Today Victoria created a bit of barista art on my latte. I only mention it because it’s the first I’ve had for ages. It’s one of those things you don’t miss until you get one. Odd.
Tonight we were back in town, sitting in a theatre, watching a play. Following last Saturday’s awful experience, tonight was, thankfully and as expected, fantastic. Mind you, you’d expect that from the RSC.
Mirinda had a meeting so we met in Trafalgar Square before heading up to Haymarket. Then, right next to the theatre (literally) was a delightful restaurant seemingly dedicated to a dog. The chairs even had different breeds of dog embroidered into their backs. Directly behind me was the dog itself – Brumus. We felt right at home.
And the meal was delicious. Mirinda had steak while I had trout. I can’t speak for the steak but the fish was lovely. Poached and sat on pesto sauce with a shaved fennel and orange salad…total yum!
My only issues with the restaurant were how many staff members came over and asked how things were (all of them it felt like), the speed with which they cleared the tables (you had to hang on to anything you wanted to keep…like your drink) and the lavender and eucalyptus hand lotion in the toilet (I reeked all night). But they are minor quibbles and nothing to be too concerned about. The restaurant and food were so good we shall definitely be back.
Of course, the most bestest thing about Brumus is the proximity to the Theatre Royal Haymarket because that’s where we were going to see Queen Anne.
[I have to say that the best seats in the house appear to be B1 & 2 and, if we ever go to this theatre again, we have to get these seats!]
We decided to see Queen Anne because of the cast, really. We’ve been fans of Emma Cunniffe (Queen Anne) for many years. Most memorably she was brilliant in The Master Builder with Timothy West which we saw in Guildford back in…I think it was 2005. She’s also been in just about every TV police drama.
And then there’s the brilliant Romola Garai (Sarah Churchill, Lady Marlborough). This is the first time we’ve seen her on stage. She was delightful in Emma and very foxy in The Hour on the BBC. She is very appealing and we were really looking forward to seeing her on the stage.
And here is where things differ from last week when the actors were off the telly. The cast of Queen Anne were stage trained and can manage both with aplomb. It makes such a difference.
The story revolves around the ascension of Queen Anne (daughter of James II of England, granddaughter of Charles I) and her reign following the death of King William III in 1702. The play shows her struggle to understand the workings of parliament and the difficulties with deciding who she should believe. This is made more difficult by the factions vying for her attentions. Her long time friend (in her mind anyway) Sarah Churchill is concerned that Anne should follow her directives and plays her like an emotional fiddle.
The play, written beautifully by Helen Edmundson, is new and fresh and wonderful. The two central women are superbly drawn and performed. But so was everyone in the cast. The use of mixed race actors was great and the satirical political songs were bitingly brilliant fun. I can’t say how much I enjoyed this play. It was fantastic.
BTW, here’s a short video I shot while waiting for Mirinda. I know, I know, my panning is a bit too fast. I’ll do better next time.