We don't make a trip to London very often, preferring the slower pace of life of the little West Country town where we live. However, sometimes our capital city beckons and we make the effort.
At Christmas our daughter gave us theatre tokens (actually Christmas and birthday gifts combined), a lovely surprise and we originally thought of a "London break". We both wanted to see the West End production of "Oliver" and particularly wished to see Jodie Prenger as Nancy. OH and I had watched the TV programme "I'd Do Anything", the series of weekly auditions to find Nancy and Oliver for the new show, and right from the first had felt that Jodie Prenger was the girl for the part. When she won the role we were thrilled and both said we would like to see her playing the part in the show. So, a couple of weeks ago when the subject came up again about the tokens and which show we would like to see we agreed that "Oliver" was our preferred choice. Looking through the Sunday paper OH realised that Jodie Prenger would be finishing on March 27 so we needed to get our tickets booked. That dealt with we then decided to make it a day trip and reserved seats on a coach - the London Flyer - at £8 return each (bargain).
We left home at 7.45 am and were in London (Hammersmith) by 11.20 am, got the tube straight across to Covent Garden and found our way to Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Our first time there and what a lovely theatre it is - old and plush and ornate. Opposite was an Italian restaurant so we went there for lunch before the show and still had time to wander around Covent Garden. It was a lovely sunny day and we spent about half an hour just strolling, watching street theatre and generally soaking up the atmosphere.
The show itself was wonderful. Griff Rhys Jones as Fagin and Jodie Prenger as Nancy were both performing that afternoon. Having only ever seen the film version before (many times), with Ron Moody so marvellous as Fagin, it was strange to see the part being taken by someone different, but Griff Rhys Jones was brilliant as was the young boy who played the Artful Dodger, and, of course, Oliver himself (not sure which boys played these two parts that day as there are 3 of each, alternating. There are 3 "gangs" as well. The whole show was fantastic, the songs, so familiar now, were a delight. And we were not disappointed with "Nancy" - Jodie Prenger was as good as we had expected her to be. She has been in the show since January 2009 and really fits her part. It was all thoroughly enjoyable.
We came out into the London rush hour and immmediately got the tube back to Hammersmith. A slightly different journey this time. On our way out there was plenty of room in the carriages but now, with everyone headed for home, it was more like "sardines". I was unable to hold onto anything so OH hung on to me. Eventually a young woman offered me her seat and I gratefully accepted. Our coach left London at 6.45 pm and we were back indoors by 10 pm. It had been a long but memorable day and has given me the taste for going back for a "city break", maybe later in the year, and really do the sights. And maybe catch another show!
By the way, if anyone is thinking of going to see the film "Invictus" - I mentioned a few days ago that we were going to see it - I can recommend it. I enjoyed it thoroughly and found it very moving.
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