Things To Do In London This Week: 17-23 February 2020

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Things to do this week is sponsored by HarrisonParrott.

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It's the final week of 24/7 at Somerset House. Copyright Stephen Chung for Somerset House.

HALF TERM: Already wondering how you're going to keep the kids occupied this week? Take a look at our guide to things to do in London in half term, for inspiration in the form of shows, exhibitions, workshops, and family-friendly restaurants.

AUTOREVERSE: Four decades, two continents, one revolution. Join Argentinian performer Florencia for an audio-visual odyssey, as she traces her family history via a box of old cassette tapes. Hurry, this moving story about remembrance and the search for a place to call home is only here until Saturday. Battersea Arts Centre (Battersea), £10-£12.50, book ahead, 8pm, until 22 February (sponsor)

MOVING TO MARS: It's the final week of Moving To Mars, an insightful exhibition about the possibilities of a future on the Red Planet. The show looks at the history of our relationship with Mars, its role in films and popular culture, as well as what it would be like for humans to inhabit it. Design Museum (Kensington), £12-£18, book ahead, until 23 February

Last chance to see Moving to Mars at Design Museum

BUDDHISM: Also closing this week is this extremely aesthetic exhibition on Buddhism. Beautiful illustrations and objects relating to the religion are on show, including Manga versions of Buddhist teachings. British Library, £12.60, book ahead, until 23 February

24/7: It's also your last chance to see 24/7, an inventive exhibition about our always switched-on lifestyles. A darkened room and a chance to lock your phone away offer some calm, while a remote control helicopter signifies our permanent attachments to our smartphones. You might find yourself questioning your lifestyle at this one. Somerset House, £14, book ahead, until 23 February

PARTY, PROTEST, PERFORMANCE: Real life invades the stage at Battersea Arts Centre, as coletivA ocupação use dance, live music, and performance to tell their extraordinary story. Hear how fifteen people changed their lives by occupying their high schools as part of protests happening across Brazil. Oh, and don't forget your dancing shoes. Battersea Arts Centre (Battersea), £12.50-£20, book ahead, 7.30pm, 19-29 February (sponsor)

Monday 17 February

Catch Grace Campbell at Soho Theatre

GRACE CAMPBELL: Comedian Grace Campbell brings her show, Why I'm Never Going Into Politics, to Soho. Political aide Alastair Campbell is her father, so she's spent enough of her life ensconced in Westminster to know what she's talking about. Hear her anecdotes on hanging out with Putin's kids, why she thinks she caused Brexit, and the odd vagina joke too. Soho Theatre, from £11, book ahead, 17-18 February

TAG LINE TOTES: Get your craft on — aided by a drink or two — at this tote bag-decorating evening. All materials are provided, including glitter, sequins, pens and gems, for you to design your own custom tote bag. Drink, Shop & Do (King's Cross), £10, book ahead, from 6pm

FRINGE OF COLOUR: Nish Kumar heads up the line-up at comedy night Fringe of Colour, which raises money for the project of the same name, supporting artists of colour at the Edinburgh Fringe. Rose Matafeo, Sindhu Vee, Ahir Shah, Desiree Burch and Kemah Bob also perform in tonight's show. Union Chapel (Islington), £15, book ahead, 6.30pm

Tuesday 18 February

Dame Felicity Lott performs at Leighton House Museum

BRIT AWARDS: Now in its 40th year, The Brit Awards take place at The O2, and at time of writing there are still some tickets left to be in the audience — though you're looking at upwards of £120. Still, if you fancy getting up close(ish) to some of the country's biggest music stars, it's probably the best chance you'll have all year. The O2 (North Greenwich), from £122, book ahead, 6pm

SONGS AND SOUVENIRS: British soprano Dame Felicity Lott performs, accompanied by her pianist, Sebastian Wybrew, in the luxurious setting of Leighton House. Expect to hear songs by the likes of Gilbert and Sullivan, Franz Lehar, Richard Strauss and Jacques Offenbach. Leighton House Museum (Holland Park), £35, book ahead, 6.15pm-8.30pm

TONI MORRISON: Watch a screening of 2019 documentary, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, which tells the story of the African-American novelist's life and experiences. To mark what would have been Morrison's birthday, Oscar-winning producer Mia Bays hosts special guests, journalist Keme Nzerem and author Deborah Levy, to read their favourite passages from Morrison's works. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £12.50/£10, book ahead, 6.30pm

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Thrilling classical music with a dose of added drama at Southbank Centre

Did you know that Beethoven was a full on rebel? As a concert promoter, his 'academies' presented music that was sometimes so fresh the ink was barely dry — often including single movements and excerpts. Centuries on, the composer's revolutionary spirit continues to inspire musical visionaries.

To mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, the pioneering Gürzenich-Orchester Köln present a thrilling reinterpretation of his 'academy' performances this Friday at Southbank Centre. Conductor
François-Xavier Roth leads the orchestra, joined by pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, through a programme of modern classics blended with selections from Beethoven’s great piano and orchestral works. It's all bound together by specially composed music from Isabel Mundry.

With innovative lighting designs and stage movements designed to capture the spirit of Beethoven’s creativity and inquisitiveness, this fantastically dramatic classical concert is a feast for the senses. Tickets start at £15 and can be bought here.

Wednesday 19 February

Loyisa Gola begins a short run at Soho Theatre

LOYISA GOLA: South African comedian Loyiso Gola performs his show, Pop Culture, diving into pop culture through the years and how it has shaped our lives. Soho Theatre, from £12, book ahead, 19-22 February

HUMAN EVOLUTION: Babble Talks — aimed at parents and carers with babies under a year old — hosts human evolution expert James Cole for this week's talk. Find out what we now know about human evolution, from the origin of our species around 300,000 years ago, as well as what we still don't know. The Collab (Walthamstow), £10, book ahead, 11am-12pm

NERD NITE: Three speakers are each given 18-21 minutes to talk on a topic of their choice at Nerd Nite London. Lost letters from the alphabet, what Rembrandt and Van Gogh can teach architects, and why personal data is so valuable to political campaigns all come up tonight. Backyard Bar & Comedy Club (Bethnal Green), £7.50, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

HE FERVOUR: Indie-rock band The Fervour grace the stage at the Water Rats, with their post-punk vibes, reminiscent of The Slits. celebrate mid-week by dancing in the back of this legendary pub venue. The Water Rats (King's Cross), £5 on the door, 7.30pm

Thursday 20 February

The London Classic Car Show begins today

CLASSIC CAR SHOW: Vroom vroom. For the first time, the London Classic Car Show takes place at Olympia London, with what claims to be one of the UK's widest collections of classic cars on show. Over 500 motors are there for the ogling, plus there's a special Car Stories stage hosted bymotoring expert Max Girardo. Olympia London, from £25, book ahead, 20-23 February

WHITNEY HOUSTON: Eight years after her death, tribute show Whitney: Queen of the Night celebrates the life and work of singer Whitney Houston. A live cast and band perform her best-known tracks including I'm Every Woman, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and How Will I Know. Alexandra Palace Theatre, from £16.65, book ahead, 7.30pm

HIDDEN LOVE: The National Archives hosts a talk and document display focusing on how the government has interacted with LGBT+ communities in the past. See photos, court reports and witness statements which highlight the criminalisation of homosexuality, as well as brave acts of defiance. National Archives (Kew), £12/£9.60, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

Friday 21 February

Explore London's queer landscape

CASK 2020: The Cask series of beer festivals has moved to a new venue this year to cope with demand. 30 breweries are serving up their best cask beers — many filling one-off casks specifically for the festival. Soak it all up with nosh from 'artisanal food producers', and enjoy talks from the brewers. Copeland Park (Peckham), from £35, book ahead, 21-22 February

RIPPER VICTIMS: In much coverage of Jack the Ripper, very little attention is paid to the victims. Author Hallie Rubenhold's new book, The Five, wants to change this by telling their stories. To celebrate the launch, Katie Wignall of Look Up London leads a walking tour around the East End, focusing not on murder, but on the 19th century lives of Polly, Annie, Kate, Liz and Mary Jane. Waterstones Leadenhall Market, £32, book ahead, 6pm

LONDON'S QUEER LANDSCAPE: Museum of London pulls together a group of speakers to talk about the queer landscape of the city. Find out about locations which have long been associated with LGBT culture, from the 18th century pleasure gardens of Vauxhall, to the queer club scene of the 80s, and why these spaces are so important. Museum of London, £12, book ahead, 6.45pm

Saturday 22 February

Attend a day of talks about Victorian entertainment

VICTORIAN ENTERTAINMENT: Author Lee Jackson, historian Dr John Woolf, and theatre expert Ian Gladhill are among the speakers at a day of talks about Victorian entertainment. Hear all about the rise of Gilbert & Sullivan, poet Edward Lear teaching Queen Victoria to draw, and how the Victorians basically invented mass entertainment. Southwark Cathedral, £17.50/£15, book ahead, 10.30am-5pm

SECRETS AND LIES: Aimed at 7-12 year olds, this science family fun day features talks, demonstration and experiments on the theme of secrets and lies. Find out how the hidden numbers which surround us can change our behaviour and predict our future. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10, book ahead, 11am-4pm

JAPAN NOW: Immerse yourself in all things Japanese at Japan Now 2020. The one-day event brings together current Japanese writers, artists and translators for a series of talks about their work, including prominent writer Hiromi Itō and photographer and performance artist Tomoko Sawada. British Library, £10, book ahead, 11am-5.15pm

Sunday 23 February

Hear from children's author Michael Rosen

MICHAEL ROSEN: Former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen makes an appearance at the final day of Imagine Children's Festival to talk about his new book, The Missing. It's the true story story of Rosen's search for his relatives who disappeared during the Holocaust and the second world war, told through prose and poetry. Aimed at age 10+. Southbank Centre, £12/£9, book ahead, 11am

SEEING JEWS: Artist John Offenbach and sociologist Keith Kahn-Harris have contrasting approaches to how Jewishness should be signalled to the viewer in photographic projects. Hear them discuss how Jews are portrayed, and the wider topic of Jewish identity. Jewish Museum (Camden), £8.50/£6.50, book ahead, 2pm

WOMEN OF ISIS: Azadeh Moaveni, one of the few American correspondents allowed to work continuously in Iran since 1999, discusses her book, Guest House For Widows: Among the Women of Isis. In it, she talks about the young women — including some from London — who felt compelled to travel to Syria and join the caliphate, and the brutal terrorist regime they were trapped in once they arrived. Conway Hall (Holborn), £8/£5, book ahead, 3pm-4.30pm