London Weekend: Picasso Bargain, Carnival Time, Suede

The Notting Hill Carnival, Gauguin, Suede and an African goatherd are our choices for London this weekend.


It’s your last chance to see the Tricycle Theatre’s hilarious spoof on Africa-themed storytelling.

In “The Epic Adventure of Nhamo the Manyika Warrior,” a narrator casting around for his next hero finds an African goat-herd. He pairs him up with a princess wrapped in batik who masters cooking, self-defense and PowerPoint. Their romance is interrupted by a tall, goofy warrior named Commander Specimen.

Ends Saturday at the Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, NW6 7JR: or +44-20-7328-1000.

Also ending Saturday: an African tale staged by Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Anna Karenina”) at the Young Vic. “A Season in the Congo,” a slightly dated anti-colonialist play, is spiced up with African instruments, puppetry (Belgian colonizers are represented by big wobbly dolls) and striking choreography from Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (who also choreographed “Karenina”): or +44-20-7922-2922.


Le Caprice is offering guests a free martini on arrival to celebrate summer. It’s hard for a restaurant that opened more than 30 years ago to get attention, so Le Caprice has had a facelift and looks classic, not old-fashioned. The full menu is served all afternoon, and you can sit outside. There are also jazz brunches and dinners. or +44-20-7629-2239.

If you want somewhere edgier, Pizza Pilgrims is drawing crowds of aficionados in Soho. Toppings include nduja (Calabrian spicy sausage) or artichoke, ricotta and smoked garlic oil., +44-7780-667-258.


Textile magnate Samuel Courtauld paid 1,400 pounds ($2,180) for Picasso’s “Child with a Dove” in 1928 -- less than half what he spent on a Gauguin that day. You can see the invoice at the Courtauld Gallery. Note that “Child with a Dove” was valued at 50 million pounds this year and privately sold.

While “Collecting Gauguin: Samuel Courtauld in the ’20s” tells us more about the collector than the artist, it’s a chance to see some of the world’s finest Gauguins -- now in the U.K. thanks to him. Ends Sept. 8 at the Courtauld Gallery. Information: or +44-20-7848-2526.


Kenwood House starts its summer concert series this weekend. Rock bands Suede and Keane play on Aug. 23 and 25 respectively. And fireworks accompany the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Saturday program of “Choral Greats.” Classical concert goers can bring their own picnics or buy them for about 45 pounds.

Other rock events include the Reading Festival near London and South West Four at Clapham Common, which stars Example and Groove Armada.


If it’s August Bank Holiday weekend, it’s time for one of the world’s largest street festivals. Notting Hill Carnival, running since 1966, attracts about a million revelers a year.

The multicultural event fills quiet roads with pulsating music and the aroma of Caribbean food. Sunday is children’s day and best for families. Monday has the big parade and anything goes at the late parties:

(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, Jeremy Gerard on U.S. theater and Greg Evans and Craig Seligman on film.

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