John Malkovich returns to the stage as an Austrian serial killer known for targeting prostitutes.
The actor joins a Baroque orchestra and two sopranos to perform “The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer” at London’s Barbican Centre. It’s based on the true story of Jack Unterweger, who committed suicide in 1994.
Don’t expect any gory reenactments: The Malkovich character is merely coming back from the dead to plug his new book.
“The Infernal Comedy” is at the Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS today and tomorrow. Information: http://www.barbican.org.uk or +44-20-7638-4141.
There’s a treat if you’re going to the Barbican and would like somewhere new to eat.
Chiswell Street Dining Rooms, two minutes’ walk away, is the informal new venue of Tom and Ed Martin, whose expanding dining business includes the Botanist, on Sloane Square.
The kitchen is open until 11 p.m. serving dishes such as lobster and prawn risotto, and snail and bacon pie. The bar closes at 1 a.m. Information: http://www.chiswellstreetdining.com/ and +44-20-7614-0177.
If love stories are more your thing than Malkovich’s psychodrama, see the Royal Ballet dance “Romeo and Juliet” outside its comfort zone: in the colossal O2 Arena, with as many as 12,000 people watching. Big screens, rock-concert-style, will help boost visibility.
Star dancers Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rojo headline two of the four performances between today and Sunday; 40,000 tickets have already been sold. Information: http://www.theO2.co.uk or call +44-844-856-0202.
A neatly combed Jean-Paul Sartre poses in his Left Bank study amid a tower of manuscripts and a wall of books.
The French writer-philosopher looks confident in the black-and-white 1961 image by Ida Kar, among the more insightful pictures in the National Portrait Gallery’s tribute to her. Chagall, on the other hand, looks worriedly out the window; his backdrop is a bowl of fruit. A young, uniformed Fidel Castro makes a rousing speech at a 1964 televised conference.
Kar, who was of Armenian heritage (she was born Ida Karamian), captured the personality of many of her sitters.
The exhibition ends this weekend, June 19, at the National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE. Information: http://www.npg.org.uk or call +44-20-7306-0055.
Bob Dylan brings his raspy delivery and familiar songbook to London. The grizzled legend tops the bill at the two-day Feis festival, which celebrates Irish and folk music. The unpredictable star is likely to feature tracks from across his career, sometimes performed sad and slow, occasionally fast and upbeat. The set list is subject to constant change.
The June 18 line-up also includes Christy Moore -- sometimes billed as Ireland’s answer to Johnny Cash -- who is joined by guitarist Declan Sinnott. Earlier sets come from the Gaslight Anthem, the Waterboys, Shane MacGowan, the Cranberries, Imelda May and the Saw Doctors.
Sunday’s theme is even more Gaelic, with Clannad and Horslips. Thin Lizzy will rock the crowd before another gruff veteran, Van Morrison, rounds things off. Fans will be watching out for Morrison’s hits such as “Gloria” and “Moondance.”
Finsbury Park, N4. Information: http://www.londonfeis.com
If you fancy a bit more star spotting to spice up your weekend, Gwyneth Paltrow will be signing her cook book, “Notes From My Kitchen Table,” from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Taste of London in Regent’s Park. Other highlights will be a cookery demonstration by Jason Atherton of Pollen Street Social, one of the country’s most respected chefs.
For the first time this year, there’s a Taste of Jamaica, where on Sunday you can meet TV chef Gary Rhodes and his Jamaican stepfather or learn Caribbean cooking with Collin Brown and Martin Blunos. Jamaican food will be served and there’s live music, a bar, a dance stage and plenty of rum.
Entry to Taste of London, which opened yesterday, is 22 pounds ($35.60) in advance or 26 pounds on the door. Sessions sometimes sell out and it’s worth checking availability here: http://bit.ly/k9IRHA. Information and tickets: http://www.tastefestivals.com/london/ and +44-871 230 7132.
(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)