Special events for adults

Information about events for adults at your libraries in the borough. Booking is required for most events.

Special events for adults

We host a variety of special events and workshops in our libraries for adults throughout the year such as author events, history talks and craft workshops.

Register to attend an event

You can book to attend an event by emailing libraries@rbkc.gov.uk, phoning Librariesline on 020 7361 3010 or registering online if the event is on Eventbrite.

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Special events for adults: highlights​​​​

Mrs Shaw Herself

Mrs Shaw Herself is a one-woman show exploring the life of Charlotte Payne-Townsend.

Charlotte was an Irish heiress as well as a suffrage supporter, philanthropist and Fabian. She met and married the famous playwright George Bernard Shaw when they were both in their early 40s and the marriage lasted until her death.

This show explores her life through her diary entries and letters as well as those of George Bernard Shaw, Beatrice Webb, T.E. Lawrence and Mrs Patrick Campbell. This most unconventional of Irish love stories is underscored by a Celtic harp.

Performed by: Alexis Leighton with Helen Tierney on the Celtic harp.

Book your free place for Mrs Shaw Herself at Kensington Central Library via Eventbrite

Book your free place for Mrs Shaw Herself at North Kensington Library via Eventbrite

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Mindful Matters course for the over 50s

Are you 50 years old or over? Then join mindfulness coach, Elizabeth Hooper, for a free eight session course to help you be more relaxed, more focused and better able to cope with the stresses of everyday life.

Book your free place for Mindful matters course for the over 50s via Eventbrite.

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Cityread London 2019 events

One City. One Month. One Book.

Cityread London returns for its eighth annual festival, turning the capital – and some spots further afield – into one massive, interactive book group with Ayisha Malik’s Sofia Khan is Not Obliged as the city’s collective page-turner from Wednesday 1 to Friday 31 May. As part of this year's festival, we will be hosting the following events in our libraries.

Victorian London diaries with Claudia Jessop

How did Queen Victoria feel about her future husband correcting her letters in 1839? What caused resentment between pre-Raphaelite room-mates in 1849? Why was a doctor grateful to Charles Dickens in 1857? How did Chelsea school boys spend their break times in 1861, and why was it of interest to Leo Tolstoy? How did a housemaid start her day in 1872? Where did a fashionable Kensington lady buy her wedding trousseau in 1884? What did George Bernard Shaw spend on train tickets to Notting Hill Gate in 1893?

To mark the bicentenary of the birth of Queen Victoria, we’ll be mining our special Biographies Collection for the wealth of diaries kept by diverse Londoners during her reign. With many local connections, and a diary entry from each decade of her 63-years on the throne, we’ll read short extracts which allow us to glimpse life as it was lived by some of her most famous subjects, as well as by some ordinary people.

We will also have a quick tour of the collection, and trace the physical imprints of the Victorians on some of our books, with a look at stamps, bookplates, illustrations and bindings from the period. Some personal inscriptions allow us to find out more about the nineteenth century owners of the books – and what do some scraps they left behind tell us about Victorian life?

Claudia Jessop is member of library staff and has helped to look after the Biographies Collection for several years. She has found many Victorian curiosities and delights in the content and the fabric of its books.

Book your free place for Victorian London diaries with Claudia Jessop via Eventbrite.

The Great Diary Project

Learn about the history of the diary; why people write diaries and how diaries can act as a springboard to exploring some of the 21st century’s most pressing questions, including how do we identify, understand and portray aspects of ourselves.

The Great Diary Project rescues, archives and makes publicly available a growing collection of more than 8,500 diaries housed at Bishopsgate Institute, London.
Join two extraordinary diarists and the project’s director, Dr. Polly North for a revealing exploration and sharing of this remarkable archive.

Book your free place for The Great Diary Project via Eventbrite.

Don't shush me open mic night

Join us for an evening of spoken word and poetry to celebrate this year’s Cityread London book, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged. Open mic slots are available, either email us in advance or come early on the night to put your name down.

If you are just happy to listen, our Resident Poet will be headlining from 9pm.

To book a open mic slot, email: libraries@rbkc.gov.uk

Book your free place in the audience of Don't shush me open mic night via Eventbrite.

The moods of London with Nick Dobson

Over the centuries, diarists have chronicled London in both triumph and disaster, recording the great events and the everyday. They have captured the city in all its aspects and all its moods.

Nick will take an illustrated look at various moods of London as seen through the eyes of diarists both the famous and the hitherto unknown.

Book your free place for The moods of London with Nick Dobson via Eventbrite.

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Pride and Prejudice reading event

Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice starts with one of the most familiar opening lines in English literature: 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.'

Come along to another one of our reading events. We will read aloud extracts from the novel and talk about our favourite moments.Bring your copy and tell us more.

Free and no need to book, just turn up.

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For the love of fashion

Explore the ever changing fashion industry with guest speaker, Stefanos. His expert knowledge will demonstrate that not only do fashion styles change, but the fashion industry does too. This illustrated talk will reveal new ways of working and presenting that affect workers in the fashion industry and consumers alike. 

About the speaker - Stefanos has a lifetime obsession with design and more than 30 years experience working with designer labels and haute couture. His clothes have decorated some of the most prestigious catwalks including Givenchy Couture, Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon, Pringle of Scotland, Roksanda Ilincic and many others. He has also worked as a stylist for Kylie Minogue, Naomi Campbell and Cheryl Cole.

Book your free place for The love of fashion via Eventbrite.

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The Idle Beekeeper - the Low Effort, Natural Way to Raise Bees 

Join author Bill Anderson as he shares why and how to build a hive system that is both cutting-edge and radically old. And which requires only two active days of participation – a few hours in the spring and a few hours more in the autumn.

As well as directing TV dramas including Spooks, Lewis, Mr Selfridge and Dr Who, Bill also keeps bees on his roof 100 metres from North Kensington Library with a minimum of effort. He will read from his recently published book 'The Idle Beekeeper'  where he calls upon his years of applied curiosity as an urban beekeeper to celebrate these underappreciated insects and sho how simple and rewarding beekeeping can be.
Book your free place for The Idle Beekeeper via Eventbrite.

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We also have regular events for adults in our libraries that happen every week or month.