28 February 2013

three Cs of london entertainment

My last few days--amongst the organising and sorting of my stuff--has been a time of entertainment.

After my day trip to Windsor on Monday I headed off to the Criterion Theatre at Piccadilly Circus.  I picked up my waiting ticket and went DOWN two levels to get to my first-balcony-seat!!  Turns out it's an underground theatre.  That was pretty cool.  My cheap seat was behind a thin pillar which really wasn't much a hindrance for viewing.  The guy in front of me was more in the way.  After intermission I moved along a seat (vacant of course) for a better view.  I went to see 39 Steps which was fabulous.  It was actually fun to see a comedy.  Most stage productions I've seen have turned out to be musicals so it was nice to see one that was just a drama.  And they made me laugh.  It was very entertaining.  It's a production of a spy story done by four actors covering 130 roles.  There was some amazing and clever role changes involved.  An excellent job done by all.

Tuesday night I went to the Coronet Theatre which is something I've been wanting to do for months and actually wish I would have done more.  Booking ahead means I got a £3.50 ticket for starters but the theatre itself was splendid.  I really liked the red velvet patterned wall paper.  Only problem was finding a seat.  Sold out (as typical) and no seat assignment.  Thankfully it's not too hard to find one lone seat and I got a good seat in the middle.  I watched Argo with the rest of the crowd.  I did find it a good story but found myself feeling tense and anxious for pretty much the entire movie.  Being based on a true story probably did that and I like happy endings and was hoping this one wouldn't be one of those weird movies that doesn't.  Quite a feat these people accomplished and it was nice to see photos of the real event and people involved as was re-enacted for the movie as the credits rolled.  They did a great job of getting look-alikes.

Wednesday afternoon I took a break from weaving in the ends (knitting terminology, he he)--things like closing my bank account, posting my niece's birthday present, donating a good chunk of UK accumulation and cleaning.  I caught the train to Covent Gardens and easily found the Cambridge Theatre. This theatre isn't so glamorous with old style but the stage set got the imagination stirred.  I had a cheap ticket up the top and the view down to the stage was quite steep.  Not that it hindered the view really.  Matilda was an amazing production just as I'd heard.  Wonderful!  The cast was fabulous and the guy who played Miss Trunchbull did an excellent, comical performance.  And there is some real talent amongst those kids too.  The songs were quite good too (musical).  I had a number of laughs and gave hearty applauses.  It's a show that's well worth seeing!

I think I really enjoy the theatre. There's something quite amazing about seeing a drama performed in front of you (as opposed to filmed and shown after editing).  The actors just roll on.  The choreography of roles, costumes, props and offstage/onstage.  And of course the sets themselves.  I enjoy seeing what they come up with.  39 Steps had simple props used really well and comically.  Matilda had cool technology with lazers and floor rising up and down to create different scenes and the performers wheeling in various pieces.  Amazing stuff.  I think I'll try and see more when I get home to Australia.

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