Things To Do Today In London: Friday 15 November 2019

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The Leadenhall Market Christmas lights are switched on today

Things to do

WRITE IDEA: The 11th WriteIdea Festival — a free reading festival — takes place all weekend. An impressive line-up of more than 20 authors are on the programme over three days. It begins today with Colin Grant talking about the Windrush Generation. Idea Store Whitechapel, free, book ahead, 15-17 November

JAZZ FESTIVAL: The EFG London Jazz Festival begins today, with nine days of events exploring all aspects of the genre. Kick things off with late night jazz at the Royal Albert Hall, a live performance by American-born London musician Jen Kearney, or an opening gala at Southbank Centre, which is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 15-24 November

ENCHANTED WOODLAND: If you go down to the woods today... you'll be met with dozens of colourful lights. Syon Park's Enchanted Woodland — one of London's original light festivals — is a family-friendly trail through west London woodland, with floodlights, strobes and lasers lighting the way. Syon Park, £10-£12, book ahead, 15 November-1 December (Friday-Sunday)

The EFG London Jazz Festival kicks off at Southbank Centre

CAMDEN ICE RINK: Just when you thought they couldn't squeeze anything more into the bustling Camden Market, they whack a ruddy great ice rink in there. The real-ice rink — the market's first — opens today for the Christmas season, lit by fairy lights and antique chandeliers, and with Santa popping by from time to time to oversee proceedings. Camden Market North Yard, £12/£8, book ahead,15 November-9 January

JEW. PHOTOGRAPHS: 34 large-scale portraits of Jews from all walks of life go on display. JEW. Photographs by John Offenbach is the result of Offenbach's travels to 12 different countries in at attempt to capture Jewish identity, from Ethiopia to Ukraine. The people in the shots are identified not by their name, but by their occupation or circumstances. Jewish Museum (Camden), free, just turn up, 15 November-9 April

ROYAL EXHIBITION: New exhibition George IV: Art & Spectacle showcases some of the art acquired by prolific collector King George IV. Now part of the Royal Collection, the works included paintings, metalwork, textiles, furniture, watercolours, books and ceramics, by artists including Sir Thomas Lawrence and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Queen's Gallery (Buckingham Palace), £13.50, book ahead, 15 November-3 May

Camden Market's first ever ice rink opens today

TERRIERS: Professor Peter Stanley discusses the 50,000 British Territorials who served in India during the first world war. The 'Terriers' believed Lord Kitchener had 'promised' that they would return to Europe to fight the Germans, but in reality, many of them remained in India until late 1919. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

LEADENHALL CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: Finish up a week full of Christmas light switch-ons with the illumination of the beautiful Leadenhall Market. The entertainment begins mid-afternoon with live music, stilt walks, a roaming Victorian choir and 'snow' inside the building. The Lord Mayor and VIP guests hosts the switch-on at 6pm. Leadenhall Market (City of London), free, just turn up, from 3.30pm (lights on at 6pm)

WALL-E: No Planet B Film Club presents a free screening of Pixar film Wall-E, about the last robot left on Earth, who spends his days tidying up rubbish one piece at a time. A special guest from Greenpeace gives a talk before the film, and snacks are available for a small donation. Tate South Lambeth Library, free entry, just turn up, 3.45pm-5.30pm

Pam Ann returns

PAM ANN: Pam Ann is the outrageous air hostess alter ego of Australian comic Caroline Reid, and she's back in London for one night only. Her new show takes inspiration from a certain nanny, and covers feeding the birds in coach and flying kites in first class, via a spoonful of ‘sugar’, a Xanax and some Mary Poppers. Troxy (Limehouse), from £44, book ahead, 7pm

APOLLO 11: Have an out-of-this-world evening at Screen 25, which shows new documentary Apollo 11, compiled from recently-discovered footage of the mission which first put humans on the moon. Space expert Jerry Stone hosts some special activities before the screening, including a chance to find out whether you'd survive in space. Harris Academy South Norwood, £9/£7/£5, book ahead, 7.45pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.

Marble Arch tube station has a new permanent exhibition, all about the history of its namesake. Did you know that the Marble Arch started life in front of Buckingham Palace, but moved to its current site in 1851? Had it not, the tube station would today probably be called either Park Lane or Tyburn, after the notorious gallows that once stood nearby.

Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

Book ahead for Cancer On The Rocks, a two-day music festival at Bush Hall in Shepherd's Bush, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Research. It takes place on 23 and 24 November, with day and weekend passes available. Find out more and book tickets.

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