Things To Do In London This Week: 11-17 February 2019

Things to do this week is sponsored by Secret Cinema.

All week

Imagine Children's Festival returns to Southbank Centre

MARMITE: The difficulties of gay monogamy are portrayed in Marmite, a theatre show that sold out in Edinburgh last year and now opens at Vault Festival. Dylan and Eddie have just moved in together and while everything should be going well, Dylan isn't as happy as he should be... Waterloo Vaults, £15, book ahead, 13-17 February

EALING FESTIVAL: W5 celebrates its world-class film and music heritage with Ealing Music and Film Festival. World-famous and local performers come together for a series of events including concerts, screenings and gala nights. Various times and prices, book ahead, 13-17 February

IMAGINE CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL: Let their imaginations run wild at this annual festival of kids' literature, theatre and music. Some activities are free, including outdoor games, a soundpit and face painting. Others require booking — see Peppa Pig in concert, hear from Jacqueline Wilson, or watch a performance of The Singing Mermaid. See full programme for details. Southbank Centre, various prices, 13-24 February

DIANE ARBUS: Photographs by New York-based Diane Arbus go on display in this exhibition. Specifically, the early years of her career (1956-1962) come under the microscope, with haunting and intimate photos of children and eccentrics, couples and circus performers, female impersonators and pedestrians. Hayward Gallery (Southbank Centre), £15.50, book ahead, 13 February-6 May

Monday 11 February

Hear the truth about rising sea levels at the Royal Institution

RISING SEA LEVELS: Oceanographer John Englander talks about how worried we should really be about rising sea levels, why altered coastlines will have an effect on the global economy, and what the projections are for the coming decades. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

HOUSE OF IDIOT: The weird and the wonderful are celebrated at scratch night House of Idiot. Clown and cabaret performers have the chance to show off their new acts and work in progress. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £8/£6, book ahead, 7.30pm

PROPHET LIKE IT'S HOT: Armed with a copy of the Qur’an, comedian Eshaan Akbar explores society's relationship with faith, including some of the myths around Islam. Does faith still have a place in modern society — and does any of it even make sense? Find out at this stand-up comedy show. Soho Theatre, from £14, book ahead, 8.45pm, 11-13 February

Tuesday 12 February

Lost words, folk music and spell songs at Southbank Centre

HISTORYHIT LIVE: Love and romance throughout time is the subject of this month's HistoryHit Live. TV historian Dan Snow leads the evening of talks, supported by experts including Chris Laoutaris discussing Shakespeare and love, and Laura Doan talking about female homosexuality in the world wars. British Academy, £10, book ahead, 7pm-9.30pm

COSI FAN TUTTE: Bloomsbury Opera performs Mozart classic Cosi Fan Tutte in the impressive Great Hall. With a cast from as far afield as New Zealand and Poland, focus is on rising stars of the opera world. Goodenough College (Clerkenwell), £15/£13, book ahead, 7pm

SPELL SONGS: Head to Southbank Centre for an evening of lost words, folk music and spell songs. Several musicians perform entirely new pieces, all based on the book The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, about the loss of everyday words from a children's dictionary. Southbank Centre, £15-£20, book ahead, 7.30pm


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Wednesday 13 February

Love Letters at Roundhouse

GALENTINE'S PARTY: London Craft Club embraces the 'Galentine's Day' craze with a party aimed at awesome women. Take part in craft activities, challenges and a craft raffle, all while sipping a glass of prosecco or two. London Craft Club (Bloomsbury), £25-£29, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.30pm

WINE TASTING: Sparkling wine is on the menu at this vino tasting event. Learn about (and taste) five different varieties, from an expert sommelier — and if you find one you like, they're all available to buy on the night. Heathcote and Star (Leytonstone), from £14, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

RIVAL QUEENS: Royal rivalries are nothing new; cousins Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I had a famous feud, which is the subject of a recent film. Hear the truth behind the rivalry from historian and author Kate Williams, who wrote a book on the pair. Ticket includes a glass of wine. National Archives (Kew), £16-£20, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

LOVE LETTERS: Comedy storyteller Jack Rooke performs new show Love Letters, about the misfortunes of modern dating and gay romance. It's aimed at anyone who's been ghosted, or is constantly deleting and re-downloading Tinder — and it's set to a live harp accompaniment. Roundhouse (Camden), from £10, book ahead, 7.30pm, 13-16 February

Thursday 14 February

The Travelling Film Show brings cinema to The Shard

VALENTINE'S DAY: You won't be able to move for hearts and flowers today. If you want to get it on the action, take a look at our guide to the best Valentine's Day events in London. The romance part though, that's all down to you.

CLASSIC CAR SHOW: If vintage vehicles get your motor racing, the London Classic Car Show is right up your street. As well as a chance to admire all manner of vehicles, mingle with other fans and hear from experts, the highlight is the Great Runway, an avenue down the centre of the show where the cars are fired up and shown off. ExCel London, £25/£20, book ahead, 14-17 February

CURATOR'S TOUR: Join a curator to see the highlights of the current Alfred Munnings exhibition, and learn about the war artist and his work. Horses are the focus of his paintings, which offer an insight into the use of equine members of the armed forces. National Army Museum (Chelsea), £10.50/£9.50, book ahead, 11am

CHARLIE BROWN: The Peanuts exhibition is open late for a Valentine's themed event which looks at love through the eyes of artist Charles M. Schulz. In addition to visiting the exhibition after hours, the evening is a chance to take part in Valentine's themed arty activities — you might even meet your match. Somerset House, £19/£16, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

THE REVOLUTION: Prince’s legendary band, The Revolution, keep the spirit of The Purple One alive with a reunion tour. Happily, scoring tickets to see the rockers who brought us Purple Rain live in concert is a doddle*. O2 Shepherds Bush, from £52.12 while tickets last, book ahead, 8pm (sponsor). *while tickets last

SHARD FILM: We'll excuse you if you're too busy admiring the views to watch much of the film — this Romeo and Juliet screening takes place at The View From The Shard, more than 60 floors above London. Champagne and popcorn are included in your ticket. The View From The Shard, £45, book ahead, 9pm-11.45pm

Friday 15 February

A night of serious circus comes to Jackson's Lane

IMPROVATHON: Some of the world's best comedy improvisers come together for a non-stop 50 hour improvathon — don't worry, you don't have to sit through the whole thing, as it's split into two hour episodes. The theme is the Wild West, paying homage to all sorts of Western films. Wilton's Music Hall, £10/£7, book ahead, 7pm-17 February

DIRTY DANCING: The same cinema company who took us up The Shard last night (ooer!) bring Baby and co to Charlton House for a screening of Dirty Dancing. Get a free glass of wine on arrival and watch the film in the atmospheric Old Library. Charlton House, £20, book ahead, 7pm

SERIOUS CIRCUS: Vital, radical stories are told through the medium of circus at A Night Of Serious Circus. Aerialists, clowns and other performers take on harsh words, extreme bodies and political views. Jackson's Lane (Highgate), £10/£8, book ahead, 7.30pm

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S: The classic Audrey Hepburn film, about two would-be-lovers in 1960s New York, is introduced by local film and media writer David Dent. Harris Academy South Norwood, £8.50/£7/£5, book ahead, 7.45pm

Saturday 16 February

Find out about the work of Ada Salter

HALF TERM: The week-long school holiday begins today but fear not — our guide to things to do in London in February half term has plenty of ways to keep kids busy, whatever their age and whatever your budget.

BRICK WONDERS: Half a million Lego bricks have been used to make 50 models at new exhibition Brick Wonders. Some of the wonders of the world have been recreated in coloured plastic, including Egyptian pyramids, Greek temples and old London Bridge. Horniman Museum (Forest Hill), £4.50-£9, book ahead, 16 February-27 October

SHARD BREAKFAST: Kick off half term with a family breakfast at The View From The Shard. Tuck into juice, hot drinks, croissants, fruit and muffins while admiring London from 60+ floors up. There's free face painting and balloon modelling, and an activity sheet to get the kids thinking. The View From The Shard, from £16, book ahead, 8.30am-10am

BEAUTIFYING BERMONDSEY: Ada Salter is best-known for being the first female mayor in London, but she and her husband made a massive impact on their local area. Join this guided walk to hear about how they improved housing, healthcare and employment in Bermondsey, and the legacy they left behind. Bermondsey station, £12/£9, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

NAKED HOUSE CLEANER: Comedy, confession and intimacy mingle in new show Coming Clean: Life As A Naked House Cleaner. Ethan lays bare his life as a naked house cleaner, and explores what we want and what stops us from asking for it. Bermondsey Fayre, £15, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm

Sunday 17 February

Botanic art at Kew Gardens

ANTIQUES FAIR: Rummage through all manner of antiques and collectibles from over 300 dealers at this fair. Ceramics, artwork, jewellery and more are all on display, with plenty of traders willing to do a deal. Alexandra Palace, £12/£6, just turn up (cash only), 8.30am (trade)/9.30am (public) until 4.30pm

HOUSEMAID'S TOUR: An actor plays the role of Charles Dickens' housemaid to show you around his house as it would have been when the author and his family lived there in 1839. It's a chance to visit the museum when it's closed to the public, and learn a bit more about some of the rooms and objects. Dickens Museum (Bloomsbury), £15/£12/£8, book ahead, 10am/11am/11.45am

BOTANIC ART: Need some tips on developing your artwork? Head to Kew Gardens to get some advice from a botanical artist, and take some inspiration from their own work. Kew Gardens, included in garden admission, just turn up, 11am-3pm