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Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 September 2013 | UPDATED: 09:57 02 September 2013

Sir Andrew Motion, former poet laureate. Picture: Gareth Fuller

Sir Andrew Motion, former poet laureate. Picture: Gareth Fuller

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mexican feasts, Olympic sports fun and a talk from former poet laureate Andrew Motion are some of the top things to do in the borough this week.

Wednesday

Former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion joins a leading doctor to discuss the themes of medicine within Romantic poet John Keats’ work.

Sir Andrew, who was poet laureate for ten years from 1999 until 2009, will be speculating about the implications for modern medicine within Keats’ poems at Keats House in Keats Grove, Hampstead from 7pm until 8.30pm on Wednesday.

He is joined by poet Jo Shapcott and consultant oncologist Sam Guglani, who is also a curator at Medicine Unboxed, an organisation dedicated to engaging experts and the public about the moral and political aspects of medicine.

Vicky Carroll, principal curator of Keats House, said: ‘We are excited and honoured to have three such pre-eminent figures coming to Keats House to discuss and debate the fascinating connections between medicine and Keats’ poetry.

“It is the perfect event to kick off our Autumn events season, which explores poetry’s wide-ranging connections with fashion, music and science.”

The talk leads a three-month season of autumn events at Keats House, starting on Sunday. Highlights include a showcase by iconic fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood in October.

Tickets for Sir Andrew’s talk cost £5 and must be booked by calling 020 7332 3868.

Wednesday

A gastronomic festival begins at the Mexican Mestizo Restaurant and Tequila Bar in Hampstead Road, Hampstead.

Diners can experience Mexico’s culinary delights from 10 of the country’s states, as well as drinking cold Corona beers and tequila.

The festival finishes on September 15 with an Independence Party.

Friday

Find a perfect partner with GSOH at a singles comedy night featuring a host of funnymen and women at the Sir Richard Steele pub in Haverstock Hill at 8,45pm.

Comedians David Mills, Christian Elderfield, Sarah Callaghan, Cynthia Levin and Gatis Candis, along with “love coach” Cate Mackenzie, will be providing the laughs while singles mingle at the event hosted by The Monkey Business Comedy Club.

Free cheese and biscuits will be on offer. Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets cost £12.50, £10 for concessions.

Sunday

It may be more than a year since the Olympic Games were brought to the capital but its legacy is still going strong in Camden with a day of sporting family fun on Hampstead Heath from 1pm until 5.45pm.

The sprawling Give It a Go event has various “zones” all containing different activities and sports for kids and adults alike to try their hand at.

Music will also be playing from the bandstands and there are eight Nintendo Wiis up for grabs in a prize draw.

Last year, around 10,000 people attended the festival, which forms part of a campaign to encourage people to use green spaces to improve their health and well-being.

Sunday

A West End musical star and author will be reading from his latest book, a handbook for actors, at St Mary the Virgin Church in Elsworthy Rise, Primrose Hill, at 7pm.

Michael Simkins, who has been in Abba musical Mamma Mia! and Chicago and writes regularly for several national newspapers, has just released his fourth book The Rules of Acting.

Tickets are £10, £8 for concessions, and are available from Primrose Hill Books in Regent’s Park Road.

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