Things To Do This Week In London: 30 July-5 August 2018

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Things to do in London this week is sponsored by Southbank Centre.

All week

Get an inside look at creatures from the deep.

MICHAEL JACKSON: There's been much hype surrounding the National Portrait Gallery's landmark exhibition Michael Jackson: On the Wall. See how the King of Pop inspired generations of artists, with works drawn from public and private collections from all over the world. You can see what we thought of it here. National Portrait Gallery (Trafalgar Square), from £17.50, book ahead, until 21 October

SEA CREATURES EXHIBITION: Take a deep dive into the anatomy of the ocean's most majestic marine species. The Sea Creatures: Life Beneath The Ocean tour features ethically-sourced specimens that reveal what's going on beneath the fur, skin, and scales of pregnant sharks, leafy seadragons and the mighty Minke Whale, to name but a few. There's even a giant ball pit that teaches kids about marine conservation. Royal Horticultural Halls (Westminster), £12 kids/£18 adults, book ahead, 27 July-30 August

DOMINATRIX DISCLOSURES: Prudes, look away now. This Camden Fringe show is described as a farcical 50 Shades of Grey, rewritten by Noel Coward and set in the age of sexting. How I Became a Dominatrix Using Damned Lies and Statistics draws on real-life BDSM classes to construct a sadomasochism-themed comedy that'll either have you practicing your safe word or reaching for a flogger. EtcCetera Theatre (Camden), £12, book ahead, 8.30pm, 30 July-3 August

ELISE: Pleasance Theatre is shining a light on the poet who remained shrouded in the shadow of Allen Ginsberg. Discover the tragic life and brilliant works of Elise Cowan in a performance that takes you straight to the frenetic heart of 1950s Beatnik culture. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £6-£10, book ahead, 1-27 August

Monday 30 July

Samyukta Nair welcomes Edith Bowman to Jamavar Women's Club.

EDITH BOWMAN: Jamava Women's Club returns to welcome an array of inspirational women to its sumptuous subterranean bar over the next few Mondays. First up, broadcasting legend Edith Bowman will be chatting about how her personal passion for music and film led to her eclectic body of work. Jamavar (Mayfair), £45 (includes three-course dinner), book ahead, 6.30pm

BEER BASICS: If you've ever got to the front of the queue at a craft beer bar only to be bewildered by the sheer volume of choice, let Mason & Company sort you out. These casual tastings sessions can be your first step towards becoming a certified beer buff. Let's start with the differences between ales and lagers. Mason & Company (Hackney Wick), £10, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

MICHAEL CHE: NYC native and star of Saturday Night Live Michael Che is crossing the pond to tickle your funny bone. It's his first London show in three years, so if you're a fan make sure you snap up tickets. Union Chapel (Islington), £25, book ahead, 7pm-10.30pm

Tuesday 31 July

Guilt-free pizza-making at Rossopomodoro.

HEALTHY PIZZA MAKING: 'Pizza' and 'healthy' rarely belong in the same sentence. But, according to the folks of Nutrifix, you can tuck into a nutritious and authentic Neapolitan. Their resident nutritionist and pizza chef will share the secrets of making the perfect Nutrifix Fit Pizza. Plus, you get to round the evening off with a complimentary glass of prosecco and a summery Italian feast. Rossopomodoro (Covent Garden), £40, book ahead, 6.30pm

MEDEA: Back in the 50s, French dramatist Jean Anouilh gave the ancient Greek myth of Medea a modern-day theatrical revamp. And in 2018, its themes of exile and terror are as relevant as ever. See the tragic story of a women scorned tonight as part of The Camden Fringe. The Cockpit (Marylebone), £10, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

PSYCHOLOGY OF ATTRACTION: Does your own love life baffle you? From commitment phobia to performance anxiety, discover what might be making you tick with the help of our media partner Funzing, which is hosting a talk that dissects the unconscious dynamics of attraction. Cafe 1001 (Brick Lane), £12, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

BAIANASYSTEM: Straight out of Bahia comes one of Brazil's biggest live acts. Percussive bass lines meet Afro-Latin rhythms to create a truly unique sound, complemented by the band's trademark vibrant visuals. Village Underground (Shoreditch), £20.50, book ahead, 7pm-11pm


Sponsor message

Southbank Centre is the place to be this summer

Whatever summer means to you - sandy beaches, rooftop bars or hidden gardens - Southbank Centre's got you covered from morning to dusk, with events for all ages.

For budget-friendly ways to keep the kids busy, look no further than the pop-up beach with 85 tonnes of golden sand. There's also Jeppe Hein's Appearing Rooms Fountain - a water feature that's guaranteed to both keep them cool and wear them out.

There are plenty of spectacular shows scheduled too. We've heard that Monstersaurus will be making an appearance, and there's spine-tingling circus at Backbone, plus free events on the Summertime Stage, pedal-powered summer film nights and themed weekends with free workshops for everyone (grab your red nose for the circus special).

If it all gets too much, head for the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, a green oasis overlooking the Thames and the London skyline. Bliss.

Visit Southbank Centre’s website to make the most of summer in London.


Wednesday 1 August

Bloody Mary gets the operatic treatment.

SOCIAL SKETCH-UP SUMMER PARTY: Dulcimer Draws likes its art challenges quick and easy, and this festive edition of  social sketch up is no different. From pineapple power-drawing, to rad ad design, there's plenty of fun and frivolous creative tasks for you to get stuck into. Did we mention that there's free cake? Drink, Shop & Do (King's Cross), £15, book ahead, 7pm-9.30pm

THE ITALIAN JOB: Nothing beats a bit of Michael Caine. See classic comedy caper The Italian Job accompanied by a live orchestra, while surrounded by the lush greenery of Opera Holland Park. From £15, book ahead, 8pm

MARY'S HAND: Unlike her celebrated younger sister, the first Queen Regnant of England gets a bit of a bad rep (though, on the plus side, she is the namesake of a delicious hangover cure). Mary Tudor may not have been called bloody for nothing, but — surrounded by political and religious intrigue — she was certainly dealt a tricky hand. Hear her set the record straight in a new opera for solo voice. Holy Cross Church (King's Cross), £9.50, book ahead, 8.30pm-9.40pm

PHIL WANG: Don't miss the Laugh Train Home, calling all stations to Chucklesville. The latest headliner to show off his Edinburgh preview is funnyman Phil Wang, who you'll recognise from his appearances on Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News For You, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Drunk History, and many more. He's joined by Imran Yusuf, Will Duggan, and MC Carly Smallman. The Four Thieves (Battersea), £7, book ahead, 8.30pm-10.30pm

Thursday 2 August

Dance yourself into the past at St Pancras International.

ITALIAN COOKERY DEMO: Pick up some tips for authentic Italian cooking from acclaimed food writer and chef Ursula Ferrigno, who'll be divulging the secrets of her grandmother's family dishes. Then browse Borough Market's sumptuous selection of fresh pasta, meats, and cheeses to put all that inspiration to good use. Borough Market, free, just turn up, 1pm-2.30pm

OLD ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE LATE: Get lost in the beauty of the UK's largest painted ceiling after hours at a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Royal Naval College is launching a new season of Thursday Lates, including a guided tour and a boozy tasting session at the Old Brewery. Old Royal Naval College (Greenwich), £20, book ahead, 6.30pm

JUMP 'N' JIVE DANCE CLASS: All aboard the Chatanooga Choo Choo at St Pancras International. Retro revellers Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet will be shaking up rush hour with a mega boogie session to classic hits from the 40s and 50s. Betjeman Statue, £10, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

AN EVENING ADVENTURE: Looking for an after-work summer hangout spot? Gather your mates and sip cocktails in the Brunel Museum’s enchanting rooftop garden, before heading deep underground for a film screening. Brunel Museum (Rotherhithe), £25, book ahead, 6.30pm-10pm (partner)

BIG APPLE BITES: NYC virtuoso Stephen Tharp is crossing the pond for a tinker on the Grand Organ at St Paul's Cathedral. He presents a programme of music from his motherland, as well as Brahms and Elgar at their poetic best. St Paul's Cathedral, £12, book ahead, 7pm

Friday 3 August

The Merchant of Venice comes to Fulham Palace.

STREET EATS: Considering London's diverse wealth of culinary offerings, you might feel like you've tasted it all. That's where Street Eats comes in. Discover everything from Taiwanese wheel cake, to Ethiopian injera, to Persian ice cream. There's a hearty mix of meaty, veggie and vegan options — and its all halal. Plus, if you're sick of nice, wholesome events descending into drunken rowdiness, you'll be pleased to hear that this one is booze-free. Old Spitalfields Market (Shoreditch), £10, book ahead, 10am-9pm, until 4 August

VEGAN BEER FEST: Celebrate International Beer Day with a well-earned pint or three at from Camden Town Brewery's vegan range. They've taken over Fest Camden's boutique themed stables for an evening of free tasters, live music, and plant-based street food. FEST Camden, £5 (includes one beer of your choice), book ahead, 5pm-10.30pm

FULHAM PALACE THEATRE: Where better to spend a (hopefully) balmy summer evening than in the historic grounds of a Grade I listed Bishop's palace? Head to Fulham for an alfresco, kid-friendly performance of classic Shakespearean comedy The Merchant of Venice. Fulham Palace, £14, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

FESTIBOWL: It's your last chance to channel grandad vibes with a game of bowls in Finsbury Square. Not convinced? With live music, sizzling street food, and ice cold booze, Festibowl has brought the classic pensioner pastime firmly into the 21st century. Finsbury Square, £15, book ahead, 7.30pm-8.30pm

Saturday 4 August

Bag yourself a bargain at Crafty Fox Market.

REGENT'S PARK ARCHITECTURE TOUR: Beneath the stucco splendour of Regent's Park lies a past marked by bitter arguments, nepotism, compromise and, er, fudge. Discover the stories behind the creation of one of London's finest — and most ambitious — public spaces on this guided stroll. Meet at Regent's Park tube station, £12, book ahead, 10.30am-12.30pm

CRAFTY FOX SAMPLE SALE: Get your hands on a few unique bits and bobs to decorate your home, your garden, or yourself at some seriously discounted prices. Crafty Fox's lovely traders are offering up 70% off samples of their handcrafted wares. You can even have a go at getting creative yourself with a free workshop from Collage Club. Mercato Metropolitano (Elephant & Castle), free entry, just turn up, 11am-5pm

TEQUILA TIME: There's so much more to Mexico's infamous spirit than salt, lemon, and questionable life decisions. With your tasting bible in hand, discover over 30 different tequilas at London Tequila Festival. To really get you in the fiesta spirit, there's also a Mariachi band, Mexican street food, and colourful piñatas for you to pummel. Acklam Village Market (Westbourne Park), £19.99, book ahead, 12.30pm-5pm/6pm-10.30pm

Sunday 5 August

See YouTube sensation Arjun perform for free at the Waltham Forest Mela.

WALTHAM FOREST MELA: Soak up the sights, sounds, and spicy aromas of South Asia right here in London at the Waltham Forest Mela. YouTube sensation Arjun headlines the main stage, which will also see Bollywood fusion dance troupe Epika Dance shake their stuff. There's also creative workshops, an international teddy bears' picnic, and a catwalk show. Chestnuts Field (Walthamstow), free entry, just turn up, 1pm-7pm

THE PRODUCERS: East London institution Rich Mix presents another classic film screening and this time you're in for a real treat. From cinema's great comedic provocateur, Mel Brooks, comes The Producers — the Gene Wilder-starring story of a Broadway producer with a zany scheme to create the ultimate flop (it's a long story). And so, perhaps inevitably, 'Springtime for Hitler' — a musical love story is born. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £10.95, book ahead, 2.45pm

KARVE: Uni pals Tim Thorton and Trystan-Ross Williams have put their respective talents to good use in the form of a pop up that combines an indulgent tasting menu (cooked up by Trystan), with live original jazz (performed by Tim). No word on Sunday's menu yet, but Observer restaurant critic Jay Rayner reckons it's the best food and music combo out there. Five Miles (Seven Sisters), £15, book ahead, 6.30pm-10pm

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