Things to do this week is sponsored by Southbank Centre.
SUMMER HOLIDAYS: If you're looking for ways to keep the kids entertained while school's out, check out our guide to spending the summer holidays in London. We've covered family-friendly events, exhibitions and theatre shows, plus plenty of places to eat and drink.
EDINBURGH COMEDY: The Edinburgh preview shows are finally coming to an end as London’s comedians and entertainers head up north for a month of shows. But there’s a final week of comedy previews featuring the likes of Tom Parry, Adam Hess and — bizarrely — Francis Boulle from Made in Chelsea. Chickenshed Theatre (Cockfosters), £12.50, book ahead, 21-26 July
PARENTHOOD: Comedy musical Parenthood covers the highs and lows of raising children, from conception up to the dreaded teenage years. Navigating school politics, dealing with tantrums and coping with an empty nest are all covered in the warts-and-all show. The Space (Millwall), £12.50/£10, book ahead, 23-27 July
Monday 22 July
JEAN PAUL GAULTIER: Ahead of the first performance of Fashion Freak Show, fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier chats to TV presenter Anita Rani about his life and work. Find out how he found beauty in an ordinary tin can, and hear some of his favourite memories. Southbank Centre, £20-£25, book ahead, 6pm
EXTINCTION REBELLION: This Is Not A Drill is a book by global warming protest group, Extinction Rebellion. Hear from the book’s editors at tonight’s launch — it covers facts about global warming, empowering stories, and instructions on how to get involved in the rebellion yourself. Owl Bookshop (Kentish Town), £7.99, book ahead, 6.30pm
OUTSPOKEN: Poetry and live music night Out-Spoken hosts award-winning US poet Morgan Parker , reading from new collection Magical Negro, and Sam 'Junior' Bromfield spinning reggae, soul and R&B music. Southbank Centre, £10, book ahead, 7.45pm
Tuesday 23 July
MARIANNE & LEONARD: New documentary Marianne & Leonard retells the tragic love story between Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen (immortalised in the song So Long, Marianne). They met on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960, becoming involved in an open marriage, and evolving when Leonard became a successful musician. This screening is followed by a recorded Q&A, hosted by Jools Holland. DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £5-£12.50, book ahead, 6.30pm
POPBITCH QUIZ: Swot up on your pop culture and general knowledge for this pub quiz, run by pop culture newsletter PopBitch. Bar tabs and theatre tickets are among the prizes on offer. Smiths of Smithfield, £5.50, book ahead, 7.30pm
STORYSLAM: Bold is the theme of this month’s The Moth StorySLAM, so be bold, get up on stage and tell your tale. A judging panel picks the best story of the night — but if you just want to watch, that’s fine too. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £12, book ahead, 7.30pm
Catwalk meets cabaret in Jean Paul Gaultier's Fashion Freak Show
The latest spectacle from fashion's enfant terrible lands at Southbank Centre this week. Bear witness to Jean-Paul Gaultier's childhood memories, revisit his greatest catwalk shows and discover the designer's wildest nights out in the exuberant mix of dance, circus and couture that is Fashion Freak Show.
Featuring 200 original catwalk creations, including new designs as well as Gaultier's most iconic looks, Fashion Freak Show is the story of a legend — directed by the designer himself. So you can expect extravagance, eccentricity, and just a touch of scandal. There's also a banging soundtrack, covering everything from disco to funk, pop to rock and new wave to punk.
It's set to be the show of the summer, and you've got from 23 July to 2 August to see it. So strut right over to the Southbank Centre website and book your tickets while they last. Prices start at £30.
Wednesday 24 July
NESTS OF SATAN: Take a guided walk around the Southwark area, focusing on the history of booze nearby — the vicinity used to boast the highest concentration of drinking places known to man (one drinking establishment for every fourteen householders in the 17th century), so there are plenty of stories to be told. Old Operating Theatre (London Bridge), £10, book ahead, 5pm-6.30pm
CHOCOLATE-COATED QUIZ: Drag host Ruby Violet presents a camp alternative to your normal pub quiz. A variety of topics and categories are covered, and the host herself even offers up a little sing song. The Chocolate Cocktail Club (Brick Lane), £8, book ahead, 8pm-10pm
Thursday 25 July
TAP TAKEOVER: Siren Craft Brew hosts a tap takeover at Tate Modern. Sample a range of brews including new Thousand Things Milkshake IPA, inspired by Vincent van Gogh's famous Starry Night, made in collaboration between Siren and Tate Eats. Tate Modern, £19.95/£22.95, book ahead, 6.30pm-11pm
ALL THE STATIONS: Londonist’s Geoff Marshall and Vicki Pipe talk about their latest adventure, All The Stations Ireland, in which they visited every railway station in Ireland. They’re just one act in tonight’s An Evening Of Unnecessary Detail. Other topics include rat addicts, and why the sky is blue. Bloomsbury Theatre, £15/£12, book ahead, 7.30pm
MICHAEL PALIN: Actor and travel writer Michael Palin talks about the final days of the USSR — he travelled through the Soviet Union in 1991 while filming Pole To Pole, and by the end of that year the Soviet Union had collapsed. National Archives (Kew), £20-£25, book ahead, 7.30pm-8.30pm
Friday 26 July
BEHIND THE SCENES: Delve behind the scenes on this special tour of the National Archives’ repositories. Find out how the collections are cared for, and see a couple of the hidden gems normally off-limits to the public. National Archives (Kew), £10, book ahead, 11am
ASTRO SHORTS: London Short Film Festival curates an evening of screenings inspired by the moon and the wider universe. Watch films dating between 1902 and 2017, including a UK premiere — plus, some of them have a live music accompaniment. Science Museum (South Kensington), £10, book ahead, 7pm-8.45pm
PALACE JAZZ: No, not that palace. Head out west to enjoy an evening of live music on the lawn at Fulham Palace. Singer Wayne Hernandez — who’s worked with Madonna, Billy Ocean and Gorillaz — performs a groove music set, backed by a seven-piece band. There’s another performance tomorrow night, by jazz singer Claire Martin. Fulham Palace, £17.50/£11, book ahead, 7.30pm
Saturday 27 July
ICE WEEKEND: Swiss ice entrepreneur and ice cream inventor Carlo Gatto would have been 202 years old this weekend. The London Canal Museum — home to a Victorian ice house — celebrates with a birthday party, including a cake competition, family activities and a music hall evening. London Canal Museum (King's Cross), various prices, book ahead, 27-28 July
JAZZ FESTIVAL: Two days of live jazz music comes to west London for Ealing Jazz Festival. Artists from all over the UK and beyond perform on both days, but our pick is the Sunday, when the line-up is curated by Ronnie Scott's in a celebration of the legendary jazz club's 60th birthday. Walpole Park, £5.50-£11, book ahead, 27-28 July
TRAINS, DRAINS AND REMAINS: Trace the history of the City based on the parts of it under our feet, on this Footprints of London walk. See where the River Fleet feeds into the Thames, find out how the development of the tube was influenced by the river, and visit the site of the old Blackfriars Monastery. Blackfriars tube station, £12/£9, book ahead, 2.30pm-4.30pm
Sunday 28 July
FAMILY SUNDAY: The Royal Opera House invites the whole family inside for a fun day with a theme of ‘fabulous creatures’. Find out how minotaurs, goblins and dragons fit into the traditions of ballet and opera, through pop-up performances, singing workshops and craft activities. Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), £10/£8, book ahead, 11am
PINK JUKEBOX: Members of the LGBT community and their friends are invited to The Pink Jukebox, an afternoon of ballroom and Latin dancing. Begin with a dance class for beginners, followed by an evening of social dancing. Bishopsgate Institute, £12/£10, book ahead, 2pm
EARTH: Catch a screening of Earth, a new documentary covering America, Italy and Hungary, focused on workers involved in moving huge amounts of earth. Some use shovels while others rely on dynamite, and some are proud of their work, while others don’t see the point. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £9/£7/£5, book ahead, 4pm