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Jack White, Hen-Night Comedian, Fireworks: London Weekend

Jack White's
The cover of the CD ``Blunderbuss,'' the first solo album by Jack White. The singer-musician said he had written a set of personal songs that could only be released under his own name. Source: XL Records via Bloomberg

Jack White is playing in London as he steps into the spotlight as a solo star.

After years masterminding groups including the White Stripes, Raconteurs and Dead Weather, White is on tour promoting his CD “Blunderbuss.” The all-female backing group cranks out blistering versions of tracks such as “Love Interruption.”

White is supported by Willy Moon on Nov. 2 and the Kills on Nov. 3. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Information: +44-20-8365-2121, and


The skies over London will be ablaze on Saturday.

The annual bonfire night, formally Nov. 5, marks the failed 1605 plot against the crown. This year, Battersea Park is starting a giant bonfire and hosting a fireworks display titled “London Celebrates” that you can watch munching on toffee apples and sipping mulled wine. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets can only be bought in advance, and cost 10 pounds ($16.13) on Saturday and 8 pounds before that (under-10s get in free). Information:

If you’d rather not pay, Blackheath Common is staging its own fireworks evening, coupled with a fun fair that starts at 4 p.m. Information:

Saturday Night

“Jerusalem,” that rambunctious play about a boozer with a bad leg, has an understated follow-up.

Writer Jez Butterworth’s new work, “The River,” centers around fishing. Its three nameless characters are a man, the blond girlfriend he invites to his log cabin by the river, and the brunette who intermittently takes her place -- with the man acting as if they were one and the same.

The cast, led by Dominic West (“The Wire”), is solid. Tickets to the 80-minute play (held in the Royal Court’s 90-seat studio space) are only available on the day: online or at the box office.

“The River” ends Nov. 17 at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS. Information: dial +44-20-7222-1234 or see

When at the Royal Court, the best place to eat is next door at the Colbert. There’s just one catch: This new brasserie from the Wolseley owners is packed day and night. Wise to book early. Information: or +44-20-7730-2804.

If you prefer comedy, try Shappi Khorsandi. She’s an Iranian standup comedian and single mom. As if that weren’t enough of a break with convention, she has a quirky private life which she happily details, including a brief tryst with a 41-year-old rocker who persuaded her to wear pigtails and a schoolgirl uniform on the show poster.

There are passing references to hen nights and bridesmaids’ outfits, including the bottom-hugging gown donned by Pippa Middleton for her sister Catherine’s wedding to Prince William.

The show ends Saturday at the Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE: or +44-20-7478-0100.


She lives in a nudist colony, just had a baby, and named herself after the slaughtered leader of a slave revolt.

Spartacus Chetwynd is one of four hopefuls in this year’s Turner Prize contemporary-art contest. A performance artist, she puts on skits you can now see at Tate Britain. In one, men in camouflage prop up a small oracle-puppet that whispers premonitions such as “You will lose your mobile phone.”

Also in the running is Paul Noble, for his painstaking and often scatological pencil drawings. Whatever you think of the subject matter, the technical prowess is beyond dispute.

The prize is handed out Dec. 3 by actor Jude Law. The exhibition ends Jan. 6 at Tate Britain. Information: or +44-20-7887-8888.

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

Muse highlights include Scott Reyburn on the art market, Greg Evans on TV, Craig Seligman on books and Jason Harper on cars.

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