Things To Do This Week In London: 11-17 November 2019

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

All week

Skate at Somerset House begins this week

VOILA! EUROPE: European culture festival Voila! Europe continues, with theatre, music, comedy and dance performances by artists from all over Europe. Highlights this week include theatre shows 2100: A Space Novelty and Back To Berlin. Various locations and prices, book ahead, until 17 November

WINTER CINEMA: Southbank Centre's Winter Pop-Up Cinema launches this week, playing a variety of family films and festive classics in the run-up to Christmas. Kick things off with Home Alone, Moana or Dirty Dancing. Southbank Centre, various prices, book ahead, 11 November-29 December

QUEER FILM FEST: Fringe! Queer Film Fest is a volunteer-run festival celebrating London's queer creative scene and telling LGBTIQA+ stories through film. The opening screening is about the history of drag festival Wigstock, while other highlights include a revenge fable and a Madonna symposium. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 12-17 November

The Regent Street lights are switched on from Thursday. Image Shutterstock

SKATE AT SOMERSET HOUSE: Get your skates on — the ice rink at Somerset House is back for a season of twirling (and tumbling) in the beautiful courtyard. It's the ice rink's 20th anniversary, so look out for all-night openings in addition to the usual skate nights — plus the Fortnum Christmas Arcade is back, as is the towering tree. Check out the detail of all of London's ice rinks. Somerset House, from £11, book ahead, 13 November-12 January

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: More of London's Christmas lights are switched on this week, including Marylebone, Seven Dials, Kingston and — the biggie — Regent Street, which happens on Thursday. Full details in our Christmas lights guide.

CHRISTMAS MARKETS: Yes, we know it's only mid-November, but London's Christmas markets are setting up shop already. The big one this week is the Country Living Christmas Fair, although plenty of smaller markets and fairs are open too. Just think how smug you'll feel when you've got everything wrapped before the start of December.

Monday 11 November

The Other Palace hosts the Make A Difference Trust Charity Gala

THEATRE COSTUMES: Hear from staff in the National Theatre's costume department about how they create and care for the costumes used in productions. Aoife Monks, curators of the current costume exhibition, chairs a panel including the Head of Costume and Deputy Head of Costume. National Theatre, £9/£6, book ahead, 6pm

TRAMPOLINE WORKOUT: Add some bounce to your Monday night at this Jomba Jump trampoline workout session. The 50-minute high-intensity, low-impact workout is great for stamina and cardiovascular fitness, doesn't put too much strain on your joints, and is pretty fun to boot. Whetstone (address provided on booking), £10, book ahead, 8pm-9pm (sponsor)

CHARITY GALA: The cast of musical Falsettos put on a gala performance in aid of HIV/AIDS charity The Make A Difference Trust. Begin with a drinks and canapé reception hosted by Claudia Winkleman, and finish the evening with a post-show Q&A with the cast, hosted by Gaby Roslin. The Other Palace (Victoria), £75, book ahead, 6.30pm

Tuesday 12 November

The Day The Earth Stood Still at Barbican Cinema

SCIENCE ON SCREEN: AI and Robotics professor Noel Sharkey introduces 1951 sci-fi film, The Day The Earth Stood Still. Watch the alien/robot invasion film, with background context about the real robots which were being developed in the 1950s. Barbican Cinema, £10.50, book ahead, 6.20pm

MEDIOCRE WHITE MALE: A dark, comic monologue about ancient history and the lies we tell ourselves, Mediocre White Male is a work in progress show by playwrights Will Close and Joe Von Malachowski. It's the story of a 30 year old man, still living in his home town and stuck in a dead end job. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £10, book ahead, 7pm

BLACK UNION JACK: Race theorist Paul Gilroy, writer Derek Owusu and author Jeffrey Boakye discuss Gilroy's seminal work, There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack. 32 years after it was published, they reflect on contemporary and historical black culture, and the black stories that still need to be told. British Library, £13/£6.50, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

Wednesday 13 November

Off The Shelf comedy at Bishopsgate Institute

BRIGHT NIGHTS: Kensington Palace stays open late for Bright Nights: Empire. Writers, artists, scientists and psychologists share their thoughts about the complex legacy of the British Empire through debates, music and performances. Psychologist Dr Erica McInnis talks about the problems with Eurocentric psychology, and spoken word artist Jaspreet Kaur shares poetry on the impact of Empire. Kensington Palace, £25, book ahead, 6.30pm-10pm

COMEDY: Dr Steve Cross from Science Showoff hosts Off The Shelf comedy night, with a host of comedians performing sets inspired by the weird and wonderful lectures given in Bishopsgate Institute's Great Hall over the years. Bishopsgate Institute, £7/£5, book ahead, 7pm

Thursday 14 November

Watch a screening of The Next Life

LOVE NOT LANDFILL: As part of its campaign to prevent clothes from going to landfill, Love Not Landfill opens a pop-up shop. Browse and buy collections from charity shops which have been curated by fashion influencers, learn more about eco-friendly fashion options, and learn how to repair and upcycle your clothes. Seven Dials, free, just turn up, 14-17 November

THE NEXT LIFE: 2011 documentary The Next Life tells the story of a Chinese couple who lost their only daughter in the Great Sichuan Earthquake. This screening of the feature length film is followed by a Q&A with director Fan Jian. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £12.50/£10, book ahead, 6.30pm

THE FLY: Watch 1958 horror/sci-fi film The Fly, about scientists who push the boundaries of exploration too far, resulting in a fly with a man's head, and a man with a fly's head and arm. The Old Operating Theatre (London Bridge), £12, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

Friday 15  November

The Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park returns

JAZZ FESTIVAL: The EFG London Jazz Festival begins today, with nine days of events exploring all aspects of the genre. Kick things off with late night jazz at the Royal Albert Hall, a live performance by American-born London musician Jen Kearney, or an opening gala at Southbank Centre, which is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 15-24 November

ENCHANTED WOODLAND: If you go down to the woods today... you'll be met with dozens of colourful lights. Syon Park's Enchanted Woodland — one of London's original light festivals — is a family-friendly trail through west London woodland, with floodlights, strobes and lasers lighting the way. Syon Park, £10-£12, book ahead, 15 November-1 December (Friday-Sunday)

ROYAL EXHIBITION: New exhibition George IV: Art & Spectacle showcases some of the art acquired by prolific collector King George IV. Now part of the Royal Collection, the works included paintings, metalwork, textiles, furniture, watercolours, books and ceramics, by artists including Sir Thomas Lawrence and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Queen's Gallery (Buckingham Palace), £13.50, book ahead, 15 November-3 May

Saturday 16 November

The Tower of London ice rink returns

TOWER ICE RINK: As ice rink backdrops go, the moat surrounding the Tower of London is an impressive one. The rink opens for the season today. A cafe sits next to the rink selling warming drinks and snacks, and snowflakes are projected onto the walls of the Tower at night. Lovely. Tower of London, from £16.20 adult/£11.70 child, book ahead, 16 November-5 January

FT NEXTGEN: One-day festival FT NextGen brings together key figures in fashion, culture, business and tech, for a day of event aimed at the Financial Times' next generation of readers. Speakers include author Poorna Bell, Appear Here founder Ross Bailey, and culture writer Raven Smith. Studio Spaces (Shadwell), £35-£45, book ahead, 11am-8pm

DAYLIGHT CLUBBING: Music venue Omeara hosts the UK's first accessible clubbing event for disabled people and their carers. The debut event is a Jungle and D&B special,  produced by London-based DJ and mental health volunteer Tony Gurney, and if successful, it's hoped that it will become a regular event. Omeara (Southwark), £5 (includes free carer ticket), book ahead, 2pm

Sunday 17 November

The Beautiful & Useful Craft Fair comes to The Garden Museum

GREAT WESTERN TREES: Paul Wood, author of London is a Forest, leads a walkshop focused on some of the notable trees of west London. Two of London's 61 official Great Trees appear on the route, along with a tree species so rare it has no English name. Ravenscourt Park station. £15, book ahead, 10.30am-12.30pm

BEAUTIFUL AND USEFUL:  Hand-painted wooden bowls, beautiful ceramic vases, swish garden trugs, hand-woven willow baskets, satisfying stationery and lino-print home furnishings are just some of the items for sale at the Beautiful and Useful Craft Market. Garden Museum (Lambeth), £6/£5, book ahead, 10.30am-5pm

OPERA HOUSE LATE: The Royal Opera House stays open late for an evening of music, dance and crafting. Get to know the building better as various performances take place throughout it, and learn a bit more and the worlds of opera and ballet. Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), £8, book ahead, 6pm