Things To Do In London: Friday 11 July 2014

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BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at The Hop Exchange in Southwark Street, St Olave Parish Church in Fenchurch Street and Stoll in Fulham. See site for terms and conditions

AFRICA WRITES: The celebration of African literature comes to British Library with book launches, readings, discussions, performances, workshops and seminars. Most events are free, but check individually for price and booking details, until Sunday

OPEN AIRFloating Cinema presents its Chinese Open Air Weekender, which lasts for three days and focuses on contemporary Chinese culture. The events include film screenings, workshops, music and more. Check website for full programme. Free, until 13 July

CAMDEN LOCK LIVE: The free one day festival returns to Camden Lock with live music, food stalls, performances and shopping in one big knees-up. Free, just turn up, 10am-10pm

AMPHIBIANS: The Grant Museum invites UCL PhD students to choose and showcase objects from its collection. Today the focus is on amphibians, and the talk is led by Helen Meredith. Free, just turn up, 1pm  

BEER FESTIVAL: Head to Old Street for a pop-up bar in an unlikely place — the centre of the iconic Old Street roundabout. Old St Terrace hosts Beersham, a celebration of craft beers and champagnes. £5 (includes a drink), just turn up, 4pm

REGENERATION FILMS: The final of the Regeneration Short Film Festival takes place at Impact Hub King’s Cross. Five short films portraying regeneration projects including the creation of a village green beneath the Canning Town A13 flyover. £5, prebook, 6.30pm

SWING DANCE: Swing Patrol bring their popular dance night back to Wilton’s Music Hall near Tower Hill. The evening kicks off with a taster lesson at 7pm, followed by social dancing and performances by professionals until 10.30pm. All abilities welcome. £15, prebook, 7pm

LONDON HISTORY: What do London’s bridges tell us about the history of our city? Join a special late event at Museum of London Docklands where philosopher Brennan Jacoby and urban historian Leo Hollis consider the emotional and structural significance of the capital’s bridges. £25, prebook, 7pm

DARK COMEDY: The Rag Factory off Brick Lane hosts an Edinburgh preview of A Little Nonsense. The dark comedy show explores the clown inside every man and the mirth that is hidden in melancholy. £7, prebook, 7.30pm

ONE MAN PLAY: Nigel Fairs plays all of the roles in Didn’t You Used To Be Derek Jacobi?, a play at Conway Hall in Holborn. It tells the story of Leonard and Douglas — two gay men from very different generations — and their neighbour, Elaine. £5, just turn up, 7.30pm

DESTRUCTIVE DANCE: The guest of our podcast last week, Lydia Fraser-Ward, is one of the four directing choreographers of Women of Mass Destruction 2. The dance and physical theatre performance takes place tonight at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, themed around destruction of the natural world. Tickets are £8/£6, prebook, 7.30pm

KATE BUSH: Start your weekend at the Kate Bush Dance Party at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. All things KB are embraced, with a costume prize for the most Bush-esque outfit, and a group dance of Wuthering Heights at the strike of midnight. £5/£6, prebook, 9pm-2am

Find more London events in our Free & Cheap events listings. Want to see your event in these last-minute listings? Email us at at least 48 hours before the event, and we will consider it for inclusion. Note, due to high volumes of email, we can’t always reply.

Have You Tried …

Wingit? If you want even more ideas on things to do in London then this new app should be able to help. Using an algorithm to scan social networks, Wingit checks your location and promises to find great London events happening near you in real-time. From performances to pop-ups, screenings to street art, download the free app today to see what’s going on just round the corner.


This week’s Things To Do In London is sponsored by Wingit.

Good Cause of the Day

Today is the inaugural City Giving Day, with events going on to raise money (a target of £686,000, to mark the tenure of the 686th Lord Mayor) for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. One such event is the City Cupcake Competition, which costs £2 to enter. Judges include Frances Quinn, winner of the BBC’s Great British Bake-Off 2013, and the Lord Mayor will announce the winners who will be crowned ‘Champion City Baker’. There’s also a chance to take part in the City Dip sponsored swim (booking required).

From the Archive

Last year we took a guided tour around the largest licensed premises in Westminster, where £600,000 was spent on plaster work alone in recent renovations. There’s a walkway made from pennies, and the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Bassey, Julie Andrews, Stevie Wonder, Judy Garland, Tom Jones and Sammy Davis Jr have all performed there. Yep, we were inside the Hippodrome.

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