Things To Do In London This Week: 21-27 October 2019

Things to do this week is sponsored by Vapiano.

All week

© Chihuly Studio/Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

CHIHULY AT KEW: Last week to see glass artist Dale Chihuly's eye-catching works brightening up Kew Gardens. As you wander around the huge botanical garden, look out for splashes of colour on lawns, in flowerbeds and in the conservatories and glasshouses. Kew Gardens, included in admission, book ahead, until 27 October

SECRET RIVERS: Time's trickling away to see Museum of London Docklands' excellent Secret Rivers exhibition. Find out about the hidden watercourses of the city, their histories, geography, and the secrets that have been dredged up in them through the centuries. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, until 27 October

MONTH OF THE DEAD: More fascinating than morbid, London Month of the Dead rumbles on. Author Gary Lachman delves into literary suicides, and there's also a talk about Bram Stoker and London this week. Browse the full programme. Various locations and prices, book ahead, until 31 October

Six Day Cycling is in town

SIX DAY LONDON: See some of the world's best cyclists hitting the boards at Six Day London, a competition which pits them against each other in a gruelling competition. If you can drag your eyes away from the action, there's a party atmosphere to enjoy, with live music and DJs. Lee Valley VeloPark, from £19, book ahead, 22-27 October

BRIDGET RILEY: Artist Bridget Riley is the master of using abstract shapes to create visual illusions, so expect a plethora of spots, stripes and chevrons in this new exhibition, which showcases pieces from across her 70-year career. Hayward Gallery (Southbank Centre), £16.50, book ahead, 23 October-26 January

A new Bridget Riley exhibition opens at Southbank Centre

HALF TERM: As the kids are off school this week, keep them occupied with our guide to spending half term in London. We've covered family-friendly events, exhibitions, theatre shows, restaurants and afternoon teas.

GAME ON: Roast in Borough Market continues its game season, dishing up buttermilk pheasant with cox apple slaw (£22), alongside other classic roast dishes. Until 24 November

HALLOWEEN: Things are starting to get spooky as London gears up for Halloween. Take a look at our guide to Halloween events and parties in London, for adults and for kids. Dig out your witch costume, and get partying.

Monday 21 October

Said The Maiden perform live

WORLD ON FIRE: Watch 2018 documentary What You Gonna Do When The World's On Fire?, followed by a Q&A with director Roberto Minervini. The film looks at race issues in America, particularly black communities in the Southern states, where police brutality is an issue. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £12.50/£10, book ahead, 6.30pm

LIVE MUSIC: Award-winning folk trio Said The Maiden perform an intimate live gig. Hailing from Hertfordshire, the band specialises in three-part harmonies, with a backing of guitar, woodwind, dulcimer and banjo. The Green Note (Camden), £10, book ahead, 7pm

JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE: For one night only, feature film The Jimi Hendrix Experience: The Royal Albert Hall, is screened at the venue where it was filmed, back in 1969. Watch Hendrix and his team in the build up to a concert at the iconic venue, including footage that was considered lost for many years. Royal Albert Hall, £20.31-£29.13, book ahead, 7.30pm

HOGTOBERFEST: A night of cheap comedy, from a riotous roster of comedy talent including Norris and Parker (who we gave ★★★★ to earlier this year), Lewis Goody and Pojj. Big Pig Comedy, Paper Dress Vintage (Hackney), £5, book ahead, 7.45pm-10pm

Tuesday 22 October

Learn about the advantages of nanotechnology. Credit: TheDigitalArtist via Pixabay

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

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

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


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Wednesday 23 October

Inala perform at the Royal Albert Hall. Photo: Johan Persson

PAIN AND PUNISHMENT: Should people who commit crimes be made to suffer? It's a question repeatedly posed by Black Mirror. See how three episodes of the hit TV show explore ideas of pain and punishment with philosopher Dr Lauren Ware. £12, book ahead, 7pm-9pm (sponsor)

INALA: The Soweto Gospel Choir and The Royal Ballet combine for a performance of Inala. See South African and Western cultures fuse in a special World Ballet Day and Black History Month show, featuring 36 dancers, singers and musicians. Royal Albert Hall, £15-£109, book ahead, 7.30pm

FRIGHT BY RAIL: Join Cunning Folk and Chris Roberts for an evening of transport folklore. Music, song and storytelling combine in Herne Hill for tales of railway spooks. The Station Hall (Herne Hill), £10, book ahead, 7.30pm

Thursday 24 October

Explore the history of death and disease in London

DEATH & DISEASE: Explore the history of death and disease at this forensic workshop. Learn about how archaeologists apply forensic techniques to human remains to find out how the person lived and died. Age 16+. Museum of London, £28, book ahead, 6.30pm

LUCIAN FREUD: Art critic William Feaver introduces the first edition of his new biography of 20th century artist Lucian Freud. Feaver met or spoke to Freud most weeks for many years, so is in a privileged position to give an insight into his take on the art world. The London Library, £15/£12, book ahead, 6.45pm-8.30pm

STARDUST: BAFTA-winner and writer Ray Connolly takes part in a Q&A session about his 1974 film Stardust. Begin with a screening of the movie, which follows the characters from prequel That'll Be The Day, tracking the growing career of rock star Jim Maclaine, before putting your questions to Connolly. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £10.95, book ahead, 8.30pm

Friday 25 October

MCM Comic Con is in town

COMIC CON: Fancy dress at the ready — Comic Con is in town. For three days, comic book characters, cosplayers and special guests take over ExCel. Stock up on merch, meet celebrities including Simon Pegg and Mark Gatiss, and revel in the impressive costumes on display. ExCel, from £17.50, book ahead, 25-27 October

WHERE LIGHT FALLS: See St Paul's Cathedral in a whole new light at this very special after-hours event. Inside, poets from The Poetry Society narrate accounts of loss, bravery and sacrifice as you marvel at the exquisite architecture. Outside, projections on the Cathedral's iconic facade tell the tale of the St Paul's Watch, who risked everything to protect this beloved building during the Blitz. St Paul's Cathedral (City of London), £10 adults/£5 concessions (includes 18-24 year-olds), book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm (sponsor)

AUTUMN WILDS: Head to The Garden Museum after work for an autumnal late. Sip a spiced gin cocktail, take part in a sketching session, make your own Jack o'lantern for Halloween, or be one of the first to see new ceramic installation Lambeth Wilds, which celebrates wild plants. Garden Museum (Lambeth), £15/£9, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

BOOKSMART: Watch a screening of Booksmart, a comedy film released earlier this year about two teenagers coming-of-age on their high school graduation night. Local cinema Screen 25 is at risk of closure at the end of the month, so this is an excuse to have a night out while offering your support. Harris Academy South Norwood, £8.50/£7/£5, book ahead, 7.45pm

Saturday 26 October

Nirvana Brewery is ideal for those doing Sober October

FAMILY FUN DAY: Chaos, contagions and catastrophe are the themes of the Royal Institution's Family Fun Day. Aimed at 7-12 year olds and their families, the day consists of talks, hands-on activities and workshops, including a talk about disaster scenes in films, and a look at contagious bugs. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10, book ahead, 11am-4pm

NIRVANA BREWERY: Doing Sober October? Head to Nirvana Brewery's open day for a tour of the brewhouse and taproom, and a chance to sample the alcohol-free beers. Pick up tips on pairing the beers with food, and get yourself a free pint of the Classic IPA. Nirvana Brewery (Leyton), £10, book ahead, 1pm-6pm

LANTERN TOURS: Join Cemetery Club for a candlelit tour among the tombs of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, just in time for Halloween. Hear stories of some of the 350,000 people buried there as you wander past their graves. Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, £12/£10, book ahead, 8.30pm-10pm

Sunday 27 October

An evening of science on board Cutty Sark

URBAN FOREST: Join Paul Wood, author of London is a Forest, for a two hour walkshop exploring the urban forest of Walthamstow. See some of the area's diversity of trees, including unusual maples, a swathe of birches, hazels, foxglove and Indian bean trees, as well as one of the Great Trees of London. Walthamstow Central station, £15-£20, book ahead, 10.30am-12.30pm

A THOUSAND SHIPS: Board the Cutty Sark for a night of science, story and seafaring adventure. Dr Helen Czerski hosts the event, which celebrates the tea clipper's 150th birthday, and features science writers, comedians, marine biologists, singer-songwriters and historians — most of them called Helen. Cutty Sark (Greenwich), £30-£46, book ahead, 7.30pm

HAVANA MOON: In March 2016, the Rolling Stones played a massive free concert in Havana. It's thought 500,000 locals turned out to watch the band play, and the Havana Moon immersive experience is a chance to experience the gig for yourself. Footage of the concert is blown up on a supersize ultra HD video projection, with live music and backing dancers. O2 Forum (Kentish Town), from £23.50, book ahead, 8.30pm