Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London:16-22 April 2018

By Maire Rose Connor Last edited 24 months ago

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Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London:16-22 April 2018

All week

Are you in need of a digital detox?

ALL THAT JAZZ: Discover Britain's jazz age at Rhythm & Reaction, a Two Temple Place exhibition here for just one more week. See the genre's influence on art, design and culture through painting, prints, cartoons, textiles and ceramics and moving film. Don't forget to stick around for jazzed-up cocktails and live music at the Wednesday late. Two Temple Place (Temple), free, just turn up, until 22 April

DIGITAL DETOX: Be honest, how many times a day do you pick up your phone? Stats show it's likely to be every 4-10 minutes, and a third of us would rather give up sex than smartphone (really, guys?) If that spooks you, head to Focus Inside, a pop-up festival to challenge our relationship to technology and help break bad digital consumption habits. Focus Inside (Edgware Road), free, book ahead for some events, 17-22 April

VIEWPOINTS: This new exhibition brings together a melting pot of found objects, analogue photography and short films born from a series of artistic conversations between members of The Rooftop Collective and guest artists. On Saturday, there's also a chance to meet the creators. Espacio Gallery (Brick Lane), free, just turn up, 17-22 April

Monday 16 April

A divine exploration of identity at St Paul's Cathedral.

BEING HUMAN: What makes you, you? Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and John Swinton, the Director of The Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability explore what it really means to be a human being from a theological perspective, considering the role of bodies, communities, faith and memories. St Paul's Cathedral, free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm

NEW MOON: Discover a night of new music in a candlelit pub. Tonight The Half Moon is shining a light on indie quintent The Morning Shift, alt-rockers Dead Days and lots more. The Half Moon (Putney), £2.50, book ahead, 7.30pm

Tuesday 17 April

Free comedy at Nell of Old Drury.

ARTY TASTER DAY: Greenwich Park Centre's expert tutors are offering a range of free taster sessions designed to inspire and excite. Make stained glass, experiment with ceramics, or finally get around to learning a second language. Greenwich Park Centre, free, book ahead, 10am-8pm

POW: Get to know two female artists who embrace cultural diversity and inclusion. Alexandra Moskalenko uses vibrant vintage fabric as her canvas to explore ethnicity and multiculturalism, while Inna Bolund’s realist portrait work explores a desire for inter-connectivity. People of the World's opening night promises to be a lively affair, with drinks, nibbles and Drew Sinclair playing the Hang Pan drum. JonaQuestArt (Greenwich), free, book ahead, 6pm, exhibition runs until 22 April

POITÍN TASTING: A what tasting? Get better acquainted with Ireland's less famous spirit at this absolute bargain of a poitín tasting masterclass. Once known as Irish moonshine and banned for a whopping 336 years, poitín is now experiencing a huge revival—so get in the know before your mates. Nuala (Old Street), £5, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

COMEDY: Enjoy free stand-up at the historic Nell of Old Drury, a pub boasting an underground tunnel to Theatre Royal which, legend has it, King Charles II used to visit his mistress Nell Gwynne. Tonight the hottest pro acts on the comedy circuit swoop in to try out their new material. Nell of Old Drury (Covent Garden), free, book ahead, 7.30pm-10pm

Wednesday 18 April

Discover two of the world's oldest theatres.

MODERN THEATRELAND: London boasts two of the world's oldest working theatres, both established by Charles II’s patents in the 1600s. Find out how these shaped the West End as we know it today with the help of Professor Simon Thurley at this free lecture. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

HONEY FUNGUS: Former The Voyeurs guitarist Sam Davies is stepping into The Social to make wistful folk sound effortless with his new band Great Silkie. They're playing alongside slack rockers and former Leeches support act Wych Elm. The Social (Little Portland Street), £3, just turn up, 7pm-12am

THAMES TREASURES: From human teeth to Anglo-Saxon gold, the Thames has belched out some weird and wonderful treasures over the years. But how did they end up there? The Museum of London's Curator Emiritus looks at whether Medieval finds were merely discarded, or thrown in the river as part of a ritual. Islington Town Hall, £1, just turn up, 7.30pm-9pm

ETHICAL FASHION PARTY: Socially conscious fashionistas, this one's for you. Head to Abbey Bar to celebrate the launch of luxury ethical fashion marketplace Uhuru Fashion, where you can indulge in free drinks and get a sneak peek at their product lines. Abbey Bar (Aldgate), free, book ahead, 7.30pm-11pm

Thursday 19 April

Discover the very best of the Pacific Northwest.

MADE IN PORTLAND: The creative capital of the Pacific Northwest and unrivalled hipster mecca is taking over The Old Truman Brewery. Discover Portland's most inspired exports, chat to local designers, watch live mural-making, and get inked with a free vegan tattoo. The Old Truman Brewery (Brick Lane), free, just turn up, 11am-7pm, until 27 May

RUSH HOUR CONCERT: Throw out the chamber music rule book and step into Southbank Sinfonia's experimental concert lab. This time they're livening up your Thursday evening with a collision of industrial rhythms, 20th century Elizabethan variations, Baroque elegance and Mozart reimagined. St John's Waterloo, free, book ahead, 6pm

BANDS AND BEER: Did someone say free beer? K West Hotel will sort you out, with 100 bottles of Portobello Brewing Company Beer to be handed to the first 100 people through the door at their monthly live gig. Hannah Jane Lewis, Montrell and Albert Gold make up tonight's line-up. K West Hotel & Spa (Shepherd's Bush), free, just turn up, 6pm-1am

Friday 20 April

Tea dancing to celebrate Blighty's favourite beverage.

OUTLINE: It's French artist Eugenie Paultre's London debut and she's bringing her mastery of colour and abstraction to the West End. See 49 of her paintings and drawings, infused with philosophical insight and poetic prowess (did we mention that she's also a philosopher and poet?) HENI GALLERY (Lexington Street), free, just turn up, until 19 May

FREE TEA DANCE: To mark possibly the most patriotic day of the year (that's National Tea Day, FYI), St Katharine Docks are back with their annual tea-dancing party. Suited and booted in glam vintage costumes, The Ragroof Players will lead two hours of dazzling dance displays to music from the 1920s to the 1950s. If all this tea-talk has left you craving a cuppa and a slice of cake, there's also the weekly food market for you to drool over. St Katharine Docks, free, just turn up, noon-2pm

LA ESCUELA: Through the lens of Latin American emigration, art film La Escuela looks at the transmission of cultural identity across generations. Gasworks will be offering free screenings of the film all weekend, but before that you can go along to their special launch event and find out more about this year-long project. Gasworks (Vauxhall), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

ALT-COMEDY: Oh Boy, Comedy! A night of stand-up, sketches and general clowning around that's literally impossible to refer to by name without sounding like an old-timey American tween. The Albany (Fiztrovia), £5, book ahead, 8pm

Saturday 21 April

Explore black identity and digital culture at The Serpentine.

FEAST OF ST GEORGE: The Mayor of London's annual celebration of England's patron saint returns to Trafalgar Square. BBC Radio's Abbie McCarthy is MC for an eclectic programme of music, including a 25-piece brass band. Elsewhere on the Square you'll find kids arts workshops, vintage rides and a very friendly dragon. Trafalgar Square, free entry, just turn up, noon-6pm

IAN SMITH: Confidence, companionship and origami are the topics of comedian Ian Smith's new solo show Craft. Expect sophisticated theatrical techniques such as shouting and running around. The Bill Murray (Islington), pay what you want (or £2 to reserve a seat), just turn up, 1.30pm-2.30pm

SCAVENGER HUNT: Scour the streets of the now-defunct NE postal district to track down and map the London street signs that still bear its postcode. Work in teams or on your own, then meet up with the whole group at the pub to compare results. Meet at the Clapton Hart, free, book ahead, 2pm

SERPENTINE SATURDAYS: Public Programmes Curator Claude Adjil leads a free tour of Sondra Perry: Typhoon Coming On—an exhibition that explores the intersection of black identity, digital culture and power structures through video, media, installation and performance. Serpentine Sackler Gallery (Kensington Gardens), free, just turn up, 3pm

Sunday 22 April

Celebrate St George's Day at Borough Market.

MAYPOLE MADNESS: Borough Market is celebrating St George's day with music, storytelling, theatre, and, of course, food. Families can enjoy interactive performance of St George and the Dragon, watch maypole dancing with a hiphop twist and see The Castellers of London build a human tower in a Catalan tradition that dates back more than 200 years. Borough Market, free entry, just turn up, 12pm-4pm

SPRING BEE ID: A cemetery stroll that'll leave you buzzing. Join local bee recorder Mark Patterson at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and discover the spring bees who call it home. You'll learn how to identify the pollinators and contribute to scientific understanding of bees in London. Meet at Soanes Centre (Mile End), free book ahead, 1pm-4pm

FREE PORTRAITURE: Visit Ian Cheng's exhibition at the Serpentine and nab a free portrait of yourself as you interact with 'sentient' artwork and digital lifeform BOB. Serpentine Gallery (Kensington Gardens), free, just turn up, 3pm


Last Updated 13 April 2018