Things To Do Today In London: Thursday 11 July 2019

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The Batty Mama at Southbank Centre

Things to do

WORLD ILLUSTRATION AWARDS: The Association of Illustrators opens a new exhibition showcasing all 200 shortlisted entries from its annual awards. Peruse work from 68 countries, including book covers, newspapers, murals and packaging, across a diverse range of styles. Somerset House, free, just turn up, 11-28 July

SUMMER SERIES: Somerset House Summer Series launches tonight, the first of 11 open-air gigs in the courtyard. Neo-soul quintet The Internet get things going, with support from hiphop artist Saw Wise. Somerset House, various prices, book ahead, 11-21 July

ENTERTAINING LONDON: This illustrated talk uses historic photos to cover the history of London County Council Parks Department. It employed hundreds of gardeners and park keepers, and built dozens of sport facilities and playgrounds around London. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

The Internet open Somerset House Summer Series

BIG BEN: Mark Big Ben's 160th birthday with an evening of informal talks about Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower — even if the tower itself is currently under scaffolding. The strikes of the big bell were first heard on 11 July 1859, and the event offers a chance to hear from the people who care for it today. Houses of Parliament, £15, book ahead, 6pm

THE BATTY MAMA: QTIPOC (queer, trans and intersex people of colour) south London collective The Batty Mama begins a DJ residency at Southbank Centre tonight. Over three Thursday evenings, party to a sexy and carefree vibe, and hear classics from the 1990s onwards across R&B, hip-hop, garage, Afrobeats, bashment and funky house. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 6pm

ON CRICKET: Retired cricketer Mike Brearley launches his new book, On Cricket, a collection of essays covering topics including the influence of his Yorkshire father, and the impact of his cricketing heroes. It draws both on his cricketing days, and his later career as a psychoanalyst. Daunt Books (Hampstead), £5, book ahead, 6.30pm

Drink & Draw in Leighton House Museum

DRINK AND DRAW: Take part in an informal drawing session in the garden at Leighton House Museum. Begin with a drinks reception before making your way to the garden for the London Fine Arts Studios session, accompanied by live music from the Salomé Quartet. Leighton House Museum (Holland Park), £20, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

TESSELATION: See hexagons as you've never seen them before, as writer-in-residence Rachel Pimm presents a performance lecture about the shape. They occur surprisingly frequently in the natural world, as shown in images from Natural History Museum archives, and geological sites such as Giant's Causeway. Whitechapel Gallery, £5/£3.50, book ahead, 7pm

Acrobatics at Southbank Centre

ACROBATICS: Hailing from Morocco, 14 young acrobats and musicians of Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger recreate the sights and sounds of life in the Maghreb, in a one-off London show. They combine acrobatic feats, visual humour and stirring music to blend traditional and modern performance. Southbank Centre, £20, book ahead,7.30pm

COMEDY PREVIEWS: Helen Bauer and Rosie Jones are the latest comedians to offer previews of their new shows, before they perform them in Edinburgh next month. Jones sold out her debut hour at Edinburgh last year, while Bauer is a hotly-tipped new comedian. The Taproom (Islington), £5, book ahead, 7.30pm-10.30pm

VICTORIAN HYPNOTISM: South East London Folklore Society hosts bestselling author Wendy Moore for this month's event. She discusses Victorian doctor John Elliotson, who introduced the capital to the idea of hypnotism. The Old King's Head (Borough), £5/£3, book ahead, 8pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

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

We seem to have hit a theme this week of pubs with connections to the tube. The Railway Tavern in Liverpool Street is another contender. It sports this mock tube map in its entrance (even though, in reality, the pub is too small to need such a map). From hazy memory, I seem to recall that you can see the Circle line tracks by peering out of the gents' toilet window. Sadly, I don't have a photo. Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

Human rights charity Amnesty International opens a new Amnesty bookshop in Kentish Town today. It's the organisation's 10th bookshop, and sells second-hand tomes to raise money for the charity's work. Find out more.

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