One of the great things about all of the tube stations around London is the advertising opportunity for various things like toothpaste, gyms, and theater productions. As a newcomer, I haven’t tuned these colorful displays out yet. But also–in all honesty, it’s hard to since the escalators from the underground to the street are for an eternity!
There are little posters that line the walls and one caught my eye. Well, several have caught my eye, but the first one was a black and white poster for a production ending in February. Strangers on a Train! I’ve actually never seen the movie (but will now), but I love all things film noir and also this was a chance to get our London theater experience.
I went home and got our tickets. Something interesting about London theaters is, at least at this one, there was no balcony seating so the cheap seats were in the last row of the ground level. But I just couldn’t justify paying over $100 (pounds) to see something for 2.5 hours. It didn’t make the experience any less enjoyable.
First, I will have to mention, this is the second time Jeff and I have tried to do something fancy and nice in downtown London and the Piccadilly line failed us. The first time was the tube strike on our way to The Ritz, but this time it was signal failure at our connection. We jumped back on the District line and made alternate plans for how to get there. Thankfully, no heels this time.
The signal failure only lasted a couple of stops, so we hopped on to the next Piccadilly line and stood “ass to elbow” to everyone else heading into town. We think there was a football game or something.
We got off at Leicester Square and made our way to the Geilgud Theater. We actually stumbled upon Chinatown on our way, so we made mental notes to grab some bubble tea on the way home.
We finally made it to our theater (theatre) with about ten minutes to spare and noticed the theat(re) showing Les Miserables was just next door! That was one of the first plays I had ever seen and it has made such an impression on me, I will just have to see it on the stage in London.
But that on another day. Our play began, and it was really incredible. My parents are theater aficionados, and now my little sister has dabbled in it, so I know a thing or two about theater. Jeff, on the other hand, is a complete newbie. I almost envy him–to see a play for the first time was an awesome experience. He didn’t realize that technology has granted for rotating or carousel set changes and better set design than the Shakespeare plays of yore.
The stage and costumes were all in black/white/gray making it feel like we were watching a black and white noir movie. They had b-film images over the sets to give you an idea of where you were: a train, New York City, etc. And the actors did a great job for not being microphoned. We heard them all the way in the back row! We just couldn’t always see what was happening on the top deck due to the obstruction of the ceiling.
The play lasted about 2.5 hours, and it was the very first time I did not participate in a standing ovation. I have always been a part of a standing ovation, but always the follower, not the leader, I followed the crowd and stayed seated. I wish I had stood now, just to be that weird American who stands and claps.
Afterwards, we made our way to bubble tea and then off home. It really was an incredible experience and our first celebrity sighting, if you count the actors on the stage. Jack Huston was, after all, in American Hustle and Twilight, among the other actors of course, some of whom were also in Twilight.
The next play I really want to see starts this summer called Skylight. Stay tuned!