Things To Do Today In London: Thursday 23 May 2019

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Equal Playing Field at the Soho Hotel

Things to do

LONDON BIENNALE: 120 artists from 40 countries display work at the London Art Biennale, a free art show in Chelsea. Traditional paintings and sketches, ceramics, graphic art and interactive virtual reality artworks are all on display — and for sale. Chelsea Old Town Hall, free entry, just turn up, 23-26 May

PIE AND MASH: Unfortunately, there's no eating to be done here — instead, hear the history of G. Kelly's pie and mash shop on Roman Road in Bow, which has been run by the same family for almost a century. Author Melanie McGrath talks about her new book on the subject, and takes part in a Q&A. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), free, book ahead, 2pm-3.30pm

XY CHELSEA: Be one of the first to see new documentary XY Chelsea,  about Private Manning, an intelligence analyst who uploaded thousands of documents to WikiLeaks revealing U.S soldiers targeting civilians in Iraq. In the film, Chelsea Manning reflects on her actions and persecution she experienced due to her gender identity. This preview screening is followed by a Q&A with director Tim Travers Hawkins. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £12.50/£10, book ahead, 6.30pm

Attend a preview screening of XY Chelsea

DOG OWNERS: Kate Spicer, author of Lost Dog, discusses the eight things only dog owners know, helped along by her canine companion, Wolfy. Expect tangents like crisps and poo bags as she covers the best things about owning a dog. The talk is followed with a book signing. Waterstones Kensington, £5/£3, book ahead, 7pm

THE BOX: Science Fiction Theatre hosts a screening of 2009 film The Box. Starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden, it's about a couple who receive a button with a box. If they press the button, they will receive $1million... but someone elsewhere will die as a result — and they only have 24 hours to decide. The Castle Cinema (Homerton), £10/£8, book ahead, 7pm

CREATING THE V&A: Find out how Queen Victoria and Prince Albert contributed to the museum named after them. Julius Bryant, Keeper of Word and Image at the V&A, delves into the museum's own history to talk about how the young royals offered their public support to the fledgling collection. V&A Museum (South Kensington), £15-£18, book ahead, 7pm-8.45pm

History Showoff comes to Southwark Cathedral

TEQUILA TASTING: As part of its Mexican themed summer, the rooftop at Queen of Hoxton hosts an insect, tequila and mezcal tasting evening. Find out (and taste) how insects are used in Mexican cuisine, including grasshoppers as a guacamole ingredient, and learn how to sip your agave for maximum enjoyment. Queen of Hoxton (Shoreditch), £15, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

EQUAL PLAYING FIELD: Ahead of the women's football world cup, watch a screening of Equal Playing Field. The documentary follows 30 women from five continents as they climb Mount Kilimanjaro to stage the world's highest-altitude football match, opening a debate about gender equality. Kilimanjaro match player Maggie Murphy, Lewes FC midfielder Shannon Moloney and filmmaker Ben Jacobs take part in a Q&A after the film. The Soho Hotel, £16, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

HISTORY SHOWOFF: Described as 'comedy cabaret all about the past', History Showoff brings together several amusing and informative experts for an evening of entertainment about the olden days. Writer, artist and broadcaster Jude Cowan Montague talks about Peter the Painter, who was the most wanted man in Britain, and historian Jessica O'Neill covers circus sideshows, and the British Museum's 'Secretum'. Southwark Cathedral, £8, book ahead, 7pm-9.30pm

Beverley Knight performs at Southbank Centre

BEVERLEY KNIGHT: UK soul singer Beverley Knight performs a one-off concert at Royal Festival Hall, showcasing tracks from her 25 year career including Shoulda Woulda Coulda. She also puts her own stamp on songs by other artists who've inspired her, including Aretha Franklin. Southbank Centre, £35.50-£70, book ahead, 7.30pm

COMEDY: Canadian comedian Tom Stade's latest show I Swear To... comes to central London. He explores generational conundrums, and ponders when he, and his possessions, became 'vintage', and why he didn't see it coming. Leicester Square Theatre, £19.75/£17.75, book ahead, 9.30pm

Good cause of the day

Book ahead for Singin' In The Rain, hosted by Julian Clary, which sees West End stars pull together a musical in just 48 hours. It raises money for the Lewy Body Society, a charity concerned with Lewy Body dementia. Find out more and book tickets.

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