What we’re reading
Things to do
POLICE MUSEUM: Did you know that the City of London Police are the proud holders of an Olympic medal? Find our more at the City of London Police Museum, which tells the history of the force through interesting stories and objects — and stays open later on Wednesday nights. City of London Police Museum, free, just turn up, weekly, 9.30am-7.30pm
LATE NIGHT MUSEUM: The recently renovated National Army Museum in Chelsea stays open until 8pm on the first Wednesday of every month. Explore the galleries after the daytime crowds have gone home, and find out what it’s like to serve in the military, learn about military traditions and see artefacts including the skeleton of Napoleon’s horse. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, just turn up, 10am-8pm
RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT: Take this opportunity to explore London’s vibrant landscape and character through dazzling colours, light installations and other ingenious techniques at this exhibition. Oxo Tower Wharf, free, book ahead, 11am-8pm (until 10 September)
HISTORY LECTURE: Think you know all you need to know about Piccadilly and St James? Well, which club voted Margaret Thatcher an honorary man? Where aren’t you allowed to run, whistle, sing, or open an umbrella? Which royal lodged two mistresses in the same house? Pete Smith has the answers. Society of Genealogists (Islington), £8, book ahead, 2pm-3pm
TUDOR BREXIT: Ahead of his new programme Reformation being aired on BBC2, Dr David Starkey tackles the English Reformation and the far-reaching effects of this ‘Tudor Brexit’ in a talk. The Queen’s House (Greenwich), £25/£20, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm
DEFEATING DIABETES: Jon-Sel Gourkan is the face of satirical one-man show Keep Calm I’m Only Diabetic following his real-life experience with Type 1 Diabetes; the obstacles and challenges, and joy of overcoming it all when the odds have been stacked against you. The Cockpit, £10/£12, book ahead, 7.30pm
IN THE DARK: In an experience that is somewhat of an oxymoron, the Institute of Light invites its audience to sit in the dark for its Pitchblack Playback listening session. Tame Impala’s Currents will be played in full as you sit in the comfort of a sofa or — for some reason — an original airplane seat. 18+ event. The Institute of Light, £8, book ahead, 7.30pm
CLASS COMEDY: If you loved Tim Key on Taskmaster, then you’ll probably have an exceedingly good night out at 100 Club, with additional laughs from Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Joseph Morpurgo and rising talent Fin Taylor among others. 100 Club (Fitzrovia), £12, book ahead, 7.30pm
FOURTH DIMENSION: Psychologist and semi-professional magician Matt Tompkins explores the consequences and impacts of the night of the 18 November 1877 when a group of academics, including ‘founder of experimental psychology’ Wilhelm Wund, joined hands and witnessed a series of miracles in the presence of a visiting American spirit medium. The Star and Garter (Greenwich), £3, just turn up, 7.30pm
HOW ROMANTIC: Enjoy Valentine’s Day all over again with a performance of The Lovers’ Bridge of Magpies, which celebrates Qixi Jie, or Chinese Valentine’s Day. This musical concert tells one of China’s most famous folk tales — the story of star-crossed lovers Zhi Nü and Niu Lang and the flock of magpies that came to their aid. China Exchange, £12, book ahead, 7.30pm-8.45pm
Food review: DIY hot pot in Chinatown
Eating in London can feel a little like a rat race. But the folks at Hot Pot encouraged us to take our time over their spicy broths, cooked in front of us on our table’s hot plate. Milder palates will want the chicken or vegetable soups — only those really prepared for a spice challenge should attempt the Mala Sichuan. Next we selected our ingredients, from plump shrimp to strips of beef supplemented by sides of pak choi and potato. As it bubbled away in front of us, we chose a multitude of sauces from the sauce bar (we’d recommend the Korean gochujang sauce for a good kick). Some of us loved the do-it-yourself aspect, while others found it difficult to figure out when the ingredients were cooked properly. The soups were a little lacking in flavour and could do with being thicker, but the meats were tender and tasty. Unlimited condiments meant every bite could taste different, but the real highlight was the sweet and soft coconut pancake dessert. It was certainly an experience, but we can understand the common gripe that it’s a pretty pricey experience for a meal you essentially cook yourself. Hot Pot, 17 Wardour Street, W1D 6PJ ★★★☆☆ Eleana Overett
Theatre review: gay history x
Courtesy of the 50-year anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, this year’s hot topic is queer history. This omnibus of short plays, set in each decade since the 1950s, sees works from seven top gay writers including Jonathan Harvey and Jonathan Kemp. Queens watch the coronation, a Princess Di impersonating drag queen learns of her death and two black guys look for hook-ups on a pre-Grindr Internet. There’s an occasional dip in quality but overall it’s a wittily curated, alternative view of gay history. Outlaws to In-Laws, King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, N1 1QN, £15-25. Until 23 September ★★★★ (Tuesday to Sunday) Chris Bridges
Art review: a creepy grotto
Strange looking creatures, all hunched with rounded features are strapped to chairs, the wall and stuffed into cupboards. Welcome to the bizarre and creepy world of Francis Marshall. The whole gallery has been turned into one large grotto packed with these fascinating oddities at every turn. Francis Marshall and The Beautiful People at The Gallery of Everything, 4 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PS, free. Until 10 September ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Sunday) Tabish Khan
Good cause of the day: Jeans for Genes Day
Jeans for Genes Day is not just for secondary schoolers looking to get out of wearing their uniform for a day. Anyone can take part and help raise money to help people who have been diagnosed with the vast number of genetic disorders that have been discovered. Around one in 25 children are affected; some are diagnosed at birth while others can live into adulthood before finding out they have a disorder. Get involved by signing up for a fundraising pack and embrace the double denim on 22 September.
Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing.
Have you heard of Bitcoin and Ethereum? Perhaps because it’s been in the news a lot recently due to spectacular price rises. But what exactly is Bitcoin? How is Ethereum different? Is it too late to get involved, or is this just the beginning? In this talk, Owen Barnes will cover the essentials of cryptocurrencies, assuming you have no prior technical knowledge. By the end you should have the tools and confidence you need to participate in the biggest technological shift since the creation of the Internet.
To mark the release of his new book ‘Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany’ – Norman Ohler hosts an exclusive talk to discuss the sensational account of the overwhelming role of drug-taking in the third reich – from Hitler and his entourage to ordinary troops and housewives. Get tickets
Have you visited London’s Roman ampitheatre? What about London’s Medieval market places? Hear weird and wonderful tales of our beautiful city as you take a walking tour, seeing everything from centuries-old churches to the hanging place of William Wallace. Whether you’ve lived here all your life or are visiting for a few days, you’re sure to learn something new about London. More information and tickets here: http://bit.ly/2ilvOy9 (sponsor) Get tickets