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Blanchett Gets Dumped, Ronson’s Ballet: London Weekend

The cover of Amadou & Mariam's album
The cover of Amadou & Mariam's album "Folila." The blind husband-and-wife duo from Mali are touring in support of the CD, released in April, 2012. Source: Nonesuch Records via Bloomberg.

April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Amadou & Mariam have taken three decades to become two of the hottest names in world music.

The blind husband-and-wife duo from Mali -- who have performed alongside Stevie Wonder and U2 -- are in London to play tracks from their sunny Afro-pop album “Folila,” released this week. The Friday show features Ebony Bones, a guest on the new CD.

April 13 at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT. Information:,, or +44-844-477-2000.


J.M.W. Turner greatly admired a French patissier’s son who was born 170 years before him.

The 17th-century painter Claude Gellee, known as Le Lorrain, is said to have made Turner weep with a pair of scenes inspired by Rome. They open the National Gallery’s show, “Turner Inspired: In the Light of Claude” (through June 5).

The views aren’t exactly true to life: Peek through the trees in one of the Claude oils, and you’ll see the Pantheon, perched on a verdant hilltop.

Turner produced a sketch of one of the paintings that’s in the show. He soon went beyond emulation to produce hazy pictures that made him a master in his own right.

Information: or +44-20-7747-2885.

Also this weekend, you can view one of art history’s best-known pictures at Sotheby’s: Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” (1895), one of four versions by the Norwegian artist, is on view through Sunday. The pastel-on-board, set to be auctioned on May 2 in New York, carries an estimate of at least $80 million.

Through April 18 at Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, W1. Information: or +44-20-7293-5000.

Saturday Night

Boy George has come a long way since his days of community service as a street sweeper in New York.

The singer is currently on stage at the Royal Opera House - - belting “I Want Somebody to Love Me” in a band featuring Mark Ronson on bass -- while the Royal Ballet performs Wayne McGregor’s energizing work, “Carbon Life.”

There are plenty of other surprises in the triple bill. A prostitute gets knifed by her lover in Liam Scarlett’s “Sweet Violets” (based on a real-life killing in Jack the Ripper’s day), and a model (principal Marianela Nunez) strips to the waist to beguile a famous artist in his studio.

“Polyphonia,” “Sweet Violets” and “Carbon Life” end their run on April 23. Information: or +44-20-7304-4000.

The 10 Cases, a short walk from the opera house, is a British bistro with a menu that changes daily and a wine list that showcases 10 whites and 10 reds. Information: or +44-20-7836-6801.


Cate Blanchett is on the London stage playing a woman whose husband walks out.

The Oscar-winning Australian actress is Lotte Kotta in Botho Strauss’s “Big and Small,” one of the headline productions in London’s Olympic-year cultural lineup. She’s vacationing in Morocco when her spouse suddenly absconds. Lotte’s quest for human connection becomes more and more desperate and surreal as the play proceeds.

“Big and Small” ends April 29; the Sunday matinee performance is at 4 p.m. Information: or +44-845-120-7511.

The Jugged Hare has just opened opposite the Barbican Centre, serving real ale and British food from a kitchen that features a spit rotisserie and a charcoal grill. Information: or +44-20-7614-0134.

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

Today’s Muse highlights: Jason Harper on Jeep, Rich Jaroslovsky on technology, Jorg von Uthmann on opera.

To contact the writer on the story: Farah Nayeri in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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