The day started well as it was sunny and not too cold. We got the train into the capital and walked to The Wellcome Collection to see a fascinating exhibition (which we heard reviewed on the radio a few days previously). The exhibition space was divided into 8 "rooms" and each had a topic relating to specific lives with art, artifacts, videos, belongings etc. It's well worth a visit - neither Pete or I had been there before and it's an impressive building.
After that, we ventured to the West End for some shopping as Regent Street and Oxford Street had been closed to traffic. Everywhere was packed, but we did manage to drink 3 glasses of Champagne in 2 Hackett stores. We met my friend Sonny for lunch (at the Itsu famous for dead Russian spies) and had a look around a few smaller shops.
Pete and I then went to see the matinee of a play called Public Property mainly because Nigel Harman was starring in it - see another blog post here for Pete's liking of Nigel. I knew nothing about the play as Pete had booked it, but it had a gay theme. It was staged at a tiny "theatre" and I use the term loosely. It's basically a room with 3 rows of benches around a central area. The three actors then do their thing right in front of you and actually within the audience at some points. In fact, Nigel Harman was standing right in front of me during some scenes! The play was a about a PR agent (Nigel) and his famous newsreader client (Roger Daws) - neither of whom are having the best of careers. Alert: Spoiler in next paragraph!
The newsreader is photographed in a graphic sexual position with a 16 year old lad and the story progresses with all 3 of them at the PR agent's house trying to figure out how to put a positive spin on the situation with the teen getting to kiss both older actors.
The teenager was played by Steven Webb, who I thought performed the part brilliantly (he has been in The History Boys and some TV too). It's not until you are a few feet away from an actor that you realise just how good they are; every facial expression, every pause, every tiny laugh was timed to perfection. Steven is 25 but looks younger, so just about got away the role of a 16 year old. I think he has a great career ahead - and deservedly so.
It's a great black comedy that zips along with some funny one-liners and some dark moments too. Unfortunately the last performance was on Saturday evening, so you may have to catch it some other time. I have not enjoyed many plays lately (cramped seats, no aircon, overpriced etc), but this was well worth the money.