Weekender

by thewheatandthechaff

It’s the weekend. Are you ready for the bass, ready for the danger?

Eat here: Le Relais de Venise l’entrecôte

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Le Relais de Venise’s pioneered the fixed menu, zero choice approach to dining long before the trendy likes of Tramshed and Flatiron jumped on the bandwagon. Queue (no reservations – they nailed that ages ago too), sit, order a nice bottle of French red. Specify rare, medium or well-done meat.. Eat a few hunks of  bread and a salad – soft lettuce, mustardy dressing, a few walnut bits to get your tastebuds salivating for the main event: a precision-cooked entrecôte steak with fries and the house sauce (a closely guarded and near-legendary secret recipe), and then wait for the surprise touch.

There is only one main dish here, and it is served to hordes of diners every day; yes, there are places to get better steak in London, but nowhere does it with such an intensely French spectacle. Black-and-white-clad waitresses provide clockwork service; crammed-in tables ensure a buzzy atmosphere; the mirrors, light fittings and banquettes create a creditable likeness of a Parisian brasserie. It’s an in-and-out experience, but a highly popular one, and as fast food goes, you  still won’t find much better in this city.

Le Relais de Venise l’entrecôte, 5 Throgmorton Street, EC2N 2AD

Party here: MAYBACH ft Ryan Hemsworth @ Birthdays, Dalston

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Maybach is a club night run by grime flag-bearer Slackk, UK house powerhouse Altered Natives, Tom Lea (FACT) and Oil Gang. Along with the aforementioned, this edition of Maybach has invited Ryan Hemsworth to headline the night.
Not only has Hemsworth been winning plaudits for his unique approach to hip hop and R&B production – crafting a sound sitting somewhere between chill-wave and trap rap – but he also produced one of the best mixes of last year, so this is shaping up to be a hotly anticipated and pretty special appearance by the Canadian. Here’s his recent excellent remix of Cat Power, featuring another hotly tipped rising star for 2013, Angel Haze.

Birthdays, 33-35 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BJ

See this: Light Show @ The Hayward Gallery

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The use of light as a medium is the focus of this major exhibition which features Dan Flavin’s minimal neon constructions, Jenny Holzer’s conceptually driven word projections and Conrad Shawcross’s kinetic machines among the sculptures, installations and environments on show, from the 1960s to the present day.

Until April 28th, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, SE1 8XX

Watch this: Metamorphosis @ Lyric Hammersmith

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Gísli Örn Garssarsson’s visionary Iceland physical theatre troupe Vesturport has created bigger, flashier and more ambitious work than ‘Metamorphosis’, which returns to the Lyric its third run since premiering here in 2006. But it’s never made anything as well-realised as this brilliant, overtly politicised take on Kafka’s 1915 novella about a clerk who wakes up one morning to discover that he has, inexplicably, turned into a grotesque giant insect.

Except here, he hasn’t: dressed in nothing more terrifying than a rumpled suit, the rather dashing Garssarsson plays the hapless Gregor as a bewildered everyman who can’t understend why everyone now finds him so horrific. True, he clambers athletically about his bedchamber with a vaguely scuttling manner. But with the contents of his room – bed, chair, window, furniture – rotated at a 90 degree angle, Gregor is actually ‘walking’ along the floor: it is his increasingly hostile family who are actually at the ‘wrong’ angle.

Börkur Jonsson’s skew-whiff house set remains stunning, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s score is eerily gorgeous, and there are superb performances all round, most notably the pitiable Garssarsson and Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir as Gregor’s sister Greta, who undergoes the real metamorphosis – from kindly, music-loving schoolgirl to brutally unsentimental authoritarian.

Adapted by Garssarsson and David Farr, this ‘Metamosphosis’ is a parable about the fate of the Jews in twentieth-century Europe, as the hard-working Gregor’s family spit nonsensical abuse at him while fawning over Jonathan McGuinness’s’s creepy proto-Nazi Herr Fischer. Once you’ve acclimatised to the virtuoso visuals, the odd moment does sag. But the last half-hour is devastating – as the centenary of Kafka’s novella approaches, it’s hard to see this being unseated as the definitive stage version.

Until February 16th, Lyric Hammersmith, King St, London, W6 0Q

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