Things To Do This Week In London: 22-28 January 2018

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

Things to do this week is sponsored by The France Show.

All week

Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Yehia Eweis

INTO THE NUMBERS: In just 90 minutes, the two leads manage to raise an almost bewildering array of questions about personal attachment, innate moral codes, and collective memory. Into the Numbers is not a fun watch, but it's certainly an important one. Read our review here. Finborough Theatre, £16-18, book ahead, until 27 January

BASQUIAT BOOM FOR REAL: It's your last week to catch the work of the eclectic genius that is Jean-Michel Basquiat. This is the first major UK exhibition dedicated to the frenetic painter and graffiti artist, which we gave four stars. The Barbican, £16, book ahead, until 28 January

TOVE JANSSON: Tove Jansson is the author who created the hippo-esque creatures, and this exhibition looks at her most famous creations as well as her wider career, proving that there was more to the painter than just the Moomins. Dulwich Picture Gallery, £14, book ahead, until 28 January

Monday 22 January

Following the bicentennial of her death, AUSTEN investigates the life of the well-loved author.

ART & CREATIVITY TALK: Juggling a creative career, social life and taking care of your mental health is no easy feat. If you're feeling the burn, you'll appreciate this talk offering tips and tricks on managing the practical, physical and emotional demands of being an art professional in this modern world. Cass Art, various prices, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

DRAWING CLASS: Love drawing, fashion and vintage? Then you're in luck as this life drawing class combines all three. Delve into the details of a particular decade and learn how the silhouette, waistline and hemline have changed over the years, before putting pen to paper. Paper Dress Vintage (Hackney), £15/£12, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

SHOOT FROM THE HIP: Looking for a casual night with guaranteed laughs, that won't empty your bank account? Just head upstairs at this Camden gem to hear the finest improv comedy you'll find in the city without spending a penny (except on the pints). The Camden Head, free, just turn up, 8pm-10pm

AUSTEN THE MUSICAL: You've read the books, seen the films and the BBC adaptions, so what's left? The musical of course. AUSTEN explores the challenges the female novelist faced in patriarchal Georgian England. Mirth, Marvel and Maud Theatre (Walthamstow), £16, book ahead, 22-24 January

Tuesday 23 January

ROOFTOP BOOKCLUB: Pick up some new reading material at this book club with a view. Tickets include a welcome drink, nibbles and a goodie bag containing an early preview book of one of the four debut authors, who you'll hear from tonight. Carmelite House (Blackfriars), £10, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

ORANGES & ELEPHANTS: Be transported to Victorian London in this musical depicting the shady goings-on between two all-female rival gangs and one woman's dream to be a music hall star. Hoxton Hall, £18, book ahead, 2.30pm-5.30pm and 7.30pm-11pm, until 10 February

FRANKENSTEIN AND ITS LEGACY: Anxious about where science is taking us? Imagine how people felt whwn Frankenstein was published. The book and its impact 200 years down the line is the topic of discussion tonight. The Royal Institution, £16, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm


Sponsor message

Experience the best of France in a day, all under one roof

This January, The France Show returns to London Olympia for a three-day bonanza featuring all the very best from our friends on the continent. Savour the flavours of France in live cookery demonstrations from top chefs (including Michelin-starred Daniel Galmiche), try some tipples in the champagne and wine tasting classes, or even pick up some tasty goodies to take home with you in the French market — it’s all here, and all under one roof.

But it’s not just food and drink: you can sample the best of French culture too, with live entertainment from top comedians and high-kicking can can dancers, language lessons to get your linguistic skills up to scratch, and even travel tips to inspire your next holiday across the Channel.

Sometimes a holiday doesn’t quite cut it, so if you’re looking to make a more permanent leap, you can browse thousands of properties for sale in the French Property Exhibition (the UK’s largest) too, and get your hands on free expert advice on all aspects of buying or living in France.

The France Show is taking place from 26-28 January 2018 at London Olympia, and Londonist has 250 tickets available at just £2.50 each (plus 10% booking fee), saving over £9 per person. Cheaper than a day trip on the train, right? Click here to book now.


Wednesday 24 January

See a jazz performance from Estonian Voices tonight as part of London A Cappella Festival.

WRECKED: If you'd rather be in the action than in front of it, become one of six audience members at the scene of a car crash, as Sam unravels and she attempts to piece her life together. Vaults Festival (Waterloo) £16, book ahead, 7.30pm, until 18 March

WE ARE FUNNY CHALLENGE: Each act gets five minutes to wax lyrical on a specific theme. This week they must come up with witty quips about cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Farrs School of Dancing (Dalston), £10, book ahead, 7.45pm-10.15pm

LONDON A CAPPELLA FESTIVAL: London's most tuneful vocal super groups descend on London for this four-day festival, featuring beatbox champions, jazz superstars and acclaimed "throat singers". Various locations and prices, book ahead, 24-27 January

VAULT FESTIVAL: Choose from more than 300 eclectic shows at Waterloo's annual underground theatre festival. Delightfully miscellaneous VAULT Festival is a smorgasbord of performance, welcoming acts across theatre, music, spoken word and comedy. The Vaults, various prices, book ahead, 24 January-18 March

Thursday 25 January

Former Leyton Town Hall, Leyton Technical celebrates Burns Night with a toe-tapping Ceilidh and live recital of Robert Burns’ poetry.

EAST SLEEP REPEAT: If your home is starting to look like you need to call in Kim and Aggie or worse you'd make a fine contestant on Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder, then make a clean sweep of it at this decluttering workshop aimed at busy parents. East London Liquor Company, £25-£30, book ahead, 1pm-3.30pm

BURNS NIGHT SUPPER*: Tuck into a two-course feast washed down with regional Scottish whisky while listening to a recital of Robert Burns's poetry. Your Burns Night celebrations are topped off with foot-stomping moves led by Ceilidh Tree. Leyton Technical, £40, book ahead, 6.30pm-11pm

ANDREAS GURSKY: After a two-year refurb, the Hayward Gallery is back with an exhibition of monumental proportions. Gursky's photographs are "precisely about the suffocating scale of things," writes critic Gabriel Coxhead. He also has the accolade of being the most expensive photographer at auction — a big artist for a big reopening. Hayward Gallery, £7.25-£16, book ahead, 25 January-22 April

BURNS NIGHT AT BLADE: This Burns Night, Blade, the clubbing hairdressers has got something behind that bar that'll warm your cockles. Head downstairs for a free dram of whisky on arrival with bookings until 9pm. Blade Soho, various prices, just turn up, 9pm

DRAWING WORKSHOP: Taking Ovid's metamorphosis as a starting point, the pros at the London Drawing Group will be guiding you through a series of exercises designed to push your approach to drawing through collage, abstraction, composition and creative thinking. Royal British Society of Sculptors (Kensington), £30, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.30pm

* Check out the best places in London to celebrate Burns Night

Friday 26 January

A celebration of the light which is coming (aka Spring).

HOUZZ OF 2018: Looking for home inspiration? You'll find it at this five-storey townhouse, which has been filled with stuff from more than 50 international designers. Plus head to the top of the house for colour workshops with Dulux, advice on taking care of house plants and a Nespresso masterclass. 19 Greek Street (Soho), free, just turn up, 11am-6pm

COMING OF THE LIGHT: How's this for awesome Friday night plans? Wander into a secret garden, where mulled cider and a roaring fire awaits your arrival. As you get toasty you'll be entertained by poets, storytellers and musicians. Bring a candle in a jar and cash. Secret location (Glengall Road), £6 cash on the night, book ahead, 7.15pm-9pm

THE MAGIC HOUR: Prepare to be stunned as Tony Middleton ‘Sonic’ delights with this Victorian style parlour magic show. Think: sleight of hand, mind reading, and even a séance. Hey, if it's good enough for Sir Roger Moore, it's good enough for us. Park Lane Hotel (Sheraton Grand), £45, book ahead, 8pm-9.45pm

Saturday 27 January

After this tie-dye class, you'll be wanting to dye everything you can get your hands on.

NATURAL DYES: Get back to nature with a traditional crafting session in Hyde Park. At this workshop, you'll learn how to use natural dyes to personalise a lovely tote bag, so you can ditch the plastic ones. The LookOut (Hyde Park), £18, book ahead, 10am-noon

TIE-DYE WORKSHOP: Tie-dye's longevity is admirable and it's also great fun to do yourself. Join artist Lizzie King, the queen of tie-dye, who'll be showing you how to fold, swirl and scrunch your fabric to make amazing patterns and effects. Arch 5, Bohemia Place (Hackney Central), £26, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

BIG FISH LITTLE FISH: If you've got kids, doesn't mean your party days are over, particularly when there are superb family-friendly raves like this one from BFLF and Camp Bestival. (Suggested age range 0-8 years) Fire/ Lightbox, £10, book ahead, 2pm-4.30pm

NOCTURNAL CITY: When it comes to city nightlife are you a Mancunian at heart or a Fabric fiend? Now's your opportunity to take sides as the nocturnal side of both cities is discussed at this evening of music, panel discussions and installations. Somerset House, £10-£15, book ahead, 4pm-midnight

93 FEET EAST RELAUNCH: 93 Feet East has been an essential venue on London's nightlife circuit since 1999, so it makes a change to spread the news of this relaunch (rather than a closure). Tonight's line up includes Archie Hamilton, Patrice Scott, Santé and Sidney Charles. 93 Feet East, £10, book ahead, 4pm-4am

Sunday 28 January

Go to Grow in Hackney Wick for a SoulFull Sunday Roast, bloody marys for your belly and DJs playing funk, soul and jazz for your ears.

CLASSICAL COFFEE MORNINGS: Grab a pastry and a coffee and pull up a seat in front of Amy Lyddon (mezzo-soprano) and Ian Tindale (piano), two talents from the Royal College of Music. Royal Albert Hall (South Kensington), £13, book ahead, 11am

SOULFULL SUNDAY ROAST: Ease your hangover with a bloody mary before tucking into the Slow Fire London Sunday Roast, while DJs spin funk, soul and jazz vinyl. The menu includes canal-side smoked meat or a nut roast for the vegans. Meat is sustainably sourced and the veg and herbs come from the Grow garden. Grow (Hackney Wick), free, just turn up, noon-6pm

CURATOR TOUR: Tour The Lost Words with Museum Curator Kathleen Palmer, and find out how its themes of nature and childhood connect with the Foundling Hospital story. The Foundling Museum, £11, book ahead, 3pm

FOREIGN GOODS 3: The theatre and film industry often gets a bad rap for its lack of diversity but Arcola Theatre is shaking things up with ten new shorts exploring British Chinese themes from a range of exciting voices. Arcola Theatre, £14, book ahead, 5.15pm-7.30pm

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...

A Secret London Tour


How well do you really know London? Visit the streets that inspired Harry Potter locations and see London's most superstitious hotel. On Matt's tour you will explore hidden places and discover stories unknown to even the most knowledgeable of Londoners. Get tickets

Lost London Walking Tour


London is a city of incredible transformation. With structural remains that date back to ancient history still in existence, this unique walking tour takes in Lost London in all its former glory. From the Titanic booking office to the graveyards of man's best friend, you'll discover the weird and wonderful places that used to exist in the capital but are now only committed to memory. Using old photographs, newspaper cuttings and stories from the past, you'll be amazed at what has largely been written out of our history books...   Get tickets

Hidden London Tour


Visit old pubs, even older churches, hidden rivers, mysterious tunnels and more on this tour of hidden Londo. You'll hear tales of the myths and legends which made the City of London what it is today, and find out the area's links to nursery rhymes and literary figures. Get tickets

Forgotten Old London


Have you visited London's Roman ampitheatre? What about London's Medieval market places? Hear weird and wonderful tales of our beautiful city as you take a walking tour, seeing everything from centuries-old churches to the hanging place of William Wallace. Whether you've lived here all your life or are visiting for a few days, you're sure to learn something new about London. Get tickets