Tag Archive: National Theatre

2012 in Review: Shows I Saw

For the last four years I’ve been keeping track of what I see, and each year the number has been growing. This year I saw a staggering 174 different productions (some of them more than once) spanning the performance art disciplines in 10 cities and five countries. I saw a high school production and a West End Musical. I went to the Vancouver Fringe and the Paris National Opera. I saw magicians, musicals, and modern dance; ballet, busking, and butoh; Shakespeare, site-specific, and SummerWorks.

As with every year there are shows I regret missing, but there are way less this year. There were things I wanted to see in London that I didn’t make it to. I couldn’t see every show at PuSh. I missed Terminus at SummerWorks.But overall, I saw more great theatre this year. Of course, I also walked out of two shows this year (something I rarely do) and wanted to walk out of at least three others that I couldn’t walk out of due to political reasons or logistics.

Here they are, the 174 shows I saw in 2012 in something close to chronological order:

  1. Waiting for Godot (Blackbird Theatre at the Cultch)
  2. Never Swim Alone (TWU)
  3. All The Way Home (Electric Company)
  4. Red (Vancouver Playhouse)
  5. The Idiot (Neworld/UBC at PuSh)
  6. Amarillo (Teatro Linea de Sombra at PuSh)
  7. Glory Days (The Boys Upstairs Equity Co-op)
  8. Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner (Chelfitsch Theater at PuSh)
  9. Gunmetal Blues (Playhouse)
  10. El Pasado un animal grotesco (Grupo Marea at PuSh)
  11. Craigslist Cantata (Arts Club Theatre at PuSh)
  12. Almighty Voice and his Wife (Native Earth Performing Arts/Touchstone Theatre at PuSh)
  13. Calendar Girls (Arts Club)
  14. No. 2 (Silo Theatre at PuSh)
  15. Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Pacific Theatre)
  16. Bride on Credit (TWU)
  17. Tempting Providence (Gateway Theatre)
  18. Problem Child & The End of Civilization (Theatre at UBC)
  19. I Love You Because (Intimate Productions)
  20. Intimate Apparel (Arts Club Theatre)
  21. The Silicone Diaries (Nina Arsenault at The Cultch)
  22. Hunchback (Catalyst Theatre at The Vancouver Playhouse)
  23. All Shook Up (Chemainus Theatre Festival & Gateway Co-pro)
  24. Ignorance (Old Trout Puppet WorkShop at The Cultch)
  25. Doubt (Pacific Theatre)
  26. Goodness (Volcano theatre at the Firehall)
  27. King Lear (Honest Fishmongers)
  28. Kismet 1 to 100 (The Chop at Gateway)
  29. A Vessel of Ruins (Taketeru Kudo – Tokyo)
  30. Barber of Seville (Vancouver Opera)
  31. Importance of Being Earnest (Arts Club)
  32. Importance of Being Earnest (Gallery 7)
  33. Flop (Delinquent Theatre)
  34. Snooker (Camillo the Magician)
  35. Fresco (BellaLuna Productions)
  36. The Bombitty of Errors (20-Something)
  37. Scar Tissue (Arts Club)
  38. Henry & Alice: Into the Wild (Arts Club)
  39. EndGame (Main Street Theatre)
  40. A Last Resort (Rough House Productions)
  41. Trial by Jury (VSO & Vancouver Opera Ensemble)
  42. Aida (Vancouver Opera)
  43. The Exquisite Hour (Relephant Theatre)
  44. 100 Saints You Should Know (Pacific Theatre)
  45. Blue Box (Neworld Theatre)
  46. Bliss (Ballet BC)
  47. High Society (Arts Club)
  48. Godspell (Christ Church Cathedral)
  49. Obstructions – Boca Del Lupo
  50. Shelter from the Storm (Touchstone/Firehall)
  51. Fantasticks (Gallery 7)
  52. MacBeth (Bard on the Beach)
  53. Wolf at the Door (Pacific Theatre)
  54. Not Everything You Are (Stones Throw)
  55. Obstructions – Felix Culpa
  56. UnBoxed (Scarlet Satin)
  57. Reasons to be Pretty (Matchbox Theatre)
  58. The Alchemist
  59. Xanadu (Arts Club)
  60. Titanic (TUTS)
  61. The Music Man (TUTS)
  62. King John (Bard on the Beach)
  63. Merry Wives of Windsor (Bard on the Beach)
  64. Alter Boyz (Arts Club)
  65. Armed (Xua Xua)
  66. Mary Poppins (Broadway Across Canada)
  67. Stationary (Delinquent Theatre at Neanderthal)
  68. Coercion (Hardline at Neanderthal)
  69. God is a Scottish Drag Queen (Delcon Entertainment.at Neanderthal)
  70. The List (Bouchewhacked! at Neanderthal)
  71. Tyumen, Then (Groundwater Productions at Neanderthal)
  72. House of X (Wild Excursions at Neanderthal)
  73. The Taming of the Shrew (Bard on the Beach)
  74. Obstructions – Beautiful Karrats (Radix)
  75. Sunday Service (Neanderthal)
  76. Exhibit A (411 Dramaturgy at Neanderthal)
  77. The Marraige of Figaro (Summer Opera Lyric Theatre)
  78. My Pregnant Brother (Freestanding Productions at SummerWorks)
  79. France or the Niquab (Old Pirate at SummerWorks)
  80. Haunted (The Haunted Group at SummerWorks)
  81. Artaud: un Portrait en Decomposition (TheatreRUN at SummerWorks))
  82. Medicine Boy (Native Earth at SummerWorks)
  83. Purge (Brian Lobel at SummerWorks)
  84. One/Un (Orange Noyée at SummerWorks)
  85. The God that Comes (2b Theatre at SummerWorks)
  86. When it Rains (2b Theatre at SummerWorks)
  87. Petrichor (Kitchenband at SummerWorks)
  88. Barrel Crank (Suitcase in Point at SummerWorks)
  89. Extinction Song (Voodoo Theatre at SummerWorks)
  90. Dutchman (lemonTree Creations)
  91. Wondermart (Rotozaza at SummerWorks)
  92. Marine Life (Theatre Crisis and Aluna Theatre at SummerWorks)
  93. Captain Ron’s Ship of Friendship/Atomic Vaudeville Cabaret (Atomic Vaudeville at SummerWorks)
  94. The Frenzy of Queen Maeve  (Live Lobster Theatre at SummerWorks)
  95. Breath in Between (Breath Collective in Association with Crow’s Theatre at SummerWorks)
  96. 40 Days and 40 Nights (Nina Arsenault at Summerworks)
  97. Your Side, My Side and the Truth (Compass and Trying Science Co-Production at SummerWorks)
  98. Peachy Coochy (Summerworks)
  99. We Will WeeTube (An Experiment with Theatre Replacement’s WeeTube at SummerWorks)
  100. Iceland (The Iceland Collective at Summerworks)
  101. Speed the Plow (SoulPepper)
  102. Motor Vehicle Sundown (Andy Field at SummerWorks)
  103. Midsummer Night’s Dream (CanStage)
  104. Mojo (ItsaZoo)
  105. Eurosmash! (Die Rotten Punkte at The Cultch)
  106. My Marvellous Melcher Machine (James Melcher)
  107. Pirates? (Quimera Collective)
  108. Just Bust a Move (Nathaniel Roy)
  109. Home Free (Staircase XI)
  110. Riverview High: The Musical (Entrance Theatre)
  111. In the Time of the Dream Warrior (Golgonooza)
  112. The 1812 Event (Just Push Play)
  113. Romance (Queer Arts Society)
  114. Adult Entertainment (Squidamisu Theatre)
  115. ReLapse (And the Other Leg)
  116. Miss Cosmos (Bright Young Theatre)
  117. Felony (Dreams Beyond 30)
  118. First Day Back (10 Foot Pole)
  119. Alpha (Compassionate Bone)
  120. Three More Sleepless Nights (o.o.o.o.)
  121. Weaksauce (Sam Mullins)
  122. You Are Here (Allentina Francesca)
  123. Hip Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos (411 Dramaturgy)
  124. Tales Told by Idiots (Not The Mermaid)
  125. Lost in Twine (Looking for 143 Productions)
  126. Underbelly (Jayson MacDonald)
  127. Zanna, Don’t (Awkward Stage)
  128. Psychopomp (Psyche Theatre)
  129. Smudge (Two Wrongs That Write)
  130. God is a Scottish Drag Queen (Delcon Entertainment)
  131. Peter ‘n’ Chris Explore Their Bodies (Peter ‘n’ Chris)
  132. Loon (Wonderheads)
  133. Gadfly (Theatre of the Beat)
  134. Guernica (Hidden Harlequin Theatre)
  135. Fishbowl (Mark Shyzer)
  136. How to Love (Idea Factory Entertainment)
  137. Welcome to my Wake (INC – Ingrid Nilson Collective)
  138. Little Lady (Sandrine Lanford)
  139. The Histories AKA Will Shakespeare’s ImproMusical (GrinkeInk)
  140. Riot (Carson Graham Secondary)
  141. The Missing Piece (Theresa Hamilton)
  142. The Best, Man (Urban Rogues)
  143. Risk Everything (Squidamisu Theatre)
  144. No Tweed to Tight (Ryan Gladstone)
  145. Vincent (Spitfire Productions)
  146. Bookworm (Corin Raymond)
  147. Blind Date (Rebecca Northan at the Cultch)
  148. Post Secret: The Play (TJ Dawe, Kahlil Ashanti & Frank Warren)
  149. The Spitfire Grill (Midnight Theatre Collective at Pacific Theatre)
  150. Capslock: The Musical (Pipedream Productions)
  151. Master Class (Arts Club)
  152. White Rabbit, Red Rabbit (Elbow Theatre at The Cultch)
  153. A Beautiful View (Ruby Slippers)
  154. Zombie Syndrome (Virtual Stage)
  155. The Unplugging (Arts Club)
  156. Initiation Trilogy (Electric Company/Boca del Lupo/Writers Fest)
  157. Debts (ItsaZoo)
  158. La Boheme (Vancouver Opera)
  159. Dancing at Lughnassa (Capilano University)
  160. Chelsea Hotel (Firehall)
  161. Cozy Catastrophe (theatre Melee with Rumble and the Cultch)
  162. Gold Mountain (Les Deux Mondes & unity theatre at The Cultch)
  163. Dickens’ Women (Miriam Margoyles at The Cultch)
  164. Go Back for Murder (SAMC Theatre @TWU)
  165. Tomb with a View (Genus/Up in the Air)
  166. Far Side of the Moon (Ex Machina @ SFU)
  167. Matilda the Musical (Royal Shakespeare Company in the Westend)
  168. Twelfth Night (The Globe)
  169. NSFW (Royal Court)
  170. The Effect (National Theatre)
  171. Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Zurich Opera House)
  172. Jultrad-i-tion (Gotenburg Opera)
  173. Don Quixote (Ballet of the National Opera of Paris)
  174. Le Retour (Odeon Theatre of Europe)
  175. La Cenerentola (National Opera of Paris)

Lois’ Grand Adventure – Day 4 (London & Cardiff)

Rainbow over Bristol.

Today began with extreme frustration on my part. After waking up very early (read: before 7am) and making my way to Paddington Station, I found out that my train to Cardiff had been cancelled. Cancelled? Yup. The tracks were flooded and it wouldn’t go. Could I take the next train with the same ticket? Probably. But they weren’t sure it was going to go either. Thankfully it was able to run, albeit on a diverted route that added an extra 30-45 minutes to the running time.

It was in that moment that I was incredibly grateful for my planning style.  My planning style that allowed me to arrive in Cardiff more than an hour after I planned to be there and still be on time for my booked timeslot at the Doctor Who Experience.  But I’ll come back to that.

The 7:45am train left Paddington station without a problem and I was amazed at how quickly we were outside the city and into the countryside. I’m not sure what the difference is exactly, but you look at it and you know that you’re in Great Britain. I actually watched the sun rise over London as the train pulled away. A stunning sight I wish I’d been able to capture with my camera.  When we stopped in Bristol there was a beautiful rainbow.

Side note: I’ve become very aware of my accent. I almost never have reason to talk since I’m mostly travelling alone, but I’m now finding the sound of my own voice rather harsh.

In the wind outside Wales Millenium Center

It was a very windy morning in Cardiff Bay. I don’t know if you can tell in the picture on the right, but my hair is blowing sideways. And of course this was the one day I didn’t wear a scarf! You see my hand on my chest: I was physically holding my jacket closed to try to keep warm. Of course, it gets windy when you’re right on the water.

I had read online that the Doctor Who Experience was hard to find, but as soon as I reached the bay I saw way-finding signs with “Doctor Who” on them in big letters. I followed them down the boardwalk to the MASSIVE warehouse that houses the Doctor Who Experience. When I entered the lobby area I was the only one there and began to feel a bit ridiculous. I was reminded of the time that I went to the Harry Potter Exhibit in Toronto with Brittney and we were pretty much the only ones there. But I felt less ridiculous then because I had someone to laugh with and take photos with.

Eventually a few others showed up: three teenage girls, a couple in their early thirties, and a single man in his late 40′s from Australia.  The teenage girls seemed to be having the most fun, but they were together and goofing around like Brittney and I did at the Harry Potter.

The experience is in two parts. The first part is a walkthrough with videos, artifacts, and a “story.” Now “story” is in quotation marks because I think my biggest problem with the whole thing was how poorly it was written. It made no sense. I understand that the “story” only existed as a reason for people to keep moving through the experience, but I know there are ways to do that better. It felt a little bit like site specific theatre: that they had the idea of the space first and then built the story to go with it, but didn’t know how to do that since they’re used to having the story come first. The other problem was that it is designed for 50 people or more to go through at a time, not seven. So with such a small group we didn’t take as long and some of the dialogue didn’t really work. Telling us to all “hurry up and gather” once we’re already in place doesn’t work.  However, one thing that it did really well was the audience herding. Or at least, it would be great for a large group including children.  Every time we had to move to another room there was clear instruction: “Come on! Hurry up! Don’t touch the knobs: you’ve already landed the TARDIS they won’t do anything now!” etc.  Another thing they did really well was their use of scrims to make things appear and disappear as we went, to the point that even I (with my carefully trained eyes) wasn’t sure how some of the things were working….for the first few minutes.

The front of the current TARDIS

Once the walkthrough ends, you enter a sort of museum/exhibition of Doctor Who memorabilia: costumes, props, set pieces, sound effects, video effects from the show in their original, refurbished or sometimes reconstructed forms. The first floor of this contains the entire interior of the TARDIS from the eighth and ninth doctors reign.  I asked the Australian gentleman to snap a photo of me with it, but as he tried, my battery died. It had said full strength when I left this morning, but it was dead dead. I was pretty upset that I would have no photos, so he offered to take a couple and email them to me. My fingers are crossed that they get here before too long, since they are of me with the interior and exterior of the TARDS from eight and nine.  I did, however, figure out that I could take some photos with my iPad, although they are not nearly as good of quality as they would have been if they were on my real camera.

One of my favourite parts of the exhibition was in a small corner right before the exit. On a small table were some of the original white card models for various sets. My pictures of them turned out terribly, but it was really cool to see how those theatrical tools are also used for Doctor Who. There was a model of the TARDIS interior that was especially cool.

The Torchwood/Ianto Jones Memorial in Cardiff Bay.

After buying some postcards to send to my Whovian friends and feeling a little sad that the gift shop didn’t have any Christmas ornaments, I headed back along the pier in search of a hot beverage. Had I been smart I would have gone in search of lunch, but I wasn’t hungry and I was cold. As I walked along the pier I saw what appeared to be a huge bulletin board covered in posters and notices, but when I got closer I discovered that it was a Torchwood memorial to one of the characters that had been officially recognized by the management of the shopping centre now on the location where some of the show was filmed. Now I like some TV shows a lot, but I have not ever built a memorial to a dead character.

I made my way back to the train station and checked that my train back to London was running on time: according to the video screens it was, so I decided to head into Cardiff proper for a bit of browsing. I found a huge, expensive mall that smelled exactly like every mall I’ve ever walked into. How do they do that? When I returned to the train station, I discovered that my train back to London had, in fact, been cancelled after all and I would have to wait another half hour before I could catch one. And again I thanked myself for scheduling the day in such a way that one late train would not screw up my plans for the evening (other than preventing me from having time for dinner).  I slept almost the whole train ride back to the city, which felt great. I was starting to feel exhausted. Just outside of Slough Station I noticed a huge fireworks display.  A little it of research after I got home told me that today was Slough’s Christmas Lights Switch On and the the fireworks were the big end to that celebration. It was pretty cool to see.

Side note: There is NOTHING I have experienced that is like Paddington Station on a rainy day, at rush hour, when a number of trains are cancelled or delayed. It was a madhouse in there.

Bad Lois snuck a photo inside a theatre.

No time for a break – I had tickets to a 7:30 performance of The Effect by Lucy Prebble at the National Theatre, so I jumped on the tube and made it there with 15 minutes to spare. Woo! The Cottseloe Theatre at the National is one of the most unique spaces I have ever been in. It was the only space we didn’t get to see on our backstage tour a couple of days ago so I had no idea what to expect, and I certainly didn’t expect what I got. The seating was on three floors, completely in the “round” or rather rectangle. For this production the lowest floor seating was designed to be a part of the set.  I have no idea if this is what it is always like, but it’s very cool. My seat was up on the top floor and I found myself with my arms on the railing in front of me, leaning in until my hands went tingly throughout the show.

Things I’m falling in love with about British Theatre:

1. Being able to buy the script at the theatre for a reasonable price at the time you attend the show. (I bought tonight’s script so that I could look up an exchange that jumped out at me).
2. No preshow announements
3. No cell phones going off
4. Ice cream at intermission
5.  Wednesday AND Thursday matinees.

Things I’m not falling in love with about British Theatre:

1. Inconsistent start times. Of note, I have not seen a show with an 8pm start time while I’ve been here.
2.

Yeah…I can’t really think of anything. They know what they’re doing over here when it comes to theatre.

Lois’ Grand Adventure – Day 2 (London, England)

Lois at Trafalgar Square

This post should probably be subtitled: Theatre, tours, and theatre tours.

I’m currently sitting in Starbucks outside Shakespeare’s Glove to rest my feet and eat a snack before continuing my adventures. And also taking a moment to document because as everyone has pointed out – if i don’t write it down I’m likely to forget things since I’m trying to cram so many adventures into so little time.

I couldn’t sleep in this morning, so I embraced it and was out of the building by 8:15, just walking through Westminster to see what I came across. It is amazing to walk through the west end of London and walk past large theatres on every corner with billboards for Chekov on the sides of the buildings.

I found my way to Trafalgar Square where I embraced my total ignorance and admitted that I had no idea what the significance of it was. A quick search on wikipedia told me that it is named after a battle. Go figure. From there I was just walking when I stumbled across Westminster Abbey. I say stumbled despite its size because the signage hadn’t been placed out front by the staff yet. As I was taking some photos the staff began to put out the signs and I learned that it would be opening in 15 minutes for the day. I decided to joint he very short line and go in. Because why not. (This is becoming my motto on this trip!)

So that’s how I found myself fifth in line to enter Westminster Abbey, and after picking up the free audio guide I let the voice of Scar tell me all about the Abbey. Multiple times as I slowly worked my way through every public corner of the Abbey I found myself overwhelmed to the point of having tears begin to well up in the corners of my eyes. It’s not a regular occurrence for me to walk through buildings where parts of them are over 1000 year old and every footstep is another step towards erasing the monuments to the people buried there.  Not to mention the millions of other people from all walks of life who have walked those same steps. The other thing that really struck me was that this church housed tributes to royalty and revolutionaries, poets and scientists, actors and soldiers. Amazing.

Cue outside Big Ben

I then made my way across the street to see the British Parliament and Big Ben. If I’m totally honest, I thought they were a little underwhelming. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t experience them in any real way, but they just weren’t that striking to me. A beautiful piece of architecture? Yes. But I just kind of didn’t care.

I walked across the Thames and followed the Queens Jubilee Walk along the south bank. At the aquarium a fire alarm was going off and there were hundreds of school children lined up outside waiting to be let back in as staff tried desperately to keep them occupied. It was amusing.

I continued my walk through a little Christmas market, past the National Theatre, past the Tate Modern, to the Starbucks where I stopped to write this. And now my peppermint hot chocolate is gone, my story is caught up and it must be time to visit the Globe.

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I’ve returned to my iPad as I sit for another few minutes break from walking. I sure am glad that I planned for blisters: it means that they haven’t gotten any worse and I’ve already been on my feet for about nine hours.

In front of the stage at the Globe.

The Globe was pretty cool. Seeing the stunning costumes that are more clothing recreation than costume (one outfit takes 90 minutes with two dressers to put on as it has no velcro, zippers, or modern fasteners) was a highlight. We weren’t allowed on the stage but wandered through the rest of the building, being told about their original practices approach to both some of their productions and the construction of the building. For example, each spindle in the gallery railings takes two hours to hand carve using the techniques of 400 years ago. Wow.

Side note: I didn’t realize how much Doctor Who pervades pop culture here until our Globe tour guide spent the first five minutes talking about The Doctor had saved Shakespeare and the Globe from MacBeth’s witches (series 3, episode 2, The Shakespeare Code) as if it were an actual part of history. Fun.

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I figured I’d pop into the Tate Modern since I was walking past (I’m still getting used to saying things like that….It’s not normal for me!) and found myself overwhelmed by the amount of art rather quickly. Thankfully they have free tours of “highlights” led by volunteers. Our tour was a group of four of us plus our volunteer who had stacks of notes on every painting, sculpture and installation on the floor that he never referred to because he knew it all by heart. What I found as I continued to walk post-tour was that the pieces that most jumped out at me were the ones I knew something about. Whether I’d seen the image before and wondered who the artist was, or knew the artist but hadn’t seen their work – it was when I already had a foundation that I wanted more (insert marketing advice here). There’s something about seeing Monet’s Waterlilies and realizing in the moment that it covers an entire wall when you’ve always assumed it was painting sized (just to clarify, in my head all paintings are about 11×17).

Monet’s Waterlilies. About four to eight times larger than in my brain.

I turned one corner and found a room full of Picasso’s. Another door led to Rothko’s Seagrams Mural. And in the latter room – a cramped room with low lighting (as Rothko intended) – I found myself struck. I sat there for a while, overwhelmed again by the work. I feel like I need to learn more about modern art. Maybe then I’d understand how a stack of bricks or piece of latex paint peeled back off the wall qualify as art. In most cases where I didn’t get the piece, I understood it as an intellectual exercise, but I don’t know if that makes it art. This is why I am neither an artist or an art critic.

At both the Globe and the Tate Modern (and later the National Theatre) I was impressed by the number of school groups present on a wet Tuesday.. I can’t imagine how that might change a child’s education: to stand on the stage of the Globe at the age of about eight and shout famous lines on a class trip. (The groups alternated between MacBeth and Romeo & Juliet). Or to have an art class field trip to see some of the greatest art in the world and be able to return whenever you want to see more. Amazing. I don’t think we have an equivalent at home.

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I’m now sitting in the lobby of the National Theatre, awaiting a backstage tour. I was amazed and delighted to discover that their lobby is a public space with a cafe, bookstore, and free public wifi. At 4:00pm on this wet Tuesday it is full of people. One table appears to be a production meeting. Another appears to be an actor fresh out of rehearsal with some friends. But others are just a lone person reading or doing a crossword. People are comfortable in the space and clearly have a sense of ownership over it. And among the people are costumes and set pieces on display (above my head is the body of one of the horse puppets from War Horse). Can more of our North American theatres start doing this?

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The street advertising for Matilda. Too bad I kept looking for it on the wrong street.

The National Theatre’s backstage tour was both frustrating and exciting. There was again a school group mixed in but they didn’t seem to want to be there. Mostly they just made fun of each other and of what was going on. However. We got to go through both the Lyttleton and Olivier theatres, including crossing the stage and going down into the trap pit of the Lyttleton. When we walked into the Olivier (up in the back of the house) the actors were just beginning their warmups. On the floor amongst them was John Lithgow, doing his stretching and deep breathing. I know that I’m not supposed to get start struck, but even I have moments where I have to be reminded that just because people are “stars” doesn’t mean that they don’t have to work as hard as “normal people.” We also got to see the stage manager’s station in the Lyttleton, visit the props department, see how they store the sets for their rep shows so that they can do change over quickly, and discussed what happens in their armoury.

Unfortunately I couldn’t stop looking at my watch during the tour. I had made the rookie mistake of booking a 70 minute tour at 5:15 and a show at 7:00 on the other side of the river, and the tour had started late. When we finished, I was out the door faster than I would have liked and heading for my next destination. I had taken the time to write out walking directions and knew that I could make it on time. But as I got closer to the theatre, iI also got more lost. On a lot of corners there are no street signs so its next to impossible to figure out where you are. I also learned that a lot of people (including the staff at large theatres) don’t know the other theatres by name – they just know what is playing there. After the sixth person couldn’t help me find my way to the Cambridge Theatre for Matilda and my watch said 6:56 and I had tears again welling up in my eyes, I found someone who told me where to go. I’d been close for about 15 minutes, it was just down a different street with poor signage. I walked in the door at 7:00pm and although the doors were closed, the show hadn’t started yet and a lovely usher showed me to my seat. I apologized profusely for being late and felt extremely Canadian. And I now know why I go to things 30+ minutes early all the time. It’s worth being early to not have that stress of trying to find a place.

By the second song in the show I had stopped stressing out and just sat back and enjoyed it. It is such a wonderful adaptation of the book. It is not the same as the book – not exactly – but the heart is the same and that is a beautiful thing. The show is also smart and at times is even breathtaking. At the end I didn’t leap to my feet (though I really thought about it), but it was nice to not see a Standard Ovation happen. Some people sat. Some people stood. And no one was thought of or looked at as less for what they chose to do.

And now its 1:00am, I’m in my bed, and it’s time to sleep so that I’m ready for more adventures tomorrow. Because why not?

Bonus Photo:

Across the street from Trafalgar Square is the Canadian Consulate where I caught sight of this protest this morning. The world is concerned about Canada’s use of the Tar Sands.