Britney Pole Dances, Richter Secret, Stargazers: London Weekend

Britney Spears
Britney Spears performs "Big Fat Bass" in Las Vegas. The star, who is on a world tour and plays London on the weekend, performed at Rain Nightclub for an MTV special. Source: PRNewsFoto/Palms Casino Resort via Bloomberg

Britney Spears brings her nonstop show to London, with its pole dancing, fireworks, strip routines and pop hits such as “Toxic” and “Gimme More.”

The singer’s world tour has sequences inspired by Marilyn Monroe, prison escapes, motorcycle races and her album “Femme Fatale.” Spears, 29, has sold more than 100 million records, including such hits as the double-entendre “Hold It Against Me,” which kicks off the spectacular, albeit juvenile, show.

O2, Peninsula Sq., SE10 0DX. Information: +44-20-8463-2000, or

It’s a big weekend for rock concerts: George Michael at the Royal Albert Hall, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at the Hammersmith Apollo and P.J. Harvey also at the Albert Hall. All are advertised as sold out, though some tickets may be available as returns or online.


Gerhard Richter says he’s baffled by the price his works fetch on the art market. Still, the record $16.6 million paid for one at auction this month is nothing to sneer at.

“Kerze” (“Candle”) has a lookalike hanging in the first-rate Richter retrospective at Tate Modern. Far more gripping is a room of paintings of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group, whose arrested members died in jail.

Richter says his art has no meaning, yet it often chronicles chapters in German history -- and his family history. An uncle in uniform turns out to have been a Wehrmacht officer. A young aunt is later exterminated for being mentally ill. Even Paris ends up looking eerily like firebombed Dresden.

“Gerhard Richter: Panorama” is at Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG, through Jan. 8, 2012. Information: or +44-20-7887-8888.

Saturday Night

The next time you order in a restaurant, spare a thought for the hard work behind the scenes. This is one of the messages in Arnold Wesker’s 1957 play “The Kitchen,” revived at the Olivier Theatre.

The barely controlled panic of chefs at the height of service is portrayed by a large cast directed like a ballet by Bijan Sheibani. The beautiful set and well-paced action outweigh Wesker’s clunky dialogue and political lecturing.

National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX. Information: or +44-207-452-3000.

A stroll along the river to the Oxo Tower can be pleasant after the National Theatre, and the open kitchen in the brasserie may even have its own entertainment value. There’s live music in the brasserie, and the views are spectacular. Try the restaurant section for a more formal dinner. The brasserie and restaurant both belong to Harvey Nichols. Information: or +44-20-7803-3888.


Go stargazing on your Halloween weekend in London.

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich will have an astronomer point out the stars and planets in its overhead planetarium, with spooky sound and visual effects to give it a Halloween feel. Visits are at 12:45 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

“Halloween Skies” is recommended for visitors aged 5 upwards. The Royal Observatory is on Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich, SE10 8XJ. Information:

Rivington Greenwich is a modern British restaurant situated between the train station and the National Maritime Museum. It belongs to Caprice Holdings, whose venues include the Ivy and J. Sheekey, so you’re in good hands. If you don’t want a sitdown meal, you can get takeaway burgers and fish & chips.

178 Greenwich High Road, SE10 8NN. Information: or +44-20-8293-9270.

(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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