While the majority of sightseeing and travel experiences are daytime adventures, this is not always the case. Being in London as the winter solstice approaches means that daylight is somewhat curtailed but there is plenty to do after dark.
Part of the attraction of visiting different cities is to indulge in some of the cultural events and entertainment on offer. In that respect, this trip has been exceptional.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, we were able to research and book some, but not all of the tickets online several months ago. One of the bonuses of being in one place for an extended period of time has meant that we could add things into our itinerary as we discovered them – sometimes at quite short notice.
Live theatre is one of my passions and I was ecstatic to secure tickets to see ‘The Ferryman’ at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End. This play, set in Northern Ireland in 1981, has received rave reviews since opening in April 2017 and the season has recently been extended yet again with ticket sales open until May 2018.
The lights of the West End beckon.
A glimpse of the stunning foyer.
We both agreed that ‘The Ferryman’ was probably one of, if not the best, play we have ever seen.
On our previous visit to London in 2014 we attempted to take a tour of the Royal Albert Hall, however, it was closed for cleaning and we did not have enough flexibility in our itinerary to go another day. So, it was back on the list for this trip. When I was looking up the details of the tours I had the crazy idea that we might actually be able to go to a performance there. Imagine my delight when I discovered that the autumn season of the ‘Classical Spectacular’ (4 days) coincided with our time in London.
Stunning view as we approached the Royal Albert Hall.
And the equally impressive interior.
Ready for the show to begin.
Guns and cannon for the 1812 Overture – the finale.
As we were on our way to the Imperial War Museum last week I saw a large billboard near Waterloo Station for ‘Hair’ – 50th anniversary. For those of you who know how old I am you will realise that I was too young to see the original production. Nevertheless, I am very familiar with some of the music and was keen to see it. The venue was a long way, physically and metaphorically from the glittering lights and plush seats of the West End. The Vaults Theatre which seats about 150 people is a bold and quirky theatre space located in the subterranean world beneath Waterloo Station.
This was an enjoyable and fun night out and I am really pleased that I saw the billboard.
Our final show for the trip was tonight at Wilton’s Music Hall which is acknowledged as the oldest music hall in the world. The venue has had a chequered history and was virtually a derelict ruin earmarked for demolition 50 years ago. After major restoration work it is now an auditorium capable of seating about 200 people. Some of my early research led me to look into guided tours, but like Royal Albert Hall, I discovered that a better option was to see a show. ‘Liza Sings Streisand’ was a single night performance featuring Liza Pulman. We were familiar with Liza having seen her performance as part of ‘Fascinating Aida’ at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014.
Part of the interior.
About to begin.
She certainly did not disappoint and I am now the proud owner of a signed CD as well.
Seeing 4 unique performances in vastly different venues has been an amazing experience as none of the shows are likely to come to Australia.