The cops are at the door, and all Rupert Everett can think of is the lobster plate the butler just carted in.
“I have always had a low opinion of what is called action,” sighs Everett, perfectly cast as Oscar Wilde in “Judas Kiss” (by David Hare), which shows the before-and-after of Wilde’s imprisonment for gross indecency. Despite the low-budget sets and costumes, and Everett’s ill-fitting fat suit, the play is on every critic’s current recommendation list.
A high point takes place in Naples, where Wilde walks in on Bosie (Freddie Fox) and a naked Italian who, he’s told, is called Galileo. “Ah!” comes the reply. “See stars, did you?”
At Duke of York’s Theatre, St. Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4BG. Information: http://www.atgtickets.com, +44-844-871-7615.
Remember the confident prostitute in Manet’s “Olympia?” You can see her fully clothed and looking much more demure in a blockbuster show at the Royal Academy.
“Manet: Portraying Life” is an intriguing look at the artist’s habit of making friends and family pose as if they were strangers on a Paris boulevard.
“Olympia” model Victorine Meurent alternates as a street singer and a little girl’s chaperone. Young Leon, possibly Manet’s own son, blows bubbles in one picture and leans languidly on a lunch table in another.
Through April 14 at the Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Information: http://www.royalacademy.org.uk or +44-20-7300-8000.
Nopi, an all-day restaurant near the Royal Academy, is popular for its small plates of healthy food. Executive chef Yotam Ottolenghi also serves a pre-theater menu costing 21.50 pounds ($33.68), or 25.50 pounds with dessert. Information: http://www.nopi-restaurant.com/ or +44-20-7494-9584.
Plan B isn’t letting up the pace after five years of quick-fire rhymes, two albums and one film. Ben Drew’s manic tour of Britain brings him to the O2 for his biggest show yet, featuring songs from the “Ill Manors” soundtrack.
Kraftwerk plays Tate Modern. The German electronic band has a week of concerts featuring its albums in full. Today is devoted to “Radio-Activity;” tomorrow has “Trans Europe Express.” Score tickets if you can or beg friends: the shows -- also heard in New York last year and Germany last month -- sold out fast and have prices of about 200 pounds online. Information: http://kraftwerk.com/concerts/index-concerts.html
If you prefer a jazz master, pianist Ahmad Jamal -- in his 80s and still going strong -- plays the Barbican on Friday night, sampling tracks from his new album “Blue Moon.”
Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8BS. Information: +44-7638-8891, http://www.barbican.org.uk.
Thai Thai, a 10-minute walk from the Barbican, is a traditional Thai restaurant on Old Street that can seat as many as 130 diners. It’s a friendly place and the prices are reasonable. Information: http://www.thaithaioldstreet.co.uk/ or +44-20-7490-5230.
Catch a glimpse of a Francis Bacon self-portrait triptych before it goes under the hammer for as much as 15 million pounds next week.
The small-scale 1980 picture, painted when the artist was 71, stars in a Sotheby’s preview show where you can also see works by Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. At Sotheby’s New Bond Street, Saturday and Sunday 12-5 p.m. Information: http://www.sothebys.com.
Usher in the Year of the Snake at Trafalgar Square. London, as ever, is putting on the biggest party of any city outside Asia. After a noon “Dotting of the Eye” ceremony -- where the dragon and lion are symbolically awakened -- 100 performers take over, from acrobats to “Britain’s Got Talent” winner Paul Potts.
(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)
Muse highlights include Manuela Hoelterhoff on arts, Zinta Lundborg’s New York weekend and Lewis Lapham on history.