The Humble Tour — Week 1: Saturday (London)

One of the reasons I was determined to be in London this weekend is so I could hang out with the one and only Costy, a super epic friend and fellow fangirl. Since we were meeting in the afternoon, I lounged around again this morning, helped myself to more of my friend’s food, helped with a bit of cleaning (gotta earn my keep!), did some admin, called my parents in Ausland, and ate some of the food I got last night for today’s lunch (£3).

Since Costy and I both enjoy shiny things, we had arranged to go to the Jamie Lloyd Company’s rendition of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (£28), with Kit Harrington (of Game of Throne‘s Jon Snow fame) in the title role. I found the production very, very bizarre, especially since it was somewhat billed as Marlowe–while it does contain chunks from “Marlowe’s” play (keeping in mind the Renaissance Doctor Faustus exists in two separate versions), it also uses new scenes written by Colin Teevan. While I’m all for adaptations and “updated” productions, this one was so far from the “original Marlowe” that I would’ve much preferred it being a Faustus spin-off entirely rather than attempting to squeeze in Marlowe’s (blank) verse. Nonetheless, Kit Harrington does spend a lot of time shirtless, which is not an unpleasant sight.

Yes, I was wearing a rather geeky shirt. :D

Yes, I was wearing a rather geeky shirt. :D

The play finished a little before 5pm, and we decided to try to get dinner at Bao, a popular place in Soho which is tiny, doesn’t take reservations, and always has a crazy queue. Costy and I tried to dine there during one of my previous visits, but alas, we just missed out on the first sitting and decided to go elsewhere; this time, we joined the queue at 5:10pm, twenty minutes before opening, and managed to nab a place.

And golly, was it worth it! We were somewhat greedy and ordered about half the items on the menu: trotter nuggets with spicy sauce; eryngii mushroom with hundred-year egg; aubergine and wonton crisps; pig blood cake; peanut milk; confit pork Bao, lamb shoulder Bao, fried chicken Bao, and fried Horlicks ice-cream Bao. It came down to £26 each, and we left with happy Bao bellies.

Lamb and pork belly Baos.

Lamb and pork belly Baos.

Trotter nuggets.

Trotter nuggets.

Wonton crisps with aubergine.

Wonton crisps with aubergine.

Pig blood cake with egg yolk porn. Seriously, when I broke into that yolk...

Pig blood cake with egg yolk porn. Seriously, when I broke into that yolk…

Yayayayay fried ice-cream Baos for dessert! :D

Yayayayay fried ice-cream Baos for dessert! :D

We meandered along the streets, passing such locations as the Palace Theatre, which was all decked out for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Opening in three days!

Opening in three days!

Then we walked through Chinatown, and exercised extraordinary levels of discipline after walking into a Chinese bakery.

Look at all those flags!

Look at all those flags!

I was toying with the idea of maybe catching Kenneth Branagh’s production of Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick, and being the enabler she is, Costy walked me to the theatre before heading home. I waited in the returns queue for a bit, and was given several opportunities to pick up an unwanted ticket for a reduced price at the discretion of the returner–if you’re in London and find yourself without solid plans at a time that coincidences with a matinee/evening performance, return queues can be a pretty good bet. One group was happy to hand off their extra ticket for £15, but by that stage, I’d already been to three things in the last three days, have at least two more coming up, and was merely curious about Branagh’s R&J more than anything else. Besides, when Ken was in Belfast last week, he mentioned the production was rather cinematic, in which case I might catch it at a cinema broadcast instead.

With a quiet evening ahead of me, I walked back to my friend’s, wound down with a gin and tonic, wrote a little of the Regency Love spin-off novel, and am now ready for a relatively early night.

Accommodation: Nil
Transport: Nil
Food: £29
Tickets: £28
Total: £57
Walked: 9,485 steps; 6.47km

 

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