Things To Do Today In London: Thursday 17 October 2019

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Carradine's Cockney Sing-a-long is a right old knees up

Things to do

AFFORDABLE ART FAIR: London’s been awash with art fairs this month, but the Affordable Art Fair is aimed at your every day art fan, rather than wealthy collectors. Prices for the pieces on sale start at just £50, ideal if you're considering getting into art collecting, or simply looking for something to fill a blank wall in your home. Battersea Evolution (Battersea Park), £9-£27, book ahead, 16-20 October

LONDON LITERATURE FESTIVAL: Talks, readings, poetry and performances all feature on the London Literature Festival programme. Highlights include a chance to hear from the authors of The Good Immigrant USA, an LGBTQ+ writing awards ceremony, and family-friendly events such as a fairy-tale trail. It kicks off tonight with an evening with author Armistead Maupin. Southbank Centre, various prices, book ahead, 17-27 October

REMBRANDT'S LIGHT: For BSL users only, Dulwich Picture Gallery's John Wilson gives a free BSL talk about the newly-opened exhibition, Rembrandt's Light. He looks at key highlights of the display, which shows the painter's work from a modern cinematic perspective. Dulwich Picture Gallery, free, book ahead, 1pm

London Literature Festival begins with an evening with author Armistead Maupin

FIGHTING FOR RECOGNITION: Attend the launch of Royal College of Nursing's new exhibition, Fighting For Recognition. It marks a century of nursing registration in the UK, and there's a chance to view original registers, hear short talks from experts, and learn about the different fields of nursing, from anaesthesia to optometry. 20 Cavendish Square (Marylebone), free, book ahead, 5.30pm-8.30pm

MILITARY PODCAST: Attend a live recording of military podcast Veteran State of Mind. Writer and former infantryman Geraint Jones hosts, and chats to both military and civilian guests about their experience of soldiers. Tonight's guest is Special Forces operator Dean Stott. National Army Museum (Chelsea), £5/£4, book ahead, 6pm-9pm

TOWER BRIDGE: Tower Bridge continues its 125th anniversary celebrations with an evening of culinary history. Food historian Dr Annie Gray offers a whistlestop tour of 125 years of food at the world-famous river span. Tower Bridge, £20, book ahead,7pm

Tower Bridge continues its birthday celebrations

LIZARD LIFE DRAWING: Wild Life Drawing specialises in putting real life animals in front of artists. Today it's lizards, with iguanas, geckos and water dragons posing while you recreate their textures and colours on paper. Wildlife and conservation experts talk about the animals' lives in the wild, and the issues surrounding the exotic pet trade (tonight's models are all rescue animals). Switchboard Studios (Walthamstow), £28, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

FREE WILL: Are you really as free as you think you are? Philosopher and author Dr Julian Baggini gives a talk about the philosophy of free will, looking at whether we're all just following the hidden commands of unconscious processes, genetic dispositions, social conditioning and manipulation. The Grafton (Kentish Town), £12, book ahead, 7pm-9pm (sponsor)

REMEMBERING LIONS:  New book Remembering Lions is launched at a special event tonight. The tome consists of photos and information about lions from top wildlife photographers and experts, and both the book and the event raise money for lion conservation charities. See images from the book, hear from wildlife photographers, and get your copy signed. Royal Geographical Society (Kensington), from £28.84, book ahead, 7.15pm-10.30pm

Hear a talk about the philosophy of free will

HOLOCAUST BRUNCH: Part performance, part meal, Holocaust Brunch is a chance to hear the stories of two Holocaust survivors as you tuck into 'brunch'. The dark comedy show delves into issues such as whether we can break free from the history our ancestors lived through, why we still remember the Holocaust — and what might happen if we forget it. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), £12, book ahead, 7.30pm

COLD WAR: Did you know that the bikini got its name from a nuclear test site? Or that Pierre Cardin's 'space age' look was inspired by Cold War conditions? Find out how the Cold War infiltrated the fashion and design industries at this talk by Jane Pavitt, Professor of Design and Architectural History at Kingston University. National Archives (Kew), £12, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

COCKNEY SING-A-LONG: Musical legend Tom Carradine is back at Wiltons for another one of his popular Cockney sing-a-long nights. He plays the piano while leading the audience in renditions of East End ditties from the music hall era and both world wars, before segueing into a few tunes from the West End stage. Wiltons (Limehouse), £5-£17, book ahead, 7.45pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

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

Anybody else remember when London Transport Museum's cafe had smoothies themed around the underground lines? They don't seem to do them anymore, unfortunately. Bring them back, I say. Or, better yet, tube-themed cocktails. (Admittedly, the Northern line might be a bit unappetising, but then that would be art imitating life.) Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

Book ahead for wine tasting quiz Call My Bluff, taking place on 25 October and raising money for The Red Cross. Enjoy a champagne reception, wine tasting quiz and cheese dinner, and prove that you know your sauvignon from your soave. Find out more and book tickets.

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