Things To Do Today In London: Friday 11 August 2017

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The fun of France on the steps of Covent Garden

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Things to do

COVENT JARDIN: No need to book tickets on the Eurostar because France is coming to Covent Garden — or, should we say, Covent Jardin. An abundance of chic French brands, al fresco café culture and delicious dining spots that embrace the French way of life. Covent Garden, various prices, book ahead, until 13 August

FAMILY FRIDAYS: Choose shapes inspired by the historic buildings and gardens, and get stamping with paints to create your own mini marked masterpiece in this printing workshop. The Charterhouse, £3.50, book ahead, 11am-1pm

KIDS BEATBOX: One for the kids, take a trip to the world of AnimaLand where beatbox, rap and graffiti come together for an immersive, high-energy performance bringing to life an original children's book with improv and hip-hop. The Village Hall (Battersea Power Station), £3/£7/£14, book ahead, 11.30am & 2.30pm, until 13 August

BE SEEN DEAD: Something fascinatingly morbid for you, explore the cult of dead celebrity and pop culture with a show by made by blah. Protein Studios (Shoreditch), free, just turn up, noon-6pm, until Sunday 13 August

90S FESTIVAL: Get your champagne dance ready, Now That's A Festival provides some 90's garage legends for it's Friday line-up. Headliners DJ Luck & MC Neat are sure to provide one hell of a show. Central Park (Dagenham), £15, book ahead, 4pm-10.30pm, until 13 August

Kids Beatbox: Bouncing Cats and Boom Boom Pups

TUDOR TREASURES: Explore the treasures of Burlington House, learn about Tudor musicians and get hands-on with a felt-making workshop to create your own Tudor-inspired hair fascinator at the Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy after hours exhibition. Society of Antiquaries of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-9pm

CUBITT SESSIONS: Enjoy King's Cross's programme of live music performances from a range of genres; today you can hear EDM from Sondr and colourful pop music from Tiggi Hawke. Lewis Cubitt Square (King's Cross), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: Catch former American Vice President Al Gore at a streamed conversation event at Rich Mix with an opportunity to see the documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power ahead of its general release on 18 August. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £11, book ahead, 7pm-9.30pm

LIVE IN THE LIBRARY: A group of critically acclaimed musicians joins together to play jazz classics from the likes of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, all served up with a healthy serving of southern-style street food. Poplar Union, £5 in advance, book ahead, 7.30pm-10.30pm

BATTY ABOUT BATS: London Wildlife Trust is taking visitors on a tour of Crystal Palace Park to learn to identify bats from their ultrasonic calls with — yes this is a real thing — bat detectors. Crystal Palace railway station, free, book ahead, 8.45pm-10.15pm

Art review: flowing calligraphy

Image copyright Her Highness Sheikha Khawla Bint Ahmed Khalifa Al Suwaidi

This top floor exhibition at Saatchi gallery is filled with beautifully lit calligraphic works by Emirati royalty. Sheikha Khawla created these works exploring issues like love, peace and beauty and they are gorgeously crafted. Peace & Love at Saatchi Gallery, King's Road, SW3 4RY, free. Until 18 August ★★★★☆ Tabish Khan

Theatre review: more barmy summer fun

The Barmy Britain franchise returns for another jolly jaunt through the darkest days of our empire, via silly songs, plenty of audience participation and a great big pile of toilet humour. There’s the usual revolting Romans and party-pooping Puritans, plus a brand new exchange between Queen Elizabeth I and William Shakespeare, which give the glitter balls tied high on the ceiling of the Garrick a much stronger sense of purpose. It doesn’t even matter that cultural references like TOWIE and The Apprentice might fly high above their heads, kids will be in sheer disbelief not just about how bonkers Britain’s history really is, but how many characters can be portrayed so brilliantly by just two actors on one stage. Horrible Histories - More Best of Barmy Britain, Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0HH, £15-£22, 4 August-2 September ★★★★☆ [Monday 2pm & 4pm, Wednesday to Friday 11.30am, Saturday & Sunday 10am & 12pm] Phillipa Ellis

Art review: razor sharp

Image courtesy Lisson gallery

This exhibition is so dangerous that you’re only allowed within five feet of it. Santiago Serra’s massive grid like installation is made from razor wire and it takes ‘do not touch the artwork’ to another level. Razor wire is often used to prevent access to a set place. It’s particularly relevant when the art world can seem restrictive to many and the wider political sphere is dominated by debates on immigration. Santiago Sierra: Impenetrable Structure at Lisson Gallery, 27 Bell Street, NW1 5BY, free. Until 26 August ★★★☆☆ (Monday-Saturday) Tabish Khan

Good cause of the day: wet and wild obstacle course

35 obstacles await those who like a fun challenge at the Rat Race 10km course, which have joined forces with Children with Cancer UK. Swim, crawl, jump, slide and laugh your way around the wettest obstacle race in the UK and take on their 50ft water slide and giant inflatables. Plus help raise money for Children with Cancer UK at the same time. ExCeL London (Royal Victoria Dock), £70-£80, book ahead, 12 August

Funzing

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing.

Discover the Secret History of the London Underground


The London Undergound is over 150 years old, and it's seen a thing or two in its time. Are you brave enough to face the ghosts of the Underground? Travel through the home of the Bank's Black Nun, learn about the elderly angel who saved a tube worker from death, and come to face to face with Farringdon's screaming spectre. Bring your oyster card and discover the hidden secrets of the Underground. You'll need to have an Oyster card or travelcard for this event. Get tickets

Visit the Streets That Inspired Harry Potter's Diagon Alley


How well do you really know London? Visit the streets that inspired Harry Potter locations and see London's most superstitious hotel. On Matt's tour you will explore hidden places and discover stories unknown to even the most knowledgeable of Londoners. Get tickets

Lecture: Bitcoin and Ethereum for Dummies


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.   Get tickets