Monday, December 03, 2007

Bath Time


Saturday was a visit to Bath to see ‘A Comedy of Errors’. I thought about doing some shopping but the weather was stormy, the Christmas Market was in progress and Bath was bursting at the seams so we settled for coffee and a crossword before lunch.

The older I get the more I realise how a simple thing like booking a meal can make life so much easier – rather than leaving it to chance. I booked a table for lunch at Vaults the restaurant in the Theatre Royal but when we turned up there was no knowledge of the booking.

‘And I asked for an uncramped table and the manager said there would be no problem.’

The young lady said it was fine as there was plenty of room and showed us to a table for four. I was going to do a Shane (see sidebar) and photograph the nosh but I was so hungry I forgot. I had fish cakes and treacle sponge which slaked the hunger pangs. The theatre is very pretty but I could only take a few discreet shots and of course none when the curtain was up.

Waiting in the foyer whilst MTL went to powder his nose a man with a pony tail standing next to me said,

‘You and I will be the youngest people here. It’s all grey hair and bald patches.’

If that was a chat up line it was pretty unique. I smiled vaguely and went to meet MTL.

After the first half I felt a bit dismal and told myself Shakespeare’s comedies just didn’t do it for me. All I had in the interval was a handful of Smarties but my goodness what had the cast had? Suddenly all the lunacy – instead of being irritating became hilarious; the Hogarthian cast members - which at first had seemed old hat RSC stuff, now became riveting and their expressions and stances worthy of RA Portraits.

The balletic and acrobatic skills of some of them were breathtaking and there was a jolly good little band on stage throughout. It’s a very silly story concerning a ship- wrecked father, a mother who became an abbess, twin sons who later had servants who were also twin brothers and they all appear on the same island but the brothers and their servants are unaware of the existence of the others. Confused? It did make it a trifle unbelievable that the corresponding twins were identically dressed but I suppose that is poetic license.

The second half fairly zipped along and the audience roared at every opportunity. I still don’t understand what happened but am thankful that at least I enjoyed half of it.

Quite a tiring day – we had been out for almost twelve hours- but enjoyable.


Kanani said...

For weeks, we've been planning a send off party for a writer who is moving to Texas.

We booked a table for twelve at a nice restaurant for Saturday.

On Thursday I received a frantic phone call from a friend. The restaurant had been closed. Apparently, they hadn't paid rent and were evicted.

So I phoned around on Friday, fortunately finding someplace else. It wasn't nearly as good, but at least they had space!

PI said...

Kanani: my friend and her husband went out to lunch on her birthday but went wandering round the Brendon valley first. When they got to the Staghunters Inn it was to find it was closed for lunch Monday Tuesday and Wednesday. At least you had booked.

sablonneuse said...

You certainly lead a busy and interesting life. Not much goes on at our local theatre that I would understand. In the five years we've lived here there has only been one opera and no ballet at all.

Shane said...

Have only spent 3 days in Bath, and much of that was work-related. But given your photos, it seems that if you squint a bit, then you're practically in Buxton, Derbyshire - esp. the theatre - very much reminiscent of the Opera House in the Peaks.

R. Sherman said...

Much Ado About Nothing is better, in my view, as is Midsummer's Night Dream.


PI said...

Sablonneuse: to get the good stuff we have to travel to Bath, Exeter, Plymouth or Bristol. Lucky for us the Arts club have coach trips for various productions but they choose which ones.

Shane: its year since I saw Buxton. MTL says they both are spas and both have Georgian buildings and both up- market.

Randall: I agree. I saw Peter brook's production years ago which had my ex patient(when he was a little boy)in it. It was dazzling.
But I still have a problem with the humour.

Kim Ayres said...

I wonder what your smarties were laced with...

Guyana-Gyal said...

We don't get many Shakespeare plays done here...but I've noticed [from the movies], that if they're not well acted, they can really fizzle out.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Smarties, eh?


Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I'd love to go to Bath. Jane Austen put it firmly on the map of my imagination and someday I'll go.

Thanks for the pictures.

PI said...

Sam: i can take 'em or leave 'em - smarties but MTL labours under the delusion that I like them. He knows I avoid sweeties but cruelly provides smarties in the theatre where there is no escape and the flesh is weak. I should have taken better shots of Bath but it was a beastly day and we bunkered.

PI said...

Kim: some were a funny colour. There is an article which may be of interest "Le Fanu and chronic fatigue." If you google it. About a drug sertraline which has caused lot of interest apparently.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

OK, OK. That's all I'll say about the "Smarties". *taps nose*


Just by the by, where could I get my hands on some of these "Smarties".

*wink wink wink*

PI said...

Sam: well just to have the last word - and that's a rarity: they could have gone orff. MTL famously ignores sell by dates.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

"The Venom clamours of a jealous woman poisins more deadly than a mad dogs tooth!"..I played the Abbass whewn I was 19 years old, and never forgot that line! LOL!
This sounded like a fun production---well, at least the second half did....Do you suppose they all had a bit of a nip during the interval?
Whatever it was, I'm glad it perked up, my dear!

Nea said...

It's the blue Smarties what does it.

Love the photos of Bath, they're really sharp with strong compositions (said by the Art teacher). You mentioned the change in enlarging photos on Blogger, it must be Blogger that have altered things, because it's the same for me. I don't think it's anything to worry about though, just click on the button that opens the image, rather than saving it.

PI said...

Nea: thanks Miss. Praise indeed:) It worked normally yesterday on someones's post. Wish they'd leave things alone.

Shephard said...

I really enjoyed reading this.
What fun. I have always wanted to see Bath (bawth, lol). I like well-done Shakespeare... but there's an awful lot of dreary and dull renditions out there, that's for sure. Done well, it's fun. Tho I always bone up on the cliff notes before going. :)
Michele sent me today. :)


PI said...

Hi Shephard: I suppose one could say that all's well that ends well:)