Sunday, April 5, 2015

Round the monopoly board.

It's easy to see why people fall in love with London. There's not much to dislike about it (except perhaps the exchange rate for Aussies). For such a huge city it's remarkably easy to get around and most areas are walkable- and it feels like we've walked an awful lot of them in 3 days!

On Saturday we started off at the Camden Markets, just a couple of stops down the tube from our hotel in Euston. This market starts in the street but then turns into a tardis down a rabbit hole with multi levels and corridors and back lanes of tiny little shops selling just about anything you can think of. We bought a bag full of nothing in particular before we found a way out of the maze, just near where a couple of boats were negotiating the lock on a canal. This was a vaguely fascinating procedure to watch from the bridge, spoilt only by the amount of people who were casually throwing their rubbish into the canal while we stood there!

From Camden it was back on the tube to Leicester Square to check out the day’s theatre offerings. Today was Taine’s choice and he settled on Cats.

We’ve been ticking off the names from the Monopoly board while we’ve been here and today was a bonanza. We are staying on Euston Rd and leave every day from King’s Cross station, effectively ticking off the pale blue when we pass Pentonville and the signs for the Angel Islington. On our visit to Buckingham palace we drove down Park Lane. Yellow is where the theatre tickets are at Coventry St and Leicester Square and we change trains at Piccadilly. Today we visited the red, the green and the orange. Trafalgar Square (bordered by The Strand, Pall Mall and Whitehall) was full of people carrying pillows. Apparently today was world pillow fight day. Who knew? But, viewed from Nelson’s Column it did make an interesting diversion.

Down the Strand to Convent Garden we stopped for hot chocolate and to pick up our Lion King tickets for next Tuesday, then around the Victoria Embankment to pick up the tube to Regent St and Oxford Circus for some shopping.

Circus was a very accurate description for Oxford St on Easter Saturday. It was a sea of humans. We were on a mission to find Taine some new jeans (he’s grown out of 2 pairs while we’ve been away!). We accomplished that task and managed to find him a new Swatch but we failed to find any Easter eggs.

After a 30 minute power break back at the hotel we returned to Argyll St for dinner and the show. Cats turned out to be an inspired choice. Since we’re in rehearsal to do this show at school next term Taine already knows the entire score and we have a heightened interest in the set and staging. The Palladium is a gorgeous, intimate theatre and our cut price tickets in the dress circle were as good as any in the house and included free face painting! It’s a perfect stage for Cats and allows everyone to get up close and personal with the cast. We loved the directorial interpretation of the story too, complete with a hipster, rapping Rum Tum Tugger. The hard part will be trying to get rid of the ‘ear worm’ tunes tomorrow.

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