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Bush Meets Jolie, Coldplay Rocks, Rioters Rant: London Weekend

U.K. band "Coldplay" bring their world tour to London on Saturday. Source: EMI via Bloomberg

The hyperactive Chris Martin and his friends in Coldplay bring their world tour to London tomorrow.

The British quartet is pushing its latest CD “Mylo Xyloto,” which is full of the gently uplifting rock songs that have helped notch up more than 50 million in record sales.

The band is also reprising its greatest hits from “Viva La Vida” to “Clocks” and “Yellow” -- tunes which have overcome some critical attacks to become stadium favorites with their singalong melodies.

O2, Peninsula Sq., SE10 0DX, Dec. 9 and 10, with supports including Emeli Sande. Information: +44-20-8463-2000, or


George W. Bush has been sighted on Savile Row -- and he wasn’t getting measured for a suit.

The ex-president stars in artist Paul McCarthy’s messy “Pig Island” installation at the Hauser & Wirth Gallery. Bush’s pink effigy repeatedly pops up among shattered easels, mutilated swine, empty fast-food buckets, and a photo of Angelina Jolie.

McCarthy’s orgiastic environments remind you of Hieronymus Bosch. If you can stomach it, walk to the gallery’s adjacent wing to see two more Bush figures in a mechanized installation with pigs.

“The King, The Island, The Train, The House, The Ship” by Paul McCarthy is at Hauser & Wirth’s Piccadilly-area galleries through Jan. 14, 2012. Information: or +44-20-7287-2300.

Franco’s, on nearby Jermyn Street, is an Italian restaurant with so many regulars, it’s like a private club. It’s been in business for more than 60 years and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus cocktails. Information: +44-20-7499-2211 or

Saturday Night

Four months after rioters kicked, smashed, and looted their way around some British cities, the London stage offers its take on events.

Writer Gillian Slovo has interviewed protesters, police officers, residents, activists and politicians to come up with “The Riots” at the Tricycle Theatre. Their responses are delivered word for word by a cast of 14 actors; chairs and a table are the only decor. Everyone is named except the rioter-looters, who are dubbed Man 1, Man 2, and Man 3.

Timely, if not a perfectly balanced piece of journalism. “The Riots” ends Saturday at the Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, NW6 7JR. Information: or +44-20-7328-1000.


Chocolate dim sum, anyone?

It’s one of the delights at the Chocolate Festival this weekend. Guest chefs teach you how to throw together chocolate-based recipes, pick the right winter drink to go with them, and savor chocolate the way you would a fine bottle of wine.

At Southbank Centre Square, behind Royal Festival Hall. Information:

While there, you can hear Russian-born Vladimir Ashkenazy conduct the Philharmonia Orchestra and French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet in a matinee performance of Debussy (“La Mer”), Ravel, and Manuel De Falla.

Ashkenazy will sign CDs afterwards. The 3 p.m. concert at Royal Festival Hall is part of the orchestra’s Sunday matinee series: or +44-844-847-9910.

When visiting the Southbank, it’s worth considering a walk across Waterloo Bridge to eat at Mishkin’s, the latest venue of restaurateur Russell Norman, the owner of Polpo and Polpetto. Mishkin’s is crowded and inexpensive and it’s in the style of a New York deli, with salt-beef sandwiches and hot dogs. Information: +44-20-7240-2078 or

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

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