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Moby Plays, Filthy Art, Zoe Wanamaker’s Orchard: London Weekend

Erasure songwriter/keyboardist Vince Clarke, left, and singer Andy Bell. The are performing at the Short Circuit Festival. Photographer: Steve Double/Roundhouse via Bloomberg
Erasure songwriter/keyboardist Vince Clarke, left, and singer Andy Bell. The are performing at the Short Circuit Festival. Photographer: Steve Double/Roundhouse via Bloomberg

May 12 (Bloomberg) -- London’s Roundhouse will have a big electricity bill this weekend as bands such as Erasure and the Residents take to the stage.

Fans of electronic music also will hear from Maps and Alison Moyet during the Short Circuit Festival hosted by the record label Mute. Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode act as DJs, as does Moby. Those who appreciate electronica also can attend a talk by Gareth ‘Genius’ Jones, who produced some of the stars’ best records.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8EH. Information: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk or +44-844-482-8008.

Saturday

Hygiene is not a priority at the Wellcome Collection right now.

The building named after pharmaceutical entrepreneur Henry Solomon Wellcome is hosting “Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life,” an exhibition of the West’s shifting relationship with cleanliness.

For the 17th-century Dutch, spotlessness was a virtue, as demonstrated by all the mopping going on in Pieter de Hooch’s paintings. For 19th-century Londoners, though, it seemed secondary -- the waters of the Thames were so polluted that cholera broke out.

The Wellcome Collection is at 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE. Information: http://www.wellcomecollection.org or +44-20-7611-2222.

The Gilbert Scott, fine for cocktails or food, is a leisurely 10-minute walk away. It’s the new British brasserie of chef Marcus Wareing, who holds two Michelin stars at the Berkeley. Dining room and bar are in the beautifully restored St. Pancras station, so it might be prudent to book early. Information: http://bit.ly/f1untr and +44-20-7278-3888.

Saturday Night

“The Cherry Orchard,” with its dark message of change and impoverishment, is the suitably weighty opener to the National Theatre’s 2011 Travelex Season.

Zoe Wanamaker stars as Madame Ranyevskaya, who after years of spendthrift excess with a lover in Paris is coming to terms with mounting debt. Her composure breaks as her house is sold and the orchard faces the axe. Howard Davies’s somber staging of Chekhov’s play, in a version by Andrew Upton, leaves the audience draw parallels with modern-day families.

Olivier Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX. Information: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk or +44-207-452-3000.

Just cross the river from the National Theatre to get to Tom’s Terrace -- in the sprawling Somerset House. It’s a great place to start the evening with salads and grills, and cocktails such as the Black Pepper Martini. Information: http://bit.ly/dJiQ4c and +44-20-7845-4646.

Sunday

Cauliflower and romaine lettuce are growing on a concrete landmark known for culture, not horticulture.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain -- the postwar bash that generated the Royal Festival Hall --nearby Queen Elizabeth Hall has started a roof garden. There’s a vegetable patch (with potatoes and parsley), dozens of species of wild flowers, and even a lawn. What did it take? Eight tons of logs, 70 tons of soil, and five weeks of toil.

Information: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk or +44-20-7960-4200.

(Farah Nayeri and Mark Beech write for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed their own.)

To contact the writers on the story: Farah Nayeri in London at farahn@bloomberg.net; Mark Beech in London at mbeech@bloomberg.net or http://twitter.com/Mark_Beech.

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

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