Things To Do Today In London: Friday 5 July 2019

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A Pride cabaret night at Madame Tussauds

Things to do

AFRICA WRITES: The British Library's Africa Writes festival, a celebration of contemporary African literature, begins today. The first event is an evening of poetry and stories about the relationship we have with our bodies, and how this varies across different generations and cultures. British Library, various prices, book ahead, 5-7 July

RIVER STAGE: The first weekend of National Theatre's River Stage sees East End drag pub The Glory put on three days of free performances to coincide with Pride. Today's opening features drag queens from both sides of the Thames Estuary, a lip sync battle, and a tribute to EU drag artists. South Bank, free, just turn up, 5-7 July

Africa Writes 2019 at British Library

WOMEN'S ROYAL ARMY CORPS: Members of the Women's Royal Army Corps share their personal stories at this free talk, which ties in with the current exhibition on the subject. Colonel (retired) Ali Brown, vice president of the WRAC Association, talks about her 27 years in the Army, and how she witnessed the Armed Forces changing in respect to women's roles over that period. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

PALACE GARDENS: Once a month, the usually-private Lambeth Palace Gardens are open to the public for the afternoon, raising money for a charity. Wander through the Archbishop of Canterbury's walled garden, replete with flowers, statues and even a pond or two. Lambeth Palace, £5, just turn up, 12pm-3pm

PINK FLOYD: Contemporary Records Specialist Mark Dunton delves into the history of pop and rock concerts in Royal Parks, specifically asking why Pink Floyd weren't allowed to hold a concert in Hyde Park in 1968, but the Rolling Stones then got permission to hold a legendary gig there in 1969. The National Archives (Kew), £6-£7.50, book ahead, 2pm-3.30pm

Get inside Lambeth Palace Gardens

MINISTRY OF CRAB: For two days only, a special seafood menu is served at Ting at Shangri La. Chef Dharshan Munidasa prepares dishes including baked crab and garlic chilli crab for Ministry of Crab, a charity event raising money for the victims of the Sri Lanka attacks. Ting at Shangri La (The Shard), £85, book ahead, dinner on 5 July and lunch on 6 July

PRIDE ON THE SHORE: Get ready for Pride with an evening of drag acts and queer history in Greenwich. Drag artists Adam All and Rhys'Pieces are on the line-up for Pride on the Shore, along with a preview of new musical Deptford Wives, live music and more. Age 18+. National Maritime Museum (Greenwich), £15/£13, book ahead, 6pm

MANGA LATE: British Museum stays open late for a Manga evening, tying in with the current exhibition on the Japanese art form. Take part in drawing workshops, watch a cosplay parade, enjoy live music performances, and indulge in some sake tasting. British Museum, free, just turn up, 6pm-9.30pm

Ministry of Crab at Shangri-La

MUSEUM LATE: Gunnersbury Park Museum hosts its first ever LGBTQ+ late. Test your knowledge in a queer history pub quiz, dance to queer classics, or get crafty in a zine-making workshop. There's also a chance to visit interactive pop-up exhibition Rainbow Pilgrims which tells the stories of LGBTQ+ migrants in the UK. Gunnersbury Park Museum, £6, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

PRIDE CABARET: Cabaret act Holly Stars hosts drag extravaganza Holly Stars' Big Pride Cabaret at Madame Tussauds, an outrageous start to Pride weekend. Expect live music and show tunes, lip syncing, comedy and more. Madame Tussauds (Baker Street), £20, book ahead, 8pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

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

Charles Holden designed around 40 London underground stations. He used the same design motifs time and again, as can be seen in this pictorial map of the Holden stations. Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

St John's Church in Waterloo (the one on the IMAX roundabout) is fundraising for a renovation project that will restore the church and create new facilities for the Southbank Sinfonia, and The Bridge at Waterloo, an educational charity.

At current £2.5m of the £4.5m total has been raised. To find out more about the project and make a donation, visit the website.

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