Things To Do This Week In London: 26 September-2 October 2022

All week

A woman sitting with crossed legs and eyes closed on a yoga mat in Leadenhall Market
Let out your stress at Leadenhall Market's Screamatorium. © Lucy Young

SANDWICH SHOP: There's a new sandwich joint in town — Sons + Daughters has just opened up a second site — this one in Borough Market. Sink your gnashers into top notch merguez, prawn or chickpea sarnies — and leave that soggy supermarket sandwich on the shelf.

BALLOONIANA: New Wimbledon Theatre hosts a run of Balloniana!, a theatre show about the invention of the hot air balloon, told through physical theatre, original music and spoken word poetry. Until 1 October

STREATHAM FREE FILM FESTIVAL: Streatham is the latest area of London to host its own Free Film Festival, with screenings going on at various venues. Catch 'It Happened One Night' at St Peter's Church, 'Queen of Glory' at The Railway, or 'Encanto' at Streatham Drop In — full programme on the website. FREE, until 5 October

Two women with faces painted white and yellow and black theatrical eye make-up, looking towards the camera with a model hot air balloon floating between them
There's still time to catch Ballooniana! at New Wimbledon Theatre

GLOBE TRAIL: Take some time out to explore these four globe sculpture trails in different areas of London, which tell powerful stories about the Transatlantic slave trade. There are dozens of globes to seek out — each one is designed by a different artist, and tells a story from "the history, legacy and future of the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans". FREE, until 31 October

VICTOR WILLING: Mayfair's Timothy Taylor gallery hosts its first exhibition of paintings and studies by the late British artist Victor Willing. Get a closer look at the fierce and complex surrealism that Willing was known for in the 1970s-80s, when he returned to England after living in Portugal and began to experience hallucinatory visions. FREE, until 5 November

THE QUEEN: Southbank Centre pays tribute to its patron, Queen Elizabeth II, with a free display. A Garland For The Queen looks back at the late monarch's links to the venue, including the naming of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and a coronation fashion show. FREE, until 9 November

FREE EXHIBITIONS: Head over to Canary Wharf to see not one but two free exhibitions currently taking place there. Scale Matters is a series of paper installations by Angela Glajcar, placed in the lobby of One Canada Square, and State of Play is an exhibition of contemporary sculptures on the theme of playing, dotted throughout the Canary Wharf area. FREE, until 11 November

Monday 26 September

A woman dressed in black puts the finishing touches to a sculpture made from paper
Scale Matters is one of two free exhibitions in Canary Wharf (details above)

WINDRUSH FILM SCREENING: Head to Queen's House Greenwich for a talk and screening of Alberta Whittle’s new film The Axe Forgets, But The Tree Remembers, which explores the stories of the Windrush generation. Whittle brings together stories from her own family, and stories sourced from the Hackney Archives to highlight the animosity experienced by the first Caribbean immigrants to arrive in the UK. 7pm-8.30pm

POWER OF PATTERN: Tying in with its current exhibition Kaffe Fassett: The Power of Pattern, Bermondsey's Fashion & Textile Museum hosts an online curator talk. Artists and curators behind the exhibition take part in a panel discussion about the inspiration behind the work of textile designer Kaffe Fassett. 7pm-8.30pm

PARTICLE PHYSICS: Sounds like a tough ask for a Monday, but this is particle physics made easy at the Royal Institution. Author and Senior Research Scientist Pauline Gagnon discusses the world of particle physics, including current ongoing research at CERN, and how the Large Hadron Collider works. 7pm-8.30pm

SAM RYDER: UK Eurovision entrant 2022 Sam Ryder performs a one-off gig at Lafayette in King's Cross in aid of charity War Child UK. Tickets remain at time of writing but they won't be around for long. 7pm

MONDAY COMEDY: The Museum of Comedy's Monday Club is open for business, with a relaxed night of comedy, showcasing new material from a bevy of comics. Only £3, too! 7pm-9pm

Tuesday 27 September

A table covered in a red and white check tablecloth, with four pizzas and various side dishes and drinks
Head to Selfridges for the Pizza Pilgrims Supper Club

SCREAMATORIUM: Feeling stressed? Let it all out at Leadenhall Market's Screamatorium, where you can scream into a decibel meter and take a swing at a whack-a-mole game, before taking part in more relaxing pursuits such as meditation and visiting the cake corner. FREE, 27-30 September

STORIES OF ENFIELD: The outer courtyard at Forty Hall hosts the Stories of Enfield travelling exhibition. Explore 13 stories of Enfield’s past, from the lost Tudor palace of Elysing, to Bangladeshi migration, a famous poet in Palmers Green, and Forty Hall Vineyard. FREE, 27 September-11 October

WAR AND PEACE: Professor Sir Richard Evans gives a Gresham College lecture, offering a historical and geopolitical context to the conflict in Ukraine. Find out whether there's any truth in comparing Putin to Hitler, and whether the actions of his army are similar to those of the Nazis. Takes place at David Game College (Aldgate) or online. FREE, 6pm

CHARITY SUPPER CLUB: The Selfridges branch of Pizza Pilgrims teams up with chef Sally Abe (usually found cooking up a storm at The Pem) for a fundraising supper club. Tuck into a specially curated three course dinner, drawing inspiration from the menus of both Pizza Pilgrims and The Pem, with proceeds going to Action Against Hunger. 6.30pm

CROSS-DRESSED TO KILL: Between the 17th and 20th centuries, many women moonlighted as men, in order to risk their lives fighting. Even more incredibly, perhaps, this cross-dressing "sin" sometimes carried the death penalty. Learn more in this FREE talk at Kensington Central Library. 6.30pm-7.30pm

SELF-DRIVING CARS: Sarah Sharples, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Transport, is at the Royal Institution to discuss the future of driverless cars, as UK trials begin later this year. Find out about the technology behind the vehicles, and the steps being taken to make them safe before they're permitted here in the UK. 7pm-8.30pm

Etching of Mary Read killing her antagonist with a sword
Mary Read (right) is one of the killer cross-dressing women covered in Tuesday's talk by Vivien Morgan

Wednesday 28 September

EXILES AND DREAMERS: Head to Southbank Centre, where The London Philharmonic Orchestra launches its season-long exploration of the music of identity and displacement. Enjoy an evening of works by Dutilleux, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky and Walker. 7.30pm

ROMAN LONDON: No need to leave your house for this virtual tour of Roman London, by Footprints of London tour guide Rob Smith. Over the course of an hour, find out where in London Roman ruins can still be found, and get some background about how the Romans arrived in the area they went on to call Londinium. 8pm-9pm

PARTY INTO THURSDAY: Wednesday is basically the weekend, so use that flimsy excuse for a party at the Lexington. Here, DJ Harry Badwan is spinning punk, post-punk, alt rock, girl groups and obscure soul & gospel till the wee small hours. FREE, 9pm-2pm

Thursday 29 September

Grada Kilomba's O Barco/The Boat comes to Somerset House. Image courtesy the artist

CAPITAL CRIME: Love a good crime thriller book? You need to know about Capital Crime, a literature festival pitching up in Battersea Park and giving the public a chance to meet writers and filmmakers from the genre through talks, panel discussions and meet and greet sessions. 29 September-1 October

O BARCO/THE BOAT: Large-scale installation O Barco/The Boat by interdisciplinary artist Grada Kilomba takes over the courtyard at Somerset House from today. The 32-metre-long installation consists of 140 wood blocks, laid out to depict the outline of the hold of a historical European slave ship. 29 September-19 October

CLIMATE FUNDRAISER: Flight Free UK — an organisation aiming to educate people on the climate impact of aviation travel — hosts a fundraising comedy night. Head to Conway Hall for performances by the likes of Sunil Patel, Tom Ward, Kerry Godliman, Tom Mayhew, Jenny Bede and Ken Cheng. 7pm

MADAME JAZZ: Brixton's inimitable Hootenanny hosts Madame Jazz — an evening showcasing the most exciting female Jazz vocalists and instrumentalists in the city. Acts include Berlin-born, London-based Sahra; and south London songbird, singer and guitarist, Winnie. 7pm-11pm

FUNNY WOMEN AWARDS: Bloomsbury Theatre is the venue for the Funny Women Awards 2022. See 10 finalists, chosen from hundreds of entrants. Katherine Ryan, Zoe Lyons, Susan Calman, Kerry Godliman and Sara Pascoe are among past participants, so you may see a future comedy superstar at the very start of their career. 7.30pm

Friday 30 September

A man in a black leotard, with another person - fully coevered in black, leaping at his side
Rubicon Dance Company make their London debut. Image: Sien Trenberth

FUN PALACES: It's that time of year again, when Fun Palaces pop up all over the capital. They were the brainchild of theatre director Joan Littlewood and Architect Cedric Price, and see dozens of venues offering free, family-friendly and community focused activities. Check out the map to find your nearest Fun Palace. FREE, 30 September-2 October

OKTOBERFEST LAUNCH PARTY: Wunderbar, the annual Oktoberfest celebration at Pergola Paddington, returns this autumn, and tonight's the launch party. The alfresco venue is transformed into a Munich-style beer hall, and your ticket includes a pint, canapes and live entertainment. 6pm-10.30pm

MASTERCHEF MEAL: What's better than having dinner cooked for you by one Masterchef winner? Having dinner cooked by TWO Masterchef winners. Masterchef 2013 champ Natalie Coleman is a regular in the kitchen at The Oyster Shed near Cannon Street, and tonight she's joined by 2016 winner Jane Devonshire. Each chef cooks three dishes of the six-course tasting menu, and it's up to you to decide the winner. 7pm

DANCE TRIPLE BILL: Rubicon Dance Company presents three brand new works by exciting new choreographers Jamiel Laurence, Anna Watkins and Marcus Jarrell Willis. Eight dancers from the newly-minted company perform at The Lanterns Studio Theatre on the Isle of Dogs. 7.30pm (repeated tomorrow)

MACMILLAN QUIZ NIGHT: Help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care at this fundraising quiz night at The London Art Bar in Holborn. There are games and a cake sale during the day, but this evening you've got the chance to win some goodies in the pub quiz, followed by a disco dance-athon. 7.30pm-10pm

Saturday 1 October

The interior of Backyard Cinema -a cinema screen with rows of large beanbags lined up in front of it, and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling
Backyard Cinema begins its new season in Wandsworth

TRAIN STRIKE: At time of writing, a strike by both the ASLEF and RMT Unions is due to take place across almost all train companies — including those operating in and around London — on Saturday 1 October. Expect disruption if you're travelling on any of these services, including into Sunday morning, as problems are likely to overrun — particularly important if you're trying to get to the London Marathon start line.

CATFORD LITERARY FESTIVAL: Hear from 15 authors in 30 hours at the Catford Literary Festival. They include Evening Standard restaurant critic Jimi Famurewa, who discusses his new book, Settlers: Journeys Through the Food, Faith & Culture of Black African London, and local food writers Rinku Dutt, Helen Graves and Rebecca Seal, who have all released books. It's not all about food though — browse the full programme. 1-2 October

MEXICO: Kew Gardens is hosting a month-long celebration of Mexico and all things Mexican within its Temperate House. Art and plant installations are dotted throughout the glass house, showcasing different aspects of Mexican culture. There are also special events including live music from an all-female mariachi band, and a special Mexican menu at the gardens' Pavilion Bar and Grill. 1-31 October

BACKYARD CINEMA: 'A mystical train journey towards the top of the world' is what we're promised at Backyard Cinema's autumn season, which begins today. The Wandsworth-based cinema company's productions rarely disappoint, with giant beanbags provided, and a choice of cult classic and new release films to choose from throughout the run. 1 October-15 November

BEER MILE OKTOBERFEST: The Blackhorse Beer Mile in north east London is getting into the Oktoberfest spirit, with some of the breweries pouring special beers, dishing up German grub and playing Bavarian music. Check individual brewery sites and social for times and details. FREE, all day

ALBERT MEMORIAL TOUR: Join the Royal Parks for a walking tour around the Albert Memorial, the huge structure at the south end of Kensington Gardens, opposite the Royal Albert Hall. It's a rare chance to go behind the railings which protect the monument, and learn more about its design, and the relationship between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Note that there are steep steps so some people may find parts of the tour inaccessible. 2pm-3.30pm

ICE HOCKEY: London's ice hockey season is underway, and tonight there's a chance to support one of the capital's teams. Head to Ally Pally to watch the Haringey Huskies take on the Oxford Rising Stars in their third game of the season — if you're new to ice hockey, it's fairly fast-paced, but a lot of fun. Doors 5pm

BEARCAT COMEDY: The Bearcat Comedy Club is celebrating 38 years of making Londoners laugh. This night will be no exception, starring the likes of Ether Manito and Jeff Innocent. 8pm-11pm

Sunday 2 October

Greenwich's Cutty Sark, with 'Virgin Money' branded hoardings and railings set up outside to mark out the London Marathon route. Two marshalls in flourescent jackets can be seen in the distance but other than that , there are no runners or spectators
It won't be this quiet on Marathon day... Photo: Katie Chan via creative commons

LONDON MARATHON: It's Marathon Day! Due to the Covid situation earlier this year, the huge running event is once again taking place in October, with thousands of runners wending their way along a 26.2-mile course, from Blackheath to Buckingham Palace. Read our guide to the London Marathon 2022 for all the info — even if you're not planning to take part or watch, there are road closures all over the capital to be aware of today.

SHIRLEY WINDMILL: Built in 1854, the picturesque Shirley Windmill is one of only a handful left in Greater London. It's an open day today — and although it's FREE, you will need to book a slot in advance. 12pm-5pm

UNBELIEVABLE SCIENCE: Take the kids along to ArtsDepot in North Finchley to see Morgan & West: Unbelievable Science. The family-friendly magical duo perform all manner of experiments on stage, bound to get children interested in chemistry, physics and biology. 2.30pm

BRAHMS: The beautiful St Cyprian's Church Clarence Gate near Baker Street hosts Evoke, a choir comprised of young professionals, who are also joined tonight by the Bach Choir Wiesbaden. Together, they're performing Ein Deutsches Requiem by Brahams. 7pm-8.45pm

AFRICA VS. CARIBBEAN: Head to Rich Mix in Shoreditch to see African and Caribbean comedians go head to head, at a Black History Month comedy night. Junior Booker hosts, with Victor Daniels and Lateef Lovejoy among the African team, and Darran Griffiths and Sista Reen among the Caribbean line-up. 7.15pm

NEWSREVUE: See out the week that was at Comedy Cafe, with NewsRevue, the current affairs parody song and sketch show that's been going 40 years. And let's face it: they ain't short on material right now. 9pm

Urban oddity of the week

A large house-sized mural showing Battersea from above

The early years of ballooning are fascinating (see "Ballooniana" in the All Week section), and London played a leading roll in the story. The very first flight (of any description) in England took place from The Honourable Artillery Company's ground on City Road in 1784, when Vincent Lunardi's hot air balloon took to the skies for the first time. Many further pioneering flights followed.

Given this rich history, it's a wonder that London doesn't have more memorials to the early form of aviation. There's a mural in Finsbury Park tube station, but not a lot else. One other wall painting springs to mind, though, and that's this beaut by mural king Brian Barnes. The enormous work of art on Dagnell Road shows the Battersea area from above, as though painted from a balloon. A free-flying balloon is also depicted in the centre, along with an early fixed-wing aircraft. Those with long memories may also recall that nearby Vauxhall was home to a tethered balloon ride until roughly the the turn of the present century.

Writing competition: Love Letters to London

Write something about London and win a £500 prize. That's the deal with the London Society's annual "Love Letters to London" writing competition, which has just opened.

Now in its second year, this competition aims to "celebrate our wonderful, fantastic, infuriating city in all its life, charm and mystery". It's open to all ages, and to all writing styles — fiction, poetry, essays and reportage — whether you live in the capital or not. There are special categories for under 18s, as well as prizes for schools.

This year's theme is "Making connections", and you've got until 30 November to submit your words. Find out more at the London Society's website.