Things To Do This Week In London: 18-24 April 2022

Things to do this week is sponsored by London Transport Museum.

All week

Rooted Beings is at Wellcome Collection

THE PAPPYSHOW: Physical ensemble theatre company The PappyShow perform their award-winning show, Boys. Expect to see a blend of choreography, dialogue and contemporary music in a show about male tenderness. Barbican, £18, book ahead, until 23 April

BODY VESSEL CLAY: It’s the final week of Body Vessel Clay, an important exhibition which celebrates 70 years of ceramics made by Black women across three generations. With more than 80 works by six artists, the show looks at how pottery has evolved in Nigeria and how this impact is felt by contemporary Black women artists who use clay as their medium. Two Temple Place. free, just turn up, until 24 April

BYE BYE BEETHOVEN: It’s the final week of British Library’s Beethoven exhibition, looking at the life of one of history’s greatest musicians, both his professional triumphs and his personal troubles. The highlight is an interactive installation allowing visitors to experience music the way Beethoven would have done, as his hearing faded. British Library, £8, book ahead, until 24 April

Catch The PappyShow at Barbican. Photo: Helen Murray

ROOTED BEINGS: Wellcome Collection’s current exhibition, Rooted Beings, takes a look at our relationship with the world of plants, through a series of botanical artworks. Find out what we can learn from plant behaviour, and the impact colonial expeditions had on the exploitation of natural resources in certain parts of the world. Wellcome Collection, free, just turn up, until 29 August

CABARET AT THE KIT KAT CLUB: Be transported to Weimar-era Berlin without leaving London at the uniquely decadent feast for the senses that is Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club. This intimate and immersive show — which just scooped seven (7!) Olivier Awards — offers a West End experience like no other, feat. stage-side dining and indulgent cocktails. Kit Kat Club at The Playhouse Theatre (Westminster), from £50, book ahead, every Monday-Saturday (sponsor)

ST GEORGE’S DAY: Saturday is St George’s Day, celebrating the dragon-slaying patron saint of England (as well as Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, and other regions around the world). Various St George’s Day events take place all week, culminating in London’s annual free festival on Saturday.

Easter Monday 18 April

Catch the grand finale of this year’s London Handel Festival

HALF PRICE PIZZA: Today’s your last chance to grab a slice of the half price pizza action at Happy Face, which has launched in Brent Cross. Diners get 50% off the bill, so it’s a good day to stuff your face with a marinara, prosciutto e funghi or sebastiano pizza. Happy Face (Brent Cross), book ahead.

EASTER EVENTS: A duck trail, a bunny hunt and an adventure quest are among the Easter weekend events which continue into today — browse the full list.

GREEN FAIR: Celebrate a year of the #RichMixGoesGreen campaign with a day of talks, family storytelling and a live DJ set, as well as a chance to learn about projects and organisations working in the local area. The initiative aims to spread awareness of how we can all do our bit to protect the environment. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), free, book ahead, 11am

EGYPTIAN LONDON: Join Footprints of London guide Jane Parker for a closer look at Egyptian London. The walking tour travels from Victoria Embankment to Oxford Circus, visiting Egyptian motifs and references in the form of sculptures and reliefs. Embankment, £12/£9, book ahead, 11am-1pm

LA RESURREZIONE: This year’s London Handel Festival comes to a close with a performance of La Resurrezione, one of the composer’s rarely-heard oratorios. It’s performed by the London Handel Orchestra and a line-up of other musicians, overseen by Musical Director Laurence Cummings. St Martin in the Fields (Trafalgar Square), £10-£65, book ahead, 7pm

Tuesday 19 April

Get the lowdown on Garden Museum’s current exhibition

FASHIONING THE ROSE: Hear from designer Simon Costin and curator Amy de la Haye about the inspiration behind the current exhibition, Fashioning the Rose, including their hunt for rose-adorned dresses, hats and more, all showcasing the use of roses as a motif in fashion design through the decades. The Garden Museum (Lambeth) or online, £10-£15, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

PUB QUIZ: Time to assemble your smartest friends — Tuesdays are pub quiz nights at The Spice of Life in Soho — and there are cash and drink prizes to be won. Spice of Life (Soho), £2pp, book ahead, 7pm

AUGUSTINE: Multi-talented musician Augustine has been lauded for his soulful falsetto, playful soundscapes and fragile love stories. Find out what the likes of Billboard and EARMILK are raving about, at this live show. The Garage (Highbury & Islington), £14, book ahead, 7pm-11pm

LOSING IT: Hear from Sophia Smith Galer, author of Losing It: Sex Education For The 21st Century. She discusses how current sex education in UK schools is failing students by not covering topics such as physicality, pleasure and consent, and how ordinary people are often affected by sex misinformation. Conway Hall (Holborn), £8/£5, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

HEROES AND VILLAINS: Mark Rowland, a Footprints of London guide, hosts a virtual tour focusing on the heroes and villains in the City of London’s history. Find out about good, bad and dangerous characters who left their mark on the Square Mile. Online event, £8 per person/£16 group, book ahead, 9pm-10pm


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An arty odyssey at London Transport Museum’s Acton Depot

In west London lies a treasure trove of transport history that opens its doors to the public a mere three times a year. The first of these supremely special occasions happens to fall this very week — that’s right folks, London Transport Museum’s Acton Depot open days are back at last!

From Thursday 21 April to Sunday 24 April, you’ll have the chance to access a vast collection of transport-themed objects usually hidden out of sight — from historic tube trains, to the original Routemaster bus, to vintage signs and maps. This time, the theme’s The Art of The Poster; expect talks, tours and workshops inspired by some of the most iconic designs to grace London transport, on top of the depot’s usual attractions (speaking of which, the London Transport Miniature Railway — open over the weekend — is a must-visit if you have little ones!)

You’re invited to explore the museum’s extensive collection of poster art and design dating back to c. 1905, with guided tours of the depot’s poster store running daily. On Thursday and Friday, you’ll also have the chance to design your own poster with artist Emma Hockley in an adults-only creative workshop. Kid-friendly arts and crafts follow on Saturday and Sunday, when the depot will also host lively talks with artists, curators, and historians, celebrating trailblazing graphic designers like Abram Games, Dora M. Batty, and Herry Perry. You can even take home your own piece of transport history in the Depot shop, which sells all manner of railwayana, including vintage tube signs.

Museum Depot Open Days, Acton Town, 21-24 April. Day tickets cost £15 for adults and £7.50 for children (kids aged three and under go free). Advance booking is required — get your tickets here.


Wednesday 20 April

Tonight is preview night at London Art Fair

LONDON ART FAIR: After being postponed from January, London Art Fair returns for five days of arty goodness. More than 100 galleries from around the world showcase and sell works by artists, both established and new to the scene. Tonight’s the preview evening, followed by four full days of events including talks and tours. Business Design Centre (Islington), from £14, book ahead, 20-24 April

COMEDY NIGHT: Jen Brister and Glenn Moore headline this month’s edition of regular comedy night Objectively Funny. Support acts include Andy Barr amd Louisa Keight. Signature Brew (Haggerston), £11.99, book ahead, 7pm

JAWDANCE: After more than two years, spoken word night Jawdance returns. Enjoy live performances by established and up-and-coming artists curated by regular host Yomi Ṣode — and if you’re feeling inspired, sign yourself up for an open mic slot. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), pay what you can (suggested donation £10), book ahead, 7pm

ANIMAL VEGETABLE CRIMINAL: What happens when an animal — or a tree — breaks the law? We’re talking a jaywalking moose, a burglar grizzly bear, that kind of thing. Author Mary Roach tackles the topic, off the back of her book Animal Vegetable Criminal, which also covers leopards terrorising Himalayan villages, and gulls nicking floral tributes in the Vatican. Royal Institution (Mayfair) or online, £7-£16, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

LIVEABLE FUTURE: Tonight’s the first of several performances of Love Letter to a Liveable Future, a cabaret and storytelling performances that reimagines our world as we deal with the climate crisis. Topics such as social and economic change, and physical and mental health, are covered. Wellcome Collection (Euston), free, book ahead, 7pm-9pm (and selected dates until 30 April)

Thursday 21 April

Corinne Bailey Rae performs at Southbank Centre

SALON PRIVÉ: Into cars? Salon Privé pulls into the Royal Hospital Chelsea for three days, showcasing sets of wheels that you almost definitely can’t afford. Still, it’s a good chance to ogle the latest models from Aston Martin, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and the like, many of which get their UK debut at the show. Classic cars are on show at the Concours de Vente, many of which are for sale from specialist dealers. Royal Hospital Chelsea, from £50, book ahead, 21-23 April

LONDON LATIN MUSIC FESTIVAL: Beginning today, the London Latin Music Festival consists of concerts and gigs across several central London venues. Today’s event is a showcase by Candela Records, the UK’s first ever record label dedicated to Urban Latin Music. Other events throughout the festival include a performance by Venezuelan cuatro player and vocalist Luzmira Zerpa previewing tracks from her upcoming record, and the first UK screening of Cuban film Mambo Man, accompanied by a live soundtrack. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 21 April-2 May

CORINNE BAILEY RAE: Singer songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae — best-known for her 2006 hit Put Your Records On — performs her only London gig on her current UK tour. Expect to hear songs from throughout her career, during which she’s won two Grammys and two MOBOs. Southbank Centre, £32.50-£37.50, book ahead, 7pm

FOOD IN FICTION: Author Sarah Winman chats to cookbook writer Kate Young about food in fiction. Find out how writers use character, place and narrative in their work, including in Winman’s recent novel, Still Life. British Library, £13, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

SLAVERY AND THE BANK: Following its recent reopening, Bank of England Museum stays open late to offer a curator-led tour of the current exhibition, Slavery & The Bank. Find out how transatlantic slavery shaped Britain into the country we know today. Bank of England Museum, free, just turn up, 6pm-8pm

Friday 22 April

Brick Lane Jazz Festival starts today

BRICK LANE JAZZ FESTIVAL: Spend three days bouncing around five different venues for the Brick Lane Jazz Festival, which brings together 24 artists to celebrate London’s thriving jazz scene. Kansas Smitty’s headlines the first night, with Cubafrobeat, The Banger Factory and Tru Thoughts Records among the weekend’s line-up. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 22-24 April

THE CYCLE SHOW: Ditching Birmingham to take place in London for the first time, The Cycle Show is aimed at anyone with an interest in bikes, manual or electric. Test ride new models on the demo tracks, watch shows in the theatre, browse the indoor exhibition, and shop for bikes and cycling accessories. Alexandra Palace, from £16, book ahead, 22-24 April

BREAKING THE NEWS: Challenge and change the way you think about news at The British Library’s Breaking The News exhibition, which questions whether news reporting can ever really be objective, and how your own opinions influence the news you read. It looks back at five centuries of news reporting, from the Great Fire of London to #BlackLivesMatter. British Library, £16, book ahead, 22 April-21 August

RACHEL PARRIS: Comedian Rachel Parris performs her brand new show, All Change Please, about big life changes. Expect stand-up and songs about sudden love, the highs and lows of relationships, family, weddings and kids. Age 14+. Bloomsbury Theatre, £17-£18.50, book ahead, 7.30pm

DANIEL TAKES A TRAIN: Indie pop/new wave five-piece Daniel Takes a Train downed guitars way back in 1988, but now they’re back to promote their new album, Last Ticket To Tango. Support comes from Helen McCookerybook and DJJonny, at this wonderfully intimate west London venue. The Troubadour (Brompton), £12 adv, £15 OTD. 8pm-11pm

Saturday 23 April

The Classic Car Boot Sale is back in King’s Cross

CLASSIC CAR BOOT SALE: Another one for car fans, but also anyone interested in anything vintage. The Classic Car Boot Sale sees classic vehicles — cars, camper vans, scooters and motorcycles — parked up with goods for sale. Shop for vintage fashion, homewares and accessories, as you admire the vehicles and tuck into street food dishes. Granary Square (King’s Cross), from £5, book ahead, 23-24 April

PERFORMANCE FESTIVAL: The V&A’s Performance Festival, which celebrates dance in all its forms, returns today. Events include talks, tours, performances and short film screenings — browse the full programme. V&A Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 23 April-1 May

DEAF DAY: City Lit’s annual Deaf Day is a celebration of Deaf culture, and a chance for Deaf people to celebrate and socialise together, though hearing people are also welcome. Events include workshops and tasters given through BSL, as well as an introduction to lipreading, and a photography exhibition. City Lit (Covent Garden), free, book taster sessions in advance, 10am-4pm

ST GEORGE’S DAY: Celebrate St George’s Day at London’s official St George’s Day festival, which takes over Trafalgar Square with live music, performers, food and drink stalls, family activities, and appearances by St George and his dragon, and the Pearly Kings and Queens. Trafalgar Square, free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm

SHAKESPEARE WALK: St George’s Day also means Shakespeare’s birthday (and death day). Discover the places across the Square Mile connected with the Bard, on a London on the Ground tour. The walk explores how the City’s history influenced Shakespeare; and where he left his mark on the City. Guildhall Art Gallery, £10, book ahead, 4.30pm-6.30pm

LATE AT THE LIBRARY: Will Gregory — one half of electronic music duo Goldfrapp — performs newly-composed music and reinventions of classical works using an analogue synthesiser. The performance ties in with the current Beethoven exhibition, which is also open late to the public. British Library, £22, book ahead, 7.30pm-10.45pm

Sunday 24 April

Take your dog out for brunch

EARTHRISE CALLING: Morning Gloryville, the company specialising in sober, drug-free, daytime partying, hosts an all-day rave. Enjoy six hours of raving, yoga and health food and drink, spread across two naturally-lit spaces, a canalside terrace and a boat. Studio 9294 (Hackney Wick), £20-£25, book ahead, 10am-4pm

SPRING PLANT FAIR: Starting to turn your thoughts to your summer garden? Head to the Garden Museum, where plant growers and nurseries from all over the country are selling plants, and offering advice on what to grow in your space, whether you’re working with a small balcony or a huge garden. Garden Museum (Lambeth), £10, book ahead, 10am-5pm

PAW PERFECT: Take your dog along to The Happenstance for the Paw Perfect drag brunch, with food, drink and entertainment provided for both humans and canines. Centre stage is the dog beauty contest, so get your dog all glammed up to perform alongside West End drag stars… a sentence we never thought we’d write. The Happenstance (St Paul’s), from £45, book ahead, 1pm-4pm

SUNDAY CONCERT: The Odysseus Piano Trio are the star performers at this week’s Sunday Concert, putting on a show of pieces by Schumann, Helen Grime and Schubert. Conway Hall (Holborn), £10-£14, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

CUTTY SARK COMEDY: Finish off your week with a chuckle or two on board a tea clipper, as Cutty Sark Comedy returns. Jasmin Gleeson hosts, with Alasdair Beckett-King, Adam Flood and Katie Price (not *that* Katie Price) also on the line-up. Cutty Sark (Greenwich), £17.50, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm

Urban oddity of the week

A peculiar five wheeled bike with a red frame. It has two wicker storage baskets at fore and aft.

The Cycle Show might be in town (see Friday), but we doubt you’ll see anything as eccentric as this five-wheeler. It’s a pentacycle, designed and patented by Edward Burstow in 1882 for use by rural postmen. It was quickly dubbed the ‘Hen and chickens’ because the wheel arrangement reminded people of a mother hen surrounded by four chicks. The vehicle underwent trials in Horsham but, though popular with posties, was never rolled out further. You can see this replica version at the wonderful Postal Museum in Clerkenwell, whose current postcode exhibition is worth the visit alone.

Good cause of the week

A watercolour showing three workmen of yore, tunneling away beneath the Thames in a wooden-frame rig
Image courtesy of the Brunel Museum

Did you know that the Brunels (Isambard and his dad Marc) were talented artists as well as A-list engineers? The duo painted a series of remarkable watercolours showing the guts of their Thames tunnel — the first tunnel in the world under a major river, and which still carries thousands of people today between Wapping and Rotherhithe.

A colour diagram of the Thames tunnel as seen from above
Image courtesy of the Brunel Museum

These unique paintings are in the safekeeping of the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe but, sadly, they don’t have the resources to adequately display them. You can help with that by contributing towards their crowdfunding campaign, which aims to raise £18,500 towards a professional display cabinet.

These are among the most important historical treasures in London when you consider who created them — they deserve to be better known. Join us in supporting the campaign here.

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