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Spacey Plots Murder, Blondie Rocks, Holy Relics: London Weekend

Debbie Harry
Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie, plays London's Lovebox festival in Victoria Park, with hits off the CD "Panic of Girls." Source: Press Here Publicity via Bloomberg

July 14 (Bloomberg) -- Kevin Spacey plays a glowering hunchback in his latest London stage appearance.

The Hollywood actor stars in Sam Mendes’s take on Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” a production loosely timed between the 1930s and now.

Wearing a crown and a metal leg brace, Spacey draws hearty laughs even as he conspires to commit another murder.

The sets -- three walls of wooden doors -- create a suitably stifling atmosphere.

“Richard III” is at the Old Vic Theatre. Information: http://www.oldvictheatre.com or +44-844-871-7628.

Tsuru, a 10-minute walk away, serves the kind of snacks you might enjoy in Japan. Besides sushi and sashimi, there are dumplings, noodles, salads and curries. It’s inexpensive and unpretentious, and the fish comes from sustainable sources. Information: http://www.tsuru-sushi.co.uk/ and +44-20-7928-2228.

Saturday

Drops of the Virgin Mary’s breast milk are said to be preserved in a reliquary now at the British Museum.

Together with the hair of St. John the Evangelist and spikes from the Crown of Thorns, these Christian relics feature in the “Treasures of Heaven” exhibition. Curators carefully steer clear of verifying their authenticity, focusing instead on the ornate gold and silver containers.

Lest you think worshiping dead people is ancient history, the show ends with a slew of contemporary cult figures, including Lenin, Elvis Presley and Princess Diana.

“Treasures of Heaven” ends Oct. 9 at the British Museum. Information: http://www.britishmuseum.org or +44-20-7323-8000.

Saturday Night

Blondie shares a stage with Snoop Dogg and Ziggy Marley at the three-day Lovebox festival -- though they won’t all occupy it at once. Snoop Dogg headlines Saturday, the day that Marley also appears; Debbie Harry's band is on Sunday.

The East London event, founded in 2002 by electropop act Groove Armada, always offers plenty of dance music. This year’s edition promises infectious disco tunes from Santigold and the Scissor Sisters. The lineup is a mishmash: from Marc Almond and Beth Ditto to pop divas Jessie J, Katy B and Kelis.

Lovebox, Victoria Park, Grove Road, E3. Information: http://www.lovebox.net or +44-844-822-1233. Tickets cost from 28.50 pounds ($45.90) for Friday only to 185 pounds for the VIP weekend package; some combinations are sold out.

Sunday

The Proms -- that two-month-long concert series -- start this weekend with the aim of surpassing the record 313,000 tickets sold last year.

Highlights of the 116-year-old festival include a late-night celebration of Steve Reich’s 75th birthday, performances by violinist Nigel Kennedy and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and an evening of Ennio Morricone film music by Australia’s Spaghetti Western Orchestra (using such instruments as asthma inhalers and cereal packs).

The Proms are at the Royal Albert Hall through Sept. 10. Information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms or +44-845-401-5040.

Min Jiang, atop the Royal Garden Hotel, is an elegant Chinese restaurant convenient for the Albert Hall. Many go for the dim sum, while Beijing duck is the house special. The bonus: beautiful views across Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Information: http://www.minjiang.co.uk and +44-20-7361-1988.

(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 Farahn@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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