Thursday, September 9, 2010

Somewhere over the Rainbow...

Way up high...

A stone's throw from Oxford Circus and Portland Place - in the heart of London's major shopping artery - was a curiously incongruous setting and juxtaposition (with the huge crane) for such a remarkably beautiful and vivid aspect of nature.

This was the scene early on Wednesday evening, following a very heavy afternoon shower.  The colours were remarkable, in contrast with the greyness of the sky; the photo doesn't do it justice but, happily, it brightened many a Londoner's journey home.

Monday, September 6, 2010

One of my favourite things...

...about living on the edge of London, is the enjoyment I gain from an evening stroll by the river.

If I time it right, I'm in for a treat with one of Surbiton's glorious sunsets, enhanced by the serenity of the swans sailing by.

Even if the day has seen its stressful moments, my walk - and the scenery - work as an antidote, setting me back on track towards relaxation.

Room on the Broom - live!

I went back to the Rose Theatre in Kingston, a couple of days ago, in the company of an adorable three-year-old chum, and his Mum, for an afternoon treat - to see Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's Room on the Broom.  

As we arrived, the theatre was already dark-ish, so we were mildly reprimanded for being a minute late and warned to keep quiet by a slightly inappropriately dour jobsworth usher. We behaved, and did as we were told, but, in reality, a little noise would barely have made an impact on the rather vociferous audience that ran the gamut of tenative, wary and loudly enthusiastic tiny tots, toddlers, their parents and grandparents...

The action opened with the Tall Stories ensemble 'asleep' on stage; loudly comical snoring ensued - disturbing the verdant setting.  Soon the hunt was on for the witch and her broomstick.  The cast of four were brilliantly versatile in their myriad roles; the story and lively performances kept most of the young audience enrapt. Although, throughout, several amusingly shrieky comments could be heard: "Don't like it, Want to go home NOW", for instance, was the repeated utterance from one two-year-old theatre novice, in the back row of the stalls.  The cast, unperturbed and undistracted, continued energetically on their adventures through the wood. 

The cat, the witch, the dog, the frog, the parrot and the dragon ensured there was rarely a dull moment, during the 60 minutes on-stage action.  Admittedly, I often found it even more entertaining to watch the audience reactions. I'm sure many of us could put the final scene's snoring spell to good use, one night...

If you want to bring the book to life, for your favourite tot and treat them to a live performance, you'll find the ensemble across the UK, until January 2011.

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