London Weekend: Carla Poses, Choc Feast, Oxjam, Ibsen

Carla Bruni, the Frieze Art Fair, Ibsen and a chocolate festival are our choices for London this weekend.


You have a week left to see Carrie Cracknell’s well-reviewed staging of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” a Young Vic production that moved to the West End and is now New York-bound.

Hattie Morahan plays Nora, a perfect wife and mom with a big secret: Years earlier, she faked a signature to get a loan. Now the man who arranged the loan is calling in the favor -- and Nora’s in a bind.

Ends Oct. 26 at the Duke of York’s Theatre. Information: or +44-20-7922-2922.


Merchants Tavern, the new casual restaurant of chef Angela Hartnett, is open seven days a week serving seasonal British food. There’s a three-course set lunch for 22 pounds on Saturdays, and sharing dishes are available at the bar: or +44-20-7060-5335.

Marianne Lumb is another woman chef with a new restaurant, Marianne, in Notting Hill. She’s worked at the River Cafe and Le Gavroche and made the finals of the TV series “Masterchef: the Professionals.” The dining room is tiny, so book well ahead: or +44-203-675-7750.


The Frieze Art Fair is back with a tighter selection of contemporary art than last year. Unexpected displays: Damien Hirst’s kaleidoscopic “Scatter Gun” (2012), made with scalpel blades and priced 425,000 pounds ($687,000); and the real-life people reenacting James Lee Byars’s 1967 “Four in a Dress” by appearing on a plinth wearing a single large garment. (The performative work is for sale at an undisclosed price.)

The more traditional Frieze Masters has striking photographs -- of naked Carla Bruni, of Gianni Agnelli on his private plane, of Julian Schnabel in paint-splattered pajamas -- and an exquisite room of Egon Schiele drawings (worthy of the National Gallery’s current Vienna show) at Vienna-based W&K.

Frieze ends Sunday: and


Mini music festivals are taking place all over London over the next fortnight under the name Oxjam to raise money for the Oxfam charity. Ticket prices start from as little as 4 pounds, a potential bargain given that you may see future stars at all-day events. Scores of unknown young musicians are joined by a sprinkling of stars such as Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, who opens the Chiswick event. Other venues are in Brixton, Islington, Notting Hill and Shoreditch. Information:


Five dozen chocolatiers and cocoa specialists convene at the Olympia in Hammersmith for London’s Salon du Chocolat this weekend. Expect demonstrations, tastings, and many tempting boxes on sale. Information:

The Birmingham Royal Ballet -- one of the U.K.’s top companies -- performs “Sleeping Beauty” at Sadler’s Wells, with baroque sets and some 150 hand-sewn costumes: or +44-20-7863-8198.

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

Muse highlights include the New York and London weekend guides, Scott Reyburn on the art market, Lewis Lapham on history, Jeremy Gerard on U.S. theater and Amanda Gordon’s Scene Last Night.

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