I've been to Seven Oaks today to watch the marvellous National Youth Music Theatre rehearsing their summer season of shows. They're a week into rehearsals for West Side Story and a new piece by Dougal Irvine, who wrote a very interesting musical I saw at the Edinburgh festival about five years ago called Departure Lounge.
Both shows are of a very high standard, and the kids are sparky and energetic and seem to be giving it absolutely everything.
I'm less convinced by Seven Oaks itself, which feels like one of those impenetrable chocolate box towns, filled with shops which no one can visit because there aren't enough car parks in the town and the ones that do exist are miserably under-signposted and have spaces which are too small.
All we wanted was a sandwich, and we drove in ever decreasing circles, with me getting more and more panicky. It's one of those towns which any number of recessions couldn't stop from seeming like it was polished on a daily basis by Mary Poppins. Full of posh people. Surrounded by impossibly green tree-lined hills.
Still, bravo to the NYMT. They were just superb!