Friday, 17 January 2014 – Sunday, 19 January 2014: Free shows and activities in London for the weekend


Hello there! We present some free events and activities for the weekend. Most of them are daily or weekly events so if you miss them this weekend you can experience them during another weekend or even another day. Don’t miss the “Chinese Festival: Paper, Painting and Performance” held at the V&A museum though! Here are the events in more detail:

  • start the weekend on Friday with  the daily free, one-hour guided tours (11.30am & 2.30pm + 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays) of the National Gallery (highly recommended); on Fridays there is an extra, late, 7pm tour (the gallery closes at 9pm); a great way to spend your evening! Don’t miss the ones this Saturday with Leslie Primo; his tours are humorous, informative and inspiring!
  • alternatively, try the guided tours at the V&A museum: they are too free, last one hour and they are very inspiring. Introductory tours at 10.30am, 12.30, 1.30 and 3.30pm daily; Theatre and Performance Galleries Tour at 2pm (check at the museum as it doesn’t take place all the weekdays; it is safe to say that it’s on during the weekends)
  • If you haven’t done it before register online (before 6pm on Friday – one-off procedure) at parkrun and participate on Saturday at 9am. Parkrun is a free, 5K timed runs in various (42 so far!) parks in London (Brockwell, Crystal Palace, Finsbury, Richmond etc.) & the UK. Even if you don’t register you can still take part in the parkrun though your name will not be included in the results.
  • Illustration of children and music notesFor those with children aged 2-5, consider storytelling sessions with a touch of music (Sunday, 10.30am & 11.30am – The National Gallery)
  • Finally don’t miss the “Chinese Festival: Paper, Painting and Performance” on Sunday at the V&A (12 noon – 5pm). There will be free, drop-in and available on a first come, first served basis activities and performances related to Chinese culture. Performances and activities include calligraphy, fashion, crafts (make your own decorative paper kite, create a Chinese opera mask, paper cutting, paper folding), music and dance. Some of the events are recommended for children (ages 3+). Click here for the full schedule of activities and performances (PDF document).

Have an exciting weekend!

To get the full list of events and all their details for the weekend (Friday, 17 January 2014 – Sunday, 19 January 2014), or to make plans for any future dates please scroll down to the calendar and click on the event(s) you are interested in.

Follow us on Twitter for short texts about free shows and events in London or like us on Facebook. If you have any comments or suggestions please e-mail us at: LondonFreeShows@gmail.com


Friday, 10 January 2014 – Sunday, 12 January 2014: Free shows and activities in London for the weekend


London Ice Festival 2012 - Discobolus

© 2012-2014, LFS – Ice sculpture “Winter Sports” by Belgium team (Frank De Conynck & Dries De Belie)

Hello there! We present some free events and activities for the weekend. Most of them are daily or weekly events so if you miss them this weekend you can experience them during another weekend or even another day. Don’t miss the annual London Ice Sculpting Festival though! Here are the events in more detail:

  • Ice sculptor from the UK using chain saw to form his sculpture

    © 2012-2014, LFS – Ice Sculptor at work

    start the weekend on Friday by visiting the London Ice Sculpting Festival 2014. Watch from 12 noon ice sculptors participating in competitions and try yourself (from 4pm to 8pm) to ice sculpt by attending 20-minute masterclasses (children must be 12+ to participate). All for free! On Saturday the Festival is open between 10am and 7pm and on Sunday from 12 noon to 6pm. Time to take some amazing pictures or video with your camera and impress yourself and your friends!

  • PLUS  the daily free, one-hour guided tours (11.30am & 2.30pm + 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays) of the National Gallery (highly recommended); on Fridays there is an extra, late, 7pm tour (the gallery closes at 9pm); a great way to spend your evening!
  • If you haven’t done it before register online (before 6pm on Friday – one-off procedure) at parkrun and participate on Saturday at 9am. Parkrun is a free, 5K timed runs in various (42 so far!) parks in London (Brockwell, Crystal Palace, Finsbury, Richmond etc.) & the UK. Even if you don’t register you can still take part in the parkrun though your name will not be included in the results.

Have an exciting weekend!

To get the full list of events and all their details for the weekend (Friday, 10 January 2014 – Sunday, 12 January 2014), or to make plans for any future dates please scroll down to the calendar and click on the event(s) you are interested in.

Follow us on Twitter for short texts about free shows and events in London or like us on Facebook. If you have any comments or suggestions please e-mail us at: LondonFreeShows@gmail.com


Free films @ The Scoop at More London: 11-27 September 2013


Illustration of filmHere is an idea for the film lovers; starting today (11 September) there will be free screenings of films at the Scoop at More London every week from Wednesday to Friday until the 27th of September.

This year the films to be screened include recent blockbusters like Skyfall and Les Misérables as well as classics like Hitchcock’s The Birds and Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The films will be screened alfresco at the amphitheatre next to the City Hall (2A More London Riverside, London, SE1 2DB) so depending on the weather be well prepared and take warm clothes with you.

If we judge from previous years, most of the screenings are very popular (depending on the film and the weather) so we recommend you arrive at the amphitheatre an hour earlier if you want to secure a good seat. As you are aloud to bring food you can combine the screening with a sort of picnic.

Have also in mind that the idea is that you sit and watch the film on a concrete (cement) flat surface so if you think you will feel uncomfortable bring with you a cushion.

All screenings start at 7.30pm. Here is the full schedule:

  • September, 11 (Wednesday): Skyfall the latest Bond film (2012, with Daniel Craig and Judi Dench). Watch a trailer of the film here
  • September, 12 (Thursday): Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, directed by Ang Lee).
  • September, 13 (Friday): Frankenweenie stop motion animated film (2012, directed by Tim Burton). Watch a trailer of the film here
  • September, 18 (Wednesday): Back to the Future (1985, directed by Robert Zemeckis)
  • September, 19 (Thursday): The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966, directed by Sergio Leone; with Clint Eastwood). Watch a trailer of the film here
  • September, 20 (Friday): Les Misérables musical film (2012, with Russell Crowe)
  • September, 25 (Wednesday): Amour French film (2012, with Jean-Louis Trintignant)
  • September, 26 (Thursday): The Birds thriller film (1963, directed by Alfred Hitchcock). Watch a trailer of the film here
  • September, 27 (Friday): Grease musical film (1978, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John)

To get the full list of events and all their details in order to make plans for any future dates please scroll down to the calendar and click on the event(s) you are interested in.

Follow us on Twitter for short texts about free shows and events in London or like us on Facebook. If you have any comments or suggestions please e-mail us at: LondonFreeShows@gmail.com


Free gigs in May & June 2013 @ Royal Albert Hall, London


On Fridays (but sometimes on Thursdays too), at 12 noon at the Café Consort (Door 12, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP) the Royal Albert Hall often features free lunchtime gigs called “Ignite” by rising (mostly jazz or folk) stars. The quality of the performances is high and in most cases you can be sure you will be listening to some great music. Aim to be there about 30 minutes earlier if you want to have a seat; some of the gigs are very popular and you could end up standing for the whole duration of the performance.
Illustration of musical instruments (double bass, acoustic guitar, trumpet, keyboard, drums, harmonica, accordion, violin, percussion, banjo), a vintage microphone and a map of Africa

We have collected the free gigs to be held in May and June 2013 and we present them here. Enjoy!

All gigs start at 12 noon.

  • May, 17 (Friday): Giacomo Smith and Robin Katz’ Club Royale Giacomo Smith (clarinetist) and Robin Katz’ (guitarist) Club Royale performing a mix of jazz music
  • May, 23 (Thursday)Junior Ignite – Out of the Loop rising stars from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra
  • Illustration of a double bass, an acoustic guitar and a drumMay, 24 (Friday): Peter Michaels Trio (guitar, double bass, percussion) performing jazz and Brazilian music compositions
  • May, 31 (Friday): Ma Polaine’s Great Decline (vocals, blues harp, a horn section, accordion, guitar, piano, double bass and drums) performing a mix of jazz and blues music
  • June, 6 (Thursday)Trey and Freddie song-writing duo from Sedgehill School in Lewisham who use a mixture of folk, country and indie influences to create their sound
  • June, 7 (Friday): Atonga Zimba playing the koliko (or molo), a two-stringed lute, which is used throughout the savannahs and deserts of West Africa
  • June, 14 (Friday): FB Pocket Orchestra performing hot jazz, blues, ragtime and popular dances of the 1920/30s and earlier
  • June, 21 (Friday): Melange performing a blend of Middle East and other world music genres

To get the full list of events and all their details in order to make plans for any future dates please scroll down to the calendar and click on the event(s) you are interested in.

Follow us on Twitter for short texts about free shows and events in London or like us on Facebook. If you have any comments or suggestions please e-mail us at: LondonFreeShows@gmail.com


Free gigs in April & May 2013 @ Royal Albert Hall, London


On Fridays (but sometimes on Thursdays too), at 12 noon at the Café Consort (Door 12, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP) the Royal Albert Hall often features free lunchtime gigs called “Ignite” by rising (mostly jazz) stars. The quality of the performances is high and in most cases you can be sure you will be listening to some great music. Aim to be there about 30 minutes earlier if you want to have a seat; some of the gigs are very popular and you could end up standing for the whole duration of the performance.

Illustration of musical instruments (double bass, acoustic guitar, trumpet, keyboard, drums, harmonica, accordion, violin, percussion) and a vintage microphone

We have collected the free gigs to be held in April and May 2013 and we present them here. Enjoy!

All gigs start at 12 noon.

  • Apr, 5 (Friday): Moscow Drug Club 1930s Berlin Cabaret / Hot Club de Jazz / New Orleans / Gypsy Campfire Band
  • Apr, 26 (Friday): TG Collective a quartet from the larger TG Collective performing a mix of gypsy jazz, flamenco and contemporary classical music
  • May, 17 (Friday): Giacomo Smith and Robin Katz’ Club Royale Giacomo Smith (clarinetist) and Robin Katz’ (guitarist) Club Royale performing a mix of jazz music
  • May, 23 (Thursday)Junior Ignite – Out of the Loop rising stars from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra
  • May, 24 (Friday): Peter Michaels Trio (guitar, double bass, percussion) performing jazz and Brazilian music compositions
  • May, 31 (Friday): Ma Polaine’s Great Decline (vocals, blues harp, a horn section accordion, guitar, piano, double bass and drums) performing a mix of jazz and blues music

To get the full list of events and all their details in order to make plans for any future dates please scroll down to the calendar and click on the event(s) you are interested in.

Follow us on Twitter for short texts about free shows and events in London or like us on Facebook. If you have any comments or suggestions please e-mail us at: LondonFreeShows@gmail.com


Free events in April 2013 @ The National Gallery, London


Hello there & happy new month! Here is a round-up of the free events held at The National Gallery in April:
Collage/Illustration of children, flags (French, Italian) and musical instruments (keyboard, guitar, drum & double bass)DAILY (and Friday evenings)
'Recommended' label (light green background): it means the event is recommended by London Free ShowsEvery day at 11.30am and 2.30pm there is a free introductory guided tour of the collection; lasts 1 hour. During the tour a Gallery lecturer will take a closer look at five to six paintings so that you can get an overview of the collection. Every Friday (the only day of the week the National Gallery stays open late until 9pm) there is an extra tour starting at 7pm. Don’t miss the ones on Saturday, 20 April, by Leslie Primo. He is humorous, informative and inspiring!

FOR CHILDREN
Illustration of childrenOn Sunday mornings (10.30am & 11.30am) there are free interactive story sessions (last 30 minutes) inspired by pictures in the National Gallery for children aged 2-5 years. For children aged 5-11 years there are free creative workshops starting at 11am and 2pm (last between 80 minutes and 2 hours). Places are limited and allocated up to one hour before the event (children must be accompanied by an adult).

There are extra similar events on Monday 8 April and Tuesday 9 April 2013.

FOR FRIENDS OF MUSIC
There are free concerts/recitals on two Fridays this month (12 & 19 April) all starting at 6pm (they last one hour):

  • Illustration of a keyboard12 April: free concert with baritonist Luke Williams and pianist Ian Tindale, performing a varied repertoire inspired by the paintings in Room 34
  • 19 April: Free concert with quartet Tir Eolas (Philippa Mercer (flute/voice), Laura Snowdon (guitar), Georgie Harris (bass) and Ruairi Glasheen (percussion)), performing a varied repertoire inspired by the paintings in Room 34.

FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE
On Saturday 27 April (11.30am) there is a free description session of three landscape oil sketches by Frederic Church – “Niagara Falls, from the American Side”, “Winter Twilight from Olana” and “Floating Iceberg, Labrador” for blind and partially-sighted visitors. Meet at Sainsbury Wing Information Desk; advance booking recommended to guarantee a place: Tel: 020 7747 5855 Email: education@ng-london.org.uk

FOR DEAF, DEAFENED AND HARD OF HEARING PEOPLE
On Thursday 18 April (1pm) there is a free talk by Aliki Braine who will look at the general practice of sending artists out alongside explorers during the 19th century, together with the sketches produced by Balke during his epic journeys; with live speech-to-text transcription supported by STAGETEXT.

FOR CREATIVES & DOERS
If you like drawing there are free Talk & Draw sessions on Fridays (5, 12 & 19 April) starting at 1pm (last 1 hour) and an extra one on Friday 5 April at 6.30pm, where the participants join a lecturer and an artist in order to explore one of the paintings of the collection. Places are limited to 40 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Firstly, the lecturer discusses the painting in a short talk and then the participants respond to the painting by making their own drawing. Materials provided (for free).

In April your inspiration will be:

There is also a free Talk and Create event on Friday 26 April at 1pm where artist Jo Lewis will show the participants how to capture and experience the dynamic elements of light, movement and energy in Turner’s painting “Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway” through thinking and sketching quickly.

FOR THE BUSY ONES
On weekdays at 4pm there are free 10-minute talks/introductions to one painting each day (on a weekly basis). In April the paintings to be examined are:

  • on Mondays (1, 8, 15, 22, 29 April): Altdorfer’s “Christ taking Leave of his Mother“. Where are the 7 little people?
  • on Tuesdays (2, 9, 16, 23, 30 April): Titian’s “The Death of Actaeon”
  • on Wednesdays (3, 10, 17, 24 April): Corot’s “Italian Woman”
  • on Thursdays (4, 11, 18, 25 April): Canaletto’s “The Stonemason’s Yard“. Can you spot the spinner?
  • on Fridays (5, 12, 19, 26 April): Titian’s “The Death of Actaeon”.

Have an exciting April!

To get the full list of events and all their details in order to make plans for any future dates please scroll down to the calendar and click on the event(s) you are interested in.

Follow us on Twitter for short texts about free shows and events in London or like us on Facebook. If you have any comments or suggestions please e-mail us at: LondonFreeShows@gmail.com


Free gigs in March 2013 @ National Theatre, London


For those interested in jazz, folk and world music, Djanogly Concert Pitch (Lyttelton foyer, National Theatre, London) has been offering for years free gigs. Musicians, singers and small ensembles showcase their talent, mostly to theatre goers, before the actual plays start. The atmosphere is informal, friendly and it is a great opportunity to discover hidden gems and listen to good music.

Collage/Illustration of musical instruments (keyboard, guitar, double bass, violins, drums). a vintage microphone and a French flag

However, due to building work and refurbishment, foyer music is taking a break from April 2013 for at least 12 months. So we present here the scheduled gigs until the end of March, your last opportunity (for the time being!) to experience some free music at the National Theatre. Enjoy!

ALL THAT JAZZ
Seems that jazz is the dominant genre you can experience until the end of March at the foyer. Singers include:

BLUES, SWING & RAGTIME

  • Duck Baker (15 March – Friday, 6pm) | Trio (featuring fingerstyle guitarist Duck Baker) performing blues & Americana music
  • David Perkins (26 March – Tuesday, 6pm) | Pianist performing ragtime pieces
  • Martin Nickless (27 March – Wednesday, 6pm) | Band (featuring clarinetist Martin Nickless) performing swing music

CLASSICAL, FOLK & WORLD

  • Secret Minstrels (18 March – Monday, 6pm) | Duet (violin & piano) performing folk & jazz music
  • Illustration of a double bass and two violinsZenoria Trio (20 March – Wednesday, 6pm) | Trio performing tango, classical, folk and jazz music
  • Byron Johnston (22 March – Friday, 5.45pm) | Flamenco guitarist performing world music

To get the full list of events and all their details in order to make plans for any future dates please scroll down to the calendar and click on the event(s) you are interested in.

Follow us on Twitter for short texts about free shows and events in London or like us on Facebook. If you have any comments or suggestions please e-mail us at: LondonFreeShows@gmail.com