Monday, March 19, 2012

When a  Plan  didn't  Come Together : Legally Blonde at  the Savoy Theatre and  Song of the Seagull at the Menier Gallery

It was a mistake to try to see two shows in one day, I admit, but the ensuing fiasco wasn't  entirely  my fault. I'd applied to review the Chekhov play well in advance but only got news about Legally Blonde the day before, and confirmation of tickets on the same day as the matinee.

Not a problem, though - I'd walk between the venues, and meet daughter Catherine at some backstreet pub near the Menier. We were  determined to spend  some 'quality time' together.  My Westminster Guide friend Joanna recommended one called the Gladstone in Lant Street that specialised in pies. I love pies, which is possibly why I've  had to lose some weight over the past few months. I reckoned that as I lost a stone I deserved a pie.

I can't say I was mad raving keen on 'Legally Blonde' but I'd quite enjoyed the film . It was slick, of course, and the choreography was excellent, also I love the Art-Deco style of the Savoy, not to mention that it's handy for Charing Cross. However, the chorus of High School friends was too loud and screechy.  The message seemed dubious to me, too - the heroine changes her dress style to be accepted at Harvard Law School but finally decides that reverting  to stereotype is empowering. I wasn't convinced.  I agreed with Miranda's Hart's preface in the programme there's nothing wrong with frothy entertainment, but to my mind this show's message was ambiguous, to say the least. My (male) companion liked it and the first two rows of the stalls gave it a standing ovation.

Never mind, there were pies and Chekhov to look forward to, in venues that were unfamiliar and therefore doubly attractive. I set off just after five, with plenty of time because the Menier Gallery show didn't start until 7.30pm. Unfortunately, I'd reckoned without my out-of date map and a tendency to get lost in what Catherine called the original Dickensian backstreets.

An hour later, I arrived at the pub, where the beautiful pies smelled rich and savoury. Unfortunately, a whole crowd of other people were in front of me and by the time I reached the counter there would be, I was told,  a thirty minute delay for pie service.

We couldn't risk missing the start, so we had to leave,  pieless. Catherine left the Menier reluctantly  half way through the show but I stuck it out to the bitter end, and  my ravening hunger was only  finally assuaged at  a Cornish pasty stall at London Bridge around 10.30pm. So not a good result for either of us. Quality time postponed.

It's a wonder, really, that I was able to concentrate on  the production, but I liked it so much I gave it a five star review. It's on The Public Reviews website.

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