El Bulli Show, Bowie, White Cosmo, Beach: London Weekend

An El Bulli traveling show, David Bowie, Anna Chancellor and a beach in Camden Town are our choices for London this weekend.


The jilted bride in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” is on stage with Maggie Smith’s son, and they make a fiery pair.

Anna Chancellor and Toby Stephens play the divorced couple who reconnect in Noel Coward’s “Private Lives.” She’s married to an old bore and he to an insipid blonde when they find themselves honeymooning in adjacent suites.

Chancellor and Stephens dance in their pajamas and throw lots of china in this snappy Jonathan Kent staging. The performances are strong, and the sets are great: wrought-iron balconies and a sophisticated Art Nouveau interior.

“Private Lives” is at the Gielgud Theatre through Sept. 21. Information: http://www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk or call +44-844-482-5138.


When in Knightsbridge, try one of London’s finest cocktails -- a white cosmopolitan at Bar Boulud. It comes in a martini glass with equal measures of Wyborowa vodka and white cranberry juice, plus St-Germain elderflower liqueur and lime juice, with an orchid in a ball of ice. There’s more in a side jug. It costs 13.25 pounds ($20.54) -- not cheap. Call +44-20-7201-3899 or http://www.mandarinoriental.com/london/fine-dining/bar-boulud/.

Angelus is a low-key bistro in Lancaster Gate with fine French food and an even finer wine list. Owner Thierry Tomasin was head sommelier at Le Gavroche for a decade, and his enthusiasm helps make this charming venue special. Information: call +44-20-7402-0083 or http://www.angelusrestaurant.co.uk/.


Does frozen parmesan air with muesli sound tempting? How about a shabu-shabu of Galician-style baby octopus?

Those and other dishes are highlighted in “El Bulli: Ferran Adria and the Art of Food,” an exhibition on the now-closed Catalan restaurant. You’ll get everything but a taste of the food: Adria’s chef’s whites; footage of his rustic restaurant; a tabletop video projection of a meal as it’s being served; and syringes and siphons that were used as kitchen utensils.

Through Sept. 29 at Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA: http://www.somersethouse.org.uk or call +44-20-7845-4600.

This weekend is your last chance to see Bowie’s glowing bodysuits, pencil sketches, and Berlin apartment keys at the V&A exhibition “David Bowie Is”: http://www.vam.ac.uk or call +44-20-7942-2000. The show reopens in September 2014 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.


Laura Mvula sings in the Urban Classic Prom on Saturday as the BBC-backed festival broadens its musical range.

The soul star, a Birmingham Conservatoire graduate, is joined by Wretch 32 and Maverick Sabre as they fuse R&B and hip-hop in a performance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. Information: +44-845-401-5045; http://www.royalalberthall.com or http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2013/august-10/14702.


Somerset House is back with its two-week slate of summer courtyard screenings (through Aug. 21). Bette Davis and Joan Crawford face off in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane” (Friday), and Kevin Costner tracks down Al Capone in “The Untouchables” (Sunday): http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/film or +44-20-7845-4600.

If you prefer the beach, Camden Town’s Roundhouse has created one by dumping 150 tons of sand on its circular terrace. There are deckchairs, sunbeds, eateries and candy floss.

Inside is a hanging timepiece by artist Conrad Shawcross. (The installation is sponsored by Bloomberg.)

Information: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk or call +44-844-482-8008.

(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 and Lewis Lapham on history.

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