Things to do today is sponsored by Cityread.
What we're reading
- How to see the oldest document in the City of London archives.
- Five people have been charged over the attack of a teenage asylum seeker in Croydon.
- Could Notting Hill Carnival be a ticket-only event in future?
Things to do today
EASTER HOLIDAYS: Moomins, butterflies, robots or millipedes; whatever your kids are into, there's plenty going on in London over the school holidays to keep them busy. Whether you're looking for a show, and exhibition, or just a couple of family-friendly places to eat out, check out our guide to London over the Easter holidays.
HUMANITY LECTURE: Is humanity naturally good? That's the subject of this lunchtime lecture, which takes into account the physical, chemical and biological components of human nature. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm
LUNCHTIME CONCERT: Experienced chamber musicians the Moeran Quartet put on a lunchtime concert, playing Haydn's 'Joke' Quartet and Mozart's 'A Musical Joke'. Lauderdale House, free, just turn up, 1.15pm-2pm
CHRISTIE'S LATES: The South Kensington auction house hosts its monthly late night opening. The theme this month is Contemporary Living; take a guided tour, or join in a design workshop. Christie's South Kensington, free, just turn up, 6pm-8.30pm
Y2K LECTURE: Remember the Millennium Bug? Y2K? What was it all about — and did it even exist at all? Find out at this Gresham College talk. Museum of London, free entry, just turn up, 6pm-7pm
CURATOR TOUR: Join a curator for a tour of the current Miles & Stirling architecture exhibition. It examines two plans which were put forward for buildings on the No.1 Poultry site in the City of London. RIBA (66 Portland Place), £5, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm
LIVE JAZZ: On the second day of Live at Zedel's Jazz Week, vocalist Emelia Martenson performs lesser-known gems of the Great American Songbook, accompanied by pianist Jamie Safir, who has worked with the likes of Tony Christie and Will Young. Brasseries Zedel, £20, book ahead, 7pm
SMURFS: Get creative and fashion your own papier mache Smurf (inspired by a cocktail or two).Will you make a smashing Smurfette or a posh Papa Smurf? Drink, Shop & Do, free with a drink, just turn up, from 7pm
HAMMER & TONGUE: Poet, filmmaker and composer Kevin Cadwallender tops the bill at this open mic night. Hear live poetry and spoken word performances before the evening culminates in the open mic slam. The Book Club £6, just turn up, 7.30pm
UNDER THE SKIN: London Sinfonietta provides the live accompaniment to this screening of Jonathan Glazer's unusual film Under The Skin. Royal Festival Hall, £15-£25, book ahead, 7.30pm
Meet the author of Cityread’s Elizabethan spy novel at Lambeth Palace
The Cityread book for 2017 is Prophecy by S.J Parris, a thrilling spy novel set in 1538. Starring real life spy Giordano Bruno — who worked for Elizabeth I’s spymaster — the novel focuses around the plot to replace Elizabeth with Mary Queen of Scots. Head to Lambeth Palace on 16 April to get the writer’s view; hear S.J. Parris in conversation with historian Tracy Borman, and you'll find out more about the real Bruno, the plots that rocked Elizabethan England, and what it's like to take historical events and turn them into novels.
This will all take place in the glorious setting of the Great Hall at Lambeth Palace — exciting historical objects, including the execution warrant of Mary Queen of Scots, will be on display. Fancy brushing up on your Tudor know-how? S.J. Parris and Tracy Borman in conversation takes place on Wednesday 19 April at 6.30pm at Lambeth Palace. Book your tickets here.
Comedy review: don't take your parents
If you can shock a Soho audience on a Friday night, you're either doing something very right or very wrong. In the case of Lucy McCormick, it's both. Her X-rated take on the New Testament's 'Doubting Thomas' scene makes Madonna's Like A Prayer video look like a gentler episode of In The Night Garden. The rest of Triple Threat smooshes together the holy trinity of Jesus, Nutella and Adele with sadomasochistic dedication to the art. The Friday night audience is gagging for it, and we wonder if it'd be received the same on a sober Monday. Anyway, who cares — McCormick has put the Soho back into Soho Theatre.
Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat, Soho Theatre, 21 Dean St, Soho, W1D 3NE, £19/£17, until 22 April. ★★★★☆ Will Noble
Art review: embracing bodies
Marc Quinn is most famous for placing a statue of Alison Lapper on the Fourth Plinth and creating a self-portrait using 10 pints of his own blood. His addition to Sir John Soane's Museum is a much tamer affair, with casts of him and his muse in an intimate embrace. The statues are all over the museum so it’s disappointing how similar they all are. Even more disappointing is the use of gender stereotyping, with the female nude exposed, while the male is just a pair of comforting arms. Marc Quinn: Drawn from Life at Sir John Soane's Museum. Until 23 September, free. ★★☆☆☆ (Tuesday-Saturday) Tabish Khan
Theatre review: pitch perfect
Proving that double entendres are not the preserve of 70s farces, operatic drag superstar Le Gateau Chocolat's Black is a moving musical autobiography. In it, the Nigerian baritone exposes and examines the dark undertones of his difficult upbringing as well as the mental health issues he lives with on a daily basis. Chocolat was seen last year in the National Theatre's revival of The Threepenny Opera and popping up soon as Feste in Emma Rice's final season RSC production of Twelfth Night. He is fearless in his choice of music and artistic expression through comedic animation sequences, glorious arias and an incredibly haunting a capella version of Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me). Le Gateau Chocolat: Black, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, E15 1BN, £10-£18, 4-8 April ★★★★☆ Franco Milazzo
Good cause of the day
DIRTY DANCING: Book ahead for this Dirty Dancing screening and 1960s night, featuring themed cocktails and plenty of dancing. Money raised goes towards a mum-of-three Debbie Rocke's lifesaving operation. Mycenae House (Greenwich), £9, book ahead, 7 April, 7pm
Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...
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
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
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
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