Things To Do Today In London: Thursday 7 September 2017

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Tales From The Shed comes to the Old Vic.

What we're reading

Things to do

PIER COMMISSION: Erith Pier — London's largest — is jazzing things up a bit by commissioning an artist to reimagine the space through an artwork consisting of ship's sails, reflecting the town's history. Erith Pier, free, just turn up, until 24 September

TALES FROM THE SHED: Looking for ways to keep the kids busy? These vibrant, interactive theatre shows, aimed at ages 0-6 years, are perfect for running down their batteries. Be warned though, it gets very silly, and very loud too... The Old Vic (Waterloo), £6, book ahead, 10am/1.30pm

WORKS ON PAPER: It's not all about fancy installations, giant novelty sculptures and geometric shapes. Cube Gallery is keeping it traditional with this exhibition, featuring the work of multiple artists who have all crafted their paintings and drawings on paper. Cube Gallery, free, just turn up, 10.30am-6.30pm, 7-30 September

FARRINGDON WALKS: This guided walk visits locations in the Farringdon area that featured in Charles Dickens' novel about the fictional Victorian orphan Oliver Twist. Farringdon station, free, book ahead, 5.45pm

SIGNS OF THE TIMES: These signs will give you a different kind of direction. This solo exhibition by artist Tommy Gurr features a varied collection of politicised and satirical road signs that will make you contemplate and chuckle. The Underdog Gallery, free, just turn up, 6pm-11pm, 7-17 September

Birdwatching? In the middle of the city?

REVERBERATION: This collection of images celebrates The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Artist and photographer Dean Chalke explores all 13 of the legendary tracks through a range of visual techniques. Tonight's the launch of the exhibition. The Book Club (Shoreditch), free, book ahead, 6pm-2am

HYBRID AIR VEHICLE: These beasts produce less noise, less pollution, have a lower carbon footprint, longer endurance and better cargo-carrying capacity than any other flying vehicle. Join Chris Daniels as he speaks about Airlander 10 — the largest aircraft currently flying. IET (Embankment), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

TWITCHERS: Get up high at The Monument with a pair of binoculars and do your best impression of Bill Bailey for a masterclass in Urban Bird Watching to discover the wealth of avian wildlife available to view here in London. The Monument, £20, book ahead, 7pm-8.15pm

FAKE NEWS: Lies, damned lies. It's been a hot topic the past couple of years. Journalist and author Jonathan Freedland assesses the implications of fake news for our political culture, and what we can do about its spread. The British Library, £10, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

WORLD'S HAPPIEST: Meik Wiking has a pretty cool job. As the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute — and as a Dane — he certainly knows a thing or two about what makes us happy. Hear from the man himself and learn how to introduce more of it to your life. Dulwich Books, £10, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

Art review: fake news and propaganda

Who can you trust? Are news sources reliable? This audio experience challenges us to interrogate our own beliefs starting off with playful interactive exercises before taking us into the conflicting reports coming out of Syria. It takes at least an hour but it’s an innovative way to delve into the current issue of fake news. I Swear To Tell The Truth at Imperial War Museum (start at the information desk). Until 17 September, free. ★★★★☆

Food review: dumplings by neon light

The irony's not lost on us: in the shiny throes of gentrification, Soho's newer establishments have often plumped for a seedy, neon-steeped vibe. Tea Room lands just the right side of the glowing gimmick, with its ersatz 1960s Hong Kong feel — a wardrobe-sized radio cabinet cooing out vintage cantonese pop here, a menu moonlighting as a newspaper there. While the food's not on a par with the dai pai dong of Hong Kong, it is extremely good — the lacey dumplings providing a wonderful crispy/chewy texture, the pickled melon cutting through the pile of deep fried duck tongues, and the Cigarette & Palm cocktail playfully presented with a tin of candy smokes. It's surely a good sign that, despite being stuffed, we can't help picking at the char siu pork until it's gone. And, for anyone who hates over-bright restaurants and bars, the lighting conditions are perfect. Tea Room, 24 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 4DZ  ★★★★☆ Will Noble

Theatre review: sweated labour

You may never see a cast work harder than in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾. Luke Sheppard’s relentlessly energetic production throws everything — including the kitchen sink trundled on and off by the actors — at Sue Townsend’s 1981 tale of the geeky Leicester teen discovering girls, politics, and poetry on the BBC.  A terrific set crammed with vintage props makes it uber-clear that we’re pinned to the period.  If you loved the book, or '80s hair and lycra, you'll love this show with its top score and pithy lyrics from young composers Pippa Cleary and Jake Brunger.  If you weren’t a Mole fan, stick to Harry Potter. Read more. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾: The Musical, Menier Chocolate Factory, 53 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU. £45-53 until 9 September. [Tuesday-Sunday]★★★★☆ Johnny Fox

Good cause for the day

GOOD GYM: Like getting fit? Like doing good? GoodGym is a group of runners that combine their exercise with physical tasks for the good of the community. It's two good deeds in one — what's not to like? Find out how you can get involved at Museum of London (Barbican) today, free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm