Things To Do Today In London: Monday 31 July 2017

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Things to do today is sponsored by House of Parliament.

Beatboxing from the star of the most watched TEDx talk of all time

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Things to do

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: Want to keep the kids busy on a budget? Check out our helpful list of free things to do with kids in London. Worked your way through those? Get stuck into our guide to things to do in the summer holidays.

BACKSTAGE TOUR: Go behind the scenes of the National Theatre and get an insight into how costumes and props are made in a busy working theatre, as well as preparation for the current shows. National Theatre, £10, book ahead, 9.45am

THE SECOND SEX: Are you, or is the woman you love, a lost feminist? This dark comedy show, part of Camden Fringe, focuses on the struggles women face in daily life. Etcetera Theatre (Camden), £8, book ahead, 12.30pm (until 2 August)

SECRETS OF FLEET STREET: This Look Up London walking tour will unravel scandalous stories, both recent and ancient, as you walk the steps of activists, hacks, cabbies and lawyers along Fleet Street. Temple tube, £12, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

QUIZTIANO RONALDO: With the new Premier League season getting closer, welcome it with a football quiz — one with a very punny name, too. Brush up on trivia about the Beautiful Game. The Old Queen's Head (Islington), £2, book a table, 7pm

Discover the secrets of Fleet Street with Look Up London

WALK AROUND TASTING: Taste 10 wines from five different South African wineries at wine haven Vivat Bacchus tonight. It might be Monday night, but you'll be drinking like it's the weekend. Vivat Bachhus (London Bridge), £15, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

CRAFT NIGHT: Join in a friendly night of making things, getting creative, and of course, having a drink with The Make Escape, all in aid of MIND. Soundtracked by the Attic's in-house DJ's. Hackney Attic, free, just turn up, 7.30pm-11pm

BEATBOX BRILLIANCE:One is good with his fingers, the other is good with his mouth. Beatbox star of the most watched TEDx talk of all time Tom Thum joins forces with an award winning guitarist to create this unusual show. Underbelly Festival (Southbank), £16, book ahead, 7.45pm

DANCE CLASS: Kickstart your week with a dance class and live out your girlband dreams as you learn the moves to Little Mix's Touch. Complete beginners welcome. Drink, Shop & Do (King's Cross), £15, book ahead, 8.30pm-10pm

AI IMPROV: A loveable nerd and a dark humoured hacker team up to create an artificial friend (a robot whom they call A.L.Ex.) via transatlantic video link, in this improvised theatre show. Etcetera Theatre (Camden), £8, book ahead, 8.30pm, repeated tomorrow

REBEL AGAINST REALITY: Kevin moved to London the day before Brexit to become a famous comedian. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out quite as he planned, so he's doing a show to distract himself from real life. Camden Comedy Club, £5, book ahead, 9.15pm-10.30pm


Sponsor message

Ever fancied taking a sneak peek inside Parliament?

Book yourself on a guided or audio tour this summer and you can do just that — follow the Queen’s processional route through the House of Lords before exploring the House of Commons in all its glory.

You’ll see the Speaker’s Chair and those all-important green benches where all manner of important debates have occurred. There’s even a special tour aimed at children, so it makes a perfect family day out. With fascinating stories, tons of history, and an insider’s view of how Parliament functions today, a tour of the Houses of Parliament should be on your to do list this summer break.


Art review: intimate photography

Image courtesy Ivar Wigan

Documentary photographer Ivar Wigan has worked his way into the Jamaican dancehall communities. Capturing hard partying, domestic life and tranquil landscapes, he portrays all aspects of his subjects' lives, both public and private. Ivar Wigan: Young Love at PM/AM, 259-269 Old Marylebone Road, NW1 5RA. Until 11 September, free. ★★★☆☆ (Monday-Saturday)

Food review: matters of the platter

The seafood platter is a visual flagship for the foodie world; heaped with a kaleidoscope of crustaceans, themselves often strewn over a hill of ice, it is the stuff of still life paintings. The proof, though, will always be in the eating. To mark its 25th birthday, Belgian chain Belgo pulls out all the stops with its Lobsterfest seafood platter. Espresso cups of silky bisque preempt the great wave of fishy delicacies, which, in all honesty, turns out to be a mixed net. While the surprise winner is the grilled mullet (it crumbles creamily in the mouth, and we wanted more), things you'd have thought Belgo would have mastered, are a tad underwhelming. Take the mussels — not as fat or succulent as we'd hoped, and sitting in a rather sorry, semi-spicy broth. The half lobster is good, but again, lacks the buttery bombast you'd expect from a £50 dish. There are more goodies than baddies, but if you're an aficionado of the platter art form, maybe plump for a less extravagant main. Belgo Soho, 29-31 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JR. Lobsterfest menu also available at other London branches. ★★★☆☆ Will Noble

Theatre review: clockwork pork

When Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs first appeared in 1997, its blend of dense patois, transgressive teens, nocturnal hijinks and contemporary club music made it a sibling of sorts to the previous year’s Trainspotting. Two decades on, this tale of the twisted relationship between Runt and Pig still occasionally packs an emotional punch but runs out of speed midway through. Unlike in Anthony Burgess’ Clockwork Orange, the made-up language here is as about as easy to comprehend as Walsh’s critically-derided flop Lazarusand this play frankly needs actors of a higher calibre than Evanna Lynch and Colin Campbell to surmount these obstacles. Disco Pigs. Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, SW1A 2DY. £15-£30+£3 transaction fee.★★☆☆☆ Until 18 August

Good cause for the day

STREAK FOR TIGERS: Run around London Zoo naked on a normal day, and you'd probably get in a spot of bother. Do it on 10 August though, and you can raise money for charity while you're at it. Result. London Zoo, £20 with minimum £150 funding, book ahead, 10 August, 7pm

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

A Secret London Tour


How well do you really know London? Visit the streets that inspired Harry Potter locations and see London's most superstitious hotel. On Matt's tour you will explore hidden places and discover stories unknown to even the most knowledgeable of Londoners. Get tickets

Lost London Walking Tour


London is a city of incredible transformation. With structural remains that date back to ancient history still in existence, this unique walking tour takes in Lost London in all its former glory. From the Titanic booking office to the graveyards of man's best friend, you'll discover the weird and wonderful places that used to exist in the capital but are now only committed to memory. Using old photographs, newspaper cuttings and stories from the past, you'll be amazed at what has largely been written out of our history books...   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

Forgotten Old London


Have you visited London's Roman ampitheatre? What about London's Medieval market places? Hear weird and wonderful tales of our beautiful city as you take a walking tour, seeing everything from centuries-old churches to the hanging place of William Wallace. Whether you've lived here all your life or are visiting for a few days, you're sure to learn something new about London. Get tickets