Elton John’s Peace Call, Binoche’s Party: London Weekend

Elton John
British singer Elton John during his "Greatest hits Live 2012" world tour. The pop knight will be joined onstage by James Morrison and 2CELLOS during the Peace One Day movement on Sept. 21, 2012. Photographer: Samuel Kubani/AFP/Getty Images via Bloomberg

Elton John leads the biggest show in the 13-year history of the Peace One Day movement tonight.

The pop knight will be joined onstage by James Morrison and 2CELLOS, introduced by Jude Law and Lily Cole. Also appearing is actor Jeremy Gilley, who founded Peace One Day to promote a global truce for at least 24 hours every year.

Wembley Arena, Empire Way, HA9 0PA. Information: +44-20-8782-5500 or http://www.wembley.co.uk, http://peaceoneday.org/, http://www.eltonjohn.com/. The event will be streamed live on the Peace One Day’s YouTube channel.


When Vincent van Gogh lived in London, he was wowed by one particular landscape painting.

It’s easy to see why.

John Everett Millais’s exquisite “Chill October” (1870) is now owned by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. It’s a late gem in Tate Britain’s sprawling tribute to the Pre-Raphaelites, a movement both avant-garde in its critique of industrialization and backward-looking in its love of the early Renaissance.

As an artist, Millais towers over the rest. He also woos another man’s wife after portraying her on canvas. The female figure in “The Order of Release, 1746” (1852-3), a certain Mrs. John Ruskin, later becomes Mrs. Millais.

If you don’t have time to see everything, the catalog is clear and well illustrated.

“Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde” ends Jan. 13, 2013. Information: http://www.tate.org.uk or +44-20-7887-8888.

Saturday Night

Juliette Binoche is back in London as a certain Miss Julie.

On stage at the Barbican Theatre, she plays a bored young noblewoman who crashes a servants’ party and falls for the footman. The themes of class, lust and gender are all box-ticked in this classic 19th-century work by Sweden’s August Strindberg.

Binoche will be wearing Lanvin and performing in French with English surtitles. The production, directed by Frederic Fisbach, premiered at the Festival d’Avignon.

“Mademoiselle Julie” ends Sept. 29 at the Barbican Theatre: http://www.barbican.org.uk or +44-845-120-7511.

Polpo Smithfield is a 10-minute walk from the Barbican and worth the effort. It’s the latest outpost of Russell Norman, one of London’s most influential restaurateurs, who specializes in cool restaurants serving unfussy Italian food at low prices. The new Polpo ticks all of those boxes. Information: http://polpo.co.uk/ or +44-20-7250-0034.


Passersby in Trafalgar Square are mystified by the appearance of a large black rubber cylinder.

It’s a temporary container for a sound installation you can experience as part of the London Design Festival. Every day, a new soundscape composed by one of five musicians can be heard inside it. They range from the purely natural -- disintegrating glaciers, for instance -- to the heavily electronic.

“Be Open Sound Portal” (ending Sunday) is designed by Arup and sponsored by the Russian billionaire Elena Baturina.

There are plenty of other events at the Victoria & Albert Museum and elsewhere for the London Design Festival, which also ends Sunday. Information: http://www.londondesignfestival.com.

While you’re in the Trafalgar Square area, explore Covent Garden market, if you don’t mind weekend crowds. Union Jacks, the latest outpost of Jamie Oliver’s pizza chain, is there. The food is good, and the prices are reasonable. Just don’t go expecting peace and quiet.

Information: http://www.unionjacksrestaurants.com/ or +44-20-3640-7086.

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

Muse highlights include Richard Vines on food, Lance Esplund on art and Jorg von Uthmann on Paris arts.

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