Things To Do Today In London: Thursday 29 June 2017

Things to do today is sponsored by Alexandra Palace

Sculpture in the CityWhat we’re reading
Things to do

CITY SCULPTURES: Enjoy a guided tour of this year’s free public art, set amongst iconic architectural landmarks in the City. Led by co-directors of Sculpture in the City, there’s no better way to discover the great stories behind each artwork. Saint Botolph-without-Bishopsgate churchyard (City of London), £10, book ahead, 12.30pm-2pm

SPY TOUR: A two hour walk of espionage and counter intelligence, revealing the true stories and London locations that inspired spy fiction. Why were the British security services set up? Where do they operate from, and what work do they do today? St James’s Park station, £12, book ahead,3pm-5pm

FOOD MONTH: A whole month of food celebrations? Our stomachs are rumbling at the thought of it. Kick off Waterloo Food Month in style at this launch party on Lower Marsh, with live entertainment, demonstrations and free tasting sessions from stallholders including Greenport Kitchen, Sticky Mango and Yo! Sushi. Lower Marsh, free, just turn up, 5pm-9pm

ACROSS THE CHANNEL: The newly-installed UK Ambassador in Paris, Edward Llewellyn — who was David Cameron’s former Chief of Staff — will reflect on Anglo-French relations in the first Maurice Fraser Memorial Lecture. LSE, free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

HYDRAULIC ECONOMY: Explore the background of two famous economists, Walter Newlyn and Bill Phillips, and how they built their hydraulic model of the economy, and how it fits in with thinking about the macroeconomy. LSE, free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

Waterloo Food Month

STAND UP: This night of experimental comedy will have you laughing through to the end of the week, featuring established acts Daniel Simonsen, Bridget Christie and more as they try out new material. Aces and Eights (Tufnell Park), £5/£8, book ahead, 7pm

BATTLE OF THE SOMME: Filmed and screened over 100 years ago, The Battle of the Somme was the first feature length documentary about the first world war. Catch a screening, accompanied by a live orchestra and talk on the restoration process. Walthamstow Assembly Hall, £8, book ahead, 7-9pm

MYSTERY MOCKUMENTARY:If you’re the sort of person who says ‘I wonder what that was?’, then this is the show for you. Will Close and Rose Robinson present a live mockumentary adventure investigating monsters, myths and Noel Edmonds. Prepare to be mildly unnerved. Pleasance Theatre, £5, book ahead, 7.45pm-8.45pm

CONSPIRACY CITY: Always more than a hint of mystery in the air, hear the history of occult London on this tour delivered by author of ‘City of Conspiracy’ books, Jonny Virgo. Something for sceptics and theorists alike, and maybe even something to change your mind. Meet outside Covent Garden M&S, £12, book ahead, 8pm-9.30pm

RIVER AT NIGHT: Trace the historic edge of the north bank, exploring a variety of after-dark environments that have evolved along the river, and how the darkness affects the way we experience the space. You’ve seen the river by day, but the experience is altered come nightfall. Gordon’s Wine Bar, free, book ahead, 9pm-10.30pm

Sponsor message

Head to Alexandra Palace for this free summer festival

Fancy music, food and theatre with stunning views? Head to the Alexandra Palace Summer Festival on 22 July, which is completely free to enter.

The day promises to be full of street food, craft beer and three stages of fantastic live music, as well as theatre performances, an outdoor cinema and a silent disco — the The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club are headlining, which is bound to be epic.

Take a ride on the giant waterslide, or round up the kids for a family rave — some events need tickets so plan your day of summery celebrations pronto.

Art review: sci-fi lightning
Copyright Chris Hawtin

Painter Chris Hawtin creates paintings of bio-mechanical massive objects that look like spaceships out of a video game. They’re brilliantly imagined, and we really want one of these eye-catching works. Chris Hawtin: Dawn Chorus at Bearspace, 12 Deptford High Street, SE8 3PQ. Until 28 July, free. ★★★★☆ (Wednesday-Saturday)

Food review: pre-theatre on a budget, solved

On the extremely beaten track of Shaftesbury Avenue, Hankies still feels undiscovered. It’s quiet and shady inside, even with the grill going full-tilt in the open kitchen. They specialise in roomali roti, hand-spun to thinness — cooked in a flash and served hot and folded into ‘hankies’. It’s well worth veering into their grill or curry section if you have the time, particularly for the fluffy, meaty egg and crab motala curry. But this place really excels at rapid, street-food snacking. A roti and jars of pickle — ours was a strange-sounding, incredibly compelling mushroom and mustard-seed chutney — are each £1.50. Throw in a cold beer or their genuinely hot lychee and green chilli cocktail, and you’ve got perfect pre-theatre food for around the £10 mark. Hankies Cafe, 67 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6EX. ★★★★☆ Lydia Manch  

Opera review: love rectangle

Bad news: King Mitridate has lost his third straight battle against the Romans. Good news: he gets to go home to his fiancée. Bad news: both his sons have their own political agendas and are in lust with said fiancée. Good news: the King has a plan to test his sons’ fidelity. Bad news: his fiancée is falling for one of his sons… Written by Mozart when he was all of 14, this rarely-staged opera is a revival of Graham Vick’s 1991 production and reprises his quirky and experimental motifs. Many of the outfits are about as wide as they are tall, the set is sparse and monochromal and one prop (a four-foot wide rock) is reminiscent of Spinal Tap’s Stonehenge. As the eponymous monarch, American tenor Michael Spyres is suitably imperious and, down in the pit, Christophe Rousset is true to Amadeus’ melodies. Some of the early arias drag on but, when the plot picks up, so does the pace. Pin those lugs back and let this win you over. Mitridate, re di Ponto. Royal Opera House, Bow Street, WC2E 9DD. £19-£120. Until 7 July. ★★★★☆

Good cause for the day: bee garden party

A fabulous garden party in aid of Bees for Development set in the gardens of Marlborough House, courtesy of HM The Queen. The social highlight of the bee season, attracting hundreds of people, united by their interest in bees. Marlborough House, £50, book ahead, 5pm-8pm


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
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
LDN [email protected] |Insights of a War Crime 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

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