Everyone, without exception, when they heard I was going to spend Christmas here in London shook their heads at me sadly, looked on me with pity and said, well I hope you’re okay on your own. Instilled this fear in me that I would be so bored out of my skull that I would eat my own tongue or leg or something.
But no! This was one of the best weeks I’ve had in my entire time in London since I moved here last year. Okay, Christmas Day and Boxing Day dragged on a bit, but I only have myself to blame for that, not going out except for a short walk and spending the rest of the time online buying stuff. But all in all, it was a great week (great to be said almost in a falsetto). The office has been quiet and has been great for productivity. It’s going to be sick when everyone’s back and there’s noise everywhere. (Gollum voice: Oh the phones, always ringing ringing precious). Getting around has been brilliant – because a lot of people have gone away, the tube has been less busy. Okay, the office crowd was replaced by shoppers, but exhausted people (holding onto their bags filled with bargains) are better than grumpy, caffeinated employees going to face another day at the grind.
I went to the Royal Opera House during the week. How I love that place. The gold and red colours, the ceiling, the opulence and the atmosphere. Saw the Nutcracker there, armed with a pair of binoculars. It was brilliant – Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music, the grand sets, the costumes. Still prefer Swan Lake to it though.
Also saw A Clockwork Orange at Soho Theatre on Saturday. It wasn’t what I was expecting but I did enjoy it. Performed by an all-male troupe there were no female victims (unlike the book). I think this review describes it best:
“The well-known story of teenage gang leader Alex who is given chemical and psychological conditioning which removes free will and choice and makes him reject violence is presented by an all-male cast, with a couple of female characters identified by a costume detail and flouncing. Others morph into male roles with some man-on-man groping, a homoerotic display of bare chests, a male rape with a bottle and some camp pirouetting in choreographed fight scenes. It is not that it has been turned into a gay story but it spreads the testosterone less discriminately.”
I particularly enjoyed the “camp pirouetting”, the energy with which the story was played out, the use of orange props amid the b&w costumes, the lighting, and the song selection. I thought I heard a bit of rock-Symphony No. 9 at the start. When the real thing was played I had goosebumps. Oh and nadsat (teen slang used by Alex and his “droogs” – cronies) – hearing it spoken was fun. I really enjoyed Martin McCreadie’s performance as Alex. But I don’t think the play did a great job in making us think the way the book did about individual choice for good. But it was still a good watch. (Contextual joke: Maybe the cat thinks this place is a milk plus bar).