Carlos Acosta’s Latin extravaganza, Australian bush-ranger Ned Kelly, Sheridan Smith and Laura Mvula are our choices for London this weekend.
They smoke pot, dress like hippies, and love 1960s pop.
Meet the cast of Michael Grandage’s new “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a fun-loving posse of fairies and sprites who flee stodgy Athens for the forest and take hallucinogens. As big-haired siren Titania, Sheridan Smith (“Legally Blonde”) spices up the show; David Walliams plays Bottom the weaver.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is at the Noel Coward Theatre: http://www.michaelgrandagecompany.com or call +44-844-482-5141.
Frills, fans and legs of jamon festoon the main stage in Carlos Acosta’s joyful reworking of the Royal Ballet’s “Don Quixote.” The Cuban star, 40, adds great twists: Guitarists play (for real) around a gypsy bonfire, and ballerinas dance on bar tops. The ballet is on all weekend; Acosta and his fabulous partner Marianela Nunez are back Oct. 11 and 16. Information: http://wwww.roh.org.uk or +44-20-7304-4000.
London Fields Brewery celebrates Oktoberfest from midday to midnight on Saturday. Entry is free. There’s live Bavarian beer-hall music and the best of British and German beers. Lederhosen optional. Information: http://londonfieldsbrewery.co.uk/
Chotto Matte is a new restaurant in Soho serving Nikkei cuisine, which fuses Japanese and Peruvian dishes. The owners say this lively venue over three floors will bring the energy of underground Tokyo to the streets of London. Expect colorful art, exotic cocktails, frenetic DJs and a lot of noise. Information: +44-20-7042-7171 or http://www.chotto-matte.com/.
The Royal Academy is packing 200 years of Australian art into a grab-bag survey, with a few genuine gems.
The highlight is Sydney Nolan’s painting of real-life bush-ranger Ned Kelly, shown from behind on horseback, his head a black square with an aperture. See also the abstract aboriginal works produced on eucalyptus bark, and the Impressionist canvases from Down Under (though some resemble Corot and Manet).
Ends Dec. 8 at the Royal Academy of Arts. Information: http://www.royalacademy.org.uk or +44-20-7300-8000.
Laura Mvula brings her retro-soul music to the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire tonight. The classically trained star will be showcasing songs such as “Green Garden” from her confident debut album “Sing to the Moon”: http://www.lauramvula.com/
Or try the Barbican’s Transcender series of hypnotic, psychedelic and transcendental music. Sunday’s concert brings together flamenco vocalist Carmen Linares and qawwali singer Faiz Ali Faiz: http://www.barbican.org.uk or +44-20-7638-4141.
OTHER LONDON OUTINGS
The Big Draw is back.
The festival, taking place for the next month in 15 countries including the U.K., celebrates drawing in all its forms. This weekend, you can learn fashion illustration at the V&A, or design a home for future royals at Kensington Palace.
(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are their own.)
Muse highlights include the London and New York weekend guides, Warwick Thompson on U.K. theater, Lewis Lapham on history, Jeremy Gerard on U.S. theater, and Greg Evans and Craig Seligman on movies.