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Rihanna Rocks the Park, Hirst Birds: London Weekend

July 05, 2012

Rihanna

Rihanna on stage at the 15th Annual "An Unforgettable Evening," at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in California. The songstress will be performing in London at this year's three-day Wireless Festival. Photographer: John Shearer/Getty Images via Bloomberg

Rihanna brings her raunchy R&B, Drake his clean-cut rap and Deadmau5 his illuminated mouse ears to London for the three-day Wireless Festival.

Hyde Park’s summer season gets into top gear tonight with the pulsating dance beats from Deadmau5, the producer known for his dazzling light shows. The weekend roster also includes Santigold, Jessie J and Calvin Harris.

Information: http://www.wirelessfestival.co.uk.

Roti Chai, an Indian kitchen serving street food, is a short walk from the Wireless Festival. Dishes are first class and service friendly. Best of all for festival times, Roti Chai is hidden away on a back street and unlikely to draw crowds. (There’s a restaurant in the basement if you want a full meal.) Information: http://www.rotichai.co.uk/ or +44-20-7408-0101.

Saturday

It’s your last chance to see Damien Hirst’s new work. It’ll remind you somewhat of his old work.

The 47-year-old artist -- whose blockbuster show at Tate Modern is replete with studio-produced art -- has painted with his own hand, for once. Three dozen canvases hang in White Cube’s sprawling new space near London Bridge.

Parrots are the new leitmotiv. Yet the old leitmotivs are never very far: Butterflies and shark jawbones pop up everywhere, dispelling any doubts about their creator. Like logos, they scream out the name of the man who made them.

The show, worth seeing to find out what Hirst is up to now, ends Sunday at White Cube, 144-152 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ. Information: http://www.whitecube.com or +44-207-930-5373.

Bermondsey Street, home of White Cube, is a destination for food lovers, drawn by venues such as Jose. One unmissable place is Zucca, a low-key and inexpensive restaurant serving fine Italian food. It also has one of London’s best Italian wine lists. Booking essential. Information: http://www.zuccalondon.com/ or +44-20-7378-6809.

Saturday Night

One of Angela Merkel’s predecessors had an East German mole in his inner circle.

The double agent that West German Chancellor Willy Brandt unwittingly employed in the 1970s is portrayed in “Democracy,” (now in an Old Vic restaging). At first, Guenther Guillaume looks to Brandt “like the manager of a pornographic bookshop.” The Stasi spy soon makes himself indispensable, dropping his family to serve Brandt’s interests -- and his spymaster’s.

It’s a long time since there were two Germanies, and Cold War discussions by an all-male, gray-suited cast can be taxing. Yet writer Michael Frayn and director Paul Miller make the play feel current: an ageless parable about politics, and a reflection on how betrayal is not always all that clear cut.

At the Old Vic Theatre, The Cut, London SE1 8NB. Information: http://www.oldvictheatre.com or +44-844-871-7628.

Sunday

The City of London Festival brings its yearly burst of creativity to the capital’s financial heartland.

On Sunday, Tower Bridge and the Monument to the Great Fire of London will ring out with tailor-made compositions by Samuel Bordoli. At Monument, musicians will perform in the alcoves of the spiral staircase, and at Tower Bridge, they will play all along the high-level west walkway.

There are plenty of other musical highlights between now and the festival’s July 27 end. See http://www.colf.org for more information.

To contact the writer of this story: Farah Nayeri in London at farahn@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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