Things To Do This Week In London: 22-28 August 2022

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All week

Colourful Clean Power flags hanging over Oxford Street
Look out for the new Clean Power artworks on Oxford Street

CAMDEN FRINGE: It's the final week of performing arts festival Camden Fringe. Thinking of catching a final show or two? How about a traditional drumming and dance show, feel-good love story Rajesh & Naresh, or heartwarming comedy Mediocre Gay? Browse the full programme. Until 28 August

ROOTED BEINGS: Time's running out to see Wellcome Collection's current exhibition Rooted Beings, which takes a look at our relationship with plants. Browse botanical archives from Wellcome Collection and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, alongside artworks offering an insight into what we can learn from plant behaviour. FREE, until 29 August

OUR TIME ON EARTH: Our Time On Earth is also coming to an end soon (the exhibition that is — don't panic). Head to The Curve at Barbican for an exhibition full of hope, looking at the environmental crisis, and the need to look at our natural world in innovative new ways. Until 29 August

Two women among plants, flowers and giant toadstool models at This Bright Land
This Bright Land continues at Somerset House. Photo by Ben Queenborough

THIS BRIGHT LAND: Had a ride on London's newest ferris wheel yet? This Bright Land at Somerset House is a festival of attractions, talks, performances, workshops and more, celebrating summer in the city. Until 29 August

CULT HAIR: Head to Horniman Museum to celebrate hair which goes against mainstream beauty standards. Cult Hair is a photography exhibition capturing London's unique and diverse hairstyles, and celebrating ordinary people with extraordinary hair. FREE, until 31 August

SUMMER BY THE RIVER: Family film screenings, live music, theatre show and an afternoon of dancing are all on the programme at Summer by the River this week. The free, open-air festival is open to all, and has food and drink stalls to keep everyone fed, watered and happy. FREE, until 2 September

People sitting in the sunshine alongside the Thames at Summer by the River, with the Square Mile skyscrapers in the background
Last couple of weeks of Summer by the River 2022

BBC PROMS: A tribute to soul singer Aretha Franklin is among the BBC Proms highlights this week. Plus, on Saturday, the Earth Proms are a musical celebration of the BBC Studios Natural History Unit through the ages – from David Attenborough’s early adventures to the present, and on Sunday, Prom 56 celebrates South African jazz. Browse the full Proms programme. Until 10 September

CLEAN POWER: If you're heading down Oxford Street in the next couple of weeks, look up to see a new artwork. Artist Morag Myerscough has created 105 4-metre long flags as part of a new Clean Power campaign. They run from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch, and are made of recycled materials. If you like what you see, you can buy a digital version of the artworks for £3, with money going towards community rooftop solar energy and the planting of trees here in London. Free, until September

SUMMER HOLIDAYS: From theatre shows, to museum events, to where to find your nearest playground, boating lake or ice rink, our guide to London in the summer holidays has plenty of ideas for family-friendly days out.

Monday 22 August

A child peeking through a gold foil cut out
Young V&A's Reinvent Festival continues. Image courtesy of Young V&A

PRINTING WITH NATURE: Designed for families where at least one child has additional social and communication needs, Hammersmith's William Morris Society hosts a sensory screen printing workshop. Kids (age 6+) can use tactile objects such as fruit and leaves to have a go at printing, and there's a chance to use smelly paints too. 10.30am-11.30am

CREATE AND PLAY: As part of the Young V&A Museum (previously known as the Museum of Childhood) Reinvent Festival, there's a Create & Play session at All Points East festival in Victoria Park. Take 3-11 year olds along to make the most of an outdoor play pop-up, with large-scale play kits to create a huge tower, a boat to sail away on, or a den to hide in. No festival ticket necessary. FREE, 12pm-4pm

NEON NAKED LIFE DRAWING: Make your way to the Old Queen's Head in Islington for an evening of Neon Naked Life Drawing. Sharpen up your drawing skills by creating a likeness of models covered in neon paint. Use UV paints to experiment with colour, shape and texture, and try out different techniques under expert guidance. 6pm-9.30pm

THE HEIGHTS OF DICKENS: Join Footprints of London guide Marilyn Greene to follow in the footsteps of Charles Dickens in Hampstead and Highgate — from the comfort of your own home. The virtual tour blends fact and fiction, covering houses which Dickens is known to have stayed in, part of Bill Sikes' escape route after murdering Nancy in Oliver Twist, and the Spaniard's Inn, which features in the Pickwick Papers. 8pm-9pm

Tuesday 23 August

Outdoor cinema set up at Barbican, with rows of chairs in front of the screen at dusk
Barbican hosts outdoor film screenings, starting today. Photo: Justin Piperger

FILM AWARDS: A free, three-day international film festival, Kings Cross Film Awards showcases new features and shorts from around the globe. The Water Rats on Gray's Inn Road hosts screenings including Italian short drama Seife, about a man with disabilities undergoing experimental treatments, and UK horror film Splinter, about an agoraphobic recluse. FREE, 23-25 August

OUTDOOR CINEMA: Across six evenings, an outdoor cinema pops up at Barbican's Sculpture Court, tying in with the final days of Our Time On Earth (see above). Focus is on fantasy, adventure and spectacular environments, with a recording of Pink Floyd live at Pompeii on the programme. Seating is first come, first served, headphones are provided, and it's recommended that you wrap up warm and bring your own blanket. 23-28 August

EXPLORE AND PLAY: The British Library opens its Family Station, a creative base to entertain the kids. It's normally open one Sunday a month, but is getting an extra airing during the summer holidays. Make the most of interactive activities, sensory materials and a range of children’s books including tactile and braille editions provided, or use the base as somewhere to feed little ones of enjoy a family packed lunch before heading off to explore the rest of the British Library. FREE, 23-28 August

REWILDING: Want to know more about rewilding — the process of returning a damaged ecosystem to its original state? The Royal Institution hosts wildlife journalist Millie Kerr to discuss conservation stories including the return of jaguars to an Argentinian national park, and the first-ever pangolin reintroduction project in South Africa. 7pm-8.30pm

Wednesday 24 August

A family in front of a dinosaur exhibit at Jurassic Park exhibition
The Jurassic World exhibition opens on Thursday

BEYOND BOLLYWOOD: Take a tour of India through the medium of dance at Beyond Bollywood, coming to Sadler's Wells after last being seen in the West End in 2015. The show follows Shaily Shergill as she leaves her German home to venture to India, on a mission to fulfil her mother’s dying wish of reviving her family’s failing theatre. Kalbelia, Lezim, Bihu, Garba and Kathak are among the Indian dance styles which feature in the show. 24 August-3 September

IN SEARCH OF HACKNEY: London Metropolitan Archives offers a walking tour around the Hackney area, telling its history over the past 600 years. Find out how it went from medieval village to Victorian London suburb, and visit remaining buildings from the 13th, 16th, 18th and 19th centuries. 11am-1pm

DICKENS MUSEUM TOUR: The Charles Dickens Museum in Bloomsbury stays open late for a guided evening tour. In a small group of no more than 15 people, begin with a glass of wine in the courtyard before hearing stories of the house from one of the museum's knowledgable guides as you wander round. 6pm

DOPE BLACK QUEERS: Attend a live recording of the Dope Black Queers podcast plus Q&A session at Barbican. The London-based collective provides Black LGBTQIA+ people opportunities to connect through live events, online spaces, and podcasting. This episode focuses on "the possibilities available to us through our identities and expressions when we allow ourselves to be as free as water", as well as ways to communicate beyond the sometimes restrictive parameters of language. FREE, 6.30pm

WIND IN THE WILLOWS: There's an open-air performance of children's book The Wind in the Willows in the churchyard at Southwark Cathedral. Take the whole family along to see the story of Mole, Ratty and Badger brought to life by the award-winning Calf 2 Cow theatre company. Bring your own blankets, cushions or camping chairs to get comfy — it's a 70-minute performance including a 20-minute interval. 7pm-8.35pm

Thursday 25 August

A wooden table with plates of various dishes containing Nutella, along with a mug of tea, a glass of juice, and a jar of Nutella
Nutella opens the Happy Portion Parlour pop-up

JURASSIC WORLD EXHIBITION:"The closest you'll ever come to living dinosaurs," claims the new Jurassic World exhibition, which opens at ExCel London today. A version of Isla Nubar in east London, the experience recreates scenes from the dino-centric film franchise, offering visitors a chance to come face-to-face with life-sized dinosaurs. From 25 August

NUTELLA POP-UP: Beloved food brand Nutella opens The Happy Portion Parlour, a pop-up restaurant in Soho. The cafe's aim is to showcase all the different ways a single portion (15g) of the good stuff can be put to delicious use — pancakes, peach melba and breakfast bruschetta are all on the menu, and it's all FREE. 25-27 August

SINGING WORKSHOP: Release your inner singer at this Gilbert & Sullivan singing workshop at Wilton's Music Hall. David Eaton, Charles Court Opera’s Musical Director, leads the fun and relaxed session in which you'll sing classic choruses from Patience and more. 5pm

QUEER BOTANY: Queer Botany, which studies connections between queerness and plants, leads a tour around Wellcome Collection's soon-to-close Rooted Beings exhibition. Guide Sixto-Juan Zavala, founder of Queer Botany, looks at the collection from a queer botanical perspective, and discusses how botany can be queered and how queerness can be botanical. FREE, 6pm-6.45pm

DIALOGUES WITH DARLY: Mary Darly, often considered Britain’s first female cartoonist, features heavily in The Cartoon Museum's current exhibition, alongside New Yorker cartoonist Sarah Akinterinwa. Tonight, hear from an expert panel including Akinterinwa about Darly's legacy, and the continuing inequalities in the cartooning and publishing industries today. 6.30pm-8pm

Friday 26 August

Three dancers in full Carnival costumes including feathered headdresses, outside London Cabaret Club entrance
Carnival vibes at The London Cabaret Club tonight

GREENWICH AND DOCKLANDS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL: Free outdoor performing arts festival Greenwich and Docklands International Festival starts today, with two weeks of theatre, art, dance and circus in outdoor locations. Highlights include a rainbow island of foam taking over Greenwich Peninsula, and a digital artwork which recreates many of the Ukrainian mosaics which have been destroyed in the invasion of the country. 26 August-11 September 2022

CARS 3: Keep the kids entertained with a free screening of Cars 3 at Poplar Union. The third installation in the Disney Pixar franchise starring Lightning McQueen is the story of arrogant new hotshot race Jackson Storm, who leaves McQueen suddenly sidelined. FREE, 10.30am

EXPLOSIVE FOOD: Aimed at children age 7+ and their families, the Royal Institution hosts science presenter Dan Plane in a show about explosive food. Watch demonstrations including fountains of fizzy drink, which teach kids about the energy in the foods they eat. Choose between a matinee or evening show. 2pm or 6pm

AFRICA FASHION: This week's Friday Forum at the V&A ties in with its current exhibition, Africa Fashion. Hear from sustainability expert Hadeel Osman, fashion designer Nkwo Onwuka, Nataal Magazine's co-founder and editorial director Helen Jennings and British Nigerian Fashion and Textile designer Tolu Coker about the future of the fashion industry in Africa. 3pm-6pm

CARNIVAL CABARET: The London Cabaret Club in Bloomsbury Square hosts a Carnival special, featuring live performances from Brazilian Carnival dancers, with salsa, funk, soul and pop music. Tuck into a special Caribbean-inspired menu, washed down with a limited-edition rum-based cocktail. 6pm (repeated tomorrow)

Saturday 27 August

People dancing in a near-dark room at a festival, with purple lights towards the stage
Junction 2: Inner City takes over Tobacco Dock. Photo: Kris Humphreys Photography

BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND: It's a bank holiday weekend (hurrah!) — the last one before Christmas (boo!). If you're lucky enough to have three days off work, make the most of it with our guide to spending the bank holiday in London. Whether you're after cultural days out, new walking routes, something a bit active, or just a new spot to eat and drink, we've got you covered. 27-29 August

JUNCTION 2: Underground house and techno music festival Junction 2: Inner City takes over Tobacco Dock for nearly 40 hours of live music across multiple stages. Expect familiar faces and brand new artists — and it's an indoor festival, so no worrying about the weather! 27-28 August

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL: It's the August bank holiday weekend, and that means... Carnival! The first in-person Notting Hill Carnival since 2019 takes over west London's streets, with music, dancing, Caribbean food... and a new eco-friendly twist for 2022. Here's our Notting Hill Carnival guide. FREE, 27-29 August

FOOD FESTIVAL: Feast your eyes on the surroundings of Hampton Court Palace, and your stomach on goodies from the Hampton Court Palace Food Festival, which is held in the palace gardens. Tuck into street food, browse and buy artisan products including wine, rum, cakes, pastries, coffee and cheese. There's also live music at the bandstand, and face painting and shire horse rides for kids. 27-29 August

GOING SOUTH: As part of London Borough of Culture, Horniman Museum hosts Daytimers: Going South, a live music festival celebrating 21st century Asian music. Head to the bandstand for an afternoon of performances from King Monday, a sound exploration project by Croydon-born artist Sherwyn Appadu, and musicians Mera Bhai and Temujin performing their favourite vinyl tracks from the South Asian subcontinent, among others. Food stalls including Indian food specialist Atcha and Himalayan restaurant Rajiv's Kitchen. FREE, 12pm-6pm

QUEER ICONS: For the final weekend of This Bright Land (see above), Somerset House hosts Queer Icons: The Tribute Ball, an open-air vogue ball, honouring and paying tribute to Queer Icons past and present. Performers honour Black transgender activist and drag queen Marsha P. Johnson, musician Freddie Mercury, and French designer Thierry Mugler, among others. 5pm-10.30pm

COMEDY CABARET: One of north London's most esteemed small comedy venues, Downstairs at the King's Head, is hosting its Comedy Cabaret evening tonight. On the bill are Rick Kiesewetter, Jon Levene, Susan Murray and Nick Wilty — with MC Windsor at the helm. 8.30pm

Sunday 28 August

The interior of 100 Wardour street, decorated with tropical fake flowers and plants
Things get tropical at 100 Wardour Street

FLEA MARKET: It's the second day of Hackney Flea Market (also on Saturday). Peruse 20th century furniture, records, salvaged French homeware, textiles, kitschenalia, Danish decor, reclaimed industrial fixtures, and plenty more besides. FREE entry, 11am-5pm

TROPICAL BRUNCH: As west London gets Caribbean for Carnival, tropical vibes come to Soho in the form 0f 100 Wardour Street's Tropical Brunch. Set against the venue's current Party in the Tropics themed decor, tuck into two or three courses, and optional bottomless Jungle Juice cocktails or prosecco, with a live DJ providing the soundtrack. 12pm-6pm

DRAG BRUNCH: For an alternative brunch experience, head to The Folly near Monument to experience one of London's beloved drag brunches. The West End Drag Brunch is a chance to see drag queens from the West End stage sashaying and lip-syncing in a more intimate venue, as you tuck into a brunch dish and bottomless cocktails. 1pm-4pm

PINK JUKEBOX: A Ballroom and Latin dance club for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their friends, The Pink Jukebox is back at Bishopsgate Institute. It's open to beginners and more experienced dancers, and starts with classes to get you up to scratch with the steps, followed by a social dancing session. 2pm-7pm

THE SECRET GARDEN: For one night only, The Secret Garden In Concert is at the London Palladium. The Tony award-winning musical, based on the 1911 novel of the same name, brings to life the story of orphan Mary Lennox and her quest to uncover her deceased aunt's garden. 6pm

ANORAK COMEDY: "I can’t remember the last time I laughed this much. A great way to spend your Sunday evening with some friends." So said an audience member of Anorak Comedy recently. And indeed, what better way to spend the dying embers of the weekend, than by laughing yourself silly at this FREE central London alt-comedy night. (Reserve your seat in advance though). 7.30pm-9.30pm

Urban oddity of the week

A white and yellow parrot, lying dead on a plinth (it's a sculpture)
Image: Matt Brown/Londonist

As it's the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (see Friday), take a bit of time to seek out some of the many oddities of the Greenwich area. Chief among them has to be the sculpture of the dead parrot, which can be found on a plinth on the corner of Romney Road and King William Walk. The belated beakster, a painted bronze sculpture, stands as a feature of interest in the grounds of Devonport House hotel. It was created in 2009 by artist John Reardon, presumably as an homage to the famous Monty Python sketch. It is simply titled 'Monument for a Dead Parrot' — though it appears to represent a sulphur-crested cockatoo rather than the 'Norwegian blue' from the sketch.

Good cause of the week

A pair of hands clips a large leaf from a plant, which also has a pink flower head
Image: Freedom From Torture

Give torture the green finger! Charity Freedom From Torture opens a botanical pop-up in Shoreditch this week. Catch a range of botanical-themed talks and workshops from terrarium making with AlexThePlantGuy to speed dating for your plants (pairing you up with your perfect plant) and a guide to forest bathing in the city with The Eco Monkey. There will also be a variety of plants to buy from tropical to succulent species, as well as botanical artwork by refugee artists. All money raised will go towards helping people who have survived torture.

The pop-up will be at 72 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3AY from 23-30 August 2022.