Sunday, 6 July 2008

Another London trip

If I had to choose one type of food to live on for the rest of my life to the exclusion of everything else, it would be sushi. Of course I should have taken the photo before we ate all the sushi, but I didn't think of it at the time. This was the end of another few days in London with Lola II.

Empty plates except for last piece of sushiFirst I visited mum and dad, then we all went to Lola II's concert. She plays with a group of people who play flute, clarinet, violin, viola, recorder, bassoon and piano. In principle, anyone with any instrument can join, and then Helen the 'teacher' has to try and find things they can play together. She told us that someone once came along who played Hawaiian guitar, but he didn't stay. We thought we should arrange for a bagpipe player to turn up one day as a joke.

The concert was mostly very good, although the bit at the start when they found that the two pianos were out of tune with one another was unsettling. There was another bad time when a solo pianist playing a Chopin nocturne without music discovered she couldn't remember how to get to the end and kept jumping back to a bit that she knew. Those of us who also knew the piece sat terrified that we would be there for all eternity, but she found a way to the end somehow. I really liked the determined way they all attacked the last piece, which was the Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream, played for all they were worth at a speed that was clearly as fast as it was possible to go without their fingers falling off. There was almost a shout of triumph when they reached the final chords together.

Audience at the Globe TheatreThe next day the whole family met again at the Globe Theatre. It's been rebuilt as the original might have been, with a thatched roof and the central area open to the sky, where some of the audience has to stand. If it rains, they get wet. We booked seats under cover, although it turned out to be quite hard to hear what was being said.

The play was 'The Merry Wives of Windsor', and I really enjoyed it. The comedy was enhanced by an announcement at the start that one of the main actors (playing Master Ford) was absent at the birth of his child, but they don't have an understudy so his part would be played by the director, reading from the script. He did a great job - the audience was 100% on his side, and the actors only teased him slightly on a couple of occasions.

Going to see the play in Shakespeare's time would have been a fantastic outing - we found plenty to laugh at 400 years after it was written, despite the difficulty of understanding the nuance of 17th century English. As we walked back along the South Bank towards the Millennium Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral, we commented on how lucky we are to have such easy access to this great and historic city, despite the crowds, the dirt and litter, and the general unpleasantness of the Tube. I'm glad I don't live there, though.


aims said...

Oh Lola! You've made me want to put on my wanderlust boots and get over there.

What a fantastic experience for you!

I have never tried Sushi and I don't know if my mouth will let me. There's something about some textures that make me maybe it's good that I haven't.

Anonymous said...

I love London - though I probably wouldn't want to live there either.

I saw a performance at the Globe theatre five years ago. It was so special to see it being performed as it would have been hundreds of years ago.

Brett said...

It must be great to see a play there, must try and do that if we ever get time to visit London, it been on the cards for about 10 years.

Ian said...

Ahhh, I have just added the Globe to my list of Places to See Before I Die. Very cool picture.

I had sushi last night and I'm sure yours was much better. There's something about a sushi restaurant located in a nondescript building on a lonely road in the middle of the desert that says, "Quick, run away!" I should've listened.

travelling, but not in love said...

Ah, Merry Wives of Windsor - I saw the musical version with Dame Judi at Stratford. Fab-u-lous.

belle said...

oh wow, I love sushi, and I love the Globe even more!!

btw, tagged you tagged you, ner ner ne ner ner! It's not a meme, it's a UU so pthththth! :)

Anonymous said...

The Globe is a fantastic venue, you can really get a feel for how it might of been in the 16th & 17th Century. I saw King Lear there a couple of weeks ago and loved it.

Lola said...

Sushi.... mmmmm. Aims, if you don't try it just once, you'll never know. But choose a reliable outlet that prepares it fresh, not a pack from a chiller cabinet.

Marjolein, Brett, Ian: get over to London. And take a trip to the Midlands too!

TBNIL, I didn't hear about the musical Merry Wives! Maybe it was before I lived here, or sold out immediately, like whenever there's someone famous playing.

Belle: you'll see I responded to the tag! And it sounds as though you had a good time at the Globe too!

Ms Wiz: thanks for dropping by. We had the option of King Lear, but I rather fancied a laugh! Next time...