Things to do
HALF TERM: Today's picks from our half term guide include a chance to get up close and personal with hedgehogs. For something a little less spiky, take a look at the other events on offer, including theatre shows, exhibitions, and an afternoon tea specially for kids.
SHOREDITCH STORMTROOPER: A pop-up shop dedicated to all things Stormtrooper opens in Shoreditch today. The work of Shepperton Design Studios, it's a chance to sort your Stormtrooper costume before Halloween, or buy other Stormtrooper products including t-shirts, bluetooth speakers and whisky decanters. Boxpark Shoreditch, free entry, just turn up, 22-27 October
THE GRUFFALO: Oh help, oh no, it's a Gruffalo. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's beloved fictional creature comes to life on stage, using songs to tell the story of Mouse, Fox, Owl and the Gruffalo himself. Age 3+. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), from £9, book ahead, 22-27 October
BEASTS OF BARTHOLOMEW FAIR: Museum of London offers a virtual reality experience for children, where they can join in an interactive tea party with some of the animals from London's past. The experience ties in with the current Beasts of London exhibition. Age 7+. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 12pm/3pm
LUNCHTIME FILM: Spend your lunch break at the new Lunchtime Film Society, watching a screening of Better United, a series of five short films looking at the power of community. Free popcorn and a programme is included. Bridewell Theatre (Fleet Street), £10/£8, book ahead, 1pm-1.50pm
BIOMETRICS: What are biometrics, how can they be used to reduce crime, and what risks does a biometric system pose to the security of personal information? All is revealed in this free talk by IT expert Professor Richard Harvey. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm
STATE OF THE EARTH: Hear a panel of experts debate how human activity has influenced the natural world in recent years. Climate diplomat Christiana Figueres and Professor Sir Brian Hoskins are chaired by BBC Countryfile presenter Tom Heap to talk about the greatest challenges humanity now faces in saving the planet. The Royal Society, free, just turn up, 7pm-8.30pm
NANOTECHNOLOGY: Find out how the world's biggest problems can be solved by the world's smallest technology at a talk by nanotechnology expert Dave Blank. He covers computer chips, solar panels, and futuristic labs so small, they could fit on a postage stamp. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm
THE PARANORMAL: Does the paranormal exist? If so, why isn't it more widely accepted by the scientific community? If not, what is the explanation for so many people claiming to experience it? In this talk, Professor Christopher French introduces the idea of anomalistic psychology — the study of extraordinary phenomena of behaviour and experience — and provides non-paranormal explanations for such experiences. The Tokenhouse (Moorgate), £12, book ahead, 7pm-9pm (sponsor)
CLUB CULTURE: Radio 3 Free Thinking hosts a panel discussion about the history of cabaret and club culture. Performers, curators and critics delve into how club culture has influenced wider society, dating back to the Weimar constitution of 1919, through to the present day. Barbican Centre, £20, book ahead, 7pm
TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ: Heather Morris is the author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, a book which claims to be based on a true love story which took place in the concentration camp. London Literature Festival offers a chance to hear from Morris about her next book, Cilka's Journey, about one of the characters, who was forced to become a sex slave for the Commandant of Birkenau. Southbank Centre, £15-£35, book ahead, 7.30pm
POLARI PRIZE WINNERS: Musician and writer Tracey Thorn is the guest at Polari. The LGBTQ+ literary salon announces the winners of the Polari Book Prize tonight, so as well as hearing from Thorn, you can be among the first to learn this year's winners. Southbank Centre, £5, book ahead, 7.30pm
Tube ponderings with Barry Heck
Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.
Ah, those wayfinding stormtroopers (above) remind me... do you know which tube station featured in a Star Wars film? Here it is:
The white warriors are chasing Felicity Jones along the platforms of Canary Wharf station in Star Wars: Rogue One. The movie was largely filmed in the London area (as per tradition), and was helmed by British Director Gareth Edwards, who couldn't resist shooting on the underground. The Canary Wharf estate has a number of vistas that remind us of the film franchise. The much-instagrammed corridor to Crossrail Place, for instance, looks remarkably like a launch bay for tie fighters.
Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube. The farce is strong in this one.
Good cause of the day
Comic Relief has launched a new monthly comedy club, showcasing up-and-coming comedians. The first event takes place tonight, featuring Ahir Shah, Lucy Pearman, Chloe Petts, Giants, Travis Jay and Joe Sutherland. Find out more and book tickets.
What we're reading
- British Ghanaian artist Larry Achiampong redesigns the tube roundel for the African diaspora.
- Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green due to undergo a revamp.
- Banksy vets customers of his online store to weed out art dealers.
- Primark stops selling London tea towels after geographical errors are pointed out.