Things To Do Today In London: Thursday 8 June 2017

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Things to do today is sponsored by Alexandra Palace.

Live out yachting fantasies at London On-Water

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Things to do

PERRY ART EXHIBITION: An exhibition of new work is on display at the Serpentine themed around popularity and art, masculinity and the current cultural landscape. Presented by Grayson Perry, commentator of contemporary society and culture. Serpentine Gallery, free, just turn up, 10am-5.30pm

DICKENS MUSEUM: Based in the home where the great storyteller himself wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, the Charles Dickens Museum hosts a special late opening due to popular demand. Come and uncover the private world behind the author's public image. Charles Dickens Museum, £9, just turn up, 10am-8pm

DELICATE DOCUMENTS: Go behind the lens to see how conservation scientists protect precious collections of film and photographs, with the chance to handle these fragile documents yourself. The National Archives (Kew), free, just turn up, various times from 10.30am

ON WATER: Live out your wildest yacht-owning fantasies at London's floating and boating festival London On-Water, and even take one out for a spin on the Thames during this four-day event. For those whose feet are a little more steady on land, feel free to swoon over a range of luxury cars on show. St Katharine Docks, free, just turn up, 11am-8pm

Find out all about one of the most important battles ever fought

CROWN AND REBELLION: Medieval historians discuss the 'most important battle ever fought' on English soil — 800 years ago, a royal army defeated a force of French and English baronial troops, ensuring that England would not become a cadet kingdom of France. The National Archives (Kew), free, just turn up, 6pm-8pm

TRANSLATION PITCH: Six translators introduce you to the books that they’re most excited about from East and Southeast Asia. Discover a magical realism from Taiwan, a sci-fi love story via art restoration from South Korea, and short stories focusing on the female experience from Malaysia. Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, £5, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

STAND UP FOR LOSS: Josh Widdicombe, Ed Gamble and Joe Wilkinson keep the laughs coming at this comedy charity benefit for The Loss Foundation. Not only that, you'll get to know the cause they're supporting, as you're transported into a virtual world as part of their Virtual Reality Campaign. Union Chapel, Islington, £25, book ahead, 6.30pm-10pm

WINE WORKSHOP: Have you ever wanted to know how to pair that perfect bottle of wine with a meal? Then how about indulging a little in an evening of meat and wine with Sean Cannon for this workshop, that passes on top tips for matching wines with British cured meats and artisan foods. Cannon and Cannon, £25, book ahead, 7pm-9.30pm

SPEAKEASY: You'll be swaying to the rhythm of old swing classics in this throwback to the hedonistic age of Prohibition. Think underground gin clubs and flappers of the 1920s and 30s... but with an electro-swing twist. 100 Wardour Street, free, just turn up, 8.30pm-3am

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Tuck into street food with the best views in London

Forget Glastonbury -– the festival that's set to be the highlight of the summer is at Alexandra Palace on 22 July. The free Summer of Love themed event will have three stages of live music, featuring a everything from seven-piece Dat Brass to all-female Afro-Brazilian inspired Let Drum Beat.

The tunes aren't the whole story though — there are theatre performances, activities and events too. Sign up for Wiretapper's Fake Picnic, described as part-performance, part flash-mob and part picnic, or book in for a screening of Austin Powers at the outdoor cinema.

This free family-friendly day out hasn't forgotten about the kids — graffiti workshops, face painting and children's theatre will keep them entertained. Add in some epic street food, loads of craft beer and impressive views of the city, and you've got London's best Summer Festival – get the lowdown on the day here.

Art review: bright, bold and colourful

Beers London Exhibition

Painting, sculpture, video and furniture. Norwegian artist Sverre Bjertnaes combines it all in multi-threaded narratives combining portraits with abstract sculptures — in a bright, bold and colourful exhibition. Sverre Bjertnaes: Silent Conditions at Beers London, 1 Baldwin Street, EC1V 9NU. Until 1 July, free. ★★★☆☆ (Tuesday-Saturday) Tabish Khan

Theatre review: good, better but oh — Best

Following a slew of dusty revivals, it's good to see this curious wartime mash-up of two brittle Terence Rattigan comedies collide as Love In Idleness. Better because the archive film-footage helps contextualise Trevor Nunn's production, and Lord Beveridge's announcement of the founding of a national health service raises an actual cheer. Best because of Eve Best — Dr O’Hara from Nurse Jackie. An incredibly intelligent and subtle actress who delights with her witty characterisation of a liberal woman torn between a conservative lover and a socialist son. All collapses at the end, but worth it to see Best finally get her man and sport some glorious threads. Love In Idleness, Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, W1  £20-65, Until 1 July  ★★★★☆  [Tuesday-Saturday] Johnny Fox

Comedy review: 21st century laughs

Everyone can relate to their parent's struggles with technology. That's in part what Aparna Nancherla relies on in her London debut, as she breaks out a reliably funny powerpoint presentation. She rattles through topics including online dating, lack of diversity among certain emojis and her parent's texting style, all from her unique (and awkward) perspective. Before the presentation — which has transitions that would blow the socks off any nine year old — she does a more traditional stand-up set that is the slightly weaker part of proceedings. It still generates laughter, but not quite as much as comes later. Also, she handled a misguided heckler with ease, which always gets points in our book. Aparna Nancherla, Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, W1D 3NE, from £15, until 10 June, ★★★★☆ Harry Rosehill

Good cause of the day

Keen cyclists can sign up now to the southern Dawn Raid — a one-day challenge on 18 June. If you're in it for the long haul, ride 100 miles from London to Portsmouth with wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and women; the very people you'll be raising money to help. You'll receive a Dawn Raid 2017 souvenir t-shirt and medal at the end. If something a little slower is more your style, DIY your own route, and cycle with people of mixed abilities including your friends and family. Registration fees start at £19.