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Obama’s Bottle, Onassis Plot, Van Morrison: London Weekend

Robert Lindsay as Aristotle Onassis and Lydia Leonard as Jacqueline Kennedy in "Onassis" by Martin Sherman at the Novello Theatre, London. The cat-and-mouse relationship between Onassis and Kennedy fails to ignite the drama. Photographer: Tristram Kenton/Peter Thompson PR via Bloomberg

Aristotle Onassis, the Greek shipping magnate, paid a terrorist the sum of $1.2 million to kill Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

That’s the loopy hypothesis presented in “Onassis,” currently on the West End stage. Based on a Peter Evans book (“Nemesis”), the play suggests Onassis plotted the murder to facilitate his marriage to Bobby Kennedy’s sister-in-law Jackie.

Playing Onassis, in thick eyeglass frames, is Robert Lindsay. Lydia Leonard is Jackie. The play runs till January at the Novello Theatre, 5 Aldwych, London WC2B 4LD.

Information: or +44-844-871-7627.


U.S. President Barack Obama’s half-empty water bottle is currently on view in a London exhibition.

The plastic Sierra Springs bottle was taken by an eager election campaigner after candidate Obama stepped off a podium in Pueblo, Colorado. It’s one of more than 300 “Things” loaned or donated by the public and on show at the Wellcome Collection.

The bric-a-brac includes a cardiac pacemaker, a set of moulded teeth, and the kit used by an egg donor to allow another woman to have twins. The kit is described, in the donor’s own handwriting, as “a genetic starter pack.”

“Things” was thought up by artist Keith Wilson, and Saturday is your last chance to see it. On the floor above is the original cabinet of curiosities: that of pharmaceutical entrepreneur Henry Wellcome (1853-1936), an assortment of flasks, masks, medical instruments and even enema syringes.

“Things” is at the Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road London NW1 2BE. Information: or call +44-20-7611-2222.

Saturday Night

Amy Winehouse’s producer Mark Ronson has been stealing the show on his own in the years since “Back in Black” emerged.

Ronson plays the Brixton Academy on Saturday night with his new band, the Business Intl. The group’s first album “Record Collection,” released last month, has guest performances by Simon Le Bon, Boy George and Ghostface Killah.

Van Morrison is also playing at the weekend, taking to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall. The man who growled his way through “Listen to the Lion” is mixing in more rock to his music which varies from “Astral Weeks” folk to “Brown Eyed Girl” pop.



Canaletto had plenty of competition, as is obvious from an exhibition at the National Gallery.

Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697-1768) is considered by many as the pioneer of the 18th-century Venetian view painting. In fact, the genre was started by Dutch-born Gaspar van Wittel, whose “The Molo from the Bacino di San Marco” (1697) is shown here.

Other rivals followed, including Michele Marieschi -- who was quicker and charged less -- and the great Francesco Guardi, who produced delicate, detailed views of everyday life.

While there are lots of Venetian vistas to absorb in this thorough survey, Canaletto’s almost consistently impress.

Information: or +44-20-7747-2885.

Theater Restaurants

Dining out opportunities in the theater district have improved with the opening of two restaurants. Les Deux Salons ( is a French brasserie on two floors. The entire wine list is available by the carafe. Dishes include young chicken with lemon and garlic, while the cheeseburger is 12 pounds. The pre-theater menu is 15 pounds for three courses. It’s a beautiful room with food to match from Anthony Demetre, whose other restaurants are Wild Honey and Arbutus.

The other place to look out for is the new Covent Garden branch of Hawksmoor, an East London steak house known for great meat and cocktails. Hawksmoor Seven Dials ( officially opens on Nov. 1 and there are currently previews.

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

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