Kinks at Sunset, Vodka Cocktails, Buying Jewels: London Weekend

Ray Davies
Ray Davies in the U.K. 1960s television show ``Ready Steady Go!'' The program is being recreated for a weekend performance at London's Royal Festival Hall at part of the Meldown Festival, directed by Davies. Source: Southbank Centre via Bloomberg

“Waterloo Sunset” is best heard on a summer evening alongside the Thames, performed by the man who wrote it.

Ray Davies, who penned the lyric in 1967 about lovers meeting by the river every Friday after work, will run through his catalogue of Kinks and solo numbers tomorrow night at the Royal Festival Hall.

Davies’s concert opens this year’s nine-day Meltdown Festival. The program he has chosen includes a recreation of the U.K. television show “Ready Steady Go!” on Saturday, with performances by Paloma Faith, Sandie Shaw and the Ronettes singer Ronnie Spector.

Meltdown Festival, through June 19 at Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Information: +44-20-7960-4200 and


Take a look inside the Libyan leader’s tent.

Camel cigarettes, Kit-Kat bars and huge sunglasses are spread around Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s desert dwelling -- as painted by Stephen Farthing at the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition. The tent has command-and-control screens and a fleet of fighter planes are parked outside.

The Summer Exhibition is usually a bit of a hodgepodge. It’s more coherent this year, with two fine rooms curated by artist Michael Craig-Martin. You can buy a Tracey Emin for 325 pounds ($532): a graphic gravure called “Bleeding” (from an edition of 100).

The show -- sponsored by Bank of New York Mellon Corp.’s Insight Investment Management -- ends on Aug. 15. Information: or +44-844-209-0051.

The Royal Academy now has a first-class restaurant in Peyton & Byrne. Chef Mark Hollyer uses ingredients from specialist producers to create dishes such as ham hock salad and pea & broad bean risotto. The wine list features special-edition labels designed by academicians including Emin and Gary Hume. Information: or +44-20-7300-5608.

Saturday Night

It’s your last chance to see an ape find his feet as a human in London this weekend. Kathryn Hunter plays the part of Red Peter, a chimpanzee that exchanges a Gold Coast cage for the European music-hall stage and finds it just as constricting.

The star of “Kafka’s Monkey” starts imitating his captors and is obviously more intelligent than them. Peter offers bananas to the audience and checks them for fleas. The fun turns sour as the ape’s eloquence and frustration grow. Hunter, who has crossed genders with roles such as King Lear and Cleopatra, this time hangs off ladders and dejectedly heads for the exit in a heartbreaking farewell.

Hunter’s energy drives Colin Teevan’s 45-minute adaption of Franz Kafka’s short story “A Report to an Academy,” now finishing its second run at the Young Vic’s small Maria studio.

Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, SE1 8LZ. Ends Saturday June 11. Information: +44-20-7922-2922 or

Baltic is a five-minute stroll from the Young Vic, and best visited after the performance -- in case you’re tempted by the many vodka varieties served at the bar. The restaurant’s pre-theater menu is 14.50 pounds for two courses and 17.50 pounds for three. Information: or +44-20-7298-8487.


Get your diamond wedding ring authenticated for free -- unsettling though that may be.

A mobile certification lab will be operating throughout London Jewellery Week, which ends on Sunday. If you’re not happy with the outcome, you can buy a replacement band on the spot, or learn how to make one in a goldsmith’s workshop.

The fair is spread across London locations, including Holborn and Old Spitalfields Market. Information: or +44-20-7241-7492.

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

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