Tuesday, October 21, 2014


"It's Madame's birthday" I explained to the man selling programs. I waved away the money Clare proffered in her fist, and paid, feeling like a big shot.

I knew nothing about this production but I was looking forward to seeing this Fiyero's jodhpur- and green regimental-encased thighs, a highlight of the last Fiyero I saw. This one looked like a young Carey Elwes and I think it was probably the angle from the Dress Circle but his lower limbs didn't set my pulse racing?

Lots more happened in the show than I remembered and lots less too, which happens when you don't pay attention and also read the novels these things are based on.

In the middle of the show we became aware of a stir nearby, I turned to see a young man hurrying along the seats, starting and stopping, climbing over the back to an aisle and running hither and thither - was he actor? Did this happen last time? Voices and mutterings and movement over in the Dress Circle's better seats, people half standing, agitated, looking all ways in the gloom but mainly at someone in their midst, the young man - not an actor - racing down the stairs just near Clare, trying to escape! He couldn't find a door and stopped dead at the Candy Bar, then raced back up into the gloom, followed by our goggling eyes. "Call triple-oh!" a woman shrieked. "What's happening?" cried Clare! So strange, all in the gloom, a stage show taking place below us. It soon settled down, the young man found an usher, a person who'd had a fit was helped out, attended by their companions, we with whispers and looks of surmise regained our quietude and paid attention once more to the stage where, despite the kerfuffle, our inattention and my expectations, the show had actually gone on.

I was having a cup of tea with Clare at her place after the show. Clare, phone in hand on broad bosom, was scrolling through all her Facebook birthday wishes.
"Aw, Maisy posted, dat's noice. And Lizzy. Ah, one from Bec. And B– J– too, he's a nice boy."
"B– J– doesn't like me."
"What? Why?"
"Oh I don't know. I don't really know him. I think he thinks I'm a sleazy old man."
Clare took her eyes away from the phone and looked at me quizzically.
"Oh I know," I said, "but you've got a much better disguise."

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