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Christmas Mysteries: A Sherlock Carol @MaryleboneTHLDN

A mash-up of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes would seem an unlikely pairing. Yet it provides a surprisingly fun Christmas-themed adventure. These two Victorian tales (albeit separated by about 40 years) provide the basis for an inspired adventure at Christmastime that just also happens to turn out to be a murder mystery as well. With lavish costumes, a few spooky set pieces and some good old-fashioned stage trickery with lights and a lot of smoke machines, it is hard to resist. It returns to the Marylebone Theatre for Christmas after a run there last year.  The premise is that after Holmes sees off the criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, he is left adrift in London. People thought he was dead, and he might as well be. Disinterested in the misdeeds of other Londoners, Holmes has even given up on his friend Dr Watson. It's almost as if he has become a Scrooge. Or half a Scrooge, moping about shouting, "bah" in respon
Not last night I had a headache...

I was going to update the blog last night after finishing my temp job for the week but Dame Fortune had other ideas. She gave me a headache so after taking two Mersyndol I was off in another calm and tranquil world... This calm and tranquil world was still in West Hampstead on a comfy couch but I was still in another world. But I digress...

Theatre review
* The Madness of George Dubbya was great. It was a mild satire at first, but by the second act it started to get really on the money. One of the highlights was the voiceover at the beginning: "This is a reminder that if you have a pager, cellphone or other device to please switch it ON during tonights performance. That way in the event of a terrorist attack on this theatre you will be able to send final messages to loved ones." It was interesting times to be watching a show that had Jasmina the cleaner as a Hammas suicide bomber cleaning a US Air Force Base in Britain. Tony Blair copped a (rightful) drubbing. Everyone here seems to be waiting for him to just go. Naturally the inquiry about some former arms inspector who topped himself in the woods because he had to sex up the IRAQ dossier is grinding all government business to a halt.

Can I have warm chicken salad and cigarette butts?
* Some things take forever in the UK and one of the things is to introduce a ban on smoking where food is being consumed. It won't happen any time soon. And if they aren't smoking they are nagging on about their latest theory on Iraq or complaining to a waiter about the quality of a banana smoothie.

When searching for a flat...
* Don't go to Whitechapel. Sure the flat you may find there (a redeveloped 1920's style council flat) is gorgeous with a spacious room but outside no pasty white boy will be fitting in to the area. The last census said that 22% of the residents were from Bangladesh. The rest must be from Pakistan.
* Don't take the bus from Whitechapel to Manor House. After getting away from the very talkative Londoner who was half Maltese who owned the flat, I took the bus to what I thought was Manor House. This was to see a room in that part of town. Busses may be getting better but it is still hard to read the bus stop signs. Asking the driver wasn't an option as the bus was crowded. I got off at a stop that was "Approaching Manor House" and found myself not quite at Manor House but in the part of town that was where all the Hasidic Jews hung out. The irony of travelling from Muslim territory to Jew territory did amuse me however and I made a mental note about where to go in future should I wish to practice their faith sometime in the future.
* Find three nice gay men to share with. The place at Manor House was great. Fabulous house, faboulous room. It is also two zones out, serviced by three busses (should I dare to go on one again) and two night busses (should I need to get home after midnight). And there was a nice feel about the neighbourhood with various pubs, eateries and a 24 hour Sainsbury's nearby.

The adventure of Wednesday evening did take me longer than I expected so Alicia was a little worried that I had not returned. She rang twice and I answered it the second time. I explained to the guys that this was because before she left for work in the morning, I left the details of where I was going on the kitchen table and informed her "so if I don't come home you know where to find the body"... I think the humour gave me some brownie points but I will find out next week if I have got the place...

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