like a teddy bear

I always seem to keep my tickets!

Last night, I made my way into the uncharted territory that is South London.  I think people make too much of the UK North/South divide (although it makes for hours of entertainment in my house – me being an Essex Girl, and The Man being a Boro Boy).  The REAL divide is that of Old Father Thames.

North London and South London seem to be totally different beasts – and people tend to be extremely loyal to which part they are in, and will argue to the death (or the hoarseness at least) as to why ‘their’ side is better.  Once you have lived in one part, you don’t tend to stray to the other.

Anyway, I digress.  I ventured to Putney, which amused me when I was on the train as I just finished reading The War of the Worlds, in which of course most of the action occurs in the places where the train I was on was visiting.  I kept thinking “Martians!” and then giggling to myself (not very loudly though, as I was on the quiet carriage, and hey, this was South London – there was no telling what might happen to me!).

One of my lovely friends is in a play at Putney Arts Theatre and me and a few of his other friends met up to go and see him do his thing.  The play was Round & Round The Garden by Alan Ayckbourn which is apparently part of a trilogy called The Norman Conquests which can all stand alone.

It was actually really really good, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Parts of it bordered on farce, but it was never really full-blown ‘whoops there go my trousers’, but just gentle and funny.  The cast were great and my mate was obviously the star of the show, playing a gentle slightly dim vet who kind of bumbled along and didn’t have a single clue about how to deal with women (not too hard a stretch for my lovely gay friend!).

I thought it was great.  I love the venue (it’s a converted church – I have been before as another friend is heavily involved in the theatre) and the company was fantastic – I love it when you can relax into easy camaraderie with your friends’ friends!

I came home all warm and glowing…and then opened a letter that was a parking fine that The Man had got.  I am still not talking to him.

i would NOT do anything!

Oliver! the musical

Now, just to get it straight, I do really like musicals.  And i adore the theatre.  It doesn’t matter how often I go tot he theatre, i love the thrill of excitement before it starts – the sudden hush as the curtan goes up etc etc.  I’m a Londoner, and have access to a wide array of different theatres with so many different types of shows that I could probably go every week and never get bored with it (although I would be VERY skint!)

So, when I asked The Girl what she wanted for ‘home-coming’ (no Christmas for us, remember!) she said that she wanted to go to see Oliver!  My heart sank.  Not just that it would be SO expensive, but because I can’t stand things with too many kids in – and I really can’t stand the film of Oliver!  And there was no way that The Man was going to take her, so it would be just me, listening to some whiny boy screeching at us asking where love is.

Which is exactly what it was.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there were koads of things I did like about it.  The sets were fantastic, Griff Rhys Jones was a pretty good Fagin (although I’m pretty gutted that I only missed Omid Djalili by a couple of weeks), Nancy was brilliant, Bill Sikes was brilliantly gruff and manly (apparently the actor was in Press Gang!), the costumes were fantastic, and I did get goosebumps on some of the ensemble bits where the whole cast were singing (I’ve got a real thing about choirs etc)…but generally I wanted to slap all the kids, block my ears to the awful put-on accents and stab Oliver in the eye when his thin reedy voice popped up asking who would buy this wonderful morning.

Argh!!!!  My ears are bleeding!!

Anyway – the main thing was that The Girl loved every minute of it and sang along to the songs that she knew best.

Oh yes, and the only way I could afford it was by going right up in the balcony – oh my GOD that was high up.  That was quite scary really – I’m not very scared of heights, but I did experience a bit of vertigo when we were walking down to our seats.  And really £27 each to be right up there??   I haven’t paid that kind of price for theatre tickets for years and years and I was quite shocked.  I guess I go to more ‘B or C-rate shows’ than the big West End spectaculars – but obviously find them FAR more entertaining, for half the price!

barbican screens to close

I have held a Barbican membership for many years now, and have been to see a wide range of different stuff there over that time.  I love the Barbican as they continue to provide non mainstream shows and productions.  My daughter also LOVES it there and is always excited to be making the trip.

I was quite surprised to read via Londonist that they are planning to close Cinemas Two & Three in March.  This seems a little odd as the cinemas always seem to be packed whenever I’ve been – and they are one of the few places in London that show the more unusual and independent films.

I hope that they DO move the screens elsewhere to enable the great selection of films to still be shown – but it will be interesting to see how they use the space in the future.

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