Things To Do In London This Week: 13-19 January 2020

Things to do this week is sponsored by Atopia.

All week

Cirque du Soleil is back at the Royal Albert Hall

TOM BASDEN: Comedian Tom Basden has a week-long run of his new show Sorry Thank You Please at Soho Theatre. He takes a wry look at the state of the world in which he is raising a child, and tries to convince himself (and the audience) that he's a good parent. Soho Theatre, £12-£21, book ahead, 13-18 January

LONDON BLUES WEEK: Wash away the January blues with a decent dose of blues music. London Blues Week takes over various locations around the capital, with musicians from all over the world performing. Things kick off with Stan Webb's Chicken Shack, and a celebration of the life of American musician Little Walter. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 16-31 January

DESIGNED IN CUBA: Designed In Cuba, an excellent exhibition of Cuban graphic design, is in its final week. As well as showcasing the work of some extremely skilled designers, it offers an alternative look at historical events to the one that most of us grew up with. House of Illustration (King's Cross), included in admission (£8.80), book ahead, until 19 January

London International Mime Festival continues, including this gem at Wilton's

MIME FESTIVAL: London International Mime Festival continues apace, with performers from all over the world descending on the capital. Our picks this week include The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel, and puppet show The Water Babies. Various locations and prices, book ahead, until 2 February

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: Luzia is Cirque du Soleil's latest show at the Royal Albert Hall, and it's set in Mexico. It takes water and light for inspiration, with trapeze artists performing through pouring showers. Hoop diving, acrobatic stunts and a surreal menagerie are all part of the fun — and let's face it, with Cirque, you know it's going to be good. Royal Albert Hall, various prices, book ahead, until 1 March

Monday 13 January

Find out how we can solve the plastic problem

SUPERBUGS: Antitbiotic resistance is becoming an international health crisis, expected to cause 10 million deaths a years by 2050 — so why isn't more being done to tackle it? Journalist David Aaronovitch, whose life was saved by antibiotics, hosts a panel of scientists and experts, looking at how we can change people's perceptions of antibiotics to tackle the problem. Frontline Club (Paddington), £12.50/£10, book ahead, 7pm

THE PLASTIC PROBLEM: While plastic pollution is a major issue, it's not the only problem facing the world today. Hear from environmental expert Professor Chris Rhodes about how we can solve the plastic problem alongside other environmental concerns. He talks about how we can change our lifestyles and goals to protect the planet. Conway Hall (Holborn), £8/£5, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm

BLUE JASMINE: Watch a screening of 2013's dark comedy drama, Blue Jasmine. Cate Blanchett stars as a wealthy New York socialite who has to move into her sister's apartment in San Francisco when she falls on hard times. Dulwich Picture Gallery, £10/£8, book ahead, 7.30pm

Tuesday 14 January

Take part in the Popbitch Popquiz

REMEMBERING GHOSTBUSTERS: Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters is a look back at the success of 1984 film Ghostbusters, and how it was made. Find out about the casting process, and the advanced visual effects used to create the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. This screening is followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £12.50/£10, book ahead, 6.30pm

GOTHIC REBEL: Hear a panel of experts discuss Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, and the way in which it defies the conventions of its genre. Gothic author Sara Collins and Victorian literature expert Sally Shuttleworth are among the panelists. British Library, £13, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

POPBITCH POPQUIZ: New year, same old Popbitch. The celebrity gossip newsletter's regular quiz returns, with rounds on trivia, music and even guesswork — so no need to swot up on the most recent newsletters to be in with a chance of winning. Smiths of Smithfield, £5.50, book ahead, 7.30pm


Sponsor message

Laugh in the face of Blue Monday with free comedy, laughing yoga and cocktails

According to some, the gloomiest day of the year is on the horizon. By the third Monday of January, you're probably skint, possibly struggling to keep those New Year's Resolutions, and it's almost certainly raining. But don't look so glum — Atopia is here to help you (mindfully) laugh in the face of Blue Monday. And it won't cost you a penny.

On Monday 20 January, the ultra-low ABV spirit brand invites you to its free Laughter Sessions, featuring live comedy, laughing yoga, exceptional guilt-free cocktails and even a live colouring in art wall. The likes of Sunday Assembly’s Sanderson Jones; socially conscious clown, Helen Duff; the brilliantly wry Chris Stokes; and award winning comedian, Lauren Pattison; will tickle your funny bone while you sip a choice of complimentary Atopia cocktails.

At just 0.5 ABV (that's about as boozy as an overripe pineapple), this elixir of fruit, essential oils, and botanical extract is perfect for Dry January-ers craving a proper, grown-up drink. Head to Benk + Bo next Monday between 7am and 8pm to try Atopia's Spiced Citrus or Wild Blossom editions for yourself. Reserve your free ticket here, or just drop in on the day for the ultimate Blue Monday pick-me-up.


Wednesday 15 January

Indulge in a spot of rum tasting

RUM TASTING: Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum! Several, actually, if you're attending this rum tasting experience, which covers the history of rum and sugar, from its part in the slave trade to its inclusion in today's cocktails. Tastings included, naturally. Age 18+, obviously. Museum of London Docklands, £10, book ahead, 6.30pm

FAST FASHION: Fast fashion is a serious problem, with 300,000 tonnes of discarded clothes ending up in landfill in the UK over the past 15 years. Find out how to break your fast fashion habit from journalist Lauren Bravo, who's just written a book on the topic. She chats to Katherine Ormerod about more sustainable ways of shopping. Foyles Charing Cross Road, £12.99 with book/£5 without, book ahead, 7pm

COMEDY: Laugh Train Home's weekly comedy night sees Jen Brister (Live at the Apollo), Jimmie McGhie (Russell Howard’s Good News) and Martin Durchov take to the stage to share their latest gags and (hopefully) elicit a few laughs. The Four Thieves (Battersea), £7, book ahead, 8.30pm-10.30pm

Thursday 16 January

Winter Lights returns to Canary Wharf

WINTER LIGHTS: We are thrilled that free illuminations festival Winter Lights is returning to Canary Wharf for a sixth year. Wander among the skyscrapers seeing colourful installations, some of which are new for this year, and others which will be familiar from previous years. And did we mention it's free? Ideal January fodder. Canary Wharf, free, just turn up, 16-25 January

TANGERINE DREAM: Electronic music pioneers Tangerine Dream have an entire exhibition dedicated to them at Barbican Music Library. Filled with original synthesizers, photos, videos, cassettes, vinyl and more, uncover the reason London is so important to these German musical legends. Barbican Music Library, free, just turn up, 16 Jan-2 May

FORGOTTEN SOLDIER: As part of Holocaust Memorial Day, The Jewish Museum screens documentary Forgotten Soldier. It's the story of Lady Irene Hatter tracing her father's footsteps to verify his story that he secured the release of 600 Jews in France in the second world war. The screening is followed by a Q&A with Lady Irene Hatter. The Jewish Museum (Camden), £8.50/£6.50, book ahead, 7pm-8.45pm

FANNY AND STELLA: Author Neil McKenna talks about Fanny and Stella, two drag queens of Victorian London. Frederick Park and Ernest Boulton's habit of dressing as women led to their downfall, in the shape of a very public trial in Westminster Hall. Highgate Cemetery, £10, book ahead, 7.30pm

Friday 17 January

The Model Engineering Exhibition chugs into Ally Pally

MODEL ENGINEERING: Choo choo! The London Model Engineering Exhibition returns to the capital this weekend, with 2,000 miniature locomotives, ships and aircraft to ogle. Clubs and societies from across the UK show off their creations, including a rideable 5" gauge steam loco, 750 tiny 1:1200 scale models of iconic ships and a James Bond exhibition. Alexandra Palace, £11.50/£4, book ahead, 17-19 January

THE AMAZING JOHNATHAN: Watch 2019 documentary The Amazing Johnathan, filmed three years after illusionist Johnathan was given just a year to live due to a heart condition. In the film he's on an epic comeback tour, and the screening is preceded by a comedy and juggling performance. Harris Academy South Norwood, £9/£7/£5, book ahead, 7.45pm

DEAD FUNNY: Comedy act Myra Dubois — dubbed "the siren of South Yorkshire" — performs chuckle-worthy cabaret show Dead Funny, in which she brings forward her own funeral to ensure she milks it for maximum attention. Watermans (Hounslow), £15/£14, book ahead, 8.30pm

Saturday 18 January

Rise marks the start of Brent's tenure as Borough of Culture

RU PAUL'S DRAG CON: Yas queen! The entire cast of RuPaul's Drag Race UK make a fabulous appearance at RuPaul's Drag Con. Baga Chipz, Divina de Campo and Crystal are among the acts sashaying their stuff, with live commentary from RuPaul himself. Can we get an Amen? Olympia London, from £40, book ahead, 18-19 January

ADVENTURE TRAVEL SHOW: Suffering from the January blues? Get your 2020 getaway plans sorted with the Adventure Travel Show. If it's a relaxing beach break you want, it's probably not for you, but for trekking and cycling holidays, safaris and more, it's a chance to meet tour operators, attend talks and workshops and find out what your travel options are. Olympia London, £11, book ahead, 18-19 January

BRENT BOROUGH OF CULTURE: Following Waltham Forest's tenure, Brent takes up the mantle as London Borough of Culture for 2020. The big launch event is Rise, a free, outdoor event telling the story of Brent through dance, theatre and projections, with Wembley Stadium as a backdrop. Wembley Park, free, just turn up, 7pm

Sunday 19 January

Take a character tour of Charles Dickens' former residence

DICKENS TOUR: Explore the Charles Dickens Museum before its open to the public on a special guided tour. Your guide is in character as the housemaid of the Dickens family, and shows you around their home while they're on holiday in Broadstairs. Charles Dickens Museum (Bloomsbury), £15/£12, book ahead, 10am/11am/11.45am

TRAINS, DRAINS AND REMAINS: Join Footprints of London guide Marilyn Greene for a guided walk focusing on development in the Blackfriars area. Find out how the growth of the tube is related to the embanking of the Thames in the area, and look out for where the River Fleet feeds into the Thames. Blackfriars tube station, £12/£9, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

CRICK CRACK CLUB: Storytelling experts Crick Crack Club tell some of the greatest stories in the world in Myths Retold. Aimed at adults, today's performance features two actors telling the story of Odysseus' epic voyage home. Age 14+. The British Museum, £10/£8, book ahead, 2.30pm-5pm