Things To Do This Week In London: 4-10 April 2022

All week

Bourgeois & Maurice at Soho Theatre

FABRIC OF OUR NATION: See artist Gil Mualem-Doron’s new take on the Union Jack flag at interactive installation The Fabric Of Our Nation. The flag celebrates the different communities that have contributed to the UK’s cultural legacy, and has been an ongoing project since 2014. 3-14 April

EASTER HOLIDAYS: With the kids off school for at least two weeks, you’ll need ways to keep them busy. Enter, our guide to Easter holiday activities and events in London. With exhibitions, theatre shows, nature trails and more, you’re bound to find something to suit them, whatever their age and whatever your budget. 4-18 April

BOURGEOIS & MAURICE: Cult cabaret superstars Bourgeois & Maurice  take up residency at Soho Theatre for their new show, Pleasure Seekers. Expect their signature blend of savage wit and pop-satire as they seek alternative ways to bring joy to their lives. Soho Theatre, from £12, book ahead, 5-30 April

LAST CHANCE: It’s the final week of Tourist Without A Guidebook, Royal Academy’s exhibition of 20 works depicting London’s urban landscape by painter Jock McFadyen. See large-scale vistas of London, especially east London, in a state of transformation. Royal Academy (Mayfair), free, just turn up, until 10 April

A row of coloured typewriters that've created images of the O2 just from letters
James Cook’s typewriter art

TYPEWRITER ARTIST: Trinity Buoy Wharf is packed with curiosities, but we’ve never seen anything quite so quirky as James Cook’s typewriter art. See more than 50 type-written drawings with a London theme. Trinity Buoy Wharf, free, 11am-4pm until 10 April

LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL: Thumbs at the ready! The London Games Festival returns for 10 days of video games and interactive entertainment. Events are both in-person and online, and include a large-scale exhibition in Trafalgar Square, an awards ceremony, and gaming industry networking. Various locations and prices, until 10 April

SORTING BRITAIN: The Postal Museum’s newest exhibition is dedicated to the topic of postcodes (something we’ve delved into ourselves in the past). Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes looks at how the invention of postcodes changed how mail was sorted and delivered, and the effect that had on life in Britain. The Postal Museum (Clerkenwell), included in museum admission, book ahead, until January 2023

Monday 4 April

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Learn about the London villages of Piccadilly and St James’s

LONDON VILLAGES: Guildhall Library hosts an online talk about the London villages of Piccadilly and St James’s. Find out about the history of these areas, and learn some fascinating trivia. Online event, free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

MUM POET CLUB: Formed as a writing group for mums who love poetry, members of The Mum Poet Club take to the stage to share their latest work, which celebrates the magic and mayhem of parenting. Soho Theatre, from £12, book ahead, 7pm

JUNIOR BROTHER: Singer-songwriter Junior Brother is inspired by everything from the middle ages, to his home in rural Ireland. Tonight he’s playing songs from his Choice Music Prize-nominated album, Pull The Right Rope. Support is from Preen. The Lexington (Pentonville), £11.50, book ahead, 7.30pm

POP QUIZ: Put your knowledge of popular culture — everything from Bieber to the Beatles, The Godfather to Game of Thrones — to the test at The Bedford’s Pop Quiz. There’s a cash prize up for grabs (and scratch cards too). The Bedford (Balham), £2.50 per person, just turn up, 7.30pm

HAPPY MONDAYS COMEDY: Jenny Bede, Roman Harris, Erika Ehler, Colin Etches, Maeve Boffey and Ro Dodgson are all on the bill at tonight’s Happy Mondays Comedy, sharing and refining new work, all overseen by MC Siôn James. The Amersham Arms (New Cross), £6.36, book ahead, 8pm

Tuesday 5 April

Human Interest looking very cool in a 70s style kitchen
See Human Interest play for free

CLEVELAND STREET SCANDAL: Ever heard of the Cleveland Street scandal, which revolved around a gay male brothel in 1889-1890? Mark Dunton from the National Archives gives an online talk about the scandal, which involved both messenger boys and members of the aristocracy, and caused outrage at the time. Online event, £5, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

DEMENTIA: Is dementia inevitable? That’s the topic addressed at this Gresham College lecture by Professor Martin Rossor. Hear about research into the causes of dementia, whether it’s inevitable that we’ll all get it as we live longer lives, or whether it’s possible to live to an old age without it. Barnard’s Inn Hall (Holborn) or online, free, book ahead, 6pm-7pm

GARDEN DESIGN: Hear garden designer Non Morris in conversation with keen gardener Kate Coulson, about her family garden in Cumbria and her French garden in the Luberon hills. Hear about Coulson’s approach to gardening, and the gardens which have inspired her as she created her own outdoor spaces, which attracted attention when she shared images of them on Instagram during lockdown. Garden Museum (Lambeth) £25/ online £10, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

DREAMING THE FUTURE: Esoteric writer (and Blondie guitarist) Gary Lachman reckons that he can glimpse the future in his dreams. Sound a bit far fetched? Come and hear him out at this month’s Fortean Society of London event, which gives an airing to outlandish and supernatural topics with respectful skepticism. The Miller (London Bridge), £5, book ahead, 7.45pm

HUMAN INTEREST: East London trio Human Interest have been praised for their “scuzzy garage-pop perfection”. Tonight you can sample it for free, courtesy of this show on their home turf. There are special guests, too. The Shacklewell Arms (Hackney), free, just turn up, 8pm

Wednesday 6 April

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Crick Night at The Francis Crick Institute

PICKWICK: Right from the beginning, Charles Dickens took illustration seriously. A new exhibition explores the images from The Pickwick Papers, his first novel, which was written on-site when this was Dickens’s home. The show displays original illustrations along with some remarkable interpretations from the 1920s. Charles Dickens Museum (Bloomsbury), included in general admission price (£9.50), book ahead, 6 April-11 September

DISNEY EXHIBITION: Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are the Disney animation films taking centre stage at Wallace Collection’s exhibition, Inspiring Walt Disney. It looks at how ‘Uncle Walt’ and the wider Disney team took inspiration from 18th century French art and furniture. 6 April-16 October

NOVEL VILLAINS: Hear from English literature expert Professor John Mullan about villains in novels, films and TV dramas, and what audiences enjoy about them. He uses examples from the works of Thomas Hardy and Hilary Mantel to look at how villains have evolved over time. Museum of London or online, free, book ahead, 6pm-7pm

CRICK NIGHT: Biomedical research centre The Francis Crick Institute stays open late for Crick Night, with a theme of ‘going viral’. The public are invited inside to learn more about viruses and our immune systems through talks with scientists, hands-on activities and an immersive exhibition. Your ticket includes a free drink. The Francis Crick Institute (King’s Cross), free, book ahead, 6pm-8pm

LGBTQ+ SALON: East London DJ THEMPRESS — aka Āliyah Husna — is the special guest at this month’s online Outloud LGBTQ+ salon. They share their musical archive including tracks which shaped their emergence onto the queer music scene, and which tell their story as a queer non-binary person of colour. Online event, £5, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

Thursday 7 April

The R.A.P. Party at The London Library

CITIZENS ART FESTIVAL: Blue House Yard — the north London shopping centre made from colourful sheds — hosts Citizens Art Festival, a four-day exhibition of works by 20+ artists, along with workshops. Learn how to make mosaic coasters, recycled robots, picture frames, and more. Blue House Yard (Wood Green), free, book ahead for workshops, 7-10 April

ROY’S ART FAIR: Run by Roy Tyson, the artist best-known for creating miniature scenes, Roy’s Art Fair was started as a fair run by artists, for artists. Emerging and established creators exhibit and sell their works, giving the public a chance to buy directly from them. This year’s event has a curated selection of 80 artists. Truman Brewery (Brick Lane), free, book ahead, 7-10 April

SICILY FEST: Food and drink from the Italian region of Sicily are centre stage at SicilyFest, a four-day event where you can browse and buy pasta, sauces, jams, cakes, desserts and wine — and enjoy live music in the performance corner. There are plenty of veggie and vegan options, plus live cooking demos from a Sicilian chef. Business Design Centre (Islington), from £2.50, book ahead, 7-10 April

LOST BRITAIN: Author, historian and Londonist contributor Dr Matthew Green discusses his new book, Shadowlands: A Journey Through Lost Britain. He talks about the remains and ruins dotted across Britain, which used to be full of life but are now reduced to shadowlands, including a settlement buried under sand 5,000 years ago, and a lost city unearthed by moles. Stanfords (Covent Garden), £5, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

RHYTHM AND POETRY: Poet Inua Ellams brings 10 poets and a DJ together for live literature event the R.A.P. (Rhythm and Poetry) Party. Expect a nostalgic evening of hip-hop-inspired poems and favourite hip-hop songs. The line-up includes poets Fahad Al-Amoudi, Isabelle Baafi, Alba Frederick, Will Harris, Sunnah Khan, Christy Ku, Shanay Neusum-James, Ben Norris, Nikesh Shukla and DJ Lily Fileen. The London Library, £10, book ahead, 7pm-9.30pm

Friday 8 April

now play this
Now Play This at Somerset House

NOW PLAY THIS: Experimental game design is the focus of Now Play This, as it returns to Somerset House. The festival consists of an exhibition, plus talks, workshops and activities with professional game designers. Somerset House, £9/£6.50, book ahead, 8-10 April

FOOTBALL EXHIBITION: The world’s most popular sport is the subject of a new Design Museum exhibition. Football: Designing the Beautiful Game focuses on the design of all aspects, including stadiums, kits and logos, to the materials used in modern football boots. Design Museum, £16.80, book ahead, 8 April-29 August

HEART OF SWINE: Author Freddy F. Fonseca launches their new book, Heart of Swine, at this special event. The premise of the surreal novel is somewhat close to home at the moment; it’s about Russia turning off the gas supply to Western Europe. Hear an extract, and pick up a signed copy. 35 Kingsland Road (Dalston), free, book ahead, 6pm-9pm

BOOGIE IN A BREWERY: Brockley Brewery’s Hither Green Taproom welcomes the weekend in style — blasting out 70s & 80s soul, funk and disco. Judging from photos of previous parties, people aren’t shy to don their glad rags either. Brockley Brewery: Hither Green Taproom, £11, book ahead, 7.30pm-10pm

Saturday 9 April

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Enjoy a performance by Battersea Choral Society

HISTFEST: “For far too long, history has been the preserve of the privileged. Not anymore. History belongs to all.” That’s the ethos of HistFest, an annual event at the British Library that assembles top historians to share their research with the general public. This year, catch talks on such diverse topics as the Kingdom of Benin and the global history of science, among many others. British Library or online, £15-£50,book ahead, 11am-6.15pm, 9-10 April

RAPHAEL: The National Gallery opens an exhibition about Italian artist extraordinaire Raphael, looking not just at his paintings and drawings, but his work in architecture, poetry and design as well. Loans from the Louvre, National Gallery of Art, Washington and the Vatican Museum feature. The National Gallery, £24, book ahead, 9 April-31 July

RECORD STORE DAY LIVE: Meantime Brewery hosts a one-day festival of live music to celebrate Record Store Day. The line-up includes performances by Samm Henshaw, Hak Baker, Do Nothing and Sister Cookie, as well as guest DJs, talks and a vinyl fair. Meantime Brewery (Greenwich), £13.75, book ahead, 3pm-9pm

BURLESQUE EVENING: Comedian Frank Lavender, Miss Burlesque UK 2019 Winner Evelyn Carnate, showgirl Ruby Deshabillé, burlesque performer Jake DuPree and ‘ultimate triple threat’ Saucy Davis Jr. take to the stage for an evening of burlesque, in what sounds like a lively and outrageous show. Culture Palace (Enfield), £12, book ahead, 7.30pm

EASTER CONCERT: Battersea Choral Society perform an Easter concert, featuring Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem (‘A German Requiem’), in the run-up to Palm Sunday. Holy Trinity Sloane Square, £20, book ahead, 7.30pm

Sunday 10 April

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Learn about the life and relatives of Millie Miller

ST MATTHEW PASSION: In something of an Easter tradition, The Bach Choir perform St Matthew Passion on Palm Sunday. The piece is a dramatic telling of the Passion of Christ, and is performed here in English. Southbank Centre, £15-£65, book ahead, 11am

THOROUGHLY MODERNISING MILLIE: Ever heard of Millie Miller? She was the first female Mayor of Camden, and became the first woman to lead a London Council, and later an MP for Ilford North, as well as Vice President of her synagogue. Now, 100 years after her birth, hear from her son, Bernard Miller, who has researched the family’s history, and discovered some unknown relatives, including some whom Millie may not have considered ‘goodies’. Jewish Museum (Camden) or online, £5, book ahead, 2pm

INFLUENCER ECONOMY: Thinking On Sunday hosts Channel 4 News journalist Symeon Brown to discuss the reality behind influencer culture. Find out about the fraud, exploitation, bribery and dishonesty behind the ‘aspirational’ influencer lifestyle. Conway Hall (Holborn) or online, £8/£5, book ahead, 3pm-4.30pm

POPUP PAINTING: Wyland Tondelier’s painting Exotic Forest is the inspiration at today’s PopUp Painting event. Try your hand at recreating the painting — all art supplies are provided, as is guidance from a professional artist, and a cream tea. London Art Bar (Holborn), £39.99, book ahead, 3pm-5.30pm

Urban oddity of the week

A plaque to Ken Aston who invented the red and yellow card system in football

The Design Museum’s new football exhibition (see Friday) reminds us of Ken Aston Square in Fulwell, NE London. Why? Aston was the guy who invented the red and yellow card system that still brings fans so much joy today. The square can be found outside Fulwell Cross Leisure Centre, which itself is a site to behold. Along with the nearby library, it was designed by the great Frederick Gibberd.

A modernist leisure centre with green roof

Good cause of the week

A group of women and girls in purple shirts cheer on Tower Bridge

We’ve just heard about a new charity walk taking place in May that’ll involve a trek across 10 London bridges. Lymphoma Action’s Bridges of Britain walk starts at Vauxhall Bridge and crisscrosses the Thames to finish at Tower Bridge. The walk takes place on 22 May, and there’s also an option to do your own independent walk, wherever you live (you just need to cross at least one bridge). Get sponsorship and event details from the Lymphoma Action website.

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