Things To Do Today In London: Thursday 27 July 2017

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Things to do today is sponsored by St Paul's.

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Things to do

WASTELAND TO PLAYGROUND: Fifty years ago, the Lee Valley was bleak, neglected and scarred by industry. Track the evolution of the area into London's newest green space on the last day of this exhibition. New London Architecture, free, just turn up, 9am-6pm

LEGO CONVENTION: The world's best Lego builders descend on London in this four day brick building extravaganza. Rare sets are on sale, and you can even try your hand at building your own masterpiece in one of the have-a-go themed areas. ExCel, £21.75, book ahead, 10.30am-6pm

SWEET TOOTH: Just Desserts at Mercers Walk is a street food festival focusing on all things sweet. Doughnuts, cupcakes, ice cream and more will be available, with tunes and party games to sweeten the deal. Mercers Walk (Covent Garden), free entry, book ahead, 11am-6pm

GUERRILLA GARDENING: Take control of underused spaces, and learn how to make London a greener city with this workshop led by passionate guerrilla gardener. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

BRIXTON ORCHARD: Lend a hand at this fantastic community project, encouraging more people to interact with the natural world. Care for fruit trees and young edible hedgerow at this unassuming oasis, hidden next to one of London's busiest junctions. Brixton Orchard, free, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

Middlesex take on Essex at the T20 Blast

CHINESE OPERA: Head out to the Far East for Datong: The Chinese Utopia produced by the Hong Kong Arts Festival. This chamber opera chronicles the 20th century Chinese scholar Kang Youwei’s life and vision for a global utopia of human equality and solidarity. Richmond Theatre, £35-£50, book ahead, 2.30pm, 27-28 July

SUMMERS BIGGEST HIT: See Middlesex take on Essex at the home of cricket, in an action packed night — perfect for sports lovers or simply an after work jaunt with friends. Lord's Cricket Ground, £20 (kids £5), book ahead, 6.15pm

INSIDE THE CABINET: Join acclaimed political historian and commentator Sir Anthony Seldon as he discusses significant events of the 20th century and how they were dealt with and viewed from inside the cabinet. The National Archives (Kew), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

MEZCAL MASTERCLASS: Mixing and carbonating pre-batched bottled cocktails is now a major practice in bars. Longflint is hosting a masterclass on how to build a Mezcal Mazansada with a chipotle sweet'n'salt rim, exploring the effect of carbonation using their home-built carbo-tron. Mason and Company (Hackney Wick), £10, book ahead, 7pm-11pm

I AM A TREE: Whenever Jamie Wood stands still, someone finds him and tells him about their life. Apparently this makes him like a tree that all dogs want to piss up. Ovalhouse (Kennington), £14, book ahead, 7.30pm, until Saturday 29 July


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Visit St. Paul’s after dark at these Summer Lates

Whether you’ve been before or never stepped inside, St. Paul’s Cathedral is definitely worth exploring this summer. See the iconic London landmark in an entirely different light at one of St. Paul’s Summer Late events. Over seven evenings in July and August, the cathedral will open its doors after hours, giving Londoners the chance to be tourists in their own city.

Admire intricate mosaics, get interactive with touchscreen activities, or get the family involved with kids’ trails. Avoid the tourist crowds and discover the heroes that are buried inside this architectural beauty. Unlike usual visits, photography is actively encouraged at these Summer Lates, which run from 6:30-9pm.

The Crypt Café will be on hand to serve you drinks and light snacks, which makes these events the perfect post-work affair. The first Summer Late is on Thursday 27 July — find out more and book your tickets here.


Art review: gruesome puppetry

Image courtesy Christopher Gray

Christopher Gray uses hand made puppets in his art, but don’t mistake this for a childish endeavour. His world is full of dark and psychological tales involving sex, death and torture. We enter into darkened rooms, with a ghoulish creature outside the window, past a boxing ring and watch a video that’s definitely not for the squeamish. It’s deliciously visceral and a powerful gut punch of a show that will leave you reeling. Christopher Gray: The Dumas Complex at J Hammond Projects, Unit 2B2, The Bomb Factory, Boothby Road, Archway, N19 4AJ, until 5 August, free ★★★★★ (Wednesday-Saturday) Tabish Khan

Art review: wooden wonders

Courtesy Knight Webb gallery

If a furniture scrapheap were to reassemble itself then we imagine it would look like these constructed sculptures by Lesley Hilling. Towers and works on the wall are ordered are made from salvaged furniture with bits of glass and broken records sticking out of them. So much detail is present in each one that they reward close exploration of every nook. Lesley Hilling - On Longing at Knight Webb Gallery, 54 Atlantic Rd, Brixton, SW9 8PZ. Until 29 July, free, ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Saturday) Tabish Khan

Opera review: mock me, Amadeus

An opera which juxtaposes Kim Kardashian’s first and very brief union with Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro is a tempting concept, but ultimately becomes a bad car crash of a musical about a sad car crash of a relationship. Appearing as part of the Arcola Theatre’s Grimeborn season, the musical revolves around Amelia (Amelia Gabriel) and Stephen (Stephen Hyde), a fictional husband and wife who also happen to be a real-life couple. She likes to watch Kim K’s make-up tutorials, he likes to chill to Wolfgang Amadeus’s work and so they fight bitterly over the remote control.

Leo Mercer’s story is paper-thin bar from some neat contrasting towards the very end and his lyrics far too tricky — Gabriel is practically spitting out the syllables through some of her more verbose songs. Ultimately, this tale of romance is sunk by a serious lack of vocal talent and a script about as nuanced as the antics seen in reality series Love Island. Now, there’s a TV show that would make for an interesting opera… The Marriage of Kim K. Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin St, Dalston, E8 3DL, £12-£22, Until 29 July ★★☆☆☆ Franco Milazzo

Good cause for the day

RAT RACE: Round up your mates and get ready to swim, crawl, jump, slide and laugh your way around the wettest obstacle race in the UK — all in aid of Children with Cancer UK. ExCel, from £65, book ahead, 12 August 2017

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

London's Grime & Punishment Tour


Learn about London's debauched, drunken and disorderly history on this tour of the sordid side of the West End. Have you heard the story of the 15ft high tsunami of beer which rushed through the streets of London? Or about London's unluckiest theatre and most morbidly-located church? This tour will take you from the Covent Garden to Somerset House, entertaining you with tales of hangmen and criminals, prostitutes and paupers and the eccentric characters of Georgian London along the way.    Get tickets

Unlock Urban Camden: Street Art Tour


Camden's known for its street art, but how much do you really know about it? Explore the street art of Camden, and learn about the people who make it from an insider. You''ll visit pieces of street art that are off the beaten track, and get an insight into their possible meaning and inspiration. This two-hour tour will enable you to see Camden in a new light. 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

The Ultimate Harry Potter London Tour


Get sorted into one of the four magical houses of Hogwarts, and go in exploration of the city’s famous filming locations on this 2-hour walking tour. You’ll meet your guide outside the Palace Theatre, where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is showing, and set off on your journey across town - following in the footsteps of Deatheaters, visiting the inspiration for Knocturn Alley, and marvelling at the Ministry of Magic. And you better brush up on your Potter knowledge, because you can earn points for your house along the way, by taking part in trivia quizzes. The winners? You’ll find out when the tour ends at Platform 9 3/4… Get tickets