The first two posts were about work, and that’s important because that’s why I’m in London, right? But let’s also talk about other things.
Like theatre. I love the theatre. The first six years in the UK I wasn’t in London, and in Reading there wasn’t any of the kind of theatre I was used to. I remember going to my first panto, entirely unprepared for the experience. So that was fun.
I got taken to a few performances by friends a couple of times, the Lion King, the Pit and the Pendulum, which was great, Les Mis. Then about five years ago I tried one of the cheaper performances in the Globe. Meh. Bit boring. Then I walked into a weird and wonderful Twin Peaks themed arts weekend at Battersea Arts Centre. That was more like it. But I still didn’t get anywhere where I felt Yes, this is my town, I love it.
The first very great theatre production I saw after finally settling into London was thanks to my friend Huw having a spare ticket for Death and the Kings Horseman, directed by Rufus Norris at the NT. Amazing.
Then in the last few years I spent more time with the lovely Amanda, and we went and saw everything. Things like Martin Freeman in Richard III (then another friend also took me to see Robert Sheehan as Richard III, a more traditional performance, at the Rose Theatre in Kingston.) We saw Steven Mangan’s understudy and Matthew MacFadyen (we like Matthew MacFadyen) as Jeeves and Wooster. We saw Mark Gatiss in Three Days in the Country.
The second most amazing thing I saw was Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston – that was with a German friend. It was amazing but played to his young fans a bit too much. Ahem. Not that I didn’t enjoy that bit.
But my personal absolute best, the total top experience was, as the title suggests, James McAvoy in The Ruling Class. Which, again thanks to Amanda, I had a front row seat for, and at the Trafalgar Studios, those seats are right on the stage.
It was an amazing play with an amazing, super plot, and then there was the moment where James – who I admire as an actor and artist, of course, ahem – kneeled about half a metre away, speaking some lines, and then, to my great delight, exclaimed the immortal two words And You! right at me, looking me in the eyes.
I don’t know. It’s a delight, being so close to actors in a play that you feel part of it.
I guess when we go back to Germany it’s all going to be Goethe and Schiller again and that’s not a bad thing either is it.