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40 exciting things to do in London this week

Paul Galletly[Photo: Paul Galletly]

Dine on burgers in a barber shop in Covent Garden, pick up some hand-printed artwork from some talented London artists, or catch some laughs at Cereal Killer Cafe with Brendon Burns. Take a look below at all the joy ready and waiting for you this week.

Things to do 

RHS Great London Plant Fair, Royal Horticultural Halls, Tue-Wed, £8, £5 adv. Brighten up your blossoming spring garden with this huge fair of plants from nurseries and tradestands, with the growers themselves on hand to offer tips and advice for fingers of any shade of green.

3D Printing Essentials: Lunch and Learn, Fab Lab London, Wed, £25. These weekly Wednesday lunchtime sessions cover all the basics, from how to design in 3D to the different types of printer and the materials you can use when printing. You’ll also get a sandwich and a cup of tea.

Rebel Footprints and Night Walking, Sutton House, Wed, £4. Will Self will chair this discussion with authors David Rosenberg and Matthew Beaumont, both of whom have recently published books on city walking.

Death Under Glass: Histology Art, Barts Pathology Museum, Wed, £8.40 + booking fee. Find out what you’re made of at this exhibition of photomicrographs, documenting the vivid colours and cellular and sub-cellular morphology of human tissue.On Wednesday, Marianne Hamel will examine how medicinal examiners actually determine the cause and manner of death compared to how the media portrays the process.

Handprinted Contemporary Print Fair, Via, Wed, free. This artist-led fair is a chance to browse hand-printed contemporary works by more than 20 London-based creatives. The printmakers themselves will be on hand to answer any questions, and prices start at just £3.

Drop-in Life Drawing Classes, Tottenham Chances Club, Thu. Tottenham Art Classes host these regular sessions teaching artists of all skill levels to draw the human form. No need to book in advance. Buy materials on site or take your own. Over-18s only.

Claudia Hammond presents: ‘The Science of Breaking Bad’, Royal Institution of Great Britain, Thu, £12, £8 concs. Did binge-watching ‘Breaking Bad’ give you a certain nostalgia for that chemistry set that’s probably still in your parents’ loft? Scratch that scientific itch at this discussion, chaired by author, presenter and ‘Breaking bad’ fan Claudia Hammond.

Secret 7″, Somerset House, all week, free. The annual charity sale of unique record sleeves designed by world famous creatives opens at Somerset House.

…or check out more events happening in London this week.

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day

Eating and drinking

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day, various locations, Tue, free. It may be a marketing ploy for Ben & Jerry’s new flavours – although they’re never going to better Choc Chip Cookie Dough – but Free Scoop Day on Tuesday April 14 means summer is on its way, so we are absolutely onboard.

A Taste of Spring, Guildhall Library, Tue, £5. Delve into the delicious world of food history at this edible exhibition celebrating the famous works of Mrs Isabella Beeton. Taste sweet dishes made from original recipes and compare them to the treats we know today, as well as finding out which were considered fit for royalty. Tickets include a wine reception.

Butcher & Barber Pop-Up, Ruffians in Covent Garden, Wed, £25. Hosted alongside Mac & Wild, this three-course pop-up supper will take place at Ruffians flagship barber shop in Covent Garden. Expect a pop-up canteen with earl grey cured salmon, venison tartar on rye and burgers on the menu.

Bill or Beak at Voltaire, Fleet Street, Wed-Thu. Street food favourites Bill or Beak are usually found peddling their delicious birds-in-buns at Kerb’s street food markets, so this kitchen takeover at swish basement bar Voltaire will be quite a change of scenery for them.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Austentatious – An Improvised Jane Austen Novel


Austentatious – An Improvised Jane Austen Novel, Old Queen’s Head, Tonight, £6.50. Improv gets a bad rap in this country, but anyone who dismisses the genre clearly hasn’t seen Austentatious. This highly impressive troupe perform a completely improvised Jane Austen novel, complete with period dress and cello accompaniment, with marvellous results.

Fylm School hosted by Simon Munnery, Soho Theatre, Tonight, £15. Joining Munnery tonight: the ‘Adam’ half of ‘Adam & Joe’, Adam Buxton, Mat Ewins and Lolly Adefope.

Massive Dad with…, COG ArtSpace, Tue, £6. Hugely impressive sketch trio Massive Dad test new material here and curate the supporting line-up. April 14’s is a humdinger, featuring spots from Foster’s Award-winning character comic Adam Riches, erudite charmer Nish Kumar, talented character act Lolly Adefope and MC Naz Osmanoglu.

Holly Walsh – Never Had It, Soho Theatre, Tue-Thu, £10-£15. Charming stand-up, panel show regular and ‘Dead Boss’ writer Holly Walsh brings her latest solo show, ‘Never Had It’, to Soho Theatre. Walsh is a talented comic – she has a sharp, self-mocking mind.

Brendon Burns – Outside the Box, Cereal Killer Cafe, Thu, £10. Brendon Burns has always performed to thousands of comedy club crowds but now he’s sick of it. He’s dismayed with the UK’s live comedy circuit, and this ‘Outside the Box’ tour sees the hardcore comic playing lots of strange venues – anything but comedy clubs.

…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.

George The Poet

Live music

George The Poet, multiple venues, Mon-Tue, £12. Hailing from Stonebridge Park in north-west London, 24-year-old wordsmith George The Poet performs his politically conscious poetry over some pretty cool party beats.

Sinkane, XOYO, Tue, £9.50. To an extent, Sinkane is the work of one man – ex-Yeasayer member Ahmed Gallad. He plays the funky bass lines and drum parts that are swaddled in crashing cymbals. He’s the one tooting on the flute and crooning in a silky smooth falsetto. But of course live, he needs some help, and that’s when he calls on the talents of fellow former Yeasayer dude Jason Trammell on drums, jazz guitarist Mikey Freedom Hart and bassist Mike Montgomery.

Seasick Steve, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Tue, £26. Gnarly, raw blues man, producer and ex-hobo Steve Wold brings his three-string guitar, weather-beaten voice and stomp-box to London once more. He’ll play tracks from his back catalogue as well as his latest album, ‘Hubcap Music’.

Passion Pit, Electric Ballroom, Thu, £17.50. Seriously hyped a few years ago, the indie-tronic crew from Massachusetts have (it would seem) now been essentially whittled down to Michael Angelakos’s solo project. They return to roll out their whacked-out blend of Animal Collective, MGMT and The Avalanches.

…or take a look at all the live music events in London this week.

Sounds Familiar Music Quiz


Sounds Familiar Music Quiz, Trapeze, Tuesday, £40 (ticket for eight people), £33 (ticket for six people), £24 (ticket for four people), £8 (single-person ticket). Eyes down and ears open for this delightfully raucous, super-fun music-fuelled quiz, featuring rounds such as ‘Round of Cheese’, ‘Office Party’ and ‘Feel the Power Ballad’, plus prizes including mugs, medals, champagne and more, and DJ AL compering and spinning the tunes.

The Deep Hum at the Heart of It All, The Social, Wednesday, £5, £3 adv or NUS. A midweek showcase of underground indie bands and DJs playing eclectic, alternative tunes.

Gospeloke, Queen of Hoxton, Thursday, £6-£10. A full-on fun karaoke night themed around gospel music, complete with a full gospel choir.

Creatures, The Victoria (Dalston), Thursday, free. Rory Phillips – former resident spinner at seminal clubs like The End and Plastic People, and general expert on London nightlife – unveils a new night. Were’ promised a wild and eclectic selection of tunes from Phillips and various pals, plus live music too.

Cobain: Montage Of Heck


Alibi Film Club: ‘Christine’, 91 Kingsland High St, Tonight, free. A rare chance to catch one of John Carpenter’s lesser-known horror outings on the big screen. Carpenter and novelist Stephen King share not merely a taste for genre horror but a love of ’50s teenage culture.

California Split, Prince Charles Cinema, Tue, £7.50, £5 concs. A welcome return for one of Robert Altman’s very finest films, which is criminally unavailable on DVD in the UK. It follows Elliott Gould and George Segal as they embark on some wild casino sprees in Los Angeles and Reno, speeding through a compulsive night world of frenzied overlapping chatter.

‘Love is the Devil’ + John Maybury intro, ICA, Wed, £11, £7 concs. Back when Daniel Craig used to act (rather than just stomp about blasting Johnny Foreigner), he gave a stunning performance in theatre director John Maybury’s biopic of Francis Bacon.

Or at the cinema…

Cobain: Montage Of Heck ★★★★☆ Geek, loner, slacker, roommate, obsessive note-taker (‘rent Eraserhead’) – that’s the Kurt Cobain who emerges from this impressionistic profile, blessed by the late Nirvana frontman’s family and the product of enviable archival access.

John Wick ★★★☆☆ An especially cute floppy-eared beagle is killed during the first 20 minutes of this action throwback, and, for all the body blows still to come, nothing hurts so much. Maybe that’s as it should be: no one in this movie is as innocent as that pooch, certainly not its owner.

…or see all of the latest releases.

Three Short Plays by Samuel Beckett


Three Short Plays by Samuel Beckett, Old Red Lion Theatre, Tue-Thu, £15, £12.50 concs. A mixed bag of three little known plays by Samuel Beckett.

So It Goes, Shoreditch Town Hall, all week, £10, £8 concs. In this beautifully poignant piece from theatre company On The Run, Hannah Moss wants to tell us about her dad, but she isn’t going to use any words.

After Electra, Tricycle, all week, £12-£28. Samuel West’s production of this family black comedy delivers some great performances.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.


This week’s best new art

The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay, Tate Modern, Wed-Thu, £16, £14 concs. The first UK retrospective of the distinctly dazzling work of the Russian-French abstract artist often overshadowed by her husband.

Modigliani: A Unique Artistic Voice, Estorick Collection, Wed-Thu, £5, £3.50 concs. Comprising 30 drawings, this exhibition showcases Modigliani’s spiritual and stylistic journey as he developed and adapted his vision of timeless beauty.

The Best Scene is Off-Screen, Scene Two: The Street, Peckham Plex, Wed, £3.50 + booking fee. A monthly film programme curated by John Bloomfield, featuring films by Felix Melia (live performance), Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Andrzej Barański, Martha Rosler and Agnes Varda.

Sanya Kantarovsky: Apricot Juice, Studio Voltaire, Thu, free. For this ‘How to work together’ commission (a shared programme of commissioning and research organised by Studio Voltaire, Chisenhale and The Showroom) the Russian-born New York-based artist collaborates with Lithuanian performance artist Ieva Misevičiūtė.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… a VIP Open Air Theatre trip followed by a stay in a London hotel or one of 100 pairs of tickets to a private view of Magnificent Obsessions

Grab… an afternoon tea with two glasses of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Champagne at an exclusive Burlington Arcade pop-up

Book… these gigs while you still can

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