Adventures in 2019 London theatreland

As well as seeing 195 productions this year across 104 venues …

Theatre Masks

… I had some interesting experiences aside from the shows themselves. Here is a small selection.

The bird incident at the Barbican

Not many people can report that a small prop spat out by one of their favourite actors landed in their handbag, but that’s what happened to me when Cillian Murphy, playing the Crow in Grief is the Thing With Feathers, hit my neighbour on the head with a projectile bird which bounced off. It was eventually dried off and taken home for a wash and a blow dry before finding a new home on my mantelpiece!

The collapsing chair at the Union

Not me, but my immediate neighbour on the front row, who then had to spend the second half in a packed house for Elegies squatting as if the chair was still there.

The spilled drink at the Drayton Arms

I was invited to see Nine by the lovely ladies at Unchained Theatre (I’d already bought a ticket, but I would have gone regardless). Finding a seat near the front I then proceeded to tip my entire drink over while the actors were standing there getting “in the zone” to start their performance. I did mop it up as best I could!

Loo woes at Jermyn Street

Yes, the bolt didn’t work, and I got walked in on. That was fun. You’ll recall that the loos are oddly placed behind the stage which find rather disconcerting.

The jokes about my blog name at Theatro Technis and Trafalgar Studio 2

LouReviews, is that reviewing loos? (No).

LouReviews, do you write your reviews sitting on the bog? (Certainly not!).

The TodayTix snafu at the Royal Festival Hall

This had a happy ending due to sluggish sales for The Light in the Piazza, I had booked for row S, was booked into SS, and then upgraded to G.

The BO incident at a theatre which will remain unidentified

The perils of having a front row seat. I will say no more, but it was, well, interesting (puts peg on nose). Maybe the culprit was having a nervous day.

The wine spillage at Chiswick Playhouse

My neighbours at I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change were a bit tipsy, and tipped their bottle on my trousers.

The box contortions at the London Palladium

The light set-up at Joseph meant the Royal Box had far from the best view in the house. My view was “up, down, flying around” which was more suited to Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. But, you get what you pay for!

The crying audience members at the Royal Court

From the circle in the Jerwood Downstairs I could watch the front row audience on the stage, and by the end of Cyprus Avenue even grown men were in tears and distress.

The Mr Wickham incident at Chiswick Playhouse

I am a fan of the 1995 TV version of Pride and Prejudice. Adrian Lukis was in the audience for Type on Paper. I passed him on the stairs and said “Oh, it’s Mr Wickham!”. Not sure if he noticed. He has done many other things since, after all.

Stage mums at Above the Stag and the Prince of Wales

I met Fanny’s mum at Fanny and Stella and Elder Cunningham’s mum at The Book of Mormon, and found out about their respective son’s careers and training. As a bonus I was sitting with the partner of the composer of Battersea Bardot at that showcase at the BFI.

Power woes at the London Coliseum

After a long time in the queue for Man of La Mancha, we were all sent home, Kelseyless. I did rebook but it was disappointing at the time, and the fact the dome at the Coliseum was not revolving ought to have been a clue.

Half a seat at the King’s Head

Beware if you book the end seats on the group of seats slightly off centre, because they are either half seats or seats for exceptional small bottoms. I was fortunate that my neighbour moved up a bit so I wasn’t left hanging throughout This Island’s Mine – a lengthy show with no interval.

Emotions run high at the Kiln

I held it together at the curtain call for the magnificent When The Crows Visit but got sniffly in the restaurant, and I thank the two staff members who were sympathetic at my verge of tears moment.

Touchstone’s prop at the Barbican

My husband, not me, but it suited him having to hold the staff Touchstone wandered around with in As You Like It. As the actor sat behind me during this interlude blowing on my neck it was doubly peculiar, but not unlike what I experienced in regular Stratford trips in the 1990s.

The Pearly Queen incident at Theatro Technis

I met the lovely Gwen at Mornington Crescent on the way to Sushi Girls and there are few things more impressive than someone in full button regalia banging on the theatre door in the rain to get us slightly early entrance.

The transient friendships forged almost everywhere

You know who you are, bloggers, creatives, actors, theatregoers, who I have chatted with this year (I’m a middle-aged Northerner displaced to London, it’s what we do). You’re all fabulous and I wish you an incredible theatre-going 2020.