Oh la la

So, Saturday night in Paris.

So, three child free Mums on the loose.

So, three child free Mums being sensible and cultured and grown up and sophisticated.

Ha!

Saturday night we hit  

 

Yep, The Moulin Rouge in all it’s flamboyant, kitsch glory.

We didn’t book for the meal before the show, so when we arrived the place was absolutely packed.

Expecting to be crammed on to a shared table somewhere behind a pillar we were amazed to be shown to a tiny table for three, right beside the stage.

Two bottles of champagne later and the pre-show warm-up crooner, singing American Rat Pack toons in a strong French accent, sounded uncannily like This, though fortunately he was not that shade of yellow.

Just a shade of Leo Sayer circa 1976.

Then the show.

Oh my God.

I knew the Moulin Rouge was famous for the CanCan.

I hadn’t realised it was famous for the dancers dancing, erm, topless.

But after spending an afternoon similarly exposed in the Hammam, we were hardened, in a distinctly unBritish way, to such things.

We could greet them with a Gallic shrug.

And lots of eye contact.

But.

The show is good fun.

It isn’t intellectual

Or high culture.

It’s a laugh

It’s pure entertainment

And it is distinctly and unmistakably French.

The theatre itself is slightly battered, slightly worn, but a wonderful example of fin de siรจcle architecture and interior design.

An architectural Grand Dame.

Afterwards?

A stroll through the, erm, colourful Pigalle area 

 

Ending up at a small bar 

Listening to a budding Edith Piaf singing in the corner and drinking absinthe.

Tres Parisienne. 

One for All

I like taking the kids to the theatre. I love it when the production is so good that they can lose themselves completely in the story.

I love it that some plays that they might struggle with reading come alive for them on the stage.

Though of course that was a bit unfortunate in the case of Alls Well That Ends Well

But we won’t revisit that here.

Ahem.

Anyway, theatre going opportunities have been a bit thin on the ground recently. The RSC has largely been sold out for plays we might fancy. The Belgrade has been particularly uninspiring.

And then a groupon offer popped into my inbox.

The Three Musketeers.

At Stoneleigh Park.

How fab is that?

So we packed a picnic, because England in Late August is going to offer a beautiful, balmy, summer evening right?

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Mmm. Blankets and hot soup all round.

But the play was great fun.

The actors were young and enthusiastic.

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The setting, especially as the sun set over the Park, was stunning.

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If you get a chance to go and see something by Boxtree Productions do go.

It’s not the RSC.

But sometimes, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

๐Ÿ™‚

First catch your fairy….

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I don’t know how well you can see them, but these my friends are captured fairies.

No, really.

It’s been a bit of a thespian themed week, what with two evenings of youngest child’s nativity play (body popping Wise Men! auditioning angels! tap dancing! gymnastics! Fab!) and then Thursday evening’s trip to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Wendy and PeterPan.

It was just magical.

Stratford was all lit up for the late night Christmas Market

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And then, as you enter the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, you come across a sideboard with jars of these

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It’s what a child’s Christmas theatre experience should be all about.

The production was just lovely. A slightly feminist telling of the tale of Wendy and Peter Pan (yay, go Wendy! Go TigerLily!), but the choreography was breathtaking, the scenery and props amazing.

If you get a chance go.

Even if it means borrowing a child from someone else for the evening (do ask first of course).

And then birthday celebrations last night at local Lebanese restaurant Meze.

Because I love Lebanese food

And couldn’t face another trip to Pizza Express.

Yes children, we will make you appreciate cuisines other than Italian.

Maybe.

Anyway, it was delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚

And followed by

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A local village, Eathorpe, normally a shining beacon of good taste and covet-inducing cottages and half timbering, becomes, at Christmas, a shining beacon to jaw-dropping bad-taste Christmas decorations.

It’s great ๐Ÿ™‚

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And all done for charity.

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A Christmas tree in a phone box? I defy you not to feel full of good cheer after seeing that!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Wow

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.

Just back from a weekend in London with friends. A leisurely walk through St James’ park on Saturday afternoon, wine in the Tate Modern overlooking the Thames and the London skyline, dinner at The Swan restaurant (where we bumped into Dame Judi Dench)( Can you believe it???!!!) (No, me neither) and then we went to the Globe to see A Midsummer Nights Dream.

20131013-205851.jpgPicture courtesy of Nigel Chadwick (creative commons) see original at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1270847 It was amazing. The best theatre going experience I have had. Ever. The costumes, the choreography, .

20131013-210705.jpgphotograph by John Haynes, image at The Globe web sitethe acting, the laughs (yes honest to goodness, full bellied guffawing as opposed to, “I’ll laugh so everyone knows I’m educated enough to “get” Shakespeare” laughs), the “close to the knuckle-ness”, the setting. It was amazing.

A moonlit walk across the Millenium Bridge with St Paul’s floodlit as the backdrop.

Sunday morning at the V and A viewing the most random assortment of collections (Chinese armour, 80s clubbing outfits, Trajan’s Column, Persian carpets), and then lunch at L’Opera, a Turkish/Middle-Eastern restaurant opposite the Brompton Oratory (absolutely delicious).

A very good weekend indeed