05.01.2013 - 09.01.2013 10 °C
'I regard theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being' - Oscar Wilde
London was always going to be - for me at least - all about the theatre.
It was our last stop on this fantastic adventure before we return to Australia, and I wanted to end on a high....I actually didn't want it to end at all...people said after six weeks I'd be ready to go home. I wasn't
We did make an effort to do the other touristy things; we did a 'hop on, hop off' bus tour (next time, we'll skip that and just use the Underground to get around), we did a Thames cruise and we saw the Museum of Natural History (where there were far too many small children in one place for my liking - visiting, obviously, not as exhibits).
The museum building was impressive
...and the Thames cruise was a mellow way to spend an hour
But that was the side salad. Dessert was the West End (skipped main course, and went straight for the good stuff).
We stayed in the Covent Gardens where we found Hotel Chocolat...ethical growers of cocoa, makers of outstanding chocolate and coffee, and a lovely place to spend an hour or three...
We were within waking distance to the theatres and cafes of my teenage dreams. Like Paris, the West End delivered on those dreams.
I first saw Les Miserables live in Adelaide, when it came to Australia in 1992. I'd already fallen in love with the theatre as a kid, but seeing Les Mis as a teenager deepened my infatuation with live theatre to True and Lasting Love . It was inevitable, therefore, that while in London we experience it. Thankfully, Mark and Kobi love it too, so no arm-twisting was required.
No matter the situation, there is something about theatre which can inspire me, challenge me, entertain me and create in me a new perspective.
I didn't want the trip to end...but at least it ended in a place which provided me with the most effective soul-soother I know of.
Les Mis is a powerful story of love, hope and redemption. It always moves me. Rock of Ages is an intentionally cheesy, rollicking good musical adventure. It makes me want to wear bad 80s clothes and listen to music I didn't even like in the 80s (but somehow I love in this show).
I'd had a couple of grumpy moments while we're in London because I wasn't ready to return home. I can't stay grumpy when I'm at the theatre (I know this, because I've tried). And I really couldn't stay grumpy while I was watching live shows in London's West End.
I realised there's no need to be sad this adventure is over because the journey (big picture, capital 'J' Journey) goes on - and there'll always be theatre...