Things To Do Today In London: Wednesday 9 October 2019

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In praise of small neighbourhood shops

Things to do

SURF FILM FESTIVAL: Ride the wave of the London Surf Film Festival, which takes place over four days, beginning today. The celebration of surf culture brings short and feature films, UK and world premieres and other screenings to London, all on a surfing theme. For many films, it's likely be the only chance to see them as intended, on the big screen. Regent Street Cinema, various prices, book ahead, 9-12 October

CHELSEA HISTORY FESTIVAL: Doing exactly what it says, Chelsea History Festival celebrates the history of SW3 and the surrounding area through talks, open days and other events. Things begin tonight with an in-depth look at the Battle of Arnhem, by historians and military veterans. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 9-13 October

HOGARTH: All of the works from Hogarth's Place and Progress series go on display together for the first time in a new exhibition. Paintings and engravings depicting Hogarth's views on morality from several collections feature, offering a fascinating insight into London society at the time. Sir John Soane's Museum, free, book ahead, 9 October-5 January

See many of Hogarth's works on display together

SPACE PSYCHOLOGY: With space tourism becoming an increasingly realistic proposition, space psychologist Iva Whiteley shares some of her research and how it can help us here on earth. She also talks about what would need to be done to prepare humans for lengthy voyages such as missions to Mars. Wellcome Collection (Euston), free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

PARTHENON MARBLES: The Parthenon (or Elgin) Marbles have been the subject of much controversy — should they remain in the British Museum, or sent back to their roots in Athens? A panel discussion tackles the topic of whether an amicable solution will ever be found, looking at compromise suggestions such as splitting the collection between the two countries. City, University of London (Clerkenwell), free, book ahead, 6pm

BAZALGETTE: 200 years after the birth of Sir Joseph Bazalgette — the engineer responsible for London's sewer system, still in use today — a major addition to his work is being constructed. Hear about Bazalgette's legacy and the upcoming Thames Tideway Tunnel in this free Gresham College talk. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

Hear from Jim Kay, responsible for the Harry Potter illustrations

ILLUSTRATING HARRY POTTER: Artist Jim Kay — responsible for illustrating special editions of the Harry Potter books — talks about his inspiration, and how he went about recreating the world-famous Boy Wizard. A book signing takes place after the talk. National Theatre, £9/£6, book ahead, 6pm

EXHIBITING LEONARDO: Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings for the Royal Collection Trust, talks about the Leonardo da Vinci exhibitions which have taken place across the UK and in the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace recently. Find out the purpose behind the polymath's drawings, and Clayton's own experiences of curating such a high profile exhibition. Royal Drawing School (Shoreditch), £5/£3.50, just turn up, 6.45pm

SAVE THE PLANET: Hear Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals and Everything is Illuminated, talking about how to save the planet. He believes that it's not too late, and that we can make a difference — if we're willing to make sacrifices and take collective action. Conway Hall (Holborn), £30-£40, book ahead, 6.45pm-8pm

London Surf Film Festival begins today. White Rhino Dir. Brent Storm // Image: Brian Bielmann

BRIGHT NIGHTS: The first of a new series of events, Bright Nights, launches at Kensington Palace. Visit after hours to debate the impact of the Empire on contemporary ideas about race and identity. Writers, artists, scientists and psychologists all take part — poet Anthony Anaxagorou, historian Dr Katrina Marchant and ethnographer and journalist Irna Qureshi are on tonight's programme. Kensington Palace, £25, book ahead, 7pm

SMALL NEIGHBOURHOOD SHOPS: Meet Eleanor Crow, the illustrator responsible for this beautiful book of London shopfronts. She chats to Krissie Nicolson, Director of the East End Trades Guild, about the enduring culture of Britain’s small shops and their inventively designed fronts, which separates them from the repetitive high streets of Britain. The Wanstead Tap, £7, book ahead, 7.30pm

Watch Pressure at Screen25

PRESSURE: Mark Black History Month at a screening of Britain's first black film. Pressure, made in 1976, is set in London at that time, and tells the story of a bright school-leaver and son of West Indian immigrants, who finds himself torn between his parents’ church-going conformity and his brother’s Black Power militancy. Harris Academy South Norwood, £8.50/£7/£5, book ahead, 7.45pm

ONE CHILD NATION: New documentary One Child Nation looks at the aftermath of China's One Child Policy, designed to manage population growth, which ended in 2015. See the hard-hitting film, which tells stories of abandoned newborns, forced sterilisations and government abductions. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £9/£7, book ahead, 8.45pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

Our resident tube fancier is on holiday this week, in a place beyond the end of the Underground lines. He'll return next week, if he can find his way back.

Good cause of the day

South Norwood's independent, community-focused cinema, Screen 25, needs your help to survive. It was founded to bring the cinema experience to an area which hasn't had a cinema for 45 years, but isn't getting enough people visiting to stay open. Help it out by attending a screening or two (they regularly feature in these event listings), or sign up to the loyalty scheme — if it doesn't receive enough support by the end of October, it'll be forced to close its doors for good by the end of the year.

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