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Poolside Escapade, Finley Quaye, King’s Torment: London Weekend

Louise Ford as a champion swimmer in
Louise Ford as a champion swimmer in "Amphibians" in London, staged in a Victorian-era swimming pool off London's Fleet Street, ends Jan. 28. Photographer: Richard Davenport/Offstage Theatre via Bloomberg

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Finley Quaye is bringing his smooth reggae back to London.

The U.K.-born singer-songwriter, 36 and a resident of Berlin, will reprise hits including “Sunday Shining” and “Even After All.” He’s sure to get audience participation with the chorus “I love you so and so.”

For the Friday show, the Mobo and Brit-winning star will also preview his new album, a blend of jazz, trip-hop and rock.

Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, Camden Town, NW1 7PG. Information:, or +44-844-847-2514.


Every day except Sunday, love blossoms and wanes in a Victorian swimming pool off Fleet Street.

The 19th-century bathing facility, which fell into disuse in the 1960s and reopened in 1994 as the Bridewell Theatre, is now the setting for “Amphibians” -- the story of two champion swimmers who meet and mate in their teens, then part ways.

Staged in the empty pool, the show has a swimsuited cast that slithers and sways to throbbing music. Lights and videos beam across a set dotted with lockers and starting blocks.

Towels are handed out for use as cushions; be sure and get two to be comfortable. The Offstage Theatre production ends Jan. 28. Information: or +44-20-7353-3331.

Fleet Street is not a go-to area for eating out, yet new restaurants are changing that. Cigalon, on nearby Chancery Lane, serves Provencal food and is an offshoot of Club Gascon: Lutyens is a highly polished French brasserie brought to you by D&D London, successor to the Conran Restaurants group:

Saturday Night

The man who played Gracchus in Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” is taking on King Lear at the Donmar.

Derek Jacobi is chilling as the monarch handing over to his warring progeny. Yet he has none of the trappings of royalty: There are next to no props, and the set is an assortment of gray planks coated with whitewash.

“King Lear,” directed by Michael Grandage, is at the Donmar West End, 41 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LX through Feb. 5. Information: or +44-844-871-7624.

Around the corner is one of London’s hot new restaurants, Hawksmoor Seven Dials -- great for steaks and cocktails, but also for a burger or lobster roll at the bar. Book early. The place, even the bar, gets crowded. Information: If that’s full or you prefer something even more casual, Kopapa is New Zealand chef Peter Gordon’s nearby fusion eatery and bar:


Bridget Riley -- the abstract artist now pushing 80 -- was 16 when she copied Jan van Eyck’s “Portrait of a Man.”

Her convincing replica hangs in a National Gallery show that links Riley’s signature stripes to the works of masters such as Raphael, Mantegna and Seurat.

A long shot, you might say. Yet when gazed at for more than a few seconds, Riley’s colored bands do start to undulate like dots in a Seurat painting.

The show, sponsored by Bloomberg News’s parent Bloomberg LP, ends on May 22. Information: or +44-20-7747-2423.

(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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at

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