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Mystery Dog, Shakespeare, Peyroux Sings: London Weekend

Madeleine Peyroux
Madeleine Peyroux, a U.S. singer-songwriter, is playing in London as part of a tour of Europe and North America. Peyroux's music mixes jazz, blues, folk and country. Photographer: Mary Ellen Mark/A I Artists via Bloomberg

The National Theatre is staging the bestselling story of a boy and a big black poodle.

Christopher sets off to find out why Mrs. Shears’s pooch was killed in Mark Haddon’s novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” The theatrical version brings in other narrators, such as a social worker (Niamh Cusack) who reads passages from the book.

Though occasionally awkward, the play features strong acting from Luke Treadaway (as Christopher) and a lively in-the-round staging. Information: or +44-20-7452-3000.

Ever wondered what an amplified cactus sounds like?

You can hear one played at the Proms tonight in a tribute to composer John Cage, who would’ve turned 100 this year. In “Branches” (1976), Cage instructs percussionists to mike up one or more cactus plants and pluck the needles with toothpicks.

Information: or +44-845-401-5040.

To eat before or after the Prom, Racine is nearby. This unfussy French restaurant celebrated its 10th anniversary in June and is a favorite of Londoners. Chef-owner Henry Harris is usually in the kitchen, and this week he serves grouse. Information: or +44-20-7584-4477.


If you think Londoners can get aggressive nowadays, you should have seen them back in the 16th century.

Swarms of city dwellers paid to watch bears get savaged by dogs on the south bank. The skull of one martyred creature, dug up in 1989 on the site of the Globe Theatre, is one of the first displays in “Shakespeare: Staging the World” at the British Museum.

Further along is the eyeball of a Jesuit priest suspected of being part of the gunpowder plot against the king. After his hanging in 1606, his right eye was fished out of the pot in which his quartered body was being boiled.

The exhibition extends well beyond Shakespeare’s own time and place to those periods and geographical areas that inspired his plays: Italy, Africa, and America.

Through Nov. 25. Information: or +44-20-7323-8299.

Malabar Junction is a small and inexpensive restaurant near the British Museum serving the South Indian cuisine of Cochin, Malabar and Travancore. Dishes include a selection of dosa crispy pancakes, vegetarian options and mains such as green mutton masala. Information: or +44-20-7580-5230/.

Saturday Night

Madeleine Peyroux brings her mix of jazz, blues, folk and country to London. The French-American singer’s style recalls Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell and Bessie Smith. She writes her own songs, and has covered everyone from Bob Dylan to Leonard Cohen. A rendition of Tom Waits’s “(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night” should be perfect for her Aug. 18 show.

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


Ambling down the concrete ramp at Tate Modern this weekend, you might run into a woman telling you she’s no good at chess.

She’s one of the people taking part in Tino Sehgal’s “These Associations,” the latest installment in the Unilever Series (which previously featured slides, a crack in the floor, and a glowing sun).

In Sehgal’s performance-art piece, trained participants roam up and down the hall, alone or in a group, and run, sit on the floor, or chant. If you stare at one long enough, they might stop and talk to you about a subject close to their heart.

Sehgal says all interpretations of his work are valid.

Information: or +44-20-7887-8888.

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

Muse highlights include Richard Vines on restaurants, Jason Harper on cars and James Russell on architecture.

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