Sunday, July 29, 2007

London Calling...

We've had a London theatre trip in mind for some time and were waiting for a particular show to really grab our attention. I had been persuaded to combine a Friday evening show with a Saturday matinee of "Wicked" which Waldorf had high on her list of things to see.

A couple of months ago we heard of a planned production of "Othello" at the Donmar Warehouse that seemed to fit the bill perfectly. With Chiwetel Ejiofor cast as 'Othello' and Ewan McGregor as 'Iago' we knew this would be a popular show, so were aware our best chance to get good tickets was to sign up for the Donmar's 'friends' scheme for priority booking and had included that in our budget. Unfortunately we had underestimated just how attractive this would be and a few weeks later when we went to sign up as 'friends' we discovered that due to unprecedented demand they had changed the scheme so that future friends will not receive priority booking for "Othello". It wasn't really practical for us to hold off and take our chances when they go on public sale mid-October as we need to be able to book flights/hotels in advance to get decent prices.

But having mentally taken that first step on the road south we weren't going to be deterred and I soon found another show that was equally persuasive. I'd seen some of the reviews for "Elling" and they had pretty much all been very favourable and the main cast in this "Odd Couple" style story are the excellent John Simm and Adrian Bower of Channel 4's "Teachers". "Elling" proved relatively easy to secure good seats for and at prices that wouldn't break the bank.

"Wicked" on the other hand proved more problematic, and Row R of the stalls is a little further back than I'm used to, and £60 for a ticket is about four times what I'm used to! And that's nothing compared to the price I fear I'm going to have to pay in non-monetary terms for suggesting that my brother-in-law come along with us. I suspect he may never forgive me...

So... look out London in late September, View From The Stalls is heading your way. And who knows, if the trip goes well we may even still try and get lucky with those "Othello" tickets.

Any tips on reasonably priced restaurants/bars gratefully received.