‘Passing By,’ Freud, Tavener, Mex Feasts: London Weekend

A Lucian Freud portrait, a prizewinning lesbian film, a Mexican restaurant and an army of jazz stars are our choices for London this weekend.


Olympic swimmer meets aspiring artist. They fall in love. As their hearts pull them together, their lives pull them apart.

This classic scenario for a play is given a twist by Martin Sherman’s “Passing By.” The lovers are two men, their romance overshadowed by illness -- real and imagined. The paranoia of Toby (an excellent Rik Makarem) infects his partner Simon (James Cartwright) in more ways than one.

At Tristan Bates Theatre, Tower Street, London WC2H 9NP, through Nov. 30. Information: http://tristanbatesthreatre.co.uk


Foxlow is the new restaurant from the owners of Hawksmoor. The focus of the 100-seat venue, which opened yesterday near Smithfield market, is cuts of meat from ethically reared animals. There’s a charcoal grill and also a range of salads and cocktails: http://www.foxlow.co.uk/ or +44-20-7014-8070.

Mexican food isn’t London’s strongest culinary suit. That may be changing with new restaurants such as Peyote, in Mayfair. It’s the new establishment of Arjun Waney, the restaurateur behind Coya, and focuses on indigenous Mexican ingredients, with classic and modern dishes, and drinks. Information: http://peyoterestaurant.com/ or +44-20-7409-1300.


A portrait of Lucian Freud is on show at the National Portrait Gallery -- not the $142.4 million Francis Bacon triptych, but a steely-eyed sculpture of the artist as a young man.

It’s by Jacob Epstein, whose daughter Kitty was married to Freud for four years. “That spiv Lucian Freud turned out a nasty piece of work,” Epstein was quoted as saying. His chilling Freud head and a T.S. Eliot bust are the best things in the small display.

While you’re there, get a taste of Tudor life in “Elizabeth I & Her People” -- including a poor seagoer’s linen tunic and trousers (1590-1650), still bearing tar marks.

Information: http://www.npg.org.uk or +44-20-7306-0055.


The London Jazz Festival starts this weekend with gigs from South African horn player Hugh Masekela and crooner Paolo Conte.

Also recommended: songwriter and pianist Jon Regen, who plays the Pheasantry, Kings Road, on Nov. 16 and 17.

Coming up between now and Nov. 24: Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin, Brad Mehldau and Carla Bley, among others. Information: http://londonjazzfestival.org.uk.

The premiere of John Tavener’s “Three Shakespeare Sonnets” is going ahead tonight in Southwark Cathedral.

The composer started the week with a BBC radio interview expressing hope that he would overcome illness to write new music, following up on his “Sonnets.” Two days later he died at the age of 69.

The choral work is presented by the Chamber Choir of South Iceland. Information: http://bit.ly/17mTfKe


The movie that won the Cannes Film Festival is finally out in London: “Blue is the Warmest Colour” tracks teenage Adele’s passionate love affair with the blue-haired Emma. Worth seeing: http://www.wildbunch.biz/films/adele__chapters_1__2.

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

Muse highlights include the London and New York weekend guides, Lewis Lapham on history, Amanda Gordon’s Scene Last Night and Greg Evans and Craig Seligman on movies.