James Bond’s DB5, Lovebox, Lionboy: London Weekend

An Aston Martin picnic, the Lovebox festival, Sam Mendes’s chocolate factory, and L.S. Lowry’s smokestack views are our choices for London this weekend.


Five children in a chocolate factory are pestered by funny little creatures called Oompa-Loompas, who pop out of the woodwork, tap dance, and wear platform shoes.

Welcome to the Mendes production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which sticks pretty closely to the Roald Dahl story. Willy Wonka emerges from 40 years of seclusion to let the winners of five golden tickets into his enchanting chocolate factory.

The Oompa-Loompas are a definite highlight. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Information: http://www.charlieandthechocolatefactory.com or call +44-844-858-8877.


Chef Mark Sargeant used to be Gordon Ramsay’s right-hand man until he quit London three years ago to open Rocksalt in Folkestone. He’s back in the capital now, and in charge of food at the newly renovated Great Northern Hotel in King’s Cross. Inside the Plum + Spilt Milk restaurant, he’s introduced new menus highlighting British ingredients. Information: http://plumandspiltmilk.com/ or call +44-20-3388-0800.

There are two new Italian restaurants near the City financial district. Paesan Cucina Povera, at Exmouth Market, serves rustic dishes from across Italy. To find out more: http://www.paesanlondon.com/ (no phone). Luce e Limoni is restaurateur Fabrizio Zafarana’s homage to his native Sicily. Information: http://luceelimoni.com/ or +44-20-7242-3382.


The artist Lowry spent much of his life working as a rent collector, and pictured many of his tenants on canvas.

A comprehensive survey of his career is now at Tate Britain. It covers every aspect of working-class misery in Manchester around the two world wars: Families get evicted, infected children get driven off in fever vans (never to return), and disabled veterans get taunted by nasty kids.

Lowry never gets too close to the action in his Brueghel-esque depictions. For a true sense of gloom, watch the period footage included in the exhibition.

“Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life” ends Oct. 20 at Tate Britain. Information: http://www.tate.org.uk or call +44-20-7887-8888.


Lovebox is boosting its reputation as one of the coolest festivals in the London summer calendar with a lineup that includes Plan B, Goldfrapp and Azealia Banks.

Victoria Park, Grove Road, E3. Information: http://www.lovebox.net or +44-844-822-1233. Tickets cost from 45 pounds ($68) for Friday only to more than 185 pounds for VIP and hospitality packages; some combinations are sold out.


Aston Martin on Sunday hosts the largest gathering of cars in its 100-year history at a picnic in Kensington Palace Gardens. There will be some 500 models, including royal limousines, racers and the DB5 from “Skyfall.” Admission is free, unless you want to pay 50 pounds to access the Park Prive area for free tea, coffee and a glass of champagne. Information: http://www.astonmartin.com/en/centenary/centenary-events.

If you like cats and want to catch a lively family show this summer, see “Lionboy” before it wraps up at the Unicorn Theatre. The production is an adaptation of Zizou Corder’s trilogy of novels on Charlie Ashanti, a boy who can communicate with cats.

The first kids’ production by experimental touring company Compilicite is at the Unicorn through Sunday July 21. Information: http://unicorntheatre.com/lionboy.

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

Muse highlights include the New York and London weekend guides, Lewis Lapham on history, Greg Evans and Craig Seligman on movies, Jeremy Gerard on U.S. theater and Stephanie Green’s D.C. Scene.

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