Brando’s Biceps, Minchin Rocks Proms, Hip Twist: London Weekend

"Elizabeth Taylor" (1948) by Clarence Sinclair Bull. The photograph is on display in "Glamour of the Gods" at the National Portrait Gallery in London until Oct 24. Source: National Portrait Gallery via Bloomberg

Marlon Brando’s upper arms bulge effortlessly in a classic shot from 1950.

The photograph, taken on the set of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” features in an exhibition of Hollywood images at the National Portrait Gallery. Pictured nearby are Marilyn Monroe sitting on a curb, and Joan Collins in a fringed bikini.

The vintage prints were gathered by collector John Kobal in the 1960s, when studios were shedding their stills libraries. Kobal would either be invited in to choose his snaps, or get tipped off on disposal day to fill up his car trunk.

“Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits” ends Oct. 23 at the National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. Information: or +44-20-7306-0055.

Les Deux Salons, across the street, is a French-style brasserie where Michelin-starred chef Anthony Demetre serves afternoon tea, as well as pre-and post-theater menus.

Information: or +44-20-7420-2050.


The woodland in Holland Park is the temporary setting for an outdoor musical production of “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

The scenes are staged in different glades, so you’ll be rushing from one to the next carrying your cushion, followed by a small ensemble of musicians. It’s Opera Holland Park’s interactive adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel.

Here’s hoping rain won’t spoil the fun.

Information: or +44-300-999-1000.

Saturday Night

Tim Minchin hosts the first-ever Comedy Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. The Australian rocker, whose hits include “White Wine in the Sun,” is joined by cabaret duo Kit and the Widow.

The evening will include snippets of favorite piano concertos. Pianist Danny Driver, making his Proms debut, shares the bill with BBC “Maestro” winner, the soprano Susan Bullock.

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP. Information: +44-207-589-8212, or

One of London’s finest brasseries is within walking distance of the Royal Albert Hall. Racine is known for French favorites such as filet au poivre, prepared by Chef-Patron Henry Harris, who is usually in the kitchen. Information: or +44-20-7584-4477.


Practice your pelvic swerve at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

The dance venue presents “Fela!” -- a musical tribute to the late Nigerian singer-songwriter-activist Fela Kuti. The multitasking lead, Saur Ngaujah, will have you stand up and mark the hours of the clock with your hips.

Ngaujah is the show’s highlight, as are his fellow players, who faithfully recreate Fela’s sound. Less convincing are the spoken or sung narratives, such as the long lament by Fela’s mother, thrown from a window by the Nigerian military in 1977.

“Fela!” is at Sadler’s Wells through Aug. 28, with a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Information: or +44-844-412-4300.

(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts & leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

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