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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
Where has the time all gone to: The weekend

I am back online today after buying a router (that is pronounced, row-ter, which I only mention as I was in a meeting the other day where non-techy people debated the correct pronunciation of this device) and hooking up wifi in the flat. It was a four-hour odyssey to do this as I managed to get my MAC addresses confused. I have no claims to being a techy and am far too impatient to read instructions that are poorly written and can be bypassed in any event, but the outcome is now that I can blog regularly from home once more...

I can do this as out of the settlement for being in a relationship - I got the laptop. As it was one of those "desktop replacement" models that were oh-so fashionable January 2004 (before people came to their senses in March) it is a big ugly motherfucker of a laptop and I don't particularly like it, but as I curse it, I can think that it is storing nearly two years of photos and cheap laughs, so that has to count for something.

Purchase of router followed longish session at the gym which will probably mean that for the next few days I will be in pain. While I was there I caught up with Adam who is also an Australian and a lot fitter than I. We grabbed a bite to eat afterwards in Soho after failing a few times to just get a coffee somewhere (but making an entrance three times probably counts for something I suppose, even if it was just to turn heads and then scamper off)...

Theatre: On the Town

Caught up on opening night of the English National Opera's production of On the Town Saturday night. Yet again, the best thing I have seen.
* Caroline O'Connor was in it playing Hildy "Come up to my place"
* Three American actors were playing the young sailors and even from the Balcony they looked very "exuberant" - better than that phony model they have used on their artwork...
* Full ENO Orchestra played the shit out of Bernstein's score... The horns blaring the opening notes from "New York, New York (It's a hell of a town)" was worth going to hear alone.

The show is much better than the film, which took away most of the music and story because MGM thought it was too sophistimicated for the film going public. They were probably right. Three sailors meet three girls and since they are going off to a war (which they may never return from) they want sex, and the girls want to give it to them. Three exuberant hours of entertainment ensue. The cast as an ensemble were fantastic and it is hard to single out anyone, although Caroline O'Connor singing "I can cook too" got plenty of laughs:

I'm a man's ideal of a perfect meal
Right down to the demi-tasse.
I'm a pot of joy for a hungry boy,
Baby, I'm cookin' with gas.
Oh, I'm a gumdrop,
A sweet lollipop,
A brook trout right out of the brook,
And what's more, baby, I can cook!

Very little of the book and songs were changed and it is amazing how well they have held up after 61 years. The neuroses of big city life still seem to be all there... Although there is no total war looming over people's lives...

The production did have its faults last night, the sets didn't quite work all the time, the props failed and there was this darn blue strobing light on the stage that wouldn't stop flashing in the final 20 minutes, but none of that could detract from what is an amazing three hours of music, ballet and theatre so perfectly integrated into telling one story.

After show drinks

It seemed quite sensible after the show to head to one of the gay bars just around the corner. A few from the audience were doing just that. There is nothing much to report although my attention was diverted to a person across the bar who above the sea of heads was trying to get my attention. Hmmm he looked tall I thought, so I motioned back. A motion isn't really an acknowledgement, it is more like an ambivalent shrug that you could pass off as grooving to the music if they come up to you and start drooling, or have bad breath etc.

But regardless of the gesture, he took it as a signal to come over to me. So he jumped down from the very tall step he was standing on to make his way over. In doing so he revealed he was quite short. Very short actually.

Not really in the mood to have a conversation of giant-talks-to-midget I finished my Becks and cleared the hell out of there...

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