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Jeff Goldblum Gets Wet, M.I.A. Swings for Teens: London Weekend

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"The Prisoner of Second Avenue"
Mercedes Ruehl and Jeff Goldblum as Edna and Mel in a revival of the 1971 Neil Simon comedy "The Prisoner of Second Avenue" at the Vaudeville Theatre, London. Edna is Mel's patient, loving and perennially comforting wife. Photographer: Johan Persson/Jo Allan PR via Bloomberg

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- A communal campfire tent goes up in the courtyard of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum late today.

Guests can enjoy an evening of folk ballads, ghostly tales and clog dancing free of charge, all part of V&A Summer Camp -- the museum’s inaugural two-day celebration of design.

Over the weekend, leading world designers will be on hand in tents of their own to run workshops and offer tips on how to make furniture and take-away toys.

Information: http://www.vam.ac.uk or +44-20-7942-2000.

Saturday

A robed Algerian smokes hashish from a pipe that’s longer than his arm.

He features in an 1857 photograph by Camille Silvy, currently the toast of the National Portrait Gallery (through Oct. 24). Silvy, a contemporary of Baudelaire and Balzac, captured ravishing views of rural France and North Africa before becoming a society photographer in London.

Sitters included Queen Victoria’s other half Prince Albert, and lesser blue-bloods who used the photos as calling cards in a 19th-century lead-up to Facebook. Sadly, manic-depressive Silvy spent the last three decades of his life in a psychiatric ward.

The National Portrait Gallery also has a photography show of athletes and personalities involved in the London 2012 Olympics, some in wax-museum-like poses. “Road to 2012: Setting Out” ends Sept. 26.

Information: http://www.npg.org.uk or +44-20-7306-0055.

Terroirs -- tucked away on William IV Street, which cuts across from the National Portrait Gallery to the Strand -- is a fine spot for a drink or a meal: It’s inexpensive and the wine list is among the most adventurous in London. Terroirs is often packed, so try to book early. Information: http://www.terroirswinebar.com/index.htm or +44-20-7036-0660.

Saturday Night

Jeff Goldblum is spending the summer in London getting buckets of cold water poured over his head.

Goldblum stars in Neil Simon’s “The Prisoner of Second Avenue” at the Vaudeville Theatre. Though written in 1971, the play is topical: It’s about the human cost of recession. Goldblum strikes the right balance between slapstick and despair. He plays the Manhattan-based company man coming undone, whose upstairs neighbors counter his complaints with water buckets.

“I don’t need analysts: I need lost and found,” he tells his wife (the talented Oscar winner Mercedes Ruehl), before burglars take everything including the dental floss.

“The Prisoner of Second Avenue” closes Sept. 25, and is an Old Vic production staged in the West End. Information: staged in the West End. Information: http://www.oldvictheatre.com or call +44-844-871-7628.

As a dance option, Saturday is the last chance to see the French phenomenon Sylvie Guillem in “Eonnagata” at Sadler’s Wells. Information: http://www.sadlerswells.com or +44-844-412-4300.

Sunday

M.I.A. headlines the festival with the youngest audience (by far) on Sunday. The singer -- Maya Arulpragasam to her friends -- performs tracks from her third album, a mash of pop, dance and disco. Also in the line-up: chart-topping Tinchy Stryder, the Courteeners and Lightspeed Champion. And all for just 26.50 pounds ($41.36) a ticket.

There’s one catch: To get into the Underage Festival, you have to be between 14 and 18. While parents and guardians are kept out, there’s plenty of catering at the gate and picnic opportunities in surrounding Victoria Park. Police and organizers will keep a close watch on those inside.

Information: http://www.underagefestivals.com.

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

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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