The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park, Wimbledon’s finale, vintage Pinter and an exhibition about El Bulli are our choices for London this weekend.
Simon Russell Beale runs a creepy institution filled with drunks, plotters, and a nymphomaniac.
In Harold Pinter’s “The Hothouse” (ending Aug. 3), Beale struggles to keep his hare-brained staffers in check. The play was written in 1958 and stashed away by Pinter for 22 years until he staged it himself at the Hampstead Theatre.
Jamie Lloyd’s production makes “The Hothouse” seem current -- and has you laughing throughout. It’s part of his “Trafalgar Transformed” season at the Trafalgar Studios: http://www.atgtickets.com or +44-844-871-7622.
Aqua Shard, the last of a group of three restaurants in the new London skyscraper, opened this week. Serving British food, Aqua follows Oblix (an American grill) and Hutong (with northern Chinese cuisine). Look out for additional dining options when the Shangri-La Hotel opens later this year. Information: +44-20-7478 0540 or http://www.aquashard.co.uk/.
To watch Wimbledon in style, try the Strawberries and Screen pop-up bar. This outdoor venue on Granary Square, King’s Cross is set up by Rotunda Restaurant & Bar. You’ll follow the tennis from a deck chair and wash the berries down with Champagne, Pimm’s, or whatever else you drink on a summer’s day: http://www.rotundabarandrestaurant.co.uk/docs/Wimbledon.pdf.
Composer Philip Glass wears a worried look and a fluffy sweater in an oil-on-polyester portrait you can see for free.
It was one of 55 finalists in the BP Portrait Award (and should have won). Other strong contenders: a painting of the bespectacled MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, showing just three-quarters of his face; and Geert Schless’s striking portrait of his wife, with a trash bag over her head.
The prize went to “Pieter,” a portrait of the artist’s son, by Susanne du Toit. You can see the show for free at the National Portrait Gallery through Sept. 15. Information: http://www.npg.org.uk or call +44-20-7306-0055.
The Rolling Stones are in London after Glastonbury to wrap up their “50 and Counting” tour, possibly their final live shows ever. The Stones last played in the park in 1969 in a free show to introduce guitarist Mick Taylor, the replacement for Brian Jones, who had just died.
Sharing the bill at the new Barclaycard British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park: Bon Jovi, Kaiser Chiefs and Bush (July 5). The Stones are supported by the Vaccines and Temper Trap July 6, and the Sunday show has the Beach Boys, JLS and Paul Young. While some dates are sold out, tickets are available online from resellers for about 200 pounds ($301).
OTHER LONDON OUTINGS
El Bulli -- voted five times the world’s best restaurant -- is the focus of an exhibition opening at Somerset House today. Chef Ferran Adria, who closed the establishment in northern Spain two years ago, is in London to promote “El Bulli: Ferran Adria and the Art of Food” (through Sept. 29).
Just don’t expect any food: This is a multimedia display of El Bulli history and the creative process behind the gastronomy. There are models of dishes, original menus, and tables set with cutlery. Information: http://bit.ly/13lTuY7.
(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)
Muse highlights include London and New York weekend guides, Scott Reyburn on the art market, Warwick Thompson on U.K. theater and Jeremy Gerard on U.S. theater.