London revisited - A night out at the theatre

Trip Start Apr 01, 2012
Trip End Oct 01, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, September 17, 2012

Big day today, arranged a day out in London, visiting Buck House again followed by a visit to the theatre to watch the musical Billy Elliot. There were 6 of us, Graham and Carol, their friends Rosie and Tony plus Rick and I. We all met up at Chelmsford Train Station, in order to catch the train to Liverpool Street Station. This journey took us past the Olympic Venues, which look very impressive. Once we arrived at Liverpool Street our first job was to buy our lunch which we took with us to have later.. A short bus ride further, than lunch on the lawn at St James Park, before we headed to Buck House. The exhibition there was pretty much like last year , this year they displayed the royal diamonds  belonging to various queens. It was displayed in a very dark area, which of course displayed the diamonds better, especially with the light directed on them. The palace was packed and that particular area was so busy that you could only creep forward and shuffle towards the next display case. After 5 minutes all Rick and I wanted to do is get the heck out of there and breathe some fresh air, there was a lot more room away from the various displays , and this became our escape route.We could still see some of it but probably missed some as well. Well lets face it, one diamond looks pretty much like another. Seriously it was a very good display and gave a lot of people a lot of pleasure, just not our thing. Once we arrived in the great Ballroom we were able to sit down and wait for the rest of the gang to come around. The state rooms after this were beautiful, the same as last year but well worth a second look. A very enjoyable visit.
After Buck House we decided that we might as well walk to the restaurant where we intended to have our dinner. The restaurant was situated at Victoria Street , which is enormous and not only a railway station but also a shopping precinct and eating venue. Our guides did not know  exactly where we had to go , but between the four of them it was sorted, although this only happened once Carol asked a bus conductor the way . Realy must get ourselves some up to date and younger guides in the future. Once we arrived at the station our next challenge arose, where is the restaurant. Oh dear , and they call themselves locals. The saddest part was that we had to ask someone again and it was in front of us all the time, the name of the restaurant written in very very very large letters.  Finally were able to sit down, have a drink and enjoy a very nice meal as well.
Next stop, The Victoria Palace Theatre, just around the corner from Victoria Street,  easy to find. The  theatre has a amazing history, a theatre has been on that particular site since 1832, at one stage a music hall graced the site in1886, later demolished and the present theatre was built in 1910 for a total cost of 12000 pounds. A lovely old theatre and thank goodness recent work has restored the facade, canopy and cupola.  Billy Elliot the Musical has played in the Palace since 2005 and is still going strong. Billy Elliot is set in the tumultuous years of 1984/1985,when the nationwide miners strike unfolded, lasting 12 months. Billy was a young lad during this time who discoverd ballet and just wanted to dance at the total horror of his father who had him pictured as a boxer. Lots of trials and tribulations for Billy, trying to live his dream. The story unfolds itself to the ending where Billy is accepted into the Royal Ballet School  with the blessing from his father. The show is fantastic and the cast just amazing. A young and very talented 11 year old played the part of Billy,which I might add is a very demanding role. This kid could dance like we have never seen before, and put every bit of energy he had into the role Lots of other very talented young kids as well and of course the adults were pretty good as well.At the end of the show the young lad received a well deserved standing ovation. Goosebump stuff it was. We were treated to the show by Tony and Rosie, thanks to both of you, we realy did enjoy it and will remember it for a long time.
The movie is also available but nothing beats live theatre.
Caught all the various types of public transport back home, feeling good .
A very big but oh so satisfying day.
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