James Bond Returns, Public Enemy, Goya: London Weekend

Actor Daniel Craig
British actor Daniel Craig poses during a photocall for the new James Bond movie 'Skyfall', at a hotel in Paris, on Thursday, Oct.25, 2012. Photographer: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

Battersea Power Station comes back to life for its annual festival of skiing, snowboarding and music.

The two-day sporting events on artificial surfaces are combined with shows by Mark Ronson, DJ Shadow, Zane Lowe, Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy.

Relentless Energy Freeze Festival, Battersea Power Station, Kirtling St., SW8 5BN, Friday and Saturday. Information: http://www.relentlessfreeze.com/music or +44-870-264-3333.

Elsewhere in London, Jarvis Cocker does contemporary dance.

Not that you’ll catch him on pointes in the Michael Clark Company’s “New Work 2012.” Wearing face paint, he growls into the mike and tiptoes around nimble dancers in Day-Glo leotards. It’s an electric segment, with standout moves from Julie Cunningham (formerly with Merce Cunningham and no relation).

Through Saturday night at the Barbican Theatre: http://www.barbican.org.uk or +44-20-7638-8891.

St. John restaurant, a 10-minute walk away, is a favorite of chefs the world over. Desserts and bread are particularly good. No surprise: There’s a bakery beside the bar. Information: https://www.stjohngroup.uk.com/ or +44-20-7251-0848.


Fewer than five drawings by Velazquez have survived in the three and a half centuries since he died. One has just been fished out of the British Museum’s vaults for temporary display.

The Iberian master’s study of a horse’s legs and rear quarters is among the many gems in “Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain.” Another is the only drawing unequivocally attributed to Zurbaran, “Head of a Monk” (1635-55).

The show’s undisputed star is Goya, for the sheer volume and caliber of his prints and drawings. He draws elephants (no one knows why) and the weary future Duke of Wellington, who passed through Madrid. His etching of an old man laughing demonically on a swing -- completed most probably in the last year of his life -- seems an eerie epitaph.

Through Jan. 6, 2013. Information: http://www.britishmuseum.org or +44-20-7323-8299.

Saturday Night

A shy widower named Guy reluctantly lands the lead part in an amateur opera production.

In Alan Ayckbourn’s 1984 comedy “A Chorus of Disapproval,” Guy’s role keeps getting bigger as the troupe, driven crazy by a mad director, keeps getting smaller. Soon, Guy is turning women’s heads, and getting cozy with not one, but two.

Welsh comedian Rob Brydon plays the control-freak director. At the Harold Pinter, 6 Panton Street, SW1Y 4DN. Information: http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/harold-pinter-theatre or +44-844-871-7615.

It’s a short walk from the theater to Arbutus, one of the best-value restaurants in London. Chef Anthony Demetre already has one Michelin star, and his cooking is ambitious. The pre-theater menu is 20.95 pounds for three courses. Information: http://www.arbutusrestaurant.co.uk/ or +44-20-7734-4545.


Director Sam Mendes, whose film “American Beauty” portrayed a randy suburban dad, has turned his attention to another male archetype: the suave, sophisticated spy.

Mendes’s first James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” opens this weekend in the U.K. It’s partly shot in Istanbul, where 007 (Daniel Craig) goes hunting for a stolen computer disk containing an ultra-sensitive list of NATO agents.

Information: http://www.007.com/skyfall.

On Sunday night, rock fans can choose from two acts that couldn’t possibly be more contrasting: the polished pop of Level 42 at the Royal Albert Hall, or the raw horror of Alice Cooper at Wembley Arena. Information: http://alicecooper.com/tour-terror or http://www.level42.com/.

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

Muse highlights include Jorg von Uthmann on Paris arts, Zinta Lundborg’s New York weekend and Lewis Lapham on history.

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