Things To Do This Week In London: 1-7 August 2022

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All week

This Bright Land opens at Somerset House

THIS BRIGHT LAND: Somerset House hosts a celebration of community and culture, This Bright Land. The open-air courtyard is transformed into something of a wonderland, with performances, talks and workshops — all centred around a 35m-high temporary observation wheel, with a different sound installation in each gondola. Plus, there's a street food market curated by Black Eats LDN. 1-29 August

PINCH PUNCH:... first of the month, and we've got a bumper selection of things to do in London in August for you to get stuck into.

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: Running out of ideas to keep the kids entertained yet? Take a look at our guide to spending the summer holidays in London, for ways to keep them smiling through until September.

GREEN CITY: London Metropolitan Archives' roving Green City exhibition moves on to its second location, Aldgate Square. It's a collection of photographs and prints celebrating London's green spaces. Look out for the exhibition at Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest later in the summer. 1-14 August

Dancehall queen documentary Bruk Out is one of the screenings at Reggae on Film

CAMDEN FRINGE: No ticket for Edinburgh Fringe? No problem — Camden Fringe offers 200+ events in north London throughout this month, across theatre, comedy, dance and music. With many performers feeling priced out of Edinburgh, it's a great opportunity to see talented performers at reasonable rates. 1-28 August

REGGAE ON FILM: BFI Southbank hosts its Reggae On Film season, to mark 60 years of Jamaican independence, celebrating reggae music and culture, and its relationship to cinema. One highlight is the re-release of 1972 Jamaican crime film The Harder They Come, often credited with bringing reggae to the world through its soundtrack. Browse the full programme. 1-30 August

CRAFT SCHOOL: Take the kids along to Islington's Crafts Council Gallery for Craft School: A summer of playful making. Here, families and young people can be inspired and get hands-on with chances to play, create and experiment with a variety of materials. FREE, Weds-Sat until 3 September

Monday 1 August

A man in an 'Underground' uniform smiles at a young woman
The 1928 film Underground is screened at Wilton's tonight. Image: fair use

SILENT FILMS: Across four nights, Wilton's Music Hall screens classic silent films, each accompanied by a live score. Tonight and Thursday, it's 1928 film Underground, offering an insight into London almost a century ago. On Tuesday and Wednesday, it's Metropolis (1927), a nightmarish vision of the future. 1-4 August

DUKEFEST: Film festival DukeFest continues, presenting strange and unexpected films, shorts, clips, trailers and TV oddities from around the world. Tonight it's a mystery show, featuring all new and unseen material. Until 3 August

UKRAINIAN HAIR PLAIT: Ukrainian refugee and hair stylist Svetlana is at Portobello Road Market to teach members of the public how to create a traditional Ukrainian hair plait. Make a donation of your choice to the Nourish KarmaBank Makers’ Market Stall, which supports female refugee artists from Ukraine, Afghan, and Iran. 12pm-1pm

MATHS MADNESS: Aimed at children aged 7+ and their families, the Royal Institution hosts Maths Madness, a number-based show by maths communicator and musical comedian Kyle Evans. Topics covered, in a fun and interactive way, include the paper folding world championships and a folk song based on the Fibonacci sequence. 2pm-4pm

HAPPY MONDAYS COMEDY: Happy Mondays Comedy at The Amersham Arms in New Cross features a double bill of Fringe Festival previews this week. Hatty Ashdown and Stefano Paolini try out their material, hosted by MC Siôn James. 8pm

Tuesday 2 August

A grand red bridge crossing a road
Follow the route of the River Fleet. Image: M@/Londonist

HIDDEN RIVER: Join Footprints of London guide Rob Smith for a walking tour tracing the River Fleet from King's Cross to Blackfriars. Once the Western boundary of the Roman City of London, the waterway is now buried underground. Learn about slums, slaughterhouses, poverty and prisons along its route as you go. 2pm-4pm

RESPONSIBLE TRAVELLER: Stanfords in Covent Garden hosts editor and writer Karen Edwards to discuss her new book, The Responsible Traveller. She uses case studies and storytelling to look at changes we can all make to explore the world with a lighter footprint. 6.30pm-8pm

OPEN MIC: Bubblebath is the Fidler's Elbow's monthly open mic night, in which musicians are invited to take to the stage and showcase their talent (however raw). It's a nice and friendly atmosphere, promise. FREE, 7pm-11.45pm

ANORAK COMEDY: Every Tuesday (and Sunday as it happens), comedy lovers pack into a room above the Nell of Old Drury pub in Covent Garden, to watch some "alternative-ish" stand up comedy — for FREE. You should, however, reserve your seat. 7.30pm-9.30pm

Wednesday 3 August

Klimt: The Immersive Experience opens on Wednesday

KLIMT: Immersive art experiences are quite the trend, and Austrian painter Gustav Klimt is the latest to get the treatment, at The Boiler House in Shoreditch. Floor-to-ceiling large-scale digital projections are used to create moving versions of his paintings, with a VR experience thrown in too. From 3 August

UKRAINIAN REFUGEES: Think tank the Henry Jackson Society hosts a debate at Millbank Tower about the role of Britain in helping to resolve the Ukrainian humanitarian disaster. A panel of experts discusses whether our government is doing enough to help the 5.5 million people displaced by the Russian invasion, and what the private sector could be doing too. FREE, 6pm-7pm

WILLIAM HEATH ROBINSON: Head to the Cartoon Museum in Fitzrovia for a talk about artist and illustrator William Heath Robinson. Geoffrey Beare, Collection and Exhibitions Manager at The Heath Robinson Museum, discusses why he turned to humour in his career, and how his style of humour developed. 6pm-7.30pm

LGBTQ+ SALON: London Metropolitan Archives' monthly LGBTQ+ salon hosts journalist Deenah al-Asqa, who is also a trustee for Hidayah LGBT, a charity dedicated to queer Muslims. Learn about Hidayah's work in providing welfare support for LGBTQ+ Muslims in this online event. FREE, 7pm-8pm

FACES OF MALLORCA: Head to Stanfords in Covent Garden to hear from photographer and writer Mark Julian Edwards, on the UK launch of his new photographic book, Faces of Mallorca. It uses photos of the island's residents to tell its story, as well as interviews with tennis trainer Toni Nadal, Michelin-starred chefs, artists and musicians. 7pm-8.30pm

Thursday 4 August

A young woman stares intently at the camera, with a Fervor festival logo by her side
Fervor Festival is in town from today

FERVOR FESTIVAL: A fantastic festival of of spoken word, cabaret, drag, music and art kicks off at Toulouse Lautrec in Kennington today. There's be stuff going on every Thurs, Fri and Sat this month — so check out the programme. Until 27 August

SMALL ISLAND VIBES: Head to Peckham Square for four days of free exhibitions, events, music and activities, bringing together communities of African, Caribbean and Latinx heritage, at Small Island Vibes. Activities include steel band and choir performances, a reading group, a supper club, a children's carnival and more. FREE, 4-7 August

BOOKTOK FESTIVAL: #BookTok is the trend of books — old and new releases — increasing in popularity thanks to influencers featuring them on social media platforms. Waterstones Piccadilly hosts a BookTok Festival for the first time, to celebrate the phenomenon and give the public a chance to meet other book lovers. The event includes quizzes, a photobooth, workshops and craft activities, as well as the chance to meet and hear from authors in the evening. FREE, 11am

SUMMER CYCLE: Tonight is your final chance this year to visit Kew Gardens by bike. Bicycles are usually banned in the botanical gardens, but the Summer Cycle evenings allow visitors in for an evening pedal sesh. Take a picnic along, or buy food and drink on site, and listen to live music as the sun sets. 5.30pm-8.30pm

SOWETO PRIDE: Over in Newington Green it's the launch party for photo exhibition, Pride Belongs to the People: Images of Soweto Pride. See pictures taken at Soweto Pride in 2018, plus extracts from interviews with LGBTQ+ activists. FREE, 6.30pm

Friday 5 August

Hofesh Shechter Company take over the River Stage this weekend. © Chris Nash

RIVER STAGE: The Hofesh Schechter Company — an internationally touring dance company — take over National Theatre's open-air River Stage this weekend. Free events include dance and percussion workshops, live DJ sets, and performances of past and new work. FREE, 5-7 August

POP UP SCREENS: Hilly Fields Park in Brockley is the chosen location for Pop Up Screens this weekend. Book tickets to watch Back To The Future today, Grease on Saturday or The Greatest Showman on Sunday — all in the open-air, with a bar open throughout — or bring your own picnic. 5-7 August

HEART N SOUL: A Heart N Soul House Party takes place in Deptford as part of Lewisham's tenure as London Borough of Culture. Expect DJs, pop-up performances and dance routines at the event, planned by local arts organisation Heart N Soul, which supports young people with learning disabilities and autism. FREE, 6pm

CRIME WRITERS: Crime authors Ruth Ware and Clare Mackintosh are at Waterstones Piccadilly to discuss their latest books. Ware's The It Girl focuses on the reopening of a murder case, while Mackintosh's The Last Party is the first in a new series with new character DC Ffion Morgan (and we've loved all of Mackintosh's previous novels, so we've got great hopes for this one). 6.30pm

QUEER TANGO: Queer Tango London at Bishopsgate Institute offers LGBTQ dancers and allies a safe space to learn and practice Argentinian Tango. Tonight's event starts with a beginners' class, followed by an evening of social dancing. 6.30pm-10.30pm

Saturday 6 August

Raise a glass to Beavertown's 10th birthday

HAPPY PLACE: Fearne Cotton's Happy Place festival takes over Chiswick House & Gardens for two days of guest speakers and contributors, live podcast recordings, fitness and wellness classes, workshops, and food and drink. 6-7 August

STORIES OF CATS: Southwark Cathedral celebrates cats with a day of feline-themed talks from historians, behaviourists and poets. Veterinary surgeon Dr Jo Lewis offers an insight into what your cat might be thinking, Celia Haddon — formerly the Daily Telegraph's pet agony aunt — discusses strays and ferals, and broadcaster Oliver Soden is in conversation with the Dean of Southwark. 10.15am-5pm

CRAFTY FOX: Peruse jewellery, candles, ceramic, prints — and much more — at Crafty Fox Market, held at Mercato Metropolitano. Each brand has at least 70% of their products on sale, too — bargain! FREE, 11am-5pm

BEAVERTOWN TURNS 10: Beavertown Brewery has been around for a decade, and is holding a party at its taproom in Tottenham Hale to celebrate. It's a day of food, music and beer — your ticket includes all the beer you can drink, plus one item from the food menu, and a goodie bag to take home. 11am-11pm

HALCYON NIGHTS: New cabaret show Halcyon Nights launches at Brasserie Zédel near Piccadilly Circus. The art deco venue transforms into a golden age nightclub, with acrobats, dancers, comic singers and a live house band taking to the stage. 1950s Sunset Strip themed cocktails are available throughout the evening, and dressing up is encouraged — though not compulsory. 7pm

Sunday 7 August

Drag Syndrome perform at the first Sunday Street Party at This Bright Land. Image by Scallywag Fox

LONDON TRIATHLON: Swim, bike and run your way across the city as the London Triathlon comes to town. Even if you're not an athlete (or spectator) be aware of road closures on the day. Road closures in place 5am-6pm

DRAG SYNDROME: Drag collective Drag Syndrome have enjoyed success at several London venues and events recently, and now they're headlining the first Sunday Street Party at This Bright Land at Somerset House. Comprising drag queens and kings with Down's syndrome, the group takes over the Courtyard for a celebration of neurodivergent culture. 12pm-10.30pm

GHOSTSIGNS OF ISLINGTON: Hunt down ghosted or faded advertising signs in the Islington area, on this Footprints of London guided walk. See several surviving examples of hand painted signs in the streets that surround Islington Green, and learn more about the story behind them. 2pm-4pm

SAD SUMMER GIRL: A cabaret featuring contemporary pop songs by the likes of Taylor Swift, Lorde, Lana Del Ray and Ariana Grande — Sad Summer Girl is performed by a line-up of talented West End singers. Expect divas, despair and devotion, at this Phoenix Arts Club matinee show. 4.40pm

Urban oddity of the week

Image: M@/Londonist

Wacky illustrator Heath Robinson gets a mention this week (see Wednesday), but have you seen this Robinson-inspired carving in Pinner Memorial Park? Depicting a woman being pulled in a deckchair on wheels by a dog and an umbrella/skateboard combo, Tom Harvey's sculpture points visitors in the direction of the nearby Heath Robinson Museum.

Good cause of the week

Three cute dogs on a bench in orange St Mungo's neckerchiefs

St Mungo's is encouraging dog owners to 'Take the Lead', and walk the distance of a marathon with their pooches this August, to raise money for the London-based homelessness charity.