GREAT, GREAT BRITAIN: CHEERIO AND CHEERS
Okay, I’ve fallen way behind on my England recaps, and to be honest, I’ve kind of lost interest. I’ve been back for over two weeks now, and I’m just about to move onto the sequel to European Vacation, which, of course, is Christmas Vacation. I’m all about the closure, though, even if it’s half-assed, so here goes:
On Friday, the last full day of our trip, Drew and I checked out the London Dungeon, which takes all the brutal, grotesque horrors in London’s history, from medieval torture to the Plague to Jack the Ripper, and turns them into wholesome spookhouse fun for the whole family! There’s a ride of some sort, too, but it was broken when we went.
We also visited an exhibit at Canada House which Drew had been dying to go to all week. It was created by Douglas Coupland to express what Canada meant to him. All I remember is that it was all in one room and that it included a box of Captain Crunch that was written in French. I would’ve taken a picture of it, but I had already learned my lesson about not taking pictures in museums, and since it didn’t involve bratty kids causing trouble, it wasn’t worth the risk.
That night, we attended our last theatrical event, “The Woman in Black”, not to be confused with “The Woman in White”, which is a totally different show. (My sympathies to the box office employees who have to deal with all the wacky mixups which must occur.) “The Woman in Black” has been running for more than ten years, and unlike “The Woman in White”, it didn’t contain any music composed by Andrew Lloyd Weber, which was a big plus. It’s a thriller, but unlike the other long-running thriller we saw on our trip, it was actually kind of scary. Sure, the scares were all of the cheap-thrill variety (i.e., every ten minutes or so the lights went out and a loud sound effect was played). And sure, like that other long-running thriller, the Big Twist was neither big nor a twist, but it was fun nonetheless. And the audience was full of screaming teenagers, which, if you can’t see a thriller at the Magic Johnson Theaters in South L.A., is the next-best thing.
If I have any regrets from our trip, they’re all due to poor timing. Several things we would’ve really enjoyed didn’t happen until after we left. For one thing, we never got to see the end of “The X-Factor” or “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here”. And we were just two days shy of the release day of the Band Aid 20 version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, which won’t be commercially available in the U.S. (but which you can download here). As if to taunt us, we heard it played in an HMV store just minutes before we left for the airport on our last day. And if we’d stayed just one more week, we could’ve gone to the Will Young concert. (Will, come to the U.S. We’ll be kinder than we were to Robbie, I swear!)
None of it stings quite as much as missing Mary Poppins the Musical, which began previews a mere nine days after we left and which opens officially tomorrow. Mary Poppins is the latest London theatrical extravaganza and the most eagerly-anticipated show in Jerry and Drew’s apartment since, well, ever.
As if to torture ourselves, we went past the theatre in which Mary Poppins is preparing for its final preview at the exact moment I’m typing this. (Argh.) It’s conveniently located in the very gayest part of London, and its direct neighbor, just a few metres away, is the unambiguously named nightclub G-A-Y. This certainly provides for some great cross-promotional opportunities with the show’s primary audience, but as for its secondary audience, I imagine the kiddies are going to be learning quite a bit more than “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” while they’re queueing up for this show.
And that, sadly, brings our little trip to an end. Since I began this tour with an illegal download of a silly cover of a well-known song, I’m going to end it that way as well. (Ah, closure. At last you are mine!) This one’s from the new covers album by the Beautiful South.
Click here to download, and if you don’t recognize it at first, give it a second. You will.