Mrs B made it in good time and 'Tom Tom' predicted my arrival, at my parking place of choice, as 6.30pm (just as the parking meters go off duty, excellent), with a 15 minute walk to the theatre it was looking good for the surprise ambush. A crash on the North Circular - not even a road that I was using, had a knock on effect to the M11, which conspired against me and the time started to ebb away. It was only after 7pm and with some distance still to my destination that I could at last manage to make use of the bus lanes and speed past the occupants of stationary cars, who thankfully doggedly refused to use the bus lanes (even after the lanes have knocked off for the evening and no doubt joined the parking meters who are already sozzled in a nearby bar). This also tells you that I had missed the 7pm meeting time and worse still was looking like missing the start of the play at 7:30pm. As I slewed to a halt in Lincolns Inn Fields I had only 7 minutes to make the 15 minute walk.
It was going to be squeaky bum time as I set off at a brisk pace that would have given Usain Bolt a wake up call. At this point I was regretting bringing "the beast" (Nikon D700 with 70-200 lens) as I had already missed capturing the surprise on my sister's face, it sounded like it was a truly classic moment. Our friend Lisa, who had instigated the whole surprise theatre trip, dragged Big Sis into the crowded theatre bar. Mrs B was sitting at a table with four chairs, a bottle of Champagne on ice and four glasses. (Despite the four glasses, she lost count of the number of times people asked if the seats were taken. "No,no, I'm an alcoholic trying to pretend that I've got friends" ). My sister saw what she thought was a free table and rushed over. Seeing the glasses and champagne she looked through Mrs B and said "Oh, damn someone's sitting here!". "Yes" piped up Mrs B " I'm sitting here". Big Sis turned and said "Sorry" to the, she thought, complete stranger and started to walk away, and then suddenly realising who it was, let out a huge scream of excitement (I guess it's a girly thing...) that deafened half the bar.
While this had been taking place I was now involved in a battle through the streets . I thought the traffic on the road had been bad but every tourist from miles around seemed to converge on my route. I ended up dancing through a herd of large, slow moving ladies, hurding Japanese tourists and politely telling anyone else who swayed, rolled or sauntered in my way that "Sorry, I'm in a bit of a hurry and could you clear the Effing way" I tried to be polite as possible. I would like to think, if filmed, it would have been like watching those street runners - jumping off buildings, diving through doorways, back flipping off walls etc...- sadly I suspect it probably came off as more like the Keystone Cops crossed with Benny Hill. As I dashed through theatre security I explained " Yes it is a big camera but there is no way I would be using it in the theatre....!!!. With seconds to spare I got into the auditorium. I probably could have done without running my rucksack over the heads of the row in front, as I made my way to my seat, especially as I came in from the wrong side and managed to get most of them. Fortunately the show started on time and saved me from a lot of grief, I collapsed in my seat and took huge breaths as I started to recover.
The show was fantastic, 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert' starring Jason Donovan and Mrs B.....Yes you heard me. 20 years after her last appearance on stage, Mrs B made her surprise West End debut. Just after the interval the chorus line flocked down from the stage and dragged (quite an appropriate term considering the contents of the show) willing and un-willing volunteers onto the stage. Mrs B's Protests :-
"No, no, no, oh OK, alright then....Do I need make up?"
were short and unconvincing.
a much bigger role...
I'm afraid I broke my promise to theatre security and whipped out the beast, in an attempt to get a couple of clandestine shots of Mrs B ' s big West End opportunity. I wish I had been a bit more composed but trying to get the beast out of the bag and setting it up, all without being caught by the prowling theatre staff was no easy task..... All too soon Mrs B was ushered back into the audience - no doubt at the insistence of Mr Donovan who was probably petrified that he was going to be upstaged after hearing about Mrs B's impressive track record with the Tadworth Local Amateur Dramatic & Luvvies Society. No one who saw her play third goat from the left in Animal Farm or witnessed her being praised for her excellent Welsh accent whilst performing as a Liverpudlian bus conductress, will forget Mrs B's acting career. Her Statue of Liberty performance still brings tears to the eyes.... certainly to the poor guy who was at the back of the stage and got too close to the torch.....
All those wanting autographs please form an orderly queue, Mrs B will be out shortly......No Sir, she does not sign expandable body parts...... you can go to the back of the queue for suggesting such a thing....
Mrs B was just easing herself back in slowly
sod in front hadn't stood up. Clearly West
End audiences aren't as sophisticated as
they used to be... Mrs B claims that he is
giving her a standing ovation. While I think
he was nipping off to the loo
Some photos to keep my non-readers happy
Mrs B was on a shopping adventure on Sunday, with her mum and sister, leaving me to my own devices. As no one was about for a cycle ride I went for a swim (just over a mile in 37 minutes) and then took the beast out to try and capture a flavour of Autumn.... Autumn appears to have gone into hiding for the moment, so please expect Autumn Watch style pictures, without the Autumn or Bill Oddie for that matter...
Recently I've been looking at a Blog with
fantastic pictures of Eagles and what do I
get to work with....this nondescript little
fellow. Any twitchers out there know what it
is....? Yes, yes, I know it's a bird but
He did his best to act like
a hunter, but I think he was
just washing his feet....
at the end of our development.
said Dougal,"I'm enjoying the sunset."
wearing this season, a slightly