Doghouse magazine is a racy rag that men pretend to read for the journalism. One of the models, it turns out, is the wrong side of 18.
That’s the opening drama in Lucy Kirkwood’s “NSFW” (“Not Safe for Work”), a punchy new play about sexism in the media. Doghouse’s smarmy editor is threatened by the girl’s dad, an angry job-seeker from Liverpool. Yet the dad can’t quite occupy the moral high ground: He’s a Doghouse reader himself.
After a slick set change, we meet Miranda, the Devil-Wears-Prada-like editor of Electra magazine. A blonde in spiky stilettoes, she’s interviewing a former Doghouse reporter, and wants him to find flaws in the image of a beautiful actress. Wrinkles, acne, crow’s feet, sagging breasts, thigh bulge, bingo wings -- there’s bound to be something wrong with her.
By the end, you don’t know which publication is more misogynistic. The play ends Nov. 24 at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS.
Information: http://www.royaltheatre.com or +44-20-7565-5000.
A dark cloud of smoke hangs heavily over a vast Afghan field. The year is 2001, and U.S. bombers have just dropped a heavy load on Taliban positions.
The photograph by Luc Delahaye features in the National Gallery’s “Seduced by Art” -- a look at how photographers today are inspired by early photography and by Old Master painting. Hanging above the Afghan image is a 19th-century battle scene by the war painter Emile-Jean-Horace Vernet, with tufts of artillery smoke in the center.
The paintings and photos in the show don’t always look good together, especially where human beings are involved. Fashions, hairstyles and physiognomies vary so wildly across the centuries that the juxtaposition is awkward. One exception are the still lifes in the exhibition: Fruits and flowers look similar regardless of the period or medium.
At the National Gallery through Jan. 20, 2013. Information: http://www.nationalgallery.co.uk or +44-20-7747-2885.
Bentley’s Oyster Bar is a good place for lunch when visiting the National Gallery. Chef Richard Corrigan serves the freshest of seafood, while the service is friendly and unstuffy. Information: http://www.bentleys.org or +44-20-7734-4756.
Lucinda Williams brings her blend of country and folk music to the South Bank for contrasting sets over two nights.
“A Weekend With Lucinda Williams” will cover classic songs and then original material from her albums such as “Blessed,” “West” and “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.”
Williams is bizarrely billed as part of the London Jazz Festival, a 10-day event. It also includes real jazz stars such as guitar legend John McLaughlin -- who played on Miles Davis’s “Bitches Brew” album in 1969 -- performing at the Barbican Sunday with his band, The 4th Dimension. Herbie Hancock’s first-ever U.K. solo piano concert is at the Southbank Centre on Monday. Information: http://www.londonjazzfestival.org.uk.
Emeli Sande’s tour arrives in London as she re-releases her debut album, “Our Version of Events,” with extra tracks and looks ahead to shows in the U.S. starting in January.
Sande’s concerts showcase her soulful voice which ranges from a Amy Winehouse purr to an Aretha Franklin croon. She used it at the London Olympic-Games shows this year and hit songs such as “Heaven” and “Next to Me.”
The Royal Albert Hall isn’t far from Racine, a French brasserie that draws diners from across London. The chef-owner Henry Harris is usually there, either cooking or greeting customers. The window tables are best, if you can get them. Information: http://www.racine-restaurant.com or +44-20-7584-4477.
(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)
Muse highlights include Jason Harper on cars and Rich Jaroslovsky on tech.