Friday, July 17, 2009

At the Cafe Nero

This man was sitting with a coffee and cigarette and staring idly at the Strand, a major street in London, during a quiet gap in the traffic. That's a row of telephone booths and a double decker bus behind him (by his head)....

Waiting for... Godot!

It's been a weekend full of theatre for me! The day previous to our Hamlet adventure, and with the same brother I mentioned in the previous picture, we lined up at 6 am in front of the GORGEOUS Haymarket theatre in the heart of London's Theatreland to get tickets for Waiting for Godot. We scored some AMAZING tickets: front row for 10 pounds! In contrast to Jude Law's so-so performance as Hamlet (see other pic), Ian McKellen (aka Gandalf, Magneto) delivered what I can say, without exaggeration, was the best acting I've ever seen on stage! Wow. We even waited around the stage door to get an autograph for my brother. The only downside to that amazing evening was that the other great Shakespearean actor who was on the bill, Patrick Stewart (aka Capt Jean Luc Picard), was unable to perform because of a sore throat. His understudy took the part and was fine, though a bit stiff. What bad luck! But still.... an amazing evening and (again) worth the early morning wait. I call this piece Waiting for... Waiting for Godot :) 

Waiting for... Hamlet

My brother came to visit me in London this past week. He's a big theatre buff and so he somehow got me and my girlfriend to line up at 7am outside the theatre with a bunch of other people. We sat, read the paper, had coffee and chatted until 11, when the box office opened. The play was Hamlet at the beautiful Wyndham theatre. Waiting definitely had its benefits: we got seats in a box about 5 meters from the stage! Hamlet was played by Jude Law... so I got to see him up close. He's alright - not my favourite and actually pretty bad as Hamlet! But the shrieks of the women in the audience at the end smoothed over any criticisms and Jude's beaming face seemed to say "see, I really am as great as all that!"