It's been awhile since I have had a good long dose of London, and my friends Kat and Anna were feeling the same way. I'd had a difficult week, to say the least (11PM was my average leaving time from work) and I'd been out with the chairman of our company on a presentation Friday that put me home around 9 PM. I was in the mood.
So Saturday we took the train to the city. Anna had arranged for free rooms at a hotel, which is code for "We'll put you up for free but you have to tour the place first." We did the tour, and then headed into the city. Met Kat in Leicester Square and had some tapas and a glass of wine in the sunny early fall day. Went to tkts and took a gander at the choices. Richard II is in previews, and Kevin Spacey...dishy pasty-white-stay-inside if ever there was one...is playing the lead. Made a mental note to do that one soon. There were tickets to High Society and I've always loved that (MY she was YAR!) but Epitaph for George Dillon won because Joseph Fiennes is a "horny beast" as Kat says (I believe that is Northern Irish for dishy.) Tickets were half price (the fun of tkts) and so we booked for 7:30.
We did a Covent Garden wander, and I ended up with a pair of new shoes. They are a lovely chocolate brown and will go well with trousers. I can't always wear my red boots. Made the obligatory Lush stop (I needed face wash) and then sat for a cappuccino. Caught a taxi to Kensington Palace for tea. Apparently I flirted with the cabbie (though I'd say I just had some friendly conversation, much as my mother did with strangers when we were on vacation as a kid,) and so he not only dropped us off, he drove on the sidewalks in Hyde Park to drop us right next to the building because it was raining. We had a delicious cream tea. (That means tea, cucumber sammys, fruit scones with clotted cream and preserves and a piece of cake, orange in our case.) Walked off the sweets by strolling back to the hotel, had a complimentary cocktail, then caught the tube to the theatre.
We had great seats and the play was interesting. Joseph Fiennes is, indeed a "horny beast." The play was written in the 50's by John Osbourne and his partner, Anthony Creighton, and foreshadows some of the themes in the more well known Look Back in Anger. Quick synopsis - it is about a supposedly artistic, clever, engaging man who quits his day job and moves in with a work colleague and her stereotypically lower class family so he can pursue his acting. Although he is contemptuous of the banal lifestyle of his hosts, eventually life batters him down and he succumbs to their mediocrity because it's easier than pursuing his dreams. The whole staging has that Leave it to Beaver look about it, and the family who takes him in are two-dimensional, predictable people. George is always saying a-bit-too-clever stuff intended to make you think, thus making him just as much a two-dimensional stereotype as the people he ridicules with his sardonic humour. But there were some good laughs and it was engaging and I though Joseph Fiennes was certainly a bit more than a pretty face. (He's tall, too. Oh. And he's a talented actor and gave a nuanced performance.) Read review here.
Stopped at Wagamama for plum wine and noodle soup. Went to the hotel, and I slept like a log. Got up for breakfast and met Anna at 11. Wandered a bit and caught a 130 train home.
I love London. Twenty-seven hours in the city and I am no longer stressed about work. Why? Because I live in ENGLAND. How bad can it be???