Robbie, Stones; Action Art; Brutal Drama: London Weekend

Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams will be playing three shows at the 02 in London starting on Nov. 22. Photographer: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images via Bloomberg

The O2 is set for four nights of continuous hits from Robbie Williams and the Rolling Stones.

Williams, playing three shows through Nov. 24, is back on top of the U.K. album and singles charts. He will be singing tracks from his new collection “Take the Crown” and can chose from a catalog that includes “Angels” and “Let Me Entertain You.” Each gig will be released as an instant live 3-CD album.

The Stones play their first stadium concert since 2007 on Sunday -- one of just five to mark the group’s 50th anniversary. The performances are sold out, though tickets can be found online for prices of as much as 1,500 pounds ($2,391).

The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX. Information: +44-20-8463-2000 or,,


A team of naked women daub their bodies with blue paint and roll around on canvas.

The year is 1960, and artist Yves Klein is staging his “Anthropometries de l’Epoque Bleue” before a chic Parisian audience. Klein is a key figure in Tate Modern’s new exhibition, “A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance.”

The show opens with a Jackson Pollock action painting and David Hockney’s picture of a diving board moments after someone jumped off. Then comes a truly global survey of action- and performance-based visual art.

There’s an Andy Warhol self-portrait in drag, images of Viennese actionist Hermann Nitsch spilling animal guts over naked humans, and films of Niki de Saint-Phalle shooting at sacks of paint pinned to a canvas.

Too bad Tate didn’t splash out on the exhibition more: Works are mainly from the museum’s own collection. Still, the show is an eye-opener on an important contemporary genre.

Through April 1, 2013 at Tate Modern. Information: or +44-20-7887-8888.

Ballet’s Edward Watson stars in the world premiere of “Alpha Episodes,” an exploration of masculinity by choreographer Paolo Mangiola (who dances with the Wayne McGregor Company). It’s part of a Wayne McGregor/Random Dance company mixed bill at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio.

There are performances on Friday at 7:45 p.m., Saturday 2:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Information:

Saturday Night

Howard Barker once again turns brutality into art in “Scenes From an Execution,” which is coming toward the end of its run at London’s National Theatre.

After the wartime rape and onstage birth of “The Europeans” set in 1683 Vienna, Barker turns to 16th-century Venice where the headstrong artist Galactia is commissioned to create a mural to mark victory in the Battle of Lepanto.

Galactia, powerfully portrayed by Fiona Shaw, infuriates her patrons by sketching a disturbing image of carnage.

Baker’s work is hardly easy going, more a thought-provoking exploration of sexual politics. Galactia’s lover completes the work as she faces jail for her artistic independence.

Until Dec. 9 at the Lyttelton, National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX. Information:


Combine your Christmas shopping with a dash of culture.

Studio Voltaire -- the cutting-edge art gallery in Clapham, south London -- is having artists create objects for sale in a Mayfair pop-up. There’s a shopping bag by Jeremy Deller and hand-tinted etchings by Pablo Bronstein.

Staff at the boutique will include familiar faces, sometimes very familiar ones, such as actors James Franco and Lily Cole.

The House of Voltaire ends Dec. 15 at 17a Adam’s Row, London W1. Information:

It’s a short walk from Studio Voltaire’s show to China Tang, a glamorous Chinese restaurant in the Dorchester hotel. While it can be expensive, there’s also a dim sum menu Information: or +44-20-7629-9988.

Over in Wimbledon, 140 artists are inviting visitors into their studios this weekend so you can meet them and, if tempted, buy directly. Information:

When in Wimbledon, it’s worth seeking out the Lawn Bistro, about a mile away from the exhibition. This is the domain of Ollie Couillaud, a talented chef who previously worked at Bord’eaux on Park Lane and at Tom Aikens. Information: or +44-20-8947-8278.

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

Muse highlights include Richard Vines on food, Jorg von Uthmann on Paris art and Warwick Thompson on London theater.

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