Dashed down to London yesterday with Andrea to see The Motherfucker with the Hat at the National Theatre on the South Bank.
We forgot that it was Gay Pride. Normally we would drive across the city and park near the theatre, but we did not want to spend hours getting around road blocks, or inadvertently joining a parade. We were just not dressed for it. I’d love to go to Pride, but I had theatrical commitments of a different kind and was all out of face paint and glitter, so it will have to be postponed until next year when I’ve got all my sequins in a row.
Plus the kids would actually kill me if I didn’t take them too.
Traffic issues meant that we parked on the outskirts and headed in by tube instead. Consequently we were cutting things a bit fine and made it with twenty minutes to spare, which is not a lot of time when the queue for the toilet is three deep.
The play was great, which was good, given the effort it took to get there. It was about addiction amongst Puerto Rican immigrants in the US. It was, as the title suggests, rather full on language wise. I did wonder whether the two ladies who were shocked all the way through the David Mamet play we went to a few weeks back, might pop up behind us like the spectres at the feast now they’ve got the taste for all the rudeness. But no. It was just a man who insisted on crunching ice cubes loudly all the through the first half and pointing out in a huge stage whisper where the hat from the title was.
Thank God for him, or we might never have recognised it.
Despite its dark subject matter it was very funny and had real moments of pathos. I thought it was well written, sharp and well played by a great cast who never missed a beat.
Afterwards we went for coffee and cake, as is our wont. We were sitting in the new NT cafe, called The Kitchen, jabbering happily about the play whilst stuffing slabs of chocolate into our mouths when a chap walked in and past us to the disabled toilets. He was tapping people gently on the shoulder saying: ‘Excuse me’ and ‘sorry’ as he wove his way by.
What was striking was that he was wearing an oil cloth cook’s pinny with nothing but tight, white cotton boxers on underneath. The pinny featured a life sized photograph of a sheep’s face right about where the man’s genitals would be, had they not been covered up by an ovine pinny.
Five minutes later, he popped out of the toilet and did exactly the same thing: ‘Excuse me, excuse me’ and ‘sorry,’ all the way out the door.
Nobody batted an eyelid.
You’re not in Leicester anymore Toto.
On the way back to Embankment tube as we were crossing the river, there was a man playing the steel pans quite badly, slap bang in the middle of the bridge. We had already commented on how troubling this was on our way to the theatre and he was still going strong some three hours later.
We were not the only ones who didn’t appreciate his musical genius, although we were prepared to give him points for stamina.
Approaching him from the other side of the bridge was an elderly hippy dressed in shades of emerald green from head to foot. He looked like a cross between Gandalf and a leprechaun. As he got closer to the steel pan man he kept shaking his head and grimacing.
At about two feet from him he stuck his fingers in his ears, and wandered past the chap, so close to him they could actually touch, all the while the leprechaun mouthing ‘no, no, no,’ and grimacing, still with his fingers in his ears.
Undaunted, the steel pan man played on.
I do bloody love London.