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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Singin' in the rain

Have had a bit of a cultural  weekend visiting the theatre on two consecutive days. One was a planned visit and the other a very pleasant off the cuff moment. On Friday evening despite the worsening weather, 5 of us set off to the theatre. It was the first of a set of plays to be performed at the Noel Coward theatre and tickets for them have been booked for a number of months, knowing that they will no doubt be sell out performances. This first play was Privates on Parade written in 1977.  Simon Russell Beale in Privates on Parade by Peter Nichols

It is set in Malaysia after WW2. and focuses on  a young private joining an entertainment unit which was there to perform in front of the many troops still stationed in Malaya. One of the main characters was a drag artist played by Russell Beale whose impersonations of Marlene Dietrich, Carmen Miranda and Vera Lynn were terrific. It was a humorous and thought provoking play full of double entendres, nudity (not sure why) and satirical characters.

On Saturday morning I went into London again to meet a couple of friends who had braved the snow to travel from the wilds of the countryside so that we could spend the day together. Looking to start the day with a hot drink we wandered through Borough Market and engaged in a long discussion about bread making with this very enthusiastic young baker. His bread was made with sour dough which means it is not made from a fresh yeast but  from a fermented batter-like dough which is mixed with the other ingredients whilst keeping some of the sourdough to be fed with flour and water to be used in the future.
The breads had a different taste from normal yeast risen breads.  I loved the way he was so keen for us to taste all the different varieties, which had not been made by himself, as he is still practising the art of sourdough bread making because it apparently requires a great deal of skill to knead such wet dough. He was also a great salesman as we couldn't leave without purchasing some!

After a wander round and then lunch we managed to get day tickets to see Singin' in the rain. I think I have mentioned before that some of the London theatres will sell any remaining tickets at half price on the day. We had all seen the film many years ago starring Gene Kelly so were delighted to get 5th row seats in the stalls. We were warned before hand that we might get a little wet from the rain. I sure many of you will remember the famous scene of Gene Kelly dancing in the rain around the lamp post. The story is about the beginning of the Hollywood musicals which brought an end to silent movies.
It was an excellent show and the energy needed by the main members of the cast was phenomenal. The warning we had received was bang on target. A tremendous amount of water was used for the rain scene and as they tapped their way through the song the dancers took great delight in kicking the water over the audience. The people in the front row got drenched.

Like a group of children we  just couldn't resist!


  1. Oh, what fun! Although I wouldn't have wanted to be in the front row, I would love to see Singing in the Rain. You look quite fetching in your rain gear. What a great place you live!!!

  2. You had a very cultural Sunday ! I am locked in the house it had snowed all night and day and we were advised not to go out if it's not necessary because the streets are dangerous. I love to go to the theatre and I have a season ticket in one. And the musicals in London are excellent, and I can get hotel+ticket packages. Sometimes there are good once here too, like Mamma Mia.

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend! I'd love to see a live show of Singing in the Rain! In fact... I think I might just pop the dvd into my player right now and watch it with dinner. I haven't seen it in years! ;o)

  4. Sounds like a great option when it is cold outside. The first one sounds a bit like the old TV series "It Aint Half Hot".
    I remember the movie Singing in the rain. Loved it then don't know if I would now.

  5. Both sound like great performances. The Privates on Parade photo looks very Dad's Army.

  6. How wonderful to meet that sour-dough baker who was obviously passionate about he's craft .... those sort of people always inspire me . Couldn't help but laugh when reading your comment about the rain ... I'm sure you were pleased you weren't sitting in the front row!

    "Adelaide and Beyond"

  7. Very stylish rain coats.

    Yes, we will all meet the same fate as the parrot - and I suppose the crash into a otherwise invisible window may not be the worst way to go!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  8. You had a great weekend, the bread looks very tasty mmm, I love fresh bread and the singing in the rain picture is very funny, I can't resist either to put my head in those holes.

  9. I enjoyed seeing that poster of a classic movie! Sometimes I think the best way to handle steady streams of rainfall IS to sing in it. :)

  10. Trying to catch up a bit with your blog so I took in three posts this morning. They were all wonderful! A few years ago, I took my English-as-a-second-language students to see "Singin' in the Rain" at The Stanley in Vancouver. We spent two months preparing for it. They learned to sing the songs, and I rewrote the script in easy English so they would understand the story line. It was great fun for all of us so I loved seeing you and your friends also having such a good time. I got a chuckle out of imagining the reaction as the "rain" hit the front row. "Privates on Parade" sounded interesting too. I do love live theatre!


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