Things To Do This Week In London: 8-14 January 2018

Things to do this week is sponsored by the Design Centre.

All week

© Hamilton (2017)

THE WINTER FOREST: It's your last chance to wander around this pretty pop-up forest market, snuggle up in front of festive flicks in the Tipi Cinema or sip mulled wine in the Hideaway booths before they're packed up for the year. Exchange Square (Broadgate), free (charge for cinema), just turn up, until 12 January

GRINNING MAN: As one character comments in this show, "prepare to shit kittens." The Grinning Man is a dark and magical tale of a boy with a perpetual grin. But it's definitely dark. And if you like that sort of thing, you'll love this. Trafalgar Studios, £15-£85, book ahead, until 17 February

DESIGNS OF THE YEAR: The Design Museum is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its annual Designs of the Year exhibition, with over 60 shortlisted innovations on show. We're regular visitors and we think it's one of the best years yet for this exhibition, all housed within curvy walls made from recycled newspaper. Design Museum, £10, book ahead, until 18 February

HAMILTON: Hamilton is slick, lavish and a glorious parade of movement and dance: Andy Blankenbuehler's seamless choreography is a constant athletic cavalcade. Read our full five-star review here and download the Hamilton app to be in with a chance of buying £10 tickets. Victoria Palace Theatre, various prices, book ahead, until 30 June 2018

Monday 8 January

This David Bowie Musical Walking Tour offers a two-hour guided tour of Bowie’s vibrant hometown of Brixton with funny, moving and often surprising anecdotes and classic David Bowie songs.

BOWIE'S BRIXTON: Hardcore Bowie fan? Don't miss this musical tour around the Starman's home turf, accompanied by live performances of his songs, anecdotes and a panel talk at the Ritzy Cinema. The panel line-up includes Bowie's close friend and collaborator George Underwood, The Brian Duffy Archive and Brixton Academy founder Simon Parkes. Brixton station, £31.94, book ahead, 10am-2pm

LDN TALKS: Attend fun, informal yet informative talks on cryptocurrencies, plastic pollution in our oceans and one which asks: are normal people sane? today at various venues around London. Various venues and prices, book ahead, 7pm

NEON NAKED LIFE DRAWING: Neon needn't be confined to warehouse raves. This experimental life drawing class combines UV light, reactive body paint and flamboyant accessories to get your creativity flowing. Leave the glow sticks at home. The Duke of Wellington (Dalston), £12, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm

Tuesday 9 January

THE ONE FESTIVAL: Better snap up tickets for this feast of theatrical gems — it's the last year the festival, which sees each piece performed by one super talented actor, is running. Space Arts Centre (Mudchute), £12/£8, book ahead, 4pm matinees/7.30pm

NIRVANA TASTING SESSION: You can have a dry January and drink beer too, once you've discovered the delights of Nirvana's o% and low alcohol brews as this tasting session. Plus, there'll be vegan cheese pairings if you're doing Veganuary too. Strongroom Bar, £11.39 - £16.79, book ahead, 6.30pm, 9-10 January

ESSENTIAL ELLA: A night of jazz and soul performed by The Fourth Choir and special guests, who are paying tribute to one of jazz's greatest star Ella Fitzgerald. Jazz Cafe, £12, book ahead, 7pm-11pm

HERETIC VOICES: Whittled down from 1,136 submissions, these three new plays present the best in what the monologue form has to offer. Themes range from body shaming to a story of loss set on a Croydon council estate. Arcola Theatre, various prices, book ahead, 7.30pm, 9-20 January


Sponsor message

New year, new look for your home?

A new year calls for many things, but most importantly, it’s a chance for a fresh start — and that goes for your home, too. Soak up design inspiration at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, which kicks off 2018 with a winter sample sale.

Browse 38 participating design showrooms — including names such as Decca, Poliform and Nina Campbell — showcasing an extensive range of contemporary and classic furniture, lighting, hardware, carpets and fabrics. With discounts of up to 90%, and inspiration galore, there’s sure to be something to suit all budgets and tastes.

The event takes place at the Design Centre from 8-12 January 2018, (Monday 8 January trade preview) including late night opening on Thursday and a special Saturday opening on the 13 January. Click here to start your design journey and find out more.


Wednesday 10 January

ARTFUL SPARK X RSC: A quarterly event in which Artful Spark reflect on the connection between tech and theatre. Today's topic is The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of The Tempest, which used real-time motion capture and projection mapping (find out what these things are at this workshop).  The Barbican, £7.50, book ahead, 6pm

THINKING ALLOWED: Who is winning the culture wars? That's the question being discussed by author and journalist Afua Hirsch and arts and philanthropy advisor Munira Mirza. The debate promises to be a lively one. Frontline Club (Paddington), £12.50, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

SEX PARTY TALK & Q&A: London caters well for the sexually curious, but it can be a sticky subject to approach for the uninitiated. This talk lets you in on where to find everything from "massage gatherings" and masked balls to swingers parties and tantric temples, as well as what to do (or not do) when you get there. Wusi Creative Space, 4 Broadway Market, £10, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

INTRODUCTION TO SEWING: Get to grips with sewing with stretch fabric at this four-week course for beginners. By the end of the month, you'll be a sewing machine pro and have a lovely new pair of slacks. Ray Stitch (Essex Road), £195 for four sessions, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

Thursday 11 January

LONDON CHEESE TOWN: Gorge on dairy delights at this fromage-filled feast. Expect actual artisan cheese (not the Sainsbury's stuff) and a cheesy soundtrack. Brixton Rooftop, £10, book ahead, 5pm-midnight, until 14 January

LOUISE DAHL-WOLFE: Hear a lecture on the snappily dressed fashion photographer. Your ticket includes entry to the Louise Dahl-Wolfe exhibition and a complimentary drink. Fashion and Textile Museum (Bermondsey), £15/£12, book ahead, 6pm-8pm

WOMEN ON TOP: The zine Sex+ is celebrating its first birthday with a series of racy panel discussions. The first takes a look at female dominance in the bedroom and beyond. Topics of discussion include finding your style, gender equality, playing safe and what's in it for men.  The Book Club, £10.83, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

Friday 12 January

Kings Place residents Aurora Orchestra and Poet in a the City host what promises to be an illuminating encounter between pioneers in art and science.

ART ANTIQUES & INTERIORS FAIR: Stock up on period furniture, ceramics, glassware, paintings, jewellery and vintage textiles from more than 100 specialist dealers at this haven for anyone with eclectic taste. ExCel London, Halls 9-11, £16, book ahead, 12-14 January

DINO SNORES: Museums have upped their game since we remember dragging our feet around them as kids. Expect science shows, stand up comedy, edible insect-eating, a movie marathon and gin sampling at this strictly adults-only NHM sleepover. Natural History Museum, £180, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.30am

SPINAL TAP PARTY: Don't skimp on the guyliner and get ready to whip out your best air guitar at this film screening of This Is Spinal Tap, followed by a heavy-metal piss-up in the bar. Deptford Cinema, £8, book ahead, 7pm-2am

MEMENTO: Technology, memory, poetry and music merge in this cross-disciplinary event from Poet in the City and Aurora Orchestra. Hear electronically-charged music and poetry inspired by Franz Schubert and Emily Dickinson, plus a talk on tech and memory from an experimental physicist. Kings Place (King's Cross), £14.50-£22.50, book ahead, 7.30pm

SKATE LATE: It's your last chance to glide (or push a penguin) around this pretty ice rink and tonight Mr Dukes (formerly of Bombay Bicycle Club) will be providing the soundtrack to your skate. Somerset House, £17, book ahead, 8pm

Saturday 13 January

In this workshop Yasmin will show you how to play and explore with words, using them to not only create a spoken word / poetry piece, but also to harness and ignite the power of yourself at the same time.

STARTUP 2018: Get your business head in gear at the UK's biggest event dedicated to enterprising start-ups. Queen Mary University (Mile End), £10, book ahead, 10am-4pm

ARCHITECTURE OF MONEY TOUR: Gaze at the classical grandeur of the Bank of England, stroll down historic Threadneedle Street and crane your neck up at the Square Mile's iconic towers on this jam-packed tour of the City of London. Tower of London, £15-£18, book ahead, 11am

HACKNEY FLEA MARKET: Got a penchant for antique luggage, Danish decor and reclaimed industrial fixtures? Spend your weekend rummaging through salvaged treasures from more than 30 vintage traders. Abney Public Hall, free entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm, 13-14 January

LONDON SHORT FILM FESTIVAL: See a selection of the best UK and international shorts, which tonight transport you to a refugee camp in Calais and the tough streets of Athens. Rich Mix, various prices, book ahead, 13-18 January

EMPOWERMENT POETRY WORKSHOP: Sometimes confidence comes from unexpected places. You might just leave this poetry workshop, led by Tedx speaker Yasmin Autwal, feeling empowered and inspired. Arch 5, 5 Bohemia Place (Hackney), £22, book ahead, 1pm-3.30pm

VEGANUARY SUPPER: Embracing the plant based diet for January? Head to this buffet-style supper club for meat-free inspiration, washed down with organic wine, so the hangover shouldn't be so bad. The Hornbeam Centre (Walthamstow), £25, book ahead, 7.30pm, repeated next Saturday

Sunday 14 January

BOOKBINDING: Got a thing for striking stationary? Try your hand at creating your own hand-stitched pad in this two-hour workshop. Drink, Shop & Do, £30, book ahead, 10.30am-1pm

BEEGIE ADAIR TRIO: Settle in for a night of pizza and live jazz. Tonight jazz trio Beegie Adair Trio are soundtracking your evening meal. Pizza Express Jazz Club (Soho), £25, book ahead, 8pm

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

The Harry Potter Christmas Tour


Get sorted into one of the four magical houses of Hogwarts, and go in exploration of the city’s famous filming locations on this 2-hour walking tour. You’ll meet your guide outside the Palace Theatre, where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is showing, and set off on your journey across town - following in the footsteps of Deatheaters, visiting the inspiration for Knocturn Alley, and marvelling at the Ministry of Magic. And you better brush up on your Potter knowledge, because you can earn points for your house along the way, by taking part in trivia quizzes. The winners? You’ll find out when the tour ends at Platform 9 3/4… Get tickets

Therapeutic Potential of Magic Mushrooms


Tripping as treatment? It exists, and scientists at some of the world's most prestigous universities are studying the benefits of single-use psychedelic sessions to treat severe mental health conditions. But do hallucinogenic drugs have a place in our hospitals? Initial results have been positive, but how do these sessions work? What do these scientists use? What do the participants themselves have to say? Clinic Psychologic Dr Rosalind Watts leads this fascinating talk into the potential successes and pitfalls of using psychedelics in medicine, using her own personal experience as a "trip-sitter" at Imperial College London.  Get tickets

The Original London Loo Tour


We’re fed up of bog standard London tours. Been there, done that. So how about learning some more about the history and surprisingly dynamic modern politics of London’s public toilets? This 1.5hr walking tour covers iconic London from a whole new perspective, as you learn about ‘spending a penny’ at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and explore the capital’s most patriotic toilet. The tour ends in the Cellar Door Cocktail bar, a former gentleman’s lavatory. Delightful. Get tickets