The RSC: King John

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This afternoon was a unique opportunity to see Shakespeare’s rarely performed production of ‘King John’ at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.

We met Chris and Gill at theirs and headed over to the Theatre in time for a spot of lunch followed by the performance at 1.30pm. (The lunch incidentally, was superb!)

I wasn’t familiar with this production at all, but any performance that features a live food-fight (warning those in the front-row that they ‘may not escape the fallout‘ gets my vote! ๐Ÿ˜„).

On a more serious note, it’s billed as: ‘a tale of a nation in turmoil that vibrates with modern resonance‘ and tells the story of John’s turbulent reign from 1199 to 1216. Now that sounded like something worth seeing! ๐Ÿ˜

So, what of the production itself? If you like your Shakespeare productions on traditional side, then this most definitely WON’T be the one for you. And unlike many of the Bard’s other works, there’s no well-known characters in this, nor any famous one-liners to hang onto!

But overall, none of this really mattered!

For me, although the plot was difficult to follow (no change there then!) the acting, costumes, lighting, music and stage were all definitely something to remember! Everyone gave an excellent performance, and the very wacky production design didn’t distract at all. In fact, the ‘dad-dancing’ (yes, really!), the additional short dance routines, the fight scenes and the encouraged audience participation, made the aforementioned food-fight feel quite appropriate! And yes, some the audience will have had a cleaning bill! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Quite a lot of blood too! ๐Ÿ˜ซ

In conclusion, a thoroughly engaging production but not one for the traditionalists

and maybe it was just me, but the fact that they brought on two Henry vacuum cleaners to clear up the stage during the interval made me giggle – ‘Part 1’ and ‘Part 2’ perhaps???? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Cambridge-sur-Mer

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Ann and I drove over to Cambridge today. I say ‘drove’ as ‘sailed’ would have been more appropriate I think! – so much rain! ๐Ÿ˜ณ And add to that, the mega-roadworks as they transform the A14, meant slow progress!

Still, we made it in around an-hour-and-ten! ๐Ÿ‘

Gone are the days where I used to drive into the city itself and take pot-luck with parking! It’s all too stressful in 2019, and so, instead, our destination was Trumpington’s Park and Ride!

And whilst Ann then jumped on the bus and headed for the city in full shopping-mode, I took the gentler approach and met up with Sal for Lunch!

Sal and I took the bus to right opposite our destination – Brown’s in Trumpington Street – in fact, it was such a quick journey we arrived too early for lunch! ๐Ÿ™„

Brown’s Coffee area and Bar

A perfect excuse then, to try out their coffee area and begin our catch-up until lunch began at midday!

Twenty minutes later, having no doubt bored Sal rigid with news of our China trip, we then grabbed a table in the restaurant.

We haven’t been here for a while, and we both wondered if the food and service would be as good as we remember it! We needn’t have worried as Brown’s easily maintained its reputation for good-value food that was delicious, together with service that was efficient and friendly! Top marks!!

After our excellent Lunch we wandered back to John Lewis to meet up with Ann, before catching the Park-and-Ride Bus back to where our day began. It was still raining! ๐Ÿ™„

We said our goodbyes in the car-park, and as the weather deteriorated further, we headed off towards the M11 – Sal heading south whilst we headed north!

We’d all had a great day – Ann bagged some bargains whilst I caught up with Sal, who I haven’t seen in a while. Ducks would have also enjoyed the day! ๐Ÿ˜€