Tuesday, 30 August 2011

See how that building there is nearly built

I've come to London Bridge to watch Parade at the Southwark Playhouse. The idea had been to find a quiet coffee shop to do an hour's work, but this place is a living hell! Everywhere I turn there's building work, or huge queues of traffic, or trains rumbling and screeching and whistling over bridges, or closed shops, or motorbikes, or road works, or drills, or car horns, or oceans of people shuffling along like their feet are made of lead, or those irritating charity workers with their branded macs, silly clip boards and fake smiles. There's some kind of machine outside the London Dungeons which is belching out the most hideous high-pitched noise, which sounds like a cross between a bagpipe and a death rattle, and it would seem there's absolutely nowhere to escape! I've seldom felt less comfortable in my own city and must remember to avoid this place like the plague in future! Still, The Shard of Glass is an impressive building close-up and it's very nearly complete, so there are small mercies! 

350 years ago, Pepys and Elizabeth went to see a French farce at the Drury Lane Theatre. Pepys didn't enjoy the experience and wrote that  "the scenes and company and every thing else so nasty and out of order and poor, that I was sick all the while in my mind to be there." I know the feeling...

Elizabeth bumped into one of Lord Somerset's sons at the theatre. She'd known him as a child, when she lived in France and I'm sure was very pleased to see him. Perhaps Pepys was jealous, for he described him as "a pretty man" before adding, "I showed him no great countenance, to avoyd further acquaintance." And that was that for the day. "That done, there being nothing pleasant but the foolery of the farce, we went home." Spoil sport!  Still, if you insist on going to see French farce, you only have yourself to blame.

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