Things To Do Today In London: Wednesday 20 February 2019

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Things to do

Queer By Nature comes to Vault Festival

HALF TERM:  Running out of family-friendly things to do in half term? We've got plenty of ideas, whatever their age and whatever your budget.

ORGAN RECITAL: Enjoy a free lunchtime organ recital by McArthur organ scholar, Ed Carew. He plays a selection of pieces by JS Bach. St Pancras Old Church, free, just turn up, 12.30pm-1pm

THE PLACENTA: Of all the human organs, the placenta is one we know very little about, mainly because it's so hard to study. Physicist Jana Hutter has invented a new tool that allows it to be studied while it's still inside the mother's body — hear her talk about it at this lunchtime lecture. Wellcome Collection (Euston), free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

VOLCANOES: With over 800 million people worldwide living close to active volcanoes, find out how society is affected when they erupt. It goes beyond the obvious issues of casualties and destruction, and includes disruption to air travel. Professor Sir Stephen Sparks talks about new approaches to volcanic hazard assessment, which allow humans to respond to eruptions more quickly. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

KURT COBAIN: On what would have been Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's birthday, spend an evening creating a likeness of him out of clay. Drink, Shop & Do (King's Cross), free when you buy a drink, from 6pm

Watch a screening of The Children Act

DOMESDAY: The Domesday Book was written over 900 years ago. Tonight, hear from Medieval Records Specialist Dr Jessica Nelson about its various uses throughout that period. There's also a chance to view rare and unique documents related to Domesday. The National Archives (Kew), £10/£8, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

JAWDANCE: Apparently London's biggest poetry open mic night, Jawdance brings together renowned headline acts and fresh talent for an evening of poetry. Want to perform? 10 slots, each three minutes long, are up for grabs. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), free, just turn up, 7.30pm

PIRATES OF PENZANCE: A new production of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates Of Penzance opens in east London tonight, offering a new take on the story of a child apprenticed to a band of pirates. Wilton's Music Hall, £10-£30, book ahead, 7.30pm (until 16 March)

THE CHILDREN ACT: Watch 2018 film The Children Act, which stars Emma Thompson as a judge who has to decide whether or not to force a teenage Jehovah’s Witness into undergoing a life-saving blood transfusion. There's a screening of Short film Letters, by Anthony Hett, before the main event. Harris Academy South Norwood, £8.50/£7/£5, book ahead, 7.45pm-10pm

QUEER BY NATURE: Comedy show Queer By Nature opens at Vault Festival tonight. The science stand-up show looks at homosexuality in the natural world — something that's been observed in more than 1500 species. Waterloo Vaults, £12, book ahead, 9.15pm

THE BUZZTONES: Male acapella group The Buzztones return home to London after winning an international singing competition, and take up a five-day residency at Vault Festival. The show, Retro, covers tunes from the noughties, nineties and beyond. Waterloo Vaults, £12, book ahead, 9.15pm (until 24 February)

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.

Fake News: Leicester Square tube station contains a giant gingerbread man. Have you seen him? Some say he escaped from the Muffin Man, who lives on Drury Lane nearby.

Good cause of the day

Book ahead for next week's three-course supper club, hosted by human rights activist and feminist Majeda Khoury. She was forced to flee Syria without her family and settle in London, and money raised at the event goes towards her ambitions to set up a catering company for female refugees. Find out more and book tickets.

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