Things To Do Today In London: Thursday 31 August 2017

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It's the last evening Late at St Paul's

What we're reading

Things to do

MR BENN: Did you turn on the TV as a kid to watch Mr Benn? Perhaps you read the books about the bowler-hatted hero. Then can you believe it's been 50 years since his creation? An exhibition of concept artworks, sketches, and published book illustrations is on display as well as never-seen-before animation from the original films. Illustration Cupboard (St James'), free, just turn up, 9.30am-6pm

IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE: What is truth? What is the nature of truth? IWM London invites you to investigate in their immersive sensory experience to coincide with the last chance to see Syria: A Conflict Explored. IWM London, free, just turn up, 10am-6pm (until 3 September)

BYE BYE TIKI: Barsmith's Tiki pop-up is on its way out, so nab a drink or two in this tropical paradise, complete with a bamboo bar, authentic carved Tiki Gods and sprawling palm trees before it's gone along with the dying embers of Summer. Barsmith (Farringdon), free entry, book ahead, noon-midnight

GAY UK: 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalised homosexuality, The British Library have drawn together personal testimonies, original manuscripts, oral history recordings and art from their collection to highlight Gay UK in Love, Law and Liberty. The British Library, free, just turn up, noon-midnight

PUBLIC SPACES: How to take care of our public orchards? This talk will explain all about the Hanwell Orchard Trail local community project in the Grand Union Canal corridor. Learn how to build nature and wildlife habitat improvements in the city and help London become a more sustainable place. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

50 years of Mr Benn

COUNTERCULTURE: The Subculture Archives Pop-Up brings you the counterculture 'icon' that is London Mayoral Candidate Lee Harris for an evening talk, DJ set and exhibition. The Subculture Archives (Carnaby), free, just turn up, 6pm-10pm

ST PAUL'S LATE: When was the last time you visited St Paul's? The twilight hours are a great chance to rediscover the beauty of Wren's great church, away from the hustle and bustle of the daytime crowds — plus, it's a rare chance to take photographs inside. St Paul's Cathedral, £10, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

FIRE AND ICE: This innovative writing workshop helps you take the fear out of writing, and get the very best out of your work. Perhaps it'd help us write better listings... Free Word Centre (Clerkenwell), £20, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

OOH LA LA: Not for the prudish or faint-hearted. Director of Dreams of Spanking, Pandora Blake, invites you to a discussion of the wild and wonderful world of feminist porn. How can you access it without contributing to exploitation? Find out everything you've ever wanted to know but been too shy to ask. The Book Club (Shoreditch), £7, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm

JAZZ HANDS: Looking for an evening of powerhouse Indo-jazz funk? Say no more. Electric bass player Shez Raja and his band are leading a talented smooth line-up to get you excited about jazz. 606 Jazz Club, Chelsea, £10, book ahead, 8pm-11pm

Food review: a chaimendous new tea & coffee house

How do you like your tea? Builders? Milk and two sugars? How about flavoured with fresh rose, saffron or lavender, sweetened with Jaggery (a sweetener sourced from Kithul palms) and stirred with a Sri Lankan cinnamon stick? From the deliciously earthy, subtly spiced hand-brewed chai to the homemade clay cups, Costa Coffee this isn't. Pamban Chai and Coffee House is shaking up London's café scene with its velvety, rooibos tea-infused red cappuccinos (for when you can't decide if you fancy tea or coffee), pretty rose petal and chia seed faluda desserts and our fave: the creamy coconut lassi with oat milk, soya ice cream and pistachio. Beverages are sweet without being sickly, spicy without being fiery and reasonably priced too. Hungry? The lamprais (beetroot, aubergine and cashew curry all wrapped in a banana leaf) is proving a firm favourite and had sold out on our visit. Although we'd happily return for a day of procaffeinating among the potted palms and blonde wood interior, a bladder full of chai isn't conducive to a teahouse without a toilet — a minor gripe among an otherwise chaimendous new Camden cafe. Pamban Chai and Coffee House, Camden Market, North Yard, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH. ★★★★☆ Kyra Hanson

Theatre review: Late Company is a gripping success

Image courtesy: Alastair Muir

Trafalgar Studios' intimate set-up is perfect for the dinner-party at the core of Late Company, a short but near-perfect play juggling homophobia, cyber-bullying and parental responsibility. Canadian MP Michael and sculptor Deborah nervously await guests, there is an empty place setting for their late son, everyone's tense, and the revelations are cathartic. In a taut 75 minutes, Late Company serves up a whole evening's worth of black humour-studded shock, anger and sadness. With stunning and heartfelt acting, this is a cleverly constructed and sensitively attacked play that has the audience completely engrossed. Read more. Late Company, Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, SW1A 2DY, £15-30. Until 16 September ★★★★☆ [Monday - Saturday] Hari Mountford

Art review: upside down palm

Copyright Jennifer Tee

An upside down palm tree, a set of ancient Egyptian Canopic jars and a shelf full of books. Odd bedfellows but that's the surreal world of Jennifer Tee for you. It defies explanation, so best to just embrace the madness of it all. Worth noting this is a stronger show than her exhibition at Camden Arts Centre. Jennifer Tee: Structures of Recollection and Perseverance at Kunstraum, 21 Roscoe Street, EC1Y 8PT, free Until 9 September ★★★★☆ [Wednesday-Sunday] Tabish Khan

Good cause of the day: the big bottle count

We all know by now that single-use plastic bottles are a huge part of the pollution of the Earth's waters and a dangerous threat to wildlife. See for yourself the effects floating litter has on London with Thames21's The Big Bottle Count, as one billion water bottles are discarded here every year. Budding citizen scientists are asked to join in to collect invaluable data by counting and removing plastic from the east side along the Thames. Saturday 2 September, east London, free, register, noon-5pm

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