It was my birthday last week (64 if you're asking) and, to celebrate, we headed to London (via car and tube thanks to Greater Anglia's marvellous weekend service - I know the works will bring huge improvements but travelling to London by bus is nobody's idea of fun). After an excellent pre-theatre dinner at The Swan, we went to see the highly acclaimed Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare's Globe.
And was all that acclaim plus the five star reviews justified? We would say, resoundingly, yes. Despite constant rain soaking the standing audience (and some of the cast) the show was a ray of sunshine - a colourful spectacular of comedy, music and dance. We loved it.
Matthew Needham stole the show as a loveable Benedick. I'm surprised that (apart from a few appearances on Casualty) he's not a regular in film or TV as his comic timing and interaction with the audience were just perfect. The whole cast was excellent and it was a joyous evening.
Before we went to London we found time on a rainy Friday afternoon to catch Goodbye Christopher Robin at The Riverside in Woodbridge. This is a beautifully shot film filled with glorious olde England with leafy sun dappled glades and elegant 1920s costumes. It portrayed the somewhat sad childhood of AA Milne's son Christopher Robin who was exploited by his parents to sell books and, apparently, ended up hating his parents - there must be some truth in this as he has not taken any money from the vast success of Winnie The Pooh. The film implies that he felt that the stories were written for him and were not for sale. I'm glad that they were published as I (and Marion) love the books but it's sad to think that our enjoyment was an intrusion on an unhappy boy's childhood.
After a night in London we went to the British Film Institute where they are running a Stephen King season. I had to laugh at the Carrie themed Ladies toilets door.
We went to see Lawrence of Arabia (all four hours of it). It's a great film and fully deserving of all those awards. Of course, today, nobody would dream of blacking up Anthony Quinn and Alec Guinness to play the leading Arab roles but, that apart, it really is a masterpiece of cinematography with Peter O'Toole simply perfect in the title role.
Still trying to come up with a witty caption to this gibbet near to The Clink Museum on the South Bank.
Gerald Clements paid us another visit last week and painted my office. We decided to go through all the books and have a clear out - heavy work.