Things To Do This Week In London: 19-25 September 2022

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All week

(Be aware that many 'all week' events won't take place on Monday 19 September, due the the royal funeral).

A woman wearing headphones sits on a stool watching a film in the Future of Ageing exhibition at Design Museum
Last chance to see The Future of Ageing at Design Museum

ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHY: The 14th Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition opens at Royal Observatory Greenwich this month. Ogle awe-inspiring scenes from this year's shortlist, capturing the Milky Way rising, galaxies colliding, stellar nurseries, and the luminous Aurora Borealis. From 17 September

CHELSEA HISTORY FESTIVAL: The National Army Museum, the Royal Hospital Chelsea and Chelsea Physic Garden team up again for this year's Chelsea History Festival, which covers local, national and global history. There's a special concert celebrating 40 years of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse, a walking tour focusing on the spies of Chelsea, and another about Chelsea in the blitz — plus plenty more on the programme for all ages. 17-25 September

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL: The 20th anniversary edition of London Design Festival continues its aim of showcasing London as the design capital of the world. At time of writing, the programme has yet to be announced, but we're expecting the usual blend of displays and exhibitions, talks and more. 17-25 September

Horses parade down the road in pairs outside the National Army Museum in Chelsea
There's a varied programme at Chelsea History Festival

LAST CHANCE: A hands-free cargo-carrying robot, and a self-balancing, two-wheeled personal electric vehicle are among the objects on display at The Future of Ageing, a Design Museum exhibition which confronts the fact that by 2040, more than a quarter of the UK's population will be aged over 60, and looks at what can be done to help an ageing population. Until 25 September

CANALETTO: It's also the final week of Canaletto's Venice Revisited, an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. It's a rare chance to see the complete set of 24 Venetian views painted by Canaletto in the 1730s, with a closer look at the features in his work which bring the Italian city to life. Until 25 September

TOTALLY THAMES: The celebration of London's waterway continues, with talks, tours and special exhibitions on all month. Special events this week include a 'kelp forest' created from recycled materials, a sound and art installation at Greenland Dock, and a free evening of film and music by the water. Browse the full programme. Until 30 September

WEST SIDE CABARET: Beloved musical West Side Story gets a cabaret twist at Proud Embankment, with dancers, acrobats, circus performers, aerialists and fire breathers (!) taking to the stage for a raucous adaptation. Get those clicking fingers at the ready... Until 19 November

YINKA ILORI: Artist Yinka Ilori — best known for colourful works such as these psychedelic pedestrian crossings — is the subject of a new Design Museum exhibition. The playful show invites visitors to dive into Ilori's colourful world through joyful installations, patterns and graphics. Expect to see this one all over Instagram... FREE, until 25 June

Monday 19 September

Close up of white and purple flowers in the railings outside Buckingham Palace
London says goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II today. Image: Londonist

ROYAL FUNERAL: Today, of course, is the day of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, and a bank holiday. Many thousands will congregate around Westminster and along the Mall, and most attractions and shops will either close, or operate bank holiday hours. The service itself takes place at Westminster Abbey at 11am. To our knowledge, the other events in our listings for today are going ahead — although it's best to double check with the organisers.

AIRPLANE! Shirley you can't be serious — 1980 classic Airplane! is on the big screen tonight at the Prince Charles Cinema (which has recently confirmed it will NOT be changing its name). 6.15pm

CELYA AB: Former-Parisian-now-honorary-brummie Celya AB performs at the Bill Murray tonight. Her pithy comedy has attracted a fan in Stewart Lee. That's all we need to hear. 6.30pm

Tuesday 20 September

A ravioli parcel is folded by two hands
Get cooking tips from a Pasta Granny. Image: Lizzie Mayson

WHO OWNS THE INTERNET: Dr Victoria Baines, IT Livery Company Professor of Information Technology, hosts a Gresham College lecture looking at who owns the internet. Find out how governments are able to slow or block internet access for citizens for political or security reasons, and how the internet might be regulated in future. FREE, 6pm

ROME ARCHITECTURE: Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Libraries hosts tour guide Olga Cuckovic for an online talk about the architecture of Rome, with particular reference to the period between the two world wars. Find out how Mussolini's regime left its own mark on the city. FREE, 6.30pm-9.30pm

PASTA GRANNIES: Maria, one of the original nonnas from the Pasta Grannies cookbook, hosts an evening of pasta making near Liverpool Street. You'll be taught how to make sweet baked chestnut tortelli and cappelletti in meat stock — plus there's a welcome glass of prosecco with your name on it. 6.45pm-9pm

PUB(E) QUIZ: Head to the Vagina Museum's new Bethnal Green home for the return of the regular Pub(e) Quiz. Brush up on vagina-themed trivia to be in with the chance of winning some rather unusual prizes. 7.30pm

IRISH COMEDY: There's a special headline set from Fred Cooke at tonight's London's Irish show at Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green. Peter Flanagan and Matthew McAloone co-host. 7.30pm-10.30pm

Wednesday 21 September

Comedian Lou Sanders on the roof of The O2
Enjoy rooftop comedy at The O2 on Thursday

THERE WAS A TIME: The fascinating Wiener Holocaust Library opens its new FREE exhibition today. 'There was a time…': Jewish Family Photographs Before 1939 displays a selection of late 19th- to early 20th century everyday photographs from 12 collections connected to Jewish families in Germany and Austria. Until 4 November

IN SEARCH OF HAMPSTEAD: Explore the history of Hampstead on a walking tour organised by London Metropolitan Archives. Find out how the area went from rural village to pleasure resort to the desirable suburb it is today. 11am-1pm

PREHISTORIC GODS: Find out what we know of prehistoric worship, from Stonehenge to the bog body known as Lindow Man, at this Gresham College lecture by Ronald Hutton, Professor of Divinity. FREE, 6pm

OLD OPERATING THEATRE: Explore the Old Operating Theatre & Herb Garret after hours in a special Autumn Equinox event. See the permanent exhibitions at night, enjoy a drink from the Apothecary Wine Bar and watch a live music and dance performance by Lunatraktors. 7pm-9pm

JAWDANCE: Spoken word night Jawdance is back at Rich Mix, offering a chance to see established and up-and-coming performers take to the stage. 7pm

SPARK STORYTELLING: Into spoken word but can't make it to Shoreditch (above)? Spark Storytelling is at Catford Mews, and this month's theme is Community. Got a story to tell? if it's true, happened to you, and is under five minutes in length, get up on stage and share it — otherwise, sit back and enjoy other people's tales. 8pm

Thursday 22 September

The Europe team (dressed in blue) and Rest of the World team (dressed in red) lined up on an indoor court in front of a crowd at The Laver Cup
Attend Laver Cup Open Practice Day at The O2

LAVER CUP: The Laver Cup opens its doors to fans during its Open Practice Day at The O2. The annual tennis tournament sees players from Europe taking on players from the rest of the world, all for charity. See the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas from Team Europe, along with Team World’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, Taylor Fritz, Diego Schwartzman and Jack Sock getting warmed up today. 12pm

NIGHT MARKET: The final Night Market of the summer takes place in Montgomery Square in Canary Wharf, bringing a range of street food traders together, accompanied by live music and free mini-golf. Well, it beats having to cook on a Thursday night. FREE, 5pm-10pm

CINEMA CANALETTO: As the National Maritime Museum's Canaletto exhibition comes to a close (see above), the venue screens Welcome Venice, an evocative film about two fishermen brothers, whose livelihood is under threat from Venice’s tourists. There's also a chance to attend a private view of the exhibition, and an Italian-themed drinks reception. 5.30pm-9pm

02 COMEDY: Once again, comedian Lou Sanders is offering special shows — on the roof of the O2 Arena. Part of the Up At The O2 experience, the audience climb up on to the roof (led by expert guides), to enjoy the show (and the view). 7pm

STEFF TODD: Comedian and impressionist Steff Todd is at Bloomsbury Theatre performing her new show, Material, Girl. Expect a few celebrity impressions along the way. 7.30pm (repeated tomorrow)

Friday 23 September

A man in a black t-shirt smiling and playing the violin, with several other musicians playing various instruments in the background
Purcell's Playhouse & The Alehouse Sessions at Southbank Centre. Photo: Theresa Pewal

NEW ARTIST FAIR: Living room walls looking a bit bland? Buy original art and limited edition prints for your home directly from artists for as little as £50 (max price: 2k) at New Artist Fair. This is your chance to invest in new, emerging, and recently established artists while their work is still affordable, but the savings don't stop there — our readers get 50% off entry with the code LDNHALF. Until 25 September (sponsor)

PLANTED: Head to King's Cross for two days of talks about how we can use plants and nature in designing buildings, food systems and outdoor spaces to improve sustainability and protect the environment for future generations. FREE, 23-24 September

FLOWER FESTIVAL: Twickenham's Strawberry Hill House hosts a colourful Flower Festival, with three days of displays, and bloom-inspired talks and workshops. See the house decked out with pretty arrangements by several florists, with a special focus on British flower farmers this year. 23-25 September

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: Luxury jewellery brand Van Cleef & Arpels is the subject of a new Design Museum exhibition. 100 pieces from the collection are on display, alongside archive documents which offer an insight into the company's skilled use of precious materials. FREE, 23 September-20 October

MOONLIGHT CABARET CLUB: Renowned cabaret artiste Chastity Belt is the host of Moonlight Cabaret Club, an evening of acrobatics, belly dancing, glitter and garters. Takes place at ArtsDepot in North Finchley. 7.30pm

ALEHOUSE SESSIONS: Immersive production The Alehouse Sessions transforms The Queen Elizabeth Hall at Southbank Centre into a 17th century alehouse. Grab a beer and immerse yourself in live classical music from Norwegian violinist Bjarte Eike and the orchestral group Barokksolistene. Throughout the night, expect a blend of folk, strings, sea shanties and commedia dell'arte. 9pm

Saturday 24 September

A view of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London at night, with a flotilla of boats covered in lights passing by
Look out for this flotilla on the Thames tonight. Image: Thames Festival

KOREAN WAVE: The V&A opens a new exhibition about the popular culture of South Korea. Hallyu! The Korean Wave covers cinema, drama, music, fandom, beauty and fashion, ranging from the 1988 Seoul Olympics to PSY performing hit song Gangnam Style. From 24 September

BUS OPEN DAY: One for transport fans — the Thames Valley & Great Western Omnibus Trust teams up with TfL for a celebration of 90 years of Victoria Coach Station with a static display of vintage coaches inside the building for one day only. FREE, 24 September

ELIZABETH I: Five of the country's foremost Tudor historians come together at Southwark Cathedral for a day looking at the life of Queen Elizabeth I. Talks take place throughout the day on a range of topics including the monarch's infatuation with Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, and the ‘Cult of Gloriana’ movement, in which artists and authors conspired to portray her as a revered goddess. 10am-5pm

PERIOD DRAMA: The Vagina Museum teams up with Jane Austen's House for an online event about periods in the Georgian era. Find out what Georgian undergarments were like, and how Georgian women dealt with periods. 7pm-8.15pm

REFLECTIONS FLOTILLA: You'll want to get down to the banks of the Thames tonight to see the Reflections flotilla — part of Totally Thames Festival — in motion. Sailing from Chelsea to Tower Bridge, the flotilla consists of a procession of vessels decorated with soft white lights, including Gloriana, Queen Elizabeth II's rowbarge. FREE, 7.15pm-9pm

FREE FILMS: Streatham Free Film Festival launches tonight — with a screening of the dystopian Dune, in the idyllic Rookery Gardens. Quite the juxtaposition. FREE, 7.30pm

JAZZ:  Jazz vocalist, lyricist and producer, Georgia Mancio is at Jazz Cafe Posk, performing jazz/Latin standards, plus some of her original pieces. 8.30pm-11.30pm

Sunday 25 September

A composite image of photos from previous sheep drives, as well as Kate Humble holding a lamb.
Kate Humble leads this year's Sheep Drive

SHEEP DRIVE: One of London's wackiest annual events is the London Bridge Sheep Drive and Livery Fair. Each year, a chosen celebrity has the honour of herding sheep over London Bridge — this time it's Kate Humble. There's no public access to the bridge, but everyone's welcome at the livery fair next to the Monument afterwards. FREE, 10am-4pm

DIY ART MARKET: 80 artists take part in the DIY Art Market at Truman's Social Club in Walthamstow. It's a chance to buy direct from the makers, and browse work in a range of mediums, including prints, ceramics, sculptures, jewellery and more. 11am-5pm

GROOVE BABY: Take the kids along to Groove Baby: Grooving With Pirates, a theatre/music show at Arts Depot (North Finchley) designed to be somewhere between kids' shows and ‘regular’ adult concerts. Follow three pirate friends on a dangerous mission to find some treasure, with elements of interactive theatre and live music thrown in. Aimed at ages 3-7. 11am/2pm

PRE-LOVED CLOTHES: In the market for a new autumn wardrobe? Shop smart at the Fox and Firkin's pre-loved clothes sale. DJs are playing throughout the day and it'd be rude not to get a drink, too. FREE, 12pm-6pm

PINK JUKEBOX: Aimed at members of the LGBTQ+ community and their friends, Pink Jukebox is a Ballroom and Latin dance club. It's open to dancers of all abilities, and starts with classes to familiarise you with steps, followed by an evening of social dancing. 2pm-7pm

UPPER STREET: There's MUCH more to Islington's most famous street than fancy cafes. Explore the fascinating history of the area, including hidden gardens and forgotten tramways, with tour guide Jonathan Wober of London On The Ground. 2.30pm

COMEDY: Head to the Railway in Streatham for an evening of laughs courtesy of Peter Rethinasamy, Fatiha El-Ghorri, Tadiwa Mahlunge, Kyrah Gray and MacLarry. Running the show is trusty MC Sion James. 8pm-10.45pm

Urban oddity of the week

A standard postbox, except that you can see right through it. It has a aperture on both sides.
Image Matt Brown

London contains no shortage of unusual post boxes. But if you're heading to Chelsea History Festival (see 'All Week', above), keep your eyes peeled for this unique pillar outside Chelsea Hospital. It contains two opposing apertures so that mail can be posted from both within and without the grand retirement home, even when the gates are shut.

Good cause of the week

Walk Against Hunger banner

Walk against hunger! Charity Food for Life London has been feeding hot vegetarian meals to the homeless in Central London since 1994. But it needs a new permanent facility to continue its mission, against a backdrop of rising food prices and increased homelessness.

You can help by taking part in a 10-mile walk around some of the capital's most iconic buildings (a bit like being in The Queue, but for a very good cause). The event begins in Soho Street on Saturday 24 September. You'll need to pay a £15 registration fee and raise funds via sponsorship.