Things To Do Today In London: Monday 11 September 2017

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Things to do today is sponsored by The Institution of Civil Engineers.

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DISCOVER ROMAN LONDON: Find out all about the Victorian pioneers who first discovered artefacts and relics of Roman London in this new exhibition. See objects, archives, and nineteenth century illustrations relating to the archaeological finds. Guildhall Library, free, just turn up, until 5 January 2018

THIS IS ME: Did you know that 40% of young care leavers are NEET, and half are dealing with mental health issues? The brave individuals behind the statistics present their personal stories through self portraits and monologues. Waterloo Action Centre, free, just turn up, 11am-7pm, 11-17 September

MEZCAL WEEK: Take part a series of events celebrating Mezcal Mexican culture. There's plenty of food and drink to be consumed, a two day tasting festival, culminating with a celebration of Mexican Independence Day. Unit 5 Gallery, times and prices vary, 11-17 September

CUSTOM COSMETICS: Fed up of splashing out on overpriced cosmetics? Learn how to turn household ingredients such as sugar, coconut and olive oil into hand cream, body butter and scrubs in this workshop session. You're free to keep everything you create, too. Poplar Union, £5/£3, book ahead, noon-2.30pm

EXCELLENT WOMEN: What was it about Anglican women that made them such fine novelists? From Charlotte Brontë to Elizabeth Goudge, who were these women and what inspired them to write? Reverend Canon Dr Judith Maltby investigates. Westminster Abbey, free, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

VULVANOMICS: Emma Rees is Professor of Literature and Gender Studies and Director of the Institute of Gender Studies. In this talk, she maps how advertising, film-making and art have profited from the taboo of the vagina, and how they even perpetuate ideas of ‘shame.’ Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, £6, book ahead, 7pm

Learn the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi at this talk

ART THE ARMS: At the opening night of this fair to raise awareness of the arms trade, enjoy sets by DJ Rubbish, Cassetteboy, plus comedy performances, art, music and of course drinks. On the door you can give a donation to the campaign against the arms trade. SET Studios (closest station:East India), free, book ahead,7pm-10pm

THE GIFT OF ANGER: Southwark Cathedral is hosting a talk by Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Arun Gandhi to mark the publication of his new book The Gift of Anger. This talk,will relate the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi to the modern world and discuss how his principles can be applied to todays concerns.Southwark Cathedral, £8, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

MAPPING THE HEAVENS: Have you ever found yourself confused by abstract ideas like dark matter and dark energy, and other mysterious forces that apparently shape our universe? Astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan is on hand to try and make sense of it all for you. Royal Institution, £16, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

BRITAIN ON FILM: If you are enthralled by the complex network of snaking steel that comprises Britain's railway infrastructure, and you enjoy cinema too, then this evening, featuring films of Britain's railways, might be for you. United Reformed Church (Croydon), £3.50, just turn up, 7.30pm

PIANO MANIA:  As part of the Tel Aviv fest, Pianomania will feature some of the world's best piano pieces from classical to rock. The playlist includes the greatest classical pieces by Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, together with favourite jazz standards and popular Israeli songs. Cadogan Hall, £18-£40, book ahead, 7.30pm

Sponsor message

Find out what makes our city tick at this Engineering Late

Civil engineers are the brains behind our city. Find out how they make everything from waste to water function properly at the Institution of Civil Engineering’s late event on 22 September.

The home of civil engineering, One George Street, will be opening its doors from 6pm for an evening of infrastructure, archaeology and information. There will be talks on how to take amazing photos, debates on the best infrastructure project of the last 200 years, and even a quiz on engineering if you think you’re up to the challenge.

Find out about the artefacts uncovered during projects like Crossrail with the CEO of the Museum of London Archaeology — all to the soundtrack of some live jazz with top musicians.

The event is completely free, but you must pre-register to get a ticket.

Art review: monochrome volcano

Emma Stibbon creates massive landscapes on paper, working largely in black and white. These vast monochromes draw you into their worlds, and a massive woodcut of a forest scene sucks you into the darkness. This set of works is based around the volcanoes of Hawaii and she perfectly captures the sense of scale. Emma Stibbon: Volcano at Alan Cristea, 43 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5GJ. Until 30 September, free. ★★★★☆ (Monday-Saturday)  Tabish Khan

Theatre review: showgirl smash from Sondheim and Staunton

It’s showgirl central at the National Theatre with a riveting revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, starring Imelda Staunton. Thirty years after the close of the legendary Weismann’s Follies on Broadway, the impresario and his former starlets gather in the crumbling remains of their theatre — condemned to office block banality— and confront the ghosts of their glittering past. Vicki Mortimer‘s evocative set design is the perfect arena for gutsy glamour and wrenching despair. Sondheim’s enduringly clever, painfully poignant songs, and the women who sing them, are fully realised and achingly relatable under the intelligent direction of Dominic Cooke. Heart-stopping high points include Tracie Bennett’s extraordinary interpretation of I’m Still Here, Josephine Barstow’s supremely touching duet with Alison Langer, and Imelda Staunton’s devastating rendition of Losing My Mind. Janie Dee’s sardonic moxie, and musical veteran Philip Quast’s inspired unravelling, is equally captivating. If you can’t snap up a ticket to this sensational revival, Follies will be broadcast in cinemas on 16 November. Follies, South Bank, SE1 9PX. £15 - 70 until 3 January. ★★★★★  Holli-Mae Johnson

Good cause for the day

Gods in shackles is a documentary that exposes the truth behind Kerala's glamorous cultural festivals where temple elephants are exploited for profit under the guise of culture and religion. The film's director, producer, and co-writer Sangita Iyer, also the Founder & President of Voice for Asian Elephants Society, will be in attendance. All profits from this event will go directly to Voice for Asian Elephants Society and the Born Free Foundation to support the continuing conservation efforts of both. Royal Geographical Society, £25- £1,000, book ahead, 7 October, 7pm-10.30pm