Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 12-18 November 2018

By Maire Rose Connor Last edited 20 months ago

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Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 12-18 November 2018

All week

Have a nose around some Fitzrovia dwellings

ELECTRIC FEEL: We could all do with a little positivity to brighten these rapidly darkening days. A visit to artist Lauren Baker's new solo show, Electric, should do the trick. See her dazzling neon light pieces, including her famous Everything Is Going To Be Fucking Amazing sign. Mosey on down on Saturday for a chance to meet the artist. Box Galleries (Chelsea), free, just turn up, until 30 November

BEING HUMAN FESTIVAL: There's over 250 free events packed into this UK-wide humanities festival, and luckily for you, loads of them take place right here in London. The action doesn't technically start until Thursday, but you can get a sneak peek of what's in store at Wednesday's official launch event. Various venues in London, free, book ahead for some events 13-24 November

DWELLING: Take a peek inside some Fitzrovia homes at an exhibition that explores design choices, style and perceptions of beauty in the central London neighbourhood. Contributors include TV presenter, writer and comedian Griff Rhys Jones, TED speaker Tiu de Haan and Londonist's very own Tabish Khan. The Fitzrovia Chapel (Fitzrovia), free, just turn up, 11am-4pm, 14-28 November

GLAD I DID IT: This one sounds a little ghoulish, but interesting nonetheless. Installation artist Christina Reihill has recreated the prison cell where Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed by the state, spent her final hours in 1955. Drawing from psychiatric notes, prison files, and diaries, the artist imagines the moments after the hanging. Project Space (Bermondsey), free, just turn up, 14 November-1 December

Monday 12 November

Customise your own tote at Drink, Shop & Do

TOTES AMAZEBALLS: Bag yourself some beautiful new arm candy at Drink, Shop, & Do's tote customisation evening. Who needs Chanel when you have this much glitter, gems, sequins and sharpies at your disposal? Drink, Shop & Do (King's Cross), £5, just turn up, 6pm

GFEST LAUNCH PARTY: Gaywise FESTival 2018 kicks off tonight with a brilliant-sounding bash showcasing LGBTQI+ creativity across a variety of mediums. Dancer Sanjay Shetty, members of The Cocoa Butter Club, acapella act TStarNay and many more perform live. Alexandra Palace (Muswell Hill), free, book ahead, 6pm-8pm

THE OLD FASHIONED WAY: Learn how to fix yourself a proper drink with the help of Chicago whiskey brand FEW. Your ticket includes a couple of shots of Bourbon and Rye, as well a perfectly mixed Old Fashioned crafted by you. The Star (Hackney Downs), £5, book ahead, 7.30pm-10pm

Tuesday 13 November

John Kearns and Pat Cahill deliver some giggles in Islington

DO THE MATHS: There's been a awful lot of scary predictions about climate change recently, but how are they determined? Find out with Professor Chris Budd OBE as he explains how mathematicians can give us insights into (frankly terrifying-sounding) future of our planet. Museum of London (London Wall), free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

COVENT GARDEN CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: Things are gonna get LIT in Covent Garden this week. Don't miss the iconic Christmas lights switch-on, which includes performances from The Kingdom Choir and the return of their mistletoe chandeliers — so pucker up! Covent Garden Piazza, free, just turn up, 5.45pm-8pm

MYTHBUSTING WITH MATT: Did you know that our Editor-at-Large has written several rather brilliant books? Join Londonist's Matt Brown for a talk on Everything You Know About Planet Earth Is Wrong, and finally learn what's up with the Isle of Man's trippy flag, and many other things. Stanfords (Covent Garden), £4, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.45pm

CAHILL AND KEARNS: Pals John Kearns and Pat Cahill are bringing their best bloopers, songs and fighting talk to their ever-popular alternative comedy night. They welcome Roast Battle star Fern Brady for a bit of extra banter. The Bill Murray (Islington), £5, book ahead, 9pm-11pm

Wednesday 14 November

Psst... The Secret Variety Club is back

CRAP FILM CLUB: The movie night dedicated to screening the world's most laughably bad flicks is turning four, which means you get birthday cake alongside your Blood Feast — the gorefest known as the world's first splatter film. The Queen of Hoxton (Shoreditch), £5, book ahead, 7pm

STOKEY HISTORY: Local history buff? Get three talks on Stoke Newington's past for the price of one at night that covers, boundaries, dissent, and Charles Booth's poverty map. St Matthias Halls (Stoke Newington), £5, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

THE HEXHAM HEADS: If you like a good scare, join the creator of the 'world's spookiest podcast' as he takes you on a thrilling journey through the true tale of The Hexham Heads. Richard MacLean Smith introduces the unsolved mystery to the Lon don Fortean Society. Conway Hall (Holborn), £5, book ahead, 7.30pm

THE SECRET VARIETY CLUB: Keep it on the down-low, but The Secret Variety Club is back with another night of fantastic value comedy. See the likes of Pernilla Holland and Hassan Dervish perform live. Aces & Eights (Tufnell Park), £5 to reserve a seat/pay what you want OTD, 7.30pm

Thursday 15 November

Take your mini Mozarts to the Royal Albert Hall

STORYTELLING FOR TOTS: Got little ones? Don't miss the Royal Albert Hall's last storytelling and music session of the season. All kids aged four and under are welcome. Royal Albert Hall (Kensington), free, book ahead, 10am/11am/12pm

NEWS ON THE NET: The internet has already transformed the way we access news, but it's not the first revolution of it's kind. Discover how the advent of mass media in the 19th century and the broadcasting boom of the 20th changed news production, and learn what these tell can tell us about the our current times with Professor Steve Schifferes. Barnard's Inn Hall (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

ANIMAL ANTICS: From stoned sloths to flatulent fish, animal behaviour can get pretty wild. Discover planet earth's strangest species with authors Lucy Cooke, Darren Naish, Dani Rabaiotti and Jules Howard at London Zoo. Huxley Lecture Theatre, London Zoo (Regents Park), £5, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm

1666: With The Great Plague, the second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London, you can't call the year 1666 boring. Join historian Rebecca Rideal for a chat about her book 1666: Plague, war and hellfire. The National Archives (Kew), free, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

Friday 16 November

Explore the lives of public spaces with Kate Thorogo

RECLAIMING SPACES: Explore the evolving lives of buildings and public places with artistic programmer and theatre-maker Kate Thorogood. She looks at what redesign, repurpose and reimagining can tell us about evolving urban environments. Fitzrovia Chapel (Fitzrovia), free, book ahead, 1pm-2pm

THE WRITEIDEA: Writers and bibliophiles with East End heritage converge at Whitechapel's Idea Store for three days of talks and performances. Special guests include Michael Rosen and Chris Difford of Squeeze fame. Idea Store (Whitechapel), free, book ahead, 7pm-9pm, until 18 November

THE CAMPAIGN: Part improvised drama, part political debate. Two female campaigners go head-to-head on the centenary of women's suffrage in a showdown inspired by your suggestions. The Nursery Theatre (City of London), £5, book ahead, 8pm-10pm

LATIN GROOVING: Get your weekend off to a lively start with the help of Conjunto Sabroso, one of London's finest Latin bands. They're joined by indie-Tropical group The Indigos and Jmena Angel, all the way from Bogota. Hootananny Brixton, £5, book ahead, 9pm-3am

Saturday 17 November

Things are about to get lit in Hounslow

AMNESTY BOOK SALE: You can never have enough books. Get your hands on some lovely new-to-you titles and help out a phenomenal charity at the Blackheath and Greenwich Group of Amnesty International's annual clearance sale. Church of the Ascension (Blackheath), free entry, just turn up, 10am-4pm

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: Fancy finding out more about yourself while contributing to scientific research? Take part in the Science Museum's memory-based experiment and learn how forms of recollection change over our lifespan. Science Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 11am-4.3opm

WINTER LIGHT PARADE: Brighten up your Saturday night with a visit to Hounslow, which hosts its annual Winter Lights procession tonight. Artists Same Sky have collaborated with people all over the borough to craft beautiful lanterns, which will be paraded through the town centre before a finale performance in Bell Square. Bell Square (Hounslow), free, just turn up, 6pm

THE LAST OF LONDON: Historian Nadia Valman and artist Karen Crosby resurrect the ghosts of London healthcare past at the old Royal London Hospital building. Spectacular photographic projections light up the neoclassical buildings to tell the tale of the public health struggles that haunted a pre-NHS Britain. Former Royal London Hospital (Whitechapel), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

Sunday 18 November

Celebrate Mitzvah Day at the Jewish Museum

LONDON UPCYCLING SHOW: Get inspired to give your prized possessions a new lease of life at the London Upcycling Show. As well as interactive demos and creative exhibitions, some familiar faces (including Ground Force's Tommy Walsh) are crowning the winner of this year's upcycling competition. Don't go getting too starstruck, now. Walthamstow Assembly Town Hall (Walthamstow), free, book ahead, 11am-2pm

JEWISH MUSEUM OPEN HOUSE: In celebration of Inter Faith Week and Mitzvah Day, Jewish Museum London is free entry today. Visit all the latest exhibitions, make challah bread for a local homeless shelter, and try your hand at some Hebrew scribing. Jewish Museum London (Camden), free, just turn up, 1pm-4pm

MUSIC TO YOUR EARS: Expect loop pedal nonsense and tunes to tickle your funny bone from award-winning comedian Edy Hurst. He brings his show Hurst Smurst to this central London gastropub. The Albany (Great Portland Street), £4, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

Last Updated 09 November 2018