Things To Do Today In London: Friday 23 August 2019

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The Monster obstacle course arrives at Alexandra Palace

Things to do

THE MONSTER: Act like a big kid on the world's biggest inflatable obstacle course, as it begins its six-day stint in the capital. The Monster is 300m long and has 40 obstacles to tackle, including a mega slide and 'house of hell'. Both family-friendly and adults-only sessions are available to book, with extra entertainment including DJs and ball pits alongside the main course. Alexandra Palace, £25, book ahead, 23-28 August

POLISH ARMOURED DIVISION: Find out about the role of the 1st Polish Armoured Division in the closing stage of the battle for Normandy in August 1944. Dr Paul Latawski reveals how the Division's role was key to the Allied victory, in a free morning lecture. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

SMELLS OF THE DOCKS: Ever thought about what London's docks used to smell like? This family-friendly session offers some insight, with mystery aromas to try to identify, and a chance to make your own smell bag to take home. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 12pm/2.30pm

Identify the smells of the docks at Museum of London Docklands

TROPIC OF CANCER: 1934 book Tropic of Cancer was banned in America when it was first published, due to its 'candid sexuality'. Now, 85 years on, hear an extract from an audio presentation of the novel, introduced by Chapel Programme Curator Kate Thorogood. Fitzrovia Chapel, free, just turn up, 1pm-1.30pm

AFTERNOON TEA: Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the public opening of Valentine's Mansion with a special afternoon tea. Tuck into sandwiches, scones and cakes in the drawing room of the 300 year old building. Valentine's Mansion (Ilford), £19, book ahead, 1pm-3pm

Dulwich Picture Gallery stays open late

GALLERY LATE: Dulwich Picture Gallery stays open late for a free event themed around the Grosvenor School artists and the innovations of interwar London. Take part in printmaking workshops, life drawing sessions, and textile making, enjoy refreshments from a pop-up bar, and explore the Colour Palace after hours. Dulwich Picture Gallery, free, book ahead, 6pm-10pm

HAIL SATAN: Heard of the Satanic Temple? The Salem-based organisation is the subject of 2018 documentary Hail Satan?, which follows its members' campaigns for rights to religious representation — including their wishes for a statue of the goat-headed deity Baphomet next to a monument celebrating the Ten Commandments in Oklahoma. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £9/£7/£5, book ahead, 6.30pm

Hail Satan? is screened in Bloomsbury

SLAVERY REMEMBRANCE DAY: Mark Slavery Remembrance Day at an evening dedicated to 'Britain's forgotten pugilist', Bill Richmond. Born a slave in America in the 1760s, he was brought to England by the Duke of Northumberland, and befriended Lord Byron and King George IV, before becoming a famous boxer. Hear readings from a new poem by Adam Marchan about Richmond, and a discussion about the largely unrecognised presence of black people in early 19th century England. National Portrait Gallery (Trafalgar Square), free, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

LATIN DANCE: Put your dancing shoes on and salsa your way into the weekend at this beginners' dance class. Bachata and salsa are both taught, no experience is necessary, and there's no need to bring a partner. After you've learnt the basic steps, take part in a social dancing evening and meet new people as you test out your new skills. Near Clapham Common, £15, book ahead, 7.30pm-11pm (sponsor)

MAMMA MIA: Last year's ABBA sequel/prequel film Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is shown at an open-air cinema — and it's a sing along screening, meaning you're encouraged to join in with the tunes. Chairs are provided, but it's recommended that you bring a blanket — the film may be set on a Greek island, but you are not. Watermans (Brentford), £10/£9, book ahead, 8pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

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

Confusion reigns in Russell Square tube station, where passengers worry that they might not be strong enough to follow the instructions. Follow Barry on Twitter @hecktube.

Good cause of the day

Book ahead for Sunday's boxing event in Forest Gate, in aid of Cancer Research. 10 of the boxing club's trained boxers go head to head throughout the evening, and food and drink is available to buy at the venue. Find out more and book tickets.

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