Things To Do This Week In London: 16-22 September 2019

Things to do this week is sponsored on behalf of Amazon Treasure Truck. Scroll down to find out more.

All week

The premiere of Portraits is part of Underwire Festival

BUNGA BUNGA: The Covent Garden outfit of this wild Italian-themed funhouse launches two new nights this week. Big Phat Roman Wedding invites you to Ancient Rome to celebrate Venus and Mars's daughter's big day (every Thursday from 19 September). Italian Circus features pizza, acrobats, gladiators and mermaids (every Friday from 20 September). Book ahead, tickets from £40pp

BAFTA PICCADILLY: For the first time, BAFTA opens its HQ on Piccadilly to the public. The new venue hosts a free exhibition celebrating the creativity and talent of BAFTA winners and nominees. See the original costumes from Killing Eve (including that iconic pink dress) view the shooting script from David Lean’s Summertime, or get an insight into Chiwetel Ejiofor’s preparation for 12 Years a Slave. BAFTA Piccadilly, free, just turn up, from 16 September

REFUGEE LOVE STORY: Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story is a darkly funny musical folk tale. It erupts from a shipping container, and uses klezmer music to tell the story of Chaim and Chaya as they flee Romania and arrive in Canada in 1908. Wilton's (Limehouse), £10-£27.50, book ahead, 18-28 September

UNDERWIRE FILM FESTIVAL: A celebration of women working in the film industry, Underwire Film Festival has screenings and events at various locations this week. Be at the premiere of Portraits, a series of five monologues about the curated self, have a laugh at Hysterical, or see history revised with women centre stage. Various locations and prices, book ahead, until 22 September

Visit Backyard Cinema's Winter Night Garden

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL: The impressive London Design Festival programme takes you all over town this week. There's plenty to see and do for free, but if you're willing to part with some cash, have a go at pottery with the Royal Society of Sculptors or attend a late at Westminster Abbey. Until 22 September

TOTALLY THAMES: Our pick of the Totally Thames events this week is a boat trip with author Iain Sinclair, but if that doesn't tickle your fancy, browse the rest of the programme. Various locations and prices, until 30 September

WINTER NIGHT GARDEN: Backyard Cinema's Winter Night Garden series continues, with classic films and new releases screened in an enchanting garden, found by stepping through a wardrobe. Don pink for Wednesday's Mean Girls screening, sing along to the Greatest Showman, and have the time of your life with Dirty Dancing. Backyard Cinema (Wandsworth), various prices, book ahead, until 6 October

Monday 16 September

Learn about the things that wash up in our oceans. ©Royal Museums Greenwich

TEA DANCE: Everyone's welcome at the Royal Opera House tea dance. Tango, waltz and quickstep your way around the dance floor, to the sound of the Royal Opera House Dance Band. Your ticket includes complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits too. Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), £20, book ahead, 1.30pm

STRANGER TIDES: The things that wash up in our oceans are the subject of a talk by physicist and oceanographer Helen Czerski. Learn about the difference between flotsam and jetsam, what the rules are for keeping things you find washed up on the shore, and why there's so much plastic in the ocean. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

TRUMP'S WHITE HOUSE: What's life like in the Oval Office now Trump's in charge? BBC North America Editor Jon Sopel gives an insight into what's going on in the West Wing, what it's like to be a reporter in the Briefing Room, and the current state of the relationship between the media and the president. It coincides with the release of Sopel's book, A Year In The Circus. Conway Hall (Holborn), £30 with a copy of the book/£20, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

Tuesday 17 September

Watch the first Harry Potter film

BUILDING SKYSCRAPERS: Ever wondered how skyscrapers are actually built? Structural engineer Roma Agrawal offers up her recipe for a skyscraper — and she was involved with building The Shard, so she knows what she's talking about. Find out how high we could potentially build, what the skyscrapers of the future might look like, and how new materials have pushed skyscraper technology forward. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

MUSEUMS SHOWOFF: A group of people who work in or are very familiar with museum, archive and library collections stand up on stage to talk/sing/dance/tell jokes/recite poetry on the topic. The Phoenix (Cavendish Square), £7, book ahead, 7.30pm

HARRY POTTER: Hop on your broomstick and fly right back to 2001 at this large-screen showing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. As a very young Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint do their thing, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra performs the dramatic score live. Southbank Centre, £25-£55, book ahead, 7.30pm (repeated tomorrow)

Wednesday 18 September

Mr Teds hosts a quiz on board the Golden Hinde

CURATOR TOUR: Join a curator for a tour of the current Abram Games exhibition. Delve deeper into the work of the graphic designer and 'official war artist' who designed government posters during the second world war. National Army Museum (Chelsea), £10.50, book ahead, 11am

GRAFFITI TOUR: Ever noticed the graffiti inside Southwark Cathedral? Join this guided tour to get a closer look at the historic clandestine artwork, some of which dates back to medieval times. Graffiti researcher Crystal Hollis shares what it tells us about the people who created it — and there's a chance to ask her your questions in the pub afterwards. Southwark Cathedral, £10, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

BOAT QUIZ: Swot up on your general knowledge and pick your five smartest friends for this quiz night on board the Golden Hinde. It's not your usual pub quiz though — the alternative comedy quiz is hosted by bearded drag artist Mr Teds, and in addition to the usual trivia, rounds include lip syncing and life drawing challenges. The Golden Hinde (Borough), £8, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm


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Thursday 19 September

Watch the Funny Women Awards final

DIVERSITY CHALLENGE: The Royal Institution calls out the shocking lack of diversity in science at the moment. Diversity Challenge is a game show-style evening which pits two teams of diverse renowned scientists from around the UK against each other, to see who knows more about underrepresented scientists. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £10/£5, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

FUNNY WOMEN: From 430 entrants, the best of London's female comedians have been chosen, and go head to head in the Funny Women Awards final. Past entrants have included Katherine Ryan, Zoe Lyons, Susan Calman and  Sara Pascoe, so standards are high. Bloomsbury Theatre, £20/£15, book ahead, 7.30pm

PHILIPPA PERRY: Psychotherapist and author Philippa Perry is live on stage discussing our relationships with our children. Eliminating the notion of a 'perfect parent', she focuses on what the really important parts of parenting are, and what to avoid. Southbank Centre, £15-£25, book ahead, 7.30pm

Friday 20 September

See Reginald D. Hunter perform live

TOOTOPIA: Discover the delights of Tooting at this end-of-summer festival celebrating all things SW17. With food and drink trails, a family rave and throwback fun - think nostalgic music nights and history tours - it's set to be an absolute hoot. Various venues around Tooting, book ahead for some events, until 22 September (sponsor)

THE MOTH STORYTELLING: Five storytellers take to the stage as The Moth comes to Union Chapel. Hear them telling true, personal stories from their own lives, in  rather splendid setting. Union Chapel (Islington), £22.50, book ahead, 7pm

LATIN DANCE: Put your dancing shoes on and salsa your way into the weekend at this beginners' dance class. Bachata and salsa are both taught, no experience is necessary, and there's no need to bring a partner. After you've learnt the basic steps, take part in a social dancing evening and meet people as you test out your new skills. Near Clapham Common, £15, book ahead, 7.30pm-11pm (sponsor)

LATE NIGHT: Firmly on our 'Ah, meant to see that when it was in the cinema' list is Late Night, a comedy film released earlier this year and starring Emma Thompson as a late night TV presenter. Catch a screening of it, preceded by short film Gloss, based on a comedy pilot of a web series. Harris Academy South Norwood, £8.50/£7/£5, book ahead, 7.45pm-10pm

REGINALD D HUNTER: Respected comedian Reginald D. Hunter performs a headline set off the back of his sell-out nationwide tour. He's supported by a special guest, along with Guilty Feminist co-host Jessica Fostekew, and rising star Sophie Duker. Bush Hall (Shepherd's Bush), £21.45, book ahead, 8pm

Saturday 21 September

See The Great Escape live in concert

OPEN HOUSE: Advance tickets for Open House have all gone, but you can still turn up on the day and see inside hundreds of building which are usually closed to the public. The programme is overwhelming, so we've put together a few suggestions — but bear in mind that the more popular the building, the longer the queue to get in. Full programme here. Across London, free, just turn up, 21-22 September

ANTONY GORMLEY: A new exhibition dedicated to renowned sculptor Antony Gormley begins today. It celebrates his 45 years in the business, and focuses on newer works. It's likely to be busy this weekend, so aim for a later date if you can. Royal Academy, £18-£22, book ahead, 21 September-3 December

THE GREAT ESCAPE: You'll likely have the theme tune in your head for weeks after this screening of 1963 film The Great Escape. See Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough in the film about a group of second world war PoWs intent on breaking out of a top-security camp, while the BBC Concert Orchestra provides a live soundtrack. Southbank Centre, £20-£45, book ahead, 7pm

Sunday 22 September

See Star Wars live in concert. © 2019 & TM Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved © Disney

CAR FREE CITY: London's streets look completely different for Car-Free Day. Several major thoroughfares in London and the West End are closed to traffic completely, while others are only open to buses. Look out for special events going on to make the most of the extra space, cleaner air and quieter roads. All day

BLACK FOOD: Black coffee, black garlic, black sesame ice cream... there's definitely a theme to the Black Food Festival. Several food businesses serve up their dishes, include cake, macarons, and charcoal and sesame infused items, in an attempt to win first prize. Oval Space (Bethnal Green), £12, book ahead, 11am-9pm

STAR WARS: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is presented live in concert for the first time in the UK. The classic George Lucas film is accompanied by the Philharmonia Orchestra playing John Williams' famous score. Royal Albert Hall, £18-£86.99, book ahead, 1.30pm/6.30pm (also on Saturday and Monday)

SOFIE HAGEN: Comedian Sofie Hagen records an episode of her Made of Human podcast in front of a live audience. She spends an hour chatting with a guest — to be revealed — about life, the trials and tribulations of adulthood, and how to deal with them. The Steel Yard (Cannon Street), £15, book ahead, 6.30pm