Royal Opera House


If you remember back to my Goodbye Summer post, I said I was going to do three B’s this autumn. One of them was ballet at the Royal Opera House.

In fact, I was lucky to be at the Royal Opera House twice in one week.

Earlier on, I saw the Royal Ballet’s production of Manon, which was gloriously tragic. The costumes, the set and the dancers were all very beautiful. I am not a big ballet enthusiast and don’t go often. So, the night out with my friend, the Ex-Ballerina, felt very occasion-like. She told me that the ballet dancers work through a pair of pointe shoes a week when they’re performing! I thought it would be the toe bits that break, when in fact, it’s the sturdy arch support which bites the dust.

Later in the week, I went to a birthday afternoon tea with The Girls. The Royal Opera House started doing afternoon tea in the autumn, and it is a wonderful way to appreciate the building. I love the Paul Hamlyn hall with it’s mix of Victorian and modern architecture, and the oval bar running down the middle of the room. It’s the kind of place you want to stay longer to linger. I enjoyed the tea and the catch-up. The cakes and pastries weren’t overly sweet, which is how I like it. My favourite bits were the scones and plum jam. It’s definitely somewhere to take an out-of-towner.

~ Spotted Cow

IMGP4478Afternoon tea at Royal Opera HouseIMGP4461


The Circus Comes To Town

Limbo troop

If you haven’t already, you really ought to get tickets to Limbo at the London Wonderground on the South Bank. It is sheer fun. The best way to describe it is a cabaret acrobat circus. They are a troop of talented musicians and acrobats who have a multitude of performance skills apart from their own special ones.

Oh, and they are all fit and hot. I’m not just talking about the fire-eater, Heather Holliday, who literally heats up the stage as you watch in awe while she blows breaths of flames into the air. She also swallows swords … I have to say had a bit of a gag reflex to this. There’s the bendy man who seems to be able to disassociate all the bits of his body. A pole climber. The Bird on the Hoop. The vaudeville dancer. The man who handstands on anything. I’ll stop now because I’m trying not give too much away.

I went with my friends, collectively, The Theatre Enthusiasts and we sat in the Posh Seats in the front row and this is where it’s at. You make eye contact with the performers, which makes all the difference.

After the show, when we were having drinks in the dodgem cars and gushing over who we fancied most, the cast spilled out. The circus master came over and told us that we were the best front row ever. It was all down to Irish Friend, who was particularly expressive that evening – screaming, howling and laughing in turn.

Photography isn’t allowed during the performance, and the pictures here come from the promotional images for the Limbo show. It’s on at the South Bank until mid-August. I’m hoping that they’re on at the Sydney Festival when I’m home, so that I can go again.

~ Spotted Cow

Limbo on stageLimbo FireEater

The Book of Mormon musical

It wasn’t as offensive as it was hyped up to be … at least, I didn’t think so.  Still, if you’re the sensitive sort, you should probably stay at home as there is more than the odd bit of cussing.

I was a little sceptical. After all, I’ve never watched an episode of South Park right the way through.  And I’m not mad about musicals. But, Irish Friend had a spare ticket with her monthly church outing. How could I turn down a Book of Mormon trip with 30 Catholic church-goers ?

Curtains up. The Elders – all perfect smiles, greased back hair and starched uniforms – march onstage and introduce themselves in a clever round of hellos and doorbells. “Hello!” The song is now stuck on repeat in my head … and I’m hooked on this happy campy and very energetic musical.

It’s a story about a mismatched pair of missionaries sent to Uganda. Along the way, they do the circle of all-American themes – overcoming adversity, lessons in humility, redemption.  Mix it up with Glee, The King & I, and The Sound of Music on steroids, and there you have it. You’ll be quoting from the musical for weeks.

I was happy, smiley and pumped up by the end. In fact, I had a dry tear caught at the back of my throat. I won’t give away the ending, but let’s just say that the triumph of the underdog hits your soft spot.

The Book of Mormon is playing at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. Tour dates.

~ Spotted Cow

Images from the official websites.


.PoW theatre