Sunday, 19 December 2010

Just Snow

David Beckham is on the telly at the moment, receiving some kind of award whilst talking in his distinctive monotones. His is, undoubtedly, one of the most recognisable faces in the world, yet Nathan has just asked who it is! Hysterical.

I’ve just returned from watching him (Nathan, not Bex) in Just So at the Tabard Theatre. It's a lovely little show. The first half has something very magical about it; and there are some wonderful performers in this production. I’m probably biased when I say that Nathan and his co-performer, Luke Fredericks were the best things in it, but Lee Greenaway was heartbreaking as the Elephant Child and Lisa Baird made a particularly feisty Kolokolo bird.

I thought the production unwound slightly during the second half, which was probably a result of the director running out of time during the rehearsal period. We’ve all been there. Rehearsals always start at the beginning of a show, and as a result, the end often ends up feeling less polished. That said, it’s a production that all the actors can and should feel very proud of. It’s also reappraised my opinion of Drewe and Styles as musical theatre writers.

Brother Edward and Sascha were watching with me and seemed to like it very much. The Just So stories are a riot of Colonial political incorrectness, much of which has been hoovered up by this musical adaptation. Nathan’s character, the Jaguar, for example, is actually an Ethiopian in the original stories. In the Stiles and Drewe musical, we discover why the Jaguar gains its spots, but in the original stories, we find out why the Ethiopian is a “blackish-brownish colour with a little purple in it and touches of slaty blue.” Which is obviously wince-worthy. Fortunately, the piece hasn't been entirely stripped by the PC police. I was particularly amused to hear references to “deepest darkest Africa”, which became the more comical because Sascha is South African.

We went to Tesco Metro on Chiswick High Road after the show and it was the least pleasant shopping experience of my entire life! The shop had pretty much sold out of everything useful and there were queues stretching all the way down one of the aisles and round the corner into another. It was all a bit communist Russia. People were entering the shop, getting stuck in the crowds and then getting into panics because they couldn’t get out again. Come on Tesco, get your act together! If you need more staff, there are plenty of people who would love the work in the run up to Christmas.

The snow is still deep on the ground. Our front door is now impossible to open without a serious shunt to break the build up of icy water which has dripped down from the guttering above and set like concrete.

We went for a walk late last night and I’d say there was at least 5 inches on the ground. Cars turning into Southwood Lane were immediately rolling back down the hill towards the A1! I'm told my parents are close to being snowed in in Thaxted. They can’t start their car, have had to dig a path to the garden shed and think the entire village might have been cut off. I've never known weather like it.

December 19th 1660 and Pepys was obviously winding down towards the end of the year. He had lunch with Lady Sandwich in Whitehall, before returning home to watch over his workmen. In the evening he was sent a “great chine of beef and half a dozen tongues”. How lovely!

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