Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 1 in London - Thursday December 20, 2012

Rain. Lots of rain. We made our way to the nearest Boots (the major drugstore chain in England) and replenished some necessary supplies. We walked to the Covent Garden area and then to Leicester Square. We bought matinee tickets to Billy Elliot and Chariots of Fire.

Wednesday matinee was at 2:30 so we had time for lunch. On our walk we had passed Byron's advertising a "Proper Hamburger". I thought that sounded good so we walked back to Byron's arriving at 11:59 before anyone else. The hamburger was excellent, very pink in the middle, and a lot of blue cheese on top. Connie had a good salad. When we departed the restaurant it was filled. My guess is that 100% of the remaining 150 or so patrons were less than half our age!

We walked back to out hotel, left our drug store packages, caught the tube to Victoria Station and arrived about 30 minutes early at the Victoria Theatre for Billy Elliott.
Billy Elliot sign
Before long the theatre was almost totally filled. The play began. It is a musical telling the story of Billy Elliot. He grew up in a mining town in the north of England. He lived with an extended family (grandmother, grandfather, father, brother). His mother was dead. All the men were miners. His father wanted him to be a boxer. He wanted to dance. The story revolves around this conflict (a metaphor for many related conflicts). Dancing wins, he wins a place in the Royal Ballet School at the age of 12, and the world is changed for him and his family. The dancing is spectacular, especially that of the young star. The staging was great, as was the music. I never closed my eyes, even for the shortest time! We both thoroughly enjoyed Billy Elliot. Another dinner at our Italian restaurant (Venice style liver and onions for me, sea bream for Connie) and Day 1 in London was complete.

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