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London on a budget? Here are 5 free events happening this week

Isabelle Aron

Put your money away! Here are the week's best free events.

‘Mary Sibande: I Came Apart at the Seams’

South African artist Mary Sibande creates photographs and sculptures of ‘Sophie’, modelled on herself. Through the works, Sophie morphs from a housemaid into different empowered characters, challenging stereotypical images of black women in South Africa. Somerset House. Tube: Temple. Until Jan 5th 2020.

Carnaby Street Christmas lights switch-on

This year’s festive installations on Carnaby Street have a sustainable theme: underwater scenes made of reusable materials will depict areas in need of conservation. The big switch-on is at 6pm. Carnaby St. Tube: Oxford Circus. Thu Nov 7.

Free fried chicken

Have an early lunch/ late breakfast at the new Chick ’n’ Sours in Spitalfields. On November 11 and 12, there will be 50 free fried chicken sandwiches up for grabs from 11.30am. Spitalfields. Tube: Liverpool St. Mon Nov 11-Nov 12.

Lord Mayor’s Show

Now in its 804th year (!), the procession kicks off at 11am from Mansion House with cadets, carriages, floats and bands. Over at Paternoster Square and St Paul’s there will be a funfair, archive films, art installations and street theatre. Various locations. Sat Nov 9.


The premise of Bardeblah is simple. Drinking spectators choose a statement, it’s posed to two debating teams. A ‘Bard’ chair moderates the proceedings, then the drinkers get to decide which team wins. What could go wrong? The Balham Bowls Club. Tube: Balham. Thurs Nov 9th. 

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