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‘Enron’ Author Tests Love; Mari Sings: London Weekend

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Photographer: Ellie Kurtz/National Theatre via Bloomberg

Billie Piper and Jonjo O'Neill as Tristan and Connie in "The Effect" by Lucy Prebble at the National Theatre. Tristan and Connie volunteer for a drug trial evaluating a new anti-depressant.

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Photographer: Ellie Kurtz/National Theatre via Bloomberg

Billie Piper and Jonjo O'Neill as Tristan and Connie in "The Effect" by Lucy Prebble at the National Theatre. Tristan and Connie volunteer for a drug trial evaluating a new anti-depressant. Close

Billie Piper and Jonjo O'Neill as Tristan and Connie in "The Effect" by Lucy Prebble at the National Theatre. Tristan... Read More

Photographer: Ellie Kurtz/National Theatre via Bloomberg

Billie Piper, Jonjo O'Neill and Anastasia Hille in "The Effect" by Lucy Prebble. Doctor Lorna James evaluates the effect of the drug on human guinea pigs. Close

Billie Piper, Jonjo O'Neill and Anastasia Hille in "The Effect" by Lucy Prebble. Doctor Lorna James evaluates the... Read More

Photographer: Ellie Kurtz/National Theatre via Bloomberg

Jonjo O'Neill in "The Effect" by Lucy Prebble. Tristan fixes tacks into his sneakers to impress his beloved Connie with a tap dance. Close

Jonjo O'Neill in "The Effect" by Lucy Prebble. Tristan fixes tacks into his sneakers to impress his beloved Connie with a tap dance.

Photographer: Ellie Kurtz/National Theatre via Bloomberg

Anastasia Hille in "The Effect" by Lucy Prebble. As she explains the workings of the brain, Dr. James reveals the mechanism of her own mental illness. Close

Anastasia Hille in "The Effect" by Lucy Prebble. As she explains the workings of the brain, Dr. James reveals the... Read More

Source: Eric Goldblatt/Goodman Gallery Johannesburg/Barbican via Bloomberg.

Photographer David Goldblatt pictures a couple inside their home in the South African township of Soweto in 1972. The photograph is on display through mid-January in the "Everything Was Moving" exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery, London. Close

Photographer David Goldblatt pictures a couple inside their home in the South African township of Soweto in 1972. The... Read More

Source: Larry Burrows Collection/Barbican via Bloomberg.

Larry Burrows portrays a wounded soldier in Khe Sanh, Vietnam, in April 1968. The photo is in "Everything was Moving," an exhibition ending in mid-January 2013 at the Barbican art gallery in London. Close

Larry Burrows portrays a wounded soldier in Khe Sanh, Vietnam, in April 1968. The photo is in "Everything was... Read More

Source: Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos/Barbican via Bloomberg.

Photographer Bruce Davidson shows two women at a counter in the early 1960s as part of his series "New York (Life)." The picture is displayed in "Everything Was Moving," an exhibition ending in mid-January 2013 at the Barbican Art Gallery, London. Close

Photographer Bruce Davidson shows two women at a counter in the early 1960s as part of his series "New York (Life)."... Read More

Source: Warner Records via Bloomberg

Mari Wilson, shown here on the cover of her greatest-hits CD "The Platinum Collection," is performing in London. The singer, known for her beehive hairstyle, is now known for her jazy cover songs. Close

Mari Wilson, shown here on the cover of her greatest-hits CD "The Platinum Collection," is performing in London. The... Read More

Tristan and Connie are laboratory guinea pigs: They have volunteered to test an antidepressant under medical supervision.

They’re also the protagonists of “The Effect” by Lucy Prebble, whose “Enron” famously dramatized a corporate meltdown.

This time, Prebble examines the meaning of love -- and the power of drugs.

As they take the pill, Tristan (Jonjo O’Neill) and Connie (Billie Piper from “Belle de Jour”) start displaying signs of passion. They get sweaty and excited, and their heartbeat accelerates. Is it because of the drug, or in spite of it? Who can tell?

Director Rupert Goold delivers a solid piece of theater with high-caliber acting. At the National Theatre’s Cottesloe (also on Saturday afternoon and evening).

Information: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk or call +44-20-7452-3000.

Saturday

The 1960s and 1970s saw the horrors of the Vietnam War, civil-rights campaigners marching in America, and South Africa enduring the indignity of apartheid.

Those episodes and more are illustrated in a Barbican photo exhibition ending this weekend. Larry Burrows pictures U.S. soldiers in Vietnam dragging a dead comrade through tall grass. Bruce Davidson photographs a seated Martin Luther King with reporters towering over him. David Goldblatt portrays the cramped conditions in the South African township of Soweto.

The show is a bit of a grab-bag, and could use some definition. Yet there’s a lot of fine photography on display.

“Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s” ends Sunday at the Barbican Art Gallery. Information: http://www.barbican.org.uk or +44-20-7638-8891.

Alba, just up the road from the Barbican, has been serving modern Italian food for more than 20 years. It’s a quiet and understated restaurant, which now opens on Saturdays for lunch and dinner. Information: http://www.albarestaurant.com/ or +44-20-7588-1798.

Saturday Night

Get to hear the singer whose skyscraper beehive hairstyle and retro songs are credited as a major influence on the young Amy Winehouse.

Mari Wilson came to fame belting out the 1982 retro hit “Just What I Always Wanted” with the Wilsations. She followed with more 1960s-style singles such as “(Beware) Boyfriend” before moving into jazz with “Cry Me a River.” She has a great voice for standards by Irving Berlin, Burt Bacharach and Rogers and Hart.

Wilson is the guest of another of Britain’s most popular jazz vocalists, Ian Shaw. The crooner and pianist has been playing dates with friends at a Soho dining venue so small that booking is essential.

Pizza Express Jazz Club, 10 Dean St., W1D 3RW. Information: http://pizzaexpresslive.com, http://www.mariwilson.co.uk/

Sunday

So far this winter, London is not experiencing freezing temperatures. Just as some colder weather is forecast, the ice sculpting festival is starting.

The annual event takes place all weekend in Canary Wharf, with professional artists chiseling away around the themes of infinity and the wonders of the universe. Visitors can play ice chess or scrawl on an ice graffiti wall.

Information: http://www.londonicesculptingfestival.co.uk.

Iberica, a contemporary Spanish restaurant, is excellent for lunch on Sundays at Canary Wharf. You can stop by for a meal or just for a glass of wine and some tapas. The ingredients are good and the dishes authentic and reasonably priced.

Information: http://www.ibericalondon.co.uk/ or +44-20-7636-8650.

Sunday Night

Tim Hugh is the soloist in Elgar’s Cello Concerto at the Barbican on Sunday Evening. The London Symphony Orchestra and choir concert also includes Mozart’s Requiem.

The event was to be called “Sir Colin Davis at 85,” with a rare appearance by the veteran conductor. The orchestra said in a statement Sir Colin is recovering from illness and hopes to conduct again in March. Yutaka Sado stands in for him.

Barbican Hall, Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8BS. Information: http://lso.co.uk/144/Elgar-and-Mozart/483

(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Jason Harper on cars, Rich Jaroslovsky on tech, Lance Esplund on art and Catherine Hickley on film.

To contact the writer on this story: Farah Nayeri in London at farahn@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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