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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
Theatre and the rest: Blood Wedding

Following my meeting with a stranger on the train, I was invited to see last night's production of Federico García Lorca's play Blood Wedding at the Almeida Theatre. There are two Garcia Lorca plays playing in London at the moment (I am seeing the other on Monday), but this one has movie star Gael García Bernal in it so the entire season has sold out. I was very chuffed to be going... Strangers on a train can lead to all sorts of interesting adventures...

It is a great production with a terrific international cast. García Bernal plays the man who steals a bride away on her wedding day. He is such a terriffic actor and just oozes sex you can almost forgive the bride for running off with him (although at the end you will still be muttering "bitch" about her)... Later, some people had quipped they didn't understand what all the fuss is about García Bernal is, but if you had sat in fourth row like I did with an unusual sightline that led you directly to his packed lunch you could start to appreciate what all the fuss was about... Well theatre is very upfront, intimate and personal...

I found the play really got under your skin dealing with emotions of love, betrayal and passion. It all seemed so Spanish, yet this production also kept the location a little more ambiguous. In the end I decided before catching Monday's play I was going to have to find out as much about Garcia Lorca as possible. Afterall he was gay Spanish and killed by Franco supporters during the civil war... There is definitely an interesting story there...

The play ran for 90 minutes without interval which worked very well I thought. Afterwards I managed to grab dinner with my new friend from the train. There was general conscensus that the drama in ones own life paled into comparison to that of a small Spanish village about to hold a wedding. Although letting slip that I had spent Tuesday searching for details about him onGoogle suggested that one could create some sense of high jinx when necessary.

Today at work colleagues suggested that one shouldn't draw attention to one's efforts to get the lowdown on people, and especially to make references to reading minutes published on the internet of board meetings they attend. Have made mental note not to do that in future, unless engaging in investigative journalism rather than investigative dating. In the end it didn't seem to matter much... Dinner lasted well past midnight...

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