For the first time in five years I went to the theatre yesterday. It wasn’t a major production, swathed in ‘must-see’ reviews down the west-end or anything like that, just a little amateur play in the chic ballroom at the posh Burkely Hotel in Knightsbridge, London.
As you’d expect, the crowd was pretty small, I’d guess around thirty people at most (including me and my friend Claire) but the makeshift stage, with its beaming lights, colourful back drop and draped velvet curtains, made you think you were in an real playhouse.
Most people were seated on antique looking couches scattered around the room; a few standing with their backs to the walls, but it didn’t matter where you were because we all had a great view of the stage.The ballroom itself was gorgeously decorated- one that any woman would be happy to get married in. A High-rise ceiling created a spacious atmosphere, whilst the surrounding ornate wallpaper exuded luxury and style.
In hindsight it was a pretty odd play; it wasn’t what I was expecting. I can’t really recall what most of the scenes were supposed to be about, or depict, just that the story line was full of melodrama.
I do remember being mesmerised by the audiences’ horrified reactions to certain scenes though. For example, one did verge on the sexually explicit as a husband and wife first exchanged fiery conversation. I remember inconspicuously turning my head, whilst all this dialogue was being passionately acted out, trying to catch a glimpse of the audiences kneejerk reactions. The old man sitting next to me looked like he was about to suffer a heart attack bless him.
Towards the end of the play my mind did begin to wonder as boredom began to suffice- it was over two hours long, so I couldn’t really be blamed for yawning once or twice.
Luckily my imagination rescued me from nodding off to sleep. I really did begin to envisage myself getting married here: being ushered down the aisle by my father whilst my sweet little bridesmaids in their sweet little bridesmaid dresses followed suit; my hunk of man anxiously waiting for my arrival at the altar. One day, I thought one day.
It was only the sudden eruption of hands clapping in courteous applause that woke me from my wedding reverie. The play had finally come to an end and as the performers bowed before us, I could tell most people in audience were eager to leave as quickly as possible. The old man sitting next to me was already heading for the exit- he was obviously less than impressed with the play’s storyline.
As we left the suite and headed for the reception area, I took one last look at the room and again imagined myself leaving arm-in-arm with my imaginary new husband; running under the congratulatory confetti and heading towards the hotel exit with only true love to guide our fate.
I gave Claire a warm hug as we said our goodbyes for the evening. I lied by saying “we must do this again”. I think she could tell I didn’t really enjoy the play.