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Rylance Cuts Coke, the Beat Goes On, Tame Art: London Weekend

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"Jerusalem"
Mark Rylance is Johnny "Rooster" Byron in the play ''Jerusalem." Rylance will be engaging in pop-up Shakespeare with London pedestrians and commuters during the cultural festival leading up to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Source: Simon Annand/Premier PR via Bloomberg

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Beat turns the clock back to the Eighties on Friday night.

The Birmingham band -- which split in 1983 after hits such as “Mirror in the Bathroom” and “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” -- is now re-formed and spearheading a revival of ska (a mix of reggae, jazz and calypso).

They play the Clapham Grand, which they took by storm in April during the London International Ska Festival. Information: +44-20-7223-6523, http://www.claphamgrand.com or http://www.thebeatofficial.com/tour.html.

Otherwise, you can hear the talked-about young pianist Alice Sara Ott -- who likes to play with bare feet -- in the Old Vic Tunnels, as part of a pop-up classical concert. Information: http://www.yellowlounge.co.uk.

If you’re in Clapham, it’s worth heading for nearby Battersea to eat at Bunga Bunga, a packed new Italian restaurant with pizza, cocktails and karaoke. While the rowdy ambiance may not be to your liking, the food may well steal your heart: http://www.bungabunga-london.com or +44-20-7095-0360.

Saturday

“I hate this job.”

That’s the message from Korean-born Hyun Woo Lee in an annual survey of young artists at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Lee has created a looping video in which every spurt from a lawn sprinkler is subtitled with one of those four words.

Not all of the new darlings are shrill. You’ll find a tight, tasteful, and even tame selection of painting, sculpture and photography -- a far cry from the days when British art meant Blu-Tack on a wall and fried eggs on a woman’s chest.

“Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2011: In the Presence” (through Jan. 15, 2012) is sponsored by Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News. Information: http://www.ica.org.uk or +44-20-7930-3647.

Inamo St. James, a stroll from the ICA, is a restaurant where you interact with a computer, not a waiter. The menu is projected onto your table, and you tap in your orders. The pan-Asian menu is enticing, and there are real human beings in the kitchen: http://www.inamo-stjames.com or +44-20-7484-0500.

Saturday Night

A debauched good-for-nothing in a silver trailer is getting a standing ovation from London theatergoers every night.

Mark Rylance is back from his Broadway run as the lapsed motorcycle jumper Johnny “Rooster” Byron. Though facing imminent eviction from the Wiltshire woods, he rolls joints and hosts wild parties for a posse of underage hangers-on.

Sound like a typical lout? Rooster has special powers. Once you see him pound a drum to invoke mythical gods, you may well start believing in them, too.

“Jerusalem” ends its run at the Apollo next month. Information: http://www.royalcourttheatre.com or +44-20-7565-5000.

Sunday

The Christmas market is back on the South Bank, with a German theme.

Wooden chalets along the river will sell trinkets, candles and ornaments, as well as mulled wine and Bratwurst sausage.

The fair ends Dec. 24. Information: http://www.christmasmarkets.com.

(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: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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