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Location: Austin, TX, United States

Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Return from London

London BusAhh, London.  The simple pleasures like riding a bright red double-decker bus.  One of those things you take for granted when you live in London and have to endure an un-airconditioned bus daily, but which you appreciate with childlike glee when you're just visiting.  If you're not in a hurry, it's a great way to see the sights, and you don't have to pay the astronomical fares of the tour buses.

Saturday the plan had been to go see Coriolanus at the Globe, but my aching, infirm body put a firm stop to that.  So instead, a little stroll in Hyde Park, a nice bus ride to Trafalgar Square where poor Lord Nelson was covered up in a blue contraption for restoration and some G'awful band was holding teenagers in thrall, and a short walk up to Theatre Royal Haymarket.  As I had feared, Dame Judy Dench in Noel Coward's Hayfever was all sold out except for obstructed view seats in the nosebleed section, and even those would have required my signing away the rights to my firstborn in blood, so it was a no-go.

Up to Leicester Square and the TKTS booth, amidst throngs of folks enjoying "West End Live" the annual festival of scenes from the big West End musicals, magicians, performance artists, etc.  Managed to get tickets to "Donkey's Years", a farce by Michael Frayn, the writer of "Noises Off."  It starred David Haig, an actor well known in England, Donkey's Years Castthough perhaps some remember him as Hugh Grant's stuffy brother in "Two Weeks Notice" — I was excited to see him on stage again, because he had been superlative as the professor in "Hitchcock Blonde."  Other better-known cast members included Mark Addy of "The Full Monty" -fame, and Samantha Bond, who played Miss Moneypenny in "Die Another Day" and Lady M opposite Sean Bean in Macbeth at the West End.  The premise was that of a 25-year reunion at an unnamed university, and the plot was that these Oxbridge folks, who now hold respectable positions (Haig plays the Minister of Education), are just as immature and silly as they were in their college days.  Not much for plot, but the excellent cast pull off a raucous show with impeccable timing.  Most enjoyable.

After show we ate at Garfunkel's, which is basically a chain of diners — I do LOVE having breakfast at all hours of the day, especially for dinner :P  The window seat afforded a first class view of one of the prerequisite fist fights which inevitably break out among drunk teen hooligans "every hour, on the hour."  The police are now monitoring the choice fight spots with video cameras, and a full van load of bobbies was on the scene in under a minute.  What with the football season in full swing and the majority of London population and tourists under 25 (and over) perpetually drunk, it must needs be a necessity.

The flight back from London yesterday, Sunday, was uneventful — I possess an infallible gift for sleep in planes, trains, and automobiles.  The trip was a great success, and my favorite part had to be seeing Nader for the longest time, and talking theatre, books, and life over Indian food at the Masala Zone.  Ahh, London, bright Lady of the Thames.  If you weren't so mind-bogglingly expensive, you would have a new resident in no time.

Tags:  Theatre | Travel | London

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Blogger Istanbultaye said...

Welcome home! ^.^

June 19, 2006 5:41 PM  
Blogger madelineanne said...

Hi honey!
Welcome home!
Now that you are back we definitely should get going on finding a time to go and see Macbeth! I would love to see Liev and Jacob with you!
Drop me a line or give me a call when you get unjetlagged!

June 22, 2006 10:22 AM  

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