Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 21-27 January 2019

By Londonist Staff Last edited 17 months ago

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Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 21-27 January 2019

All week

See winning images from the Capturing Ecology competition. Photo: Chris Oosthuizen

WINTER LIGHTS: Brighten up these dark January evenings with a trip to Winter Lights, a free illuminations festival taking place around Canary Wharf. See our photos of this year's festival, and watch this video for some of the highlights. Canary Wharf, free, just turn up, 5pm-10pm, until 26 January

STAGE AND SCREEN: It's your final chance to see this display which marks 50 years since state censorship of the British stage was abolished by the Theatres Act. Find out about censorship from the 17th century, right through until Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and the Sex Pistols' God Save the Queen. V&A Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, until 27 January

ROB RYAN: Artist Rob Ryan is best known for his intricate papercut designs. If you're a fan, get yourself out to Walthamstow for the final week of this solo exhibition of his work, including original papercuts and limited edition silkscreen prints. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), free, just turn up, until 27 January

MINECRAFT WORKSHOPS: 8-14 year olds and their parents are needed to take place in Minecraft Design Workshops at various locations, to help with designing a new interactive gaming zone. They're particularly looking for families where the children are proficient at Minecraft and parents/guardians are completely clueless about it. Various locations, free, book ahead, 21-26 January

CAPTURING ECOLOGY: This week-long photographic exhibition showcases winning images from the British Ecological Society's Capturing Ecology competition, which received hundreds of entries from around the world. Old Truman Brewery (Brick Lane), free, just turn up, 21-27 January

ROMAN EGYPT MUSIC: New at the Petrie Museum is this exhibition which looks at the earliest musical instruments, including everyday objects that people used to make music in Romano-Egyptian rituals. Replicas of some of the objects have been created using 3D-printing, so you can have a go at playing them yourself. Petrie Museum (UCL), free, just turn up, 22 January-22 April

Monday 21 January

Look at London's role in the slave trade

LONDON SLAVERY: Find out about London's involvement with the slave trade at this talk by two academics.Dr. Katie Donington, Co-Curator of the Slavery, Culture & Collecting display, and Professor Selwyn Cudjoe discuss their latest research and its relevance to London today. Museum of London Docklands, free, book ahead, 6pm

CUNNING FOLK: There's a marine theme at this evening of music, folklore and magic. Expect to hear tales of ghost ships, mermaids and mariners, all with a folklore twist. Shelverdene Goathouse (South Norwood), free, just turn up, 7pm

FREE SINGING: This barbershop chorus invites all men to take part in a free evening of singing in a bid to overcome the melancholy of Blue Monday, apparently the most depressing day of the year. No singing experience is necessary — simply go along and learn a new song. Kingsdown Methodist Church (West Ealing), free, book ahead, 7.45pm-10.15pm

SPARK STORYTELLING: Interruption is the theme of this month's Spark storytelling club. Anyone's welcome to sign up for a 5-minute slot to tell a true story of interrupting... just don't interrupt them when they're on the stage. Ritzy (Brixton), £5, book ahead, 8pm

Tuesday 22 January

Tour a display about child health

CHILD HEALTH: Join one of London Metropolitan Archives' curators for a brief tour of the current exhibition, which focuses on child health in London, from the days of deprivation and disease to breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), free, book ahead, 1pm

BLACK FILMMAKERS: Watch a series of short films by black and brown female filmmakers, including  Dionne Walker and Eloise King, followed by a discussion entitled 'Why we are more than black filmmakers'. London College of Communication (Elephant & Castle), free, book ahead, 6pm-8.30pm

HUMAN BRAIN: How do you reprogramme a brain that's misfiring? Hear from neuroscientist Professor Ed Boyden in this talk about why better maps of the brain are needed in order to treat brain disorders. IET (Savoy Place), free, book ahead, 6.30pm

ART AND NATURE: Artists Anna Laurent, John Simpson and Andy Franzkowiak discuss the relationship between art and nature, particularly focusing on how we can use art to tackle the current problems facing the natural world. The Exhibitionist Hotel (South Kensington), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

CALM THE F**K DOWN: If you find yourself overthinking things, you may well benefit from this talk by Sarah Knight, author of Calm The F**k Down, which offers practical solutions to solving life's problems rather than worrying about them. She's chatting to journalist Daisy Buchanan, and taking part in a Q&A session. Foyles Charing Cross Road, £5, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

Wednesday 23 January

A new exhibition by WaterAid opens at Rich Mix

THE WATER EFFECT: This new exhibition has been put together in collaboration with charity WaterAid, and highlights the resilience of people in west African countries including Sierra Leone and Mali who are victims of the global water crisis. It aims to raise awareness that 1 in 3 people around the world have no toilet, and 1 in 9 have no access to clean water close to home. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), free (but donations to WaterAid are encouraged), just turn up, 23 January-27 February

BEHIND THE SCENES: Fulham Palace is delving into it store cupboards today and revealing some objects that aren't usually on display, giving the public the opportunity to handle some of them. The Palace is home to paintings, engraving and various archaeological objects, so there's plenty of history to be seen. Fulham Palace, free, just turn up, 11am-12pm

LUNCHTIME LECTURE: In the 1980s, The House of Beauty and Culture was a boutique and design studio operating on Dalston's Kingsland Road. Hear all about it in this lunchtime lecture, including how it pre-empted key traits and trends that are still evident around us today. V&A Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 1pm-1.45pm

MUSICAL JOURNEY: Here's a chance to bag yourself a pair of free tickets to a screening of American's Musical Journey, a short film narrated by Morgan Freeman about the musical heritage and culture of different locations across the USA. Odeon Covent Garden, free, book ahead, 6pm

GENERATIONS OF FEMINISM: A panel of experts debate what we mean by different 'generations of feminism' and whether these distinctions make sense. Panel includes Clare Hemmings, Professor of Feminist Theory at LSE, and Avtar Brah, Professor Emerita at Birkbeck College, University of London. LSE (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

HAPPINESS FANTASY: Hear Carl Cederström — author of new book The Happiness Fantasy — talk about happiness, tracing it from what it meant in early 20th century psychiatry to our present-day concept of it, including how corporations and advertisers have altered our definition of happiness by pushing us towards unfulfilling, insecure and narcissistic lives. Housmans (King's Cross), £3, book ahead, 7pm

MIGRANT WORKER: Dash Cafe is a regular performance arts event showcasing culture from around the world. Tonight, the focus is on Europe, looking at it through the eyes of its migrant workers, including the first wave of migrant workers in Germany, and the legacy of the Windrush Generation. German-Turkish novelist Imran Ayata, artist, director and composer Bülent Kullukçu and DJ Zerritha Brown are all on the line up. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £5, book ahead, 7pm

Thursday 24 January

Celebrate Agatha Christie in Seven Dials

AGATHA CHRISTIE: To celebrate 90 years since the publication of Agatha Christie's The Seven Dials Mystery, a secret book trail takes place, with 90 books hidden around the area — if you find one, you can keep it. Follow @7DialsLondon on Twitter and Instagram for clues as to where the books are hidden. Take time to admire the new artwork (pictured) while you hunt for books. Seven Dials, free, all day

BLACK SEAFARERS: Get an insight into the lives of black and ethnic minority sailors and seafarers during the first world war at this talk and document display, including Indian lascar sailors, and men from Africa, the Caribbean, and Britain's black communities. National Archives (Kew), free, book ahead, 1pm-2pm

SHAKESPEAREAN ATHEIST: Using atheists in the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as examples, this lecture looks at how people found ways to distance themselves from religion in the 16th century. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

TURBANS AND TALES: Photography duo Amit and Naroop launch their new book Turbans and Tales at the National Army Museum. Find out how the British Army incorporated the turban into military uniforms in India, and what the colour, shape and style of a turban can tell you about the person wearing it. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 6pm-8.30pm

Friday 25 January

English As A Second Language opens at Somerset House © Hanna Moon — Somerset House

PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION: A new, free exhibition opens at Somerset House today, showcasing the work of fashion photographers Hanna Moon and Joyce Ng. English As A Second Language presents a unique take on Western aesthetics and fashion ideals, and looks at the power that fashion photography has to shape our perceptions of beauty, style and taste. Somerset House, free, just turn up, 25 January-28 April

HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: Hungarian Holocaust survivor John Dobai talks about his experiences to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. In the 1930s, John's Jewish family took the decision to convert to Roman Catholicism as a result of the rise of Nazism. The National Archives' own records of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust are also discussed. National Archives (Kew), free, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

LATE AT TATE: Tate Modern keeps its doors open late for an evening with poet, critic, essayist and journalist Bridget Minamore. She's reading from her latest poetry work, Titanic, which covers the themes of love and loss — and a certain sinking ship — followed by a Q&A and book signing. Tate Modern (Bankside), free, tickets available from 5pm on the day), 7pm-8pm

CAMPFIRE STORYTELLING: Join storytelling expert Vanessa Woolf for a London Dreamtime evening of storytelling and music for adults around a campfire in a secret garden. Bring cash for the bar, as mulled cider and hot drinks are available, and we don't mean to sound like your mother, but dress warmly. Secret Peckham/Bermondsey location, £5, book ahead, 7pm

Saturday 26 January

SNOWDROP SALE: Brighten up your outdoor space with some snowdrops. A range of nurseries sell both common and rare forms of the flower at this snowdrop sale, but they usually sell our fast so get there early. Myddelton House & Gardens (Enfield), free entry, just turn up, 10.30am-12pm

MAKE DO AND MEND: This family-friendly workshop teaches the skill of rug-making, something many families in London would have done in the past. Aimed at children age 5+ and their families. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 12pm/2.30pm

TUDOR GRUB: The theme of this month's archeological event at Fulham Palace is Tudor grub. Find out what former resident the Bishop of London and his guest would have eaten, and see animal bones discovered in a recent archaeological dig. Fulham Palace, free, just turn up, 1pm-3pm

FILM SCREENING: After an extended seasonal break, House of Vans is back open underneath Waterloo station, offering plenty of free activities including a screening of New Salt, a documentary about a South Korean street artist turned sailor, who abandons her life in Seoul to sail towards the southern tip of Korea. House of Vans (Waterloo), free, just turn up, 1pm

Sunday 27 January

CHARLES I: Every year, the execution of King Charles I is commemorated around the anniversary of his death by a re-enactment. The King’s Army Annual March and Parade follows the route taken by Charles I from St James Palace on the Mall to Banqueting House in Whitehall, where he was executed. The Mall-Horseguards Parade, free, just turn up, 11am-1pm

LIVE MUSIC: Singer-songwriter duo Steve Mahoney and Emily Moment — collectively known as Mahoney & The Moment — perform their own blend of folk music-meets-Americana-meets-Brit-pop in a free lunchtime concert.  ArtsDepot (North Finchley), free, just turn up, 12pm

POETRY: Poet Deanna Rodger shares some of her new writing and talks about her ideas process. The reading is followed by a poetry open mic session. Keats House (Hampstead), free, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

Last Updated 18 January 2019