Things To Do Today In London: Wednesday 21 June 2017



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Things to do

FAMILY WALK: Hear stories of old London, and uncover secret sunken gardens, private squares and Egyptian mummies in this family walking tour of Bloomsbury. Great for kids and adults alike. New London Architecture, free, book ahead, 10.30am-11.30am

ORGAN VIBES: Performing a Rheinberger programme with students from the Royal College of Music, experienced organist Laurence Long will ease you through the mid-week blues with uplifting organ music. Union Chapel (Islington), free, just turn up, 11am

SKYSCRAPING: London is rising, and tall buildings are required to satisfy the demand for living space in a compact city. But how tall is too tall? It’s a question that seems all the more relevant after recent events. This talk gives you the chance to find out everything you wanted to know about tall buildings but were afraid to ask. Building Centre, free, book ahead, 6pm

TALKING BREXIT: A year ago, did we make the right decision to leave the European Union? What have been the consequences of our decision? Vernon Bogdanor, visiting Professor of Political History, discusses the implications of the referendum result for our future relationship with Europe. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

REWIND: As new buildings spring up for old patrons in the City, much is added to the historic layering of the site. Learn how the Lloyd’s of London HQ is merely the latest purpose built premises for this famous exchange, and discover the many traditions and artefacts that link it to previous iterations of the building. PLP Architecture (City of London), free, book ahead, 6pm-7.30pm

Family walking tour

PET THERAPY: More than just a best friend, dogs have helped us out for centuries — from rescue dogs in the Alps in the eighteenth century to those who help detect cancer. Meet a canine hero and learn about the role dogs play in health and social support. Royal College of Nursing, free, book ahead, 6pm-9pm  

POST-TRUTH: You’ve heard of fake news, but the post-truth phenomenon is bigger than just sketchy stories on social media. This is the story of bullshit: what’s being spread, why it works — and how we can tackle it. London School of Economics, free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

MELTING POT: Soho has long been a magnet to foreigners. This walk celebrates 350 years of immigration to this melting pot of culture, starting in Soho Square and ending up in an iconic drinking venue, naturally. Tottenham Court Road station, £10/£7, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.15pm  

QUIZ NIGHT: Londonist’s very own Matt Brown — probably the most London-obsessed person in the world — hosts a quiz evening designed to test your insider knowledge of the capital. Tickets include a portion of fish and chips to keep your brain ticking. St John’s Waterloo, £10 including fish and chips, book ahead, 7pm

LAUGH TRAIN HOME: Ditch the commute and stay for some laugh out loud comedy at this standup comedy night, featuring established comics, TV names and rising stars. This week is headlined by Lou Sanders of Russell Howard’s Good News fame. The Four Thieves (Battersea), £7/£8, book ahead, 8pm-10.30pm

Art review: black life

Arthur Jafa explores representations of Black culture in the West. Video games, music and photography are all part of this fascinating exploration. All eyes will be on the Grayson Perry show in the Serpentine, but there’s just as much to get your teeth into at the Serpentine Sackler. Arthur Jafa: A Series Of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions at Serpentine Sackler. Until 10 September, free. ★★★☆☆ (Tuesday-Sunday)

Food review: space age pizza

Purists, avert your gaze. Flat Iron Square’s resident pizza guys are using some extremely non-trad ovens. Designed by Baz’s sculptor godfather, the silver discs lining their stand look more like an art installation or alien spacecraft than ovens. The results are impressive though, with the floppy, soupy-ish centre of a Neapolitan pizza, but a thinner crust. Toppings are high-quality and generous, the chorizo and ‘nduja pizza heavy with fiery meat. Maybe a touch too heavy — this is a street food set up, and eating with your plate balanced on a ledge might work better with a stiffer, more portable slice. We settle for rolling the slices up like fat, cheese-filled cigars. Not the simplest to eat standing, but worth the mess. Baz and Fred, Flat Iron Square, 1TD, 68 Union Street, SE1 1SG. ★★★★☆ Lydia Manch  

Theatre review: dark cabaret
Copyright Helen Murray

Stepping back in time into Argentina’s Coup Coup Club is quite the experience. What starts as a humorous political musical cabaret with burlesque and magic becomes something much darker by the end, seamlessly travelling from the initial jollity to the utterly moving finale without breaking stride. Composer Darren Clark’s double-edged lyrics and foot-stomping music give this powerful production both gravitas and impetus, while Rob Castell as The General is a devilishly charismatic frontman aided and abetted by cabaret pros Neil Kelso and Alexander Luttley. Unusually, the producers ask the audience to reveal as little about the plot as possible and, to be fair, the less you know about this, the bigger the impact it will have. These Trees Are Made Of Blood, Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, E8 3DL. £12-£22. Until 15 July ★★★★☆ Franco Milazzo

Good cause for the day

POEMS NOT BOMBS: Every poem and person is welcome at this open mic night, focusing on the theme of ‘Poems not Bombs’. Sign up at 7pm-7.30pm to read. Entry fee in aid of Medecins Sans Frontieres. Poetry Café, £5, book ahead, 7.30pm

Funzing

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing.

LDN Talks @ Night | The Science of PsychedelicsScientific research is resuming on how psychedelics affect the weirder aspects of human consciousness. This talk from Dr David Luke engages in current study into pyschedelics and their historical use in shamanic rituals. Be prepared, you might leave with more questions than answers. Get tickets
Lecture: Life of a UN War Crimes InvestigatorWhat would you say face-to-face to Saddam Hussein? How would you feel digging up the mass graves of Kosovo? Jonathan Tait-Harris will share experiences from his jobs as a policeman, soldier, war-crimes investigator and adviser to UK and Iraqi governments. £10 Get tickets
Talk: Neuroscience of Powerful HabitsEvery January you do the same thing. You make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, be thriftier, quit smoking or possibly even to start exercising. Yet how many of us find ourselves in the exact spot we started in once the month is up? This talk by Dr Gabija Toleikyte, explains why the brain resists changing habits of a lifetime. She’ll also explain how to create long lasting change, by working with your brain rather than against it. Get tickets



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