Things To Do Today In London: Friday 28 April 2017

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Things to do today is sponsored by the Old Royal Naval College.

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Things to do today

FREE FILM FESTIVAL: Herne Hill Free Film Festival kicks off today with a screening of The BFG — and an appearance by the star of the film (and local resident) Mark Rylance. Other films lined up for the festival include Victoria, Easy Rider, and The Big Lebowski. Various locations, free, book ahead, 28 April-29 May

MARKET: After a series of pop-up events last year, Canopy Market is returning to King's Cross. Plenty of independent traders offering fantastic wares from designer pieces to fresh produce, alongside some live music. West Handyside Canopy, free, just turn up, 28-30 April

LITERARY FESTIVAL: Writers of the World Unite is four days of inspirational discussion courtesy of Little Atoms and Speaking Volumes. Speakers include Russian poet Maria Stepanova, Guardian columnist Owen Jones, young people's laureate Caleb Femi, dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson and many more. Waterstones Piccadilly, free, book ahead, 28 April-1 May

WAR ARTISTS: Museum curator Emma Mawdsley leads a tour around the War Paint exhibition, discussing how, in an age before photography, artist impressions were the only images of war available. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

NATURAL HISTORY LATES: The theme of this month's late is sounds in nature. Find out how animal sounds are used to identify and classify them and get hands-on at pop-up science stations, or just explore the museum's exhibits after hours. Natural History Museum (South Kensington), free entry (charge for some activities), just turn up, 6pm-10pm

Catfest at Catford Constitutional Club

V&A LATE: There's a perpetual oxymoron in the digital age. Our desire for privacy is at odds with our appetite to share our lives online. The V&A invites you to take a data detox and subvert your smart technologies at this late night opening. V&A, free entry, just turn up, 6.30pm-10pm

AUTISM TALK: An estimated 700,000 people in the UK are affected by autism. In A is for Autism, Dame Stephanie Shirley shares her hands-on experience of the disorder, providing a virtual reality demonstration of life for someone on the spectrum. The Royal Institution, £18/£15, book ahead, 7.20pm-8.45pm

BIKER SPEED DATING: A night of live music, motorcycles and speed dating. You don't have to be a biker to go, that's just the location. Rebel's Alliance Motorbikes (Shoreditch), £20, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

WORLD MUSIC: Three of the most powerful world music collectives — Lakuta, Native Soul and The Family Atlantica Duo — unite under one roof, with a bag full of infectious tunes ready to tear up the dancefloor. Rich Mix, £10, book ahead, 8pm-1am

ROCKAOKE: Live out your ultimate rockstar fantasy, with a live backing band behind you and a (hopefully) forgiving crowd in front. Star of Kings, £3/free, book ahead, 9pm


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Explore London's very own Sistine Chapel close up

You may already be aware that the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich has an impressive Painted Hall. In fact, it's so impressive, it's often referred to as 'the Sistine Chapel of the UK'.

You can now get up-close to this sky-high artwork on a new tour. Ascend 60 feet and see the paintings from a special observation deck, for the first time in over half a century.

This is all part of a major conservation project for the Painted Hall — maybe you'll be inspired to sponsor a square foot of this masterpiece. Book your tickets for the tour here.


Art review: Picasso the matador

© 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Gagosian. Photo: Maurice Aeschimann

Picasso was obsessed with bullfights and this exhibition builds on that. The collection of paintings, sculpture and drawings focuses on bullfights, matadors and the myth of the minotaur. Picasso captures the unbridled energy of these scenes in powerful masculine paintings. Gagosian Gallery has gone all out here and transformed the gallery into a museum-esque show that wouldn't feel out of place in, say, the Royal Academy — it's a truly spectacular exhibition. Picasso: Minotaurs and Matadors at Gagosian Gallery, 20 Grosvenor Hill, W1K 3QD, until 25 August, free ★★★★★ (Tuesday-Saturday) Tabish Khan

Art review: slow moving art

Image courtesy Marlborough London

George Rickey's sculptures slowly flex, rotate and transform. Their slow, moving grace had us transfixed. He was a contemporary of the more famous Alexander Calder, but his works are just as effective. George Rickey: Sculpture from the Estate at Marlborough Fine Art, 6 Albemarle Street, W1S 4BY, until 20 May, free ★★★★☆ (Monday-Saturday) Tabish Khan

Good cause for the day

CATFEST: Slightly misleadingly named, the third edition of Catfest has absolutely nothing to do with furry felines. Instead it's at Catford Constitutional Club and is a three day festival in aid of Women for Women International. The first night is all about dancing, later on during the weekend there'll be a vintage market, craft fair and a screening of Hidden Figures. Catford Constitutional Club, free (donations encouraged), just turn up, 28-30 April

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

London's Grime & Punishment Tour


Learn about London's debauched, drunken and disorderly history on this tour of the sordid side of the West End. Have you heard the story of the 15ft high tsunami of beer which rushed through the streets of London? Or about London's unluckiest theatre and most morbidly-located church? This tour will take you from the Covent Garden to Somerset House, entertaining you with tales of hangmen and criminals, prostitutes and paupers and the eccentric characters of Georgian London along the way.    Get tickets

Unlock Urban Camden: Street Art Tour


Camden's known for its street art, but how much do you really know about it? Explore the street art of Camden, and learn about the people who make it from an insider. You''ll visit pieces of street art that are off the beaten track, and get an insight into their possible meaning and inspiration. This two-hour tour will enable you to see Camden in a new light. Get tickets

Hidden London Tour


Visit old pubs, even older churches, hidden rivers, mysterious tunnels and more on this tour of hidden Londo. You'll hear tales of the myths and legends which made the City of London what it is today, and find out the area's links to nursery rhymes and literary figures. Get tickets

The Ultimate Harry Potter London 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