Things To Do In London This Week: 17-23 January 2022

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At time of writing, the Covid-19 situation is fast changing, with new restrictions or staff shortages always a possibility, so do check that events are still going ahead before you set off.

All week

London Lives is shown at London Short Film Festival

BANK LINE CLOSURE: A reminder that as of Saturday 15 January, a large section of the Bank branch of the Northern line is now closed for four months, so bear that in mind as you plan your journeys around London.

IN THE ROUND: Camden Roundhouse's In The Round Festival is back, with a series of one-off gigs performed on the venue's circular stage. Catch an intimate performance by Emeli Sandé on Wednesday, watch The Kingdom Choir (who performed at Harry and Meghan's Royal wedding) and more. Roundhouse (Camden), various prices, book ahead, 15-25 January

GLAMROU: 'From Quran to Queen' is the tagline of Muslim drag sensation Glamrou's solo show, which explores what it's like to live in a state of permanent contradiction, in a hilarious and exhilarating fashion. Soho Theatre, from £14, book ahead, 17-22 January

Emeli Sandé is among performers at this year's In The Round Festival

SHORT FILMS: It's the final week of this year's London Short Film Festival, which means it's your last chance to catch gems such as this programme examining abuses of power in the justice system, and London Lives, a series of short films about living in this city, covering everything from pigeons to COVID. Various locations and prices, book ahead, until 23 January

MIME FESTIVAL: Silence please, as London International Mime Festival continues apace. Highlights this week include family-friendly puppet show The Red Balloon, and the first solo show from renowned acrobat Jean-Daniel Broussé.Various locations and prices, book ahead, until 6 February

TITANIC: If you missed it among all the fuss of the festive season, an exhibition dedicated to all things Titanic is now open. Walk through replicas of the doomed ocean liner's interiors, and see items recovered from the wreck of the ship itself, accompanied by emotive stories of the people who once owned them. Canada Water, from £27.90, book ahead, until Spring 2022

Explore the Titanic at this, um, immersive exhibition.

BIRDS OF AMERICA: Natural History Museum's new display focuses on birds. Specifically, the engravings from John James Audubon's ornithological record book, The Birds of America. As well as impressively accurate engravings, ogle taxidermy specimens, and get an insight into Audubon's life and work. Natural History Museum (South Kensington), free, book ahead, ongoing

FREE THINGS TO DO: Feeling the pinch as January progresses? Fear not, our brand new list of 102 free things to do in London is here to help you entertain yourself (and the kids) on the cheap, whether you're after fascinating museums, live music or breathtaking views.

COASTAL WALK: Up for a challenge? With certain footpaths being made public last week, it's now possible to walk from London to the Kent coast on one continuous route following the Thames. Granted, it's almost 50 miles so you might not want to do it all in one go, but there's plenty to see along the way.

Monday 17 January

Enjoy an illustrated history of the Tower of London

SILENT COMEDY: Across three evenings this week, Wilton's screens different classic silent comedy films, accompanied by a live score. Catch Buster Keaton in Sherlock Jr (1924) on Monday or The Cameraman (1928) on Tuesday, and Harold Lloyd in Safety Last! (1923) on Wednesday. Wilton's Music Hall, £6.50-£13, book ahead, 17-19 January

TEXTILES WORKSHOP: Join multi-crafter Ivell Haastrup for this women-only textiles workshop, in which you'll learn how to set up the sewing machine and make various items such as face masks, tote bags, makeup bags and cushion covers. Poplar Union, £2, book ahead, 10am

BODY PARTS AND LAW: What's the law on body part ownership? Do we actually own our own body parts? In this Gresham College lecture, hear from Imogen Goold, Professor of Medical Law, who covers everything from body-snatching in the Victorian era to the present day. Barnard's Inn Hall (Holborn) or online, free, book ahead, 1pm-2pm

LINE DANCING: Open to anyone age 50+, Poplar Union hosts a line dancing class, aimed at complete beginners. Learn the steps from an experienced teacher, have a go yourself, then get to know the rest of the class over tea and biscuits. Age 50+. Poplar Union, £3, book ahead, 1pm-3pm

TOWER OF LONDON: Learn about some of the highlights of the Tower of London's busy and varied history, though Guildhall Library's online talk. Find out about the fortress's time as a palace, a prison, a mint and a zoo. Online event, free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

TINKER TAILOR SOLDER SPY: Late author John le Carré's novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is up for discussion as part of series of events looking at books which have been turned into films. This time, focus in on where power really lies in the book's events. Online event, free, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

HAPPY MONDAYS: Brighten up Blue Monday with Happy Mondays comedy night, which this week hosts Tom Ward, Siân Docksey, Micah Hall, Katharyn Henson, Ro Dodgson and Mossy, with MC Siôn James keeping things ticking over, as always. Amersham Arms (New Cross), £7, book ahead, 8pm

JESTER JESTERS: Alternatively, have a giggle in the company of Sasha Ellen, who shares her work-in-progress show, with Jonathan Hearn, Chantal Feduchin Pate and Kallis Kyriacou among those also appearing. The Betsey Trotwood (Farringdon), £3, book ahead, 8pm-10pm

Tuesday 18 January

Get the lowdown on snowdrops

FINANCIAL DECISIONS: Get the lowdown on some of the mistakes people frequently make when faced with financial decisions — and how to avoid them — under the guidance of Professor Alex Edmans. Learn when you should, and shouldn't, make an investment, from buying a house to going to university. Museum of London or online, free, book ahead, 6pm-7pm

SEARCH FOR TANKS: During 2017-2019, excavations were undertaken at Bullecourt in France, where one of the key tank battles in the first world war took place. Join this online talk to find out what the excavations, and particularly the positions of the tanks discovered, revealed about the tactics used in the battle. Online event, free, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

CAMDEN CLOG: Try your hand foot at Clog dancing, a dance traditionally performed on the cobbled pavements of Lancashire. Everyone from advanced dancers to complete beginners are welcome at this class, where the clogs are provided for you. Cecil Sharp House (Primrose Hill), £6, just turn up, 6.45pm-8pm

CELEBRATING SNOWDROPS: Getting excited for snowdrop season? Learn more about the different varieties of the flower which can be seen around the country in this online talk. It's organised by the National Gardens Scheme, which holds a nationwide snowdrop festival each February, with gardeners from Kent, Somerset and Norfolk chipping in with their experiences of growing the early spring flower. Online event, £10, book ahead, 7pm

PUB QUIZ: The Star of Bethnal Green hosts its weekly pub quiz; be prepared to engage brains for the chance to scoop a £50 cash prize. The Star of Bethnal Green, £2 pp, just turn up, 7pm

PENGUINS AND POLAR BEARS: Hear from award-wining photographer and filmmaker Sue Flood about her career, which has seen her filming and photographing penguins and polar bears in their natural habitat, and working with the likes of the BBC Natural History Unit, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. Online event, free, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

Wednesday 19 January

Enjoy a free lunchtime concert in Dulwich

CITY ALLEYWAYS: Take a stroll through the back alleys and lanes of the City of London, on this guided walk from the Tower of London to St Paul's. City Guide Pete Smith tells stories of the history and quirks of the passageways as you go. All Hallows by the Tower, £11.37, book ahead, 11am-1pm

LUNCHTIME CONCERT: Enjoy a free lunchtime concert performed by students from local schools at the impressive setting of Christ's Chapel part of the Dulwich Estate. Christ's Chapel (Dulwich), free, just turn up, 1.30pm-2pm

KENNETH WILLIAMS: Cultural historian Adam Endacott discusses the life and legacy of comedy actor Kenneth Williams. Footage, sound recordings and photos are used to look at Williams' own claim that he was a 'cult in his own lifetime'. Online event, free, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

ONLINE ORGAN RECITAL: Organist Chris Wilson — who has performed at venues including Westminster Abbey and Perth Cathedral, Australia — puts his talents to use on the 1877 Henry Willis organ at Union Chapel, which is live streamed online for anyone who wants to watch. Online event, free, no booking required, 7pm

PORTALS AND PATHWAYS: Part art class, part storytelling session, Vanessa Woolf of London Dreamtime leads an online event focused on a mausoleum which is also a time machine, with the audience encouraged to sketch along as the tales unfold.  Online event, suggested donation £5, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

BATTLEFIELDS TOUR: Take a virtual tour of the battlefield of Isandlwana, location of the first battle of the Zulu War, which sadly saw more British soldiers lost than on any other single day between Waterloo and the first world war. Tour guides Patrick Mercer and Dan Hill use a blend of the latest technology and original artefacts to bring the battlefield to life. Online event, £10, book ahead, 7.30pm

Thursday 20 January

What's the motivation behind Damien Hirst's divisive artworks?

CREATIVE KIDS: Preschoolers and their families can take part in a fun session based on the Peacock & Dragon wall hanging designed by William Morris in 1878. Activities include arts and crafts, singing, and exploring the galleries. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), free, book ahead, 10am-2.30pm

CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA: Christianity’s centre of gravity has shifted to the Global South, with prosperity churches, 'born again' politicians, prophets, healers and exorcists all changing the Christian faith. Find out more about these changes at this free Gresham College lecture, with particular focus on examples from Africa. Barnard's Inn Hall (Holborn) or online, free, book ahead, 6pm-7pm

DAMIEN HIRST: Rome tour guide and art expert Olga Cuckovic discusses Damien Hirst's 2021 exhibition at Gallery Borghese in Rome, and debates whether the show was art, or simply skilful self-promotion. In it, he showed objects from a fake shipwreck he'd previously exhibited in Venice, which apparently cost $65m to make. Online event, free, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

THE FAIRY TELLERS: Award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber discusses his new book, The Fairy Tellers. It explores the secret history of fairytales, the people who told them, the landscapes that forged them and the cultures that formed them, encapsulating Italy, Siberia and North Africa, among other destinations. Stanfords (Covent Garden), £5, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

LONDON'S LIBRARIES: The City of London's St Bride's Library celebrates libraries across the capital. In this event, it shines a light on the work and expertise of institutions such as the Cartoon Museum Library, the Marx Memorial Library and the National Poetry Library. Online event, £5, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

COCKNEY SINGALONG: Tom Carradine is back at the old Joanna for another round of the ever-popular Carradine's Cockney Sing-a-long. Join in with ditties from the Music Hall era, both world wars, the West End stage and popular songs from across the decades in a traditional East End-style knees up. Wilton's Music Hall, £6-£18, book ahead, 7.30pm (repeated on Saturday)

JORDAN THOMAS: Singer-songwriter Jordan Thomas gives a one-off live performance following the recent release of his EP, Rescue. artsdepot (North Finchley), £20, book ahead, 7.30pm

SOUMIK DATTA: Composer and producer Soumik Datta pairs an interactive film with musicians, dancers, and the sound of his sarod (a lute-like instrument), as he brings his digital works to the stage for the first time. Southbank Centre, £5, book ahead, 8pm

SYRIAN MUSIC:Renowned Syrian singer Dima Orsho presents her new project and album Hidwa — Lullabies for Troubled Times, which features traditional Syrian Aramaic and Azerbaijani songs. Kings Place (King's Cross), £18-£26, book ahead, 8.30pm

Friday 21 January

Comedian Mark Watson comes to north London

FRONT LINE WOMEN: Find out how the role of women in the Armed Forces is changing. Dr Kathleen Sherit — who served in the Royal Air Force — talks about the challenges women have faced, and continue to face, including the 2018 change which opened all Army combat roles to women. National Army Museum (Chelsea) or online, free, book ahead, 12pm

BYO BABY COMEDY: Soft flooring, buggy parking and baby changing are provided at this comedy show geared at parents and their little 'uns. Watch three great comedy acts while sipping a tea — and if you need to breastfeed or whip out a bum (the baby's, not yours), you won't get heckled. Woolwich Works, book ahead, £13 (babies under 12 months go free), 12pm

CLIMATE MESSAGE: Watch a film about Totem Latamat, an impressively carved wooden totem pole which travelled from a Mexican forest to Glasgow. It was sent by Indigenous people to the COP26 climate summit, as a message to world leaders about the effects of climate change in their region of the world. Online event, free, book ahead, 6.30pm

HITCHCOCK'S AMERICA: Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty and San Francisco Bay are just some of the iconic American locations used in Alfred Hitchcock's films. Emmy-nominated documentarian and author Steven C Smith talks about Hitchcock's choices of location for filming suspense sequences. Online event, free, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

STRING ENSEMBLE: Catch the Guildhall String Ensemble, based at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, performing Beethoven’s String Quartet in F minor and other pieces, conducted by András Keller. Milton Court (Barbican), £15, book ahead, 7pm

MARK WATSON: Comedian Mark Watson performs his latest show, This Can't Be It, in which he ponders the fact that at 41, he's halfway through his days on earth, according to the life expectancy calculator app he paid £1.49 for. artsdepot (North Finchley), from £12, book ahead, 7.30pm

Saturday 22 January

Get glammed up for The Candlelight Club

IGLOOGHOST: For one weekend, electronic musician Iglooghost takes over Southbank Centre's Purcell Room, transforming it into a museum holding mysterious artefacts, devices and artwork. The installation uses audio and visual storytelling to build on his Lei Music concept, which has an accompanying website explaining its folklore. Southbank Centre, £7.50, book ahead, 22-23 January

DOMMY B: Take the kids along to see CBeebies Rhyme Rocket poet Dommy B live on stage. In Dommy B's Best Adventure Ever, he explores the challenges and triumphs of making new friends, through the story of a young boy who moves to a new school. Age 5+. Half Moon Theatre (Limehouse), £7, book ahead, 11am/2pm

WOOD BLOCK PRINTING: Based on patterns in the current Young Poland exhibition, William Morris Gallery hosts a family-friendly wood block printing day. Artist Karolina Jonc Buczek shows you how to make a print using your own stamp. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), free, just turn up, 1pm-4pm

CANDLELIGHT CLUB: Get glammed up for The Candlelight Club's January party. The 1920s-themed event takes inspiration from Prohibition-era America, taking the format of a secret speakeasy, with a live jazz band and cabaret performers. Secret central London location, from £25, book ahead, 7pm

Sunday 23 January

Catch the London Bridge Trio performing at Conway Hall

RAPUNZEL: Think panto season's over? Oh no it isn't. Rapunzel comes to south-east London, for a limited run. Enjoy magic and music as you watch Rapunzel's attempts to escape after being locked up in the tower by the mean Mother Gothel. Tramshed Theatre (Woolwich), £10/£8, book ahead, 23-29 January

WOODLAND TALES: Join Laura the ladybird, Jeffrey the spider, Brett the Woodlouse, Willoughby the Woodpecker and Velda the Vixen in their woodland, where mysterious things are happening and only Granddad can help them. The story is told through puppets. Age 3+. artsdepot (North Finchley), from £9, book ahead, 11am/2pm

FESTIVAL CHORUS: The Crouch End Festival Chorus perform a programme of works by composer siblings Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, giving Fanny the equal spotlight she deserves, compared to her better-known brother. Alexandra Palace, £5.38-£28, book ahead, 3pm (doors 2pm)

LONDON BRIDGE TRIO: It's the turn of the London Bridge Trio to take to the stage at this week's Sunday Concert. The chamber group perform works by Schumann, Colin Matthews and Mendelssohn to both a live and online audience. Conway Hall (Holborn) £12, or online £10, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

Urban oddity of the week

Sue Flood's talk on penguins and polar bears (see Tuesday) reminded us of this strange sculpture in the Royal Docks. It's known as Bird Boy (2011), and it's one of those works of art that's very simple yet strangely affecting. According to the website of sculpture trail The Line (of which this is part), "Standing motionless on the edge of a pontoon in the Royal Docks, Bird Boy hopes he will go unnoticed but, despite his scale, his presence is powerful and commands attention." Judging by his current appearance, he's certainly commanded the attention of the local seagulls.

Good cause of the week

Image courtesy of the Banham Marsden March.

Looking for a charity challenge to focus on? How about doing this 15 mile walk in aid of the Royal Marsden cancer charity? Every year, the Banham Marsden March raises around £1.5 million off of the sponsor forms of those taking part. The 15 mile route connects the Marsden's two hospitals in Chelsea and Sutton. This year, you can take part on the street, or virtually at home. If 15 miles is beyond your abilities, then there's also the option to join in for the last five miles. Find out more and sign up here.