Jay-Z Versus Stones, Proms, Passion Play: London Weekend

Rival rock shows featuring Justin Timberlake and Lionel Richie, a jilted Zoe Wanamaker, views of Paris, and the first night of the Proms are our choices for London this weekend.


A 25-year marriage goes pear-shaped when the husband meets a younger woman.

So far, so familiar. What makes “Passion Play” special is that the husband and wife each have a flesh-and-blood alter-ego on stage -- dressed like them, and voicing their inner thoughts.

The young serial seductress is not the most plausible character in Peter Nichols’s 1981 play. Yet Wanamaker and Owen Teale, supported by their doppelgangers, make “Passion Play” an all-too-real picture of conjugal life.

Only three more weeks to go before the production ends (Aug. 3) at the Duke of York’s Theatre. For more information: http://www.atgtickets.com or +44-844-871-7615.


If the sunshine puts you in holiday mood, now may be a good time to visit Pizarro, in Bermondsey. This Spanish restaurant is adding a Sunday breakfast menu (from 10 a.m.) this weekend. It may include omelette with courgette and mint; and baked eggs with peas and chorizo. Also on offer: torrija -- bread soaked in orange juice, lightly fried and served with vanilla ice-cream. Information: http://www.josepizarro.com/restaurants/pizarro/ or +44-20-7378-9455.

Mele e Pere is an Italian restaurant that is so low-key, you might be a Soho regular and still not be aware it’s there. This trattoria is worth getting to know. Regional dishes are served with homemade vermouth and a wide range of Italian wines. Information: http://www.meleepere.co.uk/ or +44-20-7096-2096.


The British passion for Paris hasn’t faded in 200 years.

See evidence of that in a quaint watercolor show at the Wallace Collection -- with works by J.M.W. Turner and obscure travelers alike.

Note Thomas Girtin’s view of a deserted Rue Saint Denis, later to become the capital’s red-light district; and Ambrose Poynter’s sketch of a woman hauling a pile of baguettes on her back (the baguette had only just been introduced in France).

“The Discovery of Paris” will make you want to hop across the Channel. It ends Sept. 15 at the Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN. For more information: http://www.wallacecollection.org or +44-20-7563-9500.


Elton John is off the lineup, though there are plenty of other stars to keep rock fans happy at rival events on the east and west of London this weekend.

Sir Elton canceled his British Summer Time festival appearance in Hyde Park because of appendicitis. Friday’s show goes on with Ray Davies and Elvis Costello on the bill. Saturday features the Rolling Stones -- in what may be the band’s last live show -- and Sunday’s lineup includes Lionel Richie. Moms and dads will be happy.

The kids may prefer the decidedly more edgy roster at the Wireless Festival at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, topped by Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z. Information: http://www.bst-hydepark.com, http://www.wirelessfestival.co.uk


The 119th season of the Proms is upon us. Tonight’s opening concert at the Royal Albert Hall will see leading British pianist Stephen Hough and the BBC Symphony Orchestra perform Rachmaninov, Britten and Vaughan Williams.

Other season highlights: Daniel Barenboim conducting a full Wagner Ring Cycle with Staatskapelle Berlin (July 22-28) and Nina Stemme as Brunnhilde. Iain Paterson and Bryn Terfel split the role of Wotan. Anje Kampe is Sieglinde and Simon O’Neill plays Siegmund. Siegfried is Lance Ryan, making his Proms debut; then Andreas Schager for “Gotterdammerung.”

Popular-music proms feature Laura Mvula, Maverick Sabre and Laura Marling; and violinist Nigel Kennedy playing Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”

To book: http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms or +44-845-401-5040.

(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include New York and London weekend guides, Lewis Lapham on history and Jeremy Gerard on U.S. theater.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE