos taken in various countries in the aftermath of the first world war, showing the resilience of people rebuilding their lives and homes. Refugees return to ruined homes and Ypres is reconstructed in the 130 photos. Imperial War Museum, free, just turn up, until 31 March

Monday 18 March

Spark London storytelling comes to Brixton

LONELINESS: Why is loneliness becoming such a common problem and what can we do to stop it? Experts in various fields, including healthcare and sociology, come together to discuss the government's 'loneliness strategy' and whether it will be effective in helping the 9 million Brits who suffer from loneliness. British Academy, £5/£3, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

COMEDY TRY OUTS: Watch rising stars of the comedy scene battle it out to win a coveted place to perform at this year's Edinburgh Fringe. The 100 applicants have been whittled down to a shortlist, with each presenting a 7-minute slot. The four winners are announced after tonight's and tomorrow's shows. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £5, book ahead, 7.45pm

STORYTELLING: Authority is the theme of this Spark London Storytelling open mic night. Got a story on the theme of authority? Stand up and share it (provided it's true, about you, and five minutes long). Otherwise, sit back and watch others spin a yarn. Ritzy (Brixton), £5, book ahead, 8pm

Tuesday 19 March

Learn about the construction of the Thames Flood Barrier. Image: Shutterstock

THAMES BARRIER: The Thames Flood Barrier has been in position since 1984, but how much do you know about it? As part of the Year of Engineering, find out more about its construction and planning, and how various environmental challenges were managed when it was being built. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

EMOTIONAL LABOUR STRIKE: Gender stereotypes dictate that the women of the household do most of the emotional labour, a term which includes caring for others, childrearing, cooking and smiling. Artist and activist Liv Wynter is fighting back, and hosts this workshop on challenging the expectations for women to carry out this work. Free Word Centre (Farringdon), £2, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

THE BETSEY BOOK QUIZ: Bookworms: this is the pub quiz for you. Join this long-established quiz (formerly in Blackwells, Holborn) for its first night in a new home — appropriately, the Betsey Trotwood on Farringdon Road. The quiz will now take place on the third Tuesday of each month. Betsey Trotwood, £2 per person (teams of up to five), just turn up, 7pm for 7.30pm start

DIAGNOSIS UNEXPLAINED: London Fortean Society hosts writer and radio producer Thomas Morris at its monthly meet-up tonight. Morris talks about some of the strangest tales published in medical journals and literature, from exploding teeth to an amphibious baby. The Miller (London Bridge), £5/£2, book ahead, 7.45pm

Wednesday 20 March

Get an insight into aristrocratic houses

EARLY PHOTOGRAPHY: When the V&A Museum appointed its first curator of photography in the 1970s, there were already 300,00 photos in the collection. Today's lunchtime lecture looks at where these early photos — dating back to the 1850s — had come from, and why they were produced. V&A Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 1pm-1.45pm

PRINCE ARTHUR: Henry VIII should not have been King in the early Tudor period — the crown should have belonged to King Arthur. He was Henry's older brother, but died before reaching adulthood, making way for one of England's most famous monarchs. The National Archives' Head of Medieval Records, Dr Sean Cunningham, assesses what sort of king Arthur might have been and how we would have faced the challenges his brother faced. National Archives (Kew), £4-£5, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

HOT FLUSHES: The Royal College of Nursing takes a taboo-shattering look at the effects of the menopause on women past and present. Learn the difference between myth and truth, find out about the role that nursing plays in the menopause today, and ponder whether women going through the menopause should be offered support in the workplace. Royal College of Nursing (Marylebone), free, book ahead, 5pm-7pm

ARISTOCRATIC HOUSES: The houses belonging to wealthy families were often seen as islands in the countryside, full of impressive art and architecture that's shut off from the world. This lecture challenges that assumption, showing how from the 16th century, aristocratic families spread their wealth between town and country residences in order to further their political ambitions and further expand their wealth. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

Thursday 21 March

Head to Holborn for this Gresham College lecture

CRUELTY TO ANIMALS: Historian and academic Professor Joanna Burke talks about how our relationship with animals has changed through time. Find out how the rights of animals became increasingly important and changed our relationship with them, and where we stand today. Barnard's Inn Hall (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

SKETCHY LADIES: A cracking line-up of female-only comedians, including Kirstie Swain — writer of the hit comedy-drama Pure — and hosts, Ladylikes. This is also one of your last chances to visit the Water Poet before it closes for good. The Water Poet (Shoreditch), pay what you can, just turn up, 7pm

Friday 22 March

A new exhibition about new Londoners opens at British Library

NEW LONDONERS: The British Library unveils a new photography exhibition with shots of 'new Londoners' — families living and working in the capital who arrived here from other countries. Photographer Chris Steele-Perkins describes his work as ‘a record of a new London, a new Britain and a celebration of the fabulous cultural richness of London.’ British Library, free, just turn up, 22 March-7 July

WAR WIDOWS: The War Widows Association was founded in 1971, with the aim of improving living and financial conditions for war widows and their dependents. Find out what role the charity still plays in the 21st century at this talk by its leader, Mary Moreland. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, booking recommended, 11.30am

Saturday 23 March

Wheedle out a bargain at Peckham Salvage Yard

LEARN TO PLAY: It's Learn To Play weekend, which means music stores and establishments around the country offer free taster lessons. In London, your best bet is the Yamaha store in Soho, which offers lessons on acoustic and electric guitars, pianos, violins, brass and other instruments. It's a case of signing up on the day and it's always very popular so we'd recommend getting there early. Yamaha (Soho) free, book on the day, 23-24 March

SALVAGE YARD: Rummage around in all manner of furniture, homewares, vintage clothing, lighting and other unexpected oddities at Peckham Salvage Yard. If all that bargain-hunting makes you hungry, there are plenty of cafes and bars nearby. Bussey Building (Peckham), free entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm, 23-24 March

DELIGHT & DISGUST: UCL's Institute of Making holds a free public open day, exploring the things that delight and disgust us. Taste and texture both feature heavily in the interactive activities, with 'large quantities of chocolate' mentioned in relation to a study about 'mouth feel'. Institute of Making (UCL), free, just turn up, 1pm-5pm

Sunday 24 March

Hands-on archaeology at Fulham Palace

CRAFT MARKET: In advance of Mother's Day (next Sunday, don't panic), local traders and craft people sell their wares at the Made In Enfield Craft Market. Pick up a handmade gift, refuel at the food stalls and enjoy live music performed by local artists. Dugdale Centre (Enfield), free, just turn up, 11am-4pm

NEOLITHIC ARCHAEOLOGY: Find out who was living on the site of Fulham Palace 8,000 years ago. This family-friendly archaeology session focuses on neolithic treasures which can tell us more about what those early residents were up to. Fulham Palace, free, just turn up, 1pm-3pm

Last Updated 15 March 2019