Sunday, February 11, 2007

All the world's a stage

Even if some of it is centre-stage, some of it is in the wings and bits of it are stuck up in the fly loft. Or in the back row of the auditorium, behind a pillar.

If that's so, then Sheffield is sort of outside the back door, hanging around the rubbish bins, waiting for an autograph. Or always used to be, anyway. Since Sam West took over at the Crucible, best known for hosting the Snooker World Championships (the glamour!), Sheffield's been edging into the auditorium again. It's still sort of in the wings, but it's doing okay.

Why am I blethering on about this? Well, because I went to see a play at the Crucible the other night. I've never been a great reveiwer, so I'll just say that a) I liked it, b) Eve Best is bloody brilliant (but then I knew that when I saw her in 'Tis Pity), c) Sam Troughton is really quite adorable and d) I still haven't figured out what that sodding bird was about. If you want to read a proper review, go and have a look what The Times has to say. I mostly agree with them.

I'm more interested in saying how it was to go to a city I've previously only seen the greyest parts of, and finding out what it is that student friends have raved about. You see, while they hang around the hip'n'happening West Street area of pubs, curry houses, and more pubs, I go to see my nannans. And they live in the really grey bits.

Sheffield has a lot of grey. also has someone really keen on the town council, who's been building galleries and museums and stuff that I suspect are probably only really freqented by school trips and the aforementioned students. They've also built the Winter Garden, which is like some little version of Kew or Center Parcs, and which was right next to my hotel, viewable from the breakfast room by means of a giant glass wall. A jolly nice place for a stroll after brekkers (and don't you love hotel breakfasts? There's so bloody much on offer and since it's all paid for, you end up--okay, I end up--faving a four-course breakfast. Madness!).

Anyway. Conceptions changed. I actually didn't see much outside the hotel, Winter Garden and theatre, but it was a nice change from council flats and nursing homes. And you know, what, maybe I've been to too many london theatres, but it was kind of sweet to see people treating the theatre as an event. They were dressing up for it, ordering ice creams and everything. People in London tend to snob about (and yes, 'to snob' is now a verb, I have decided) and get all intellectual about the plays wot they're seeing.

Plus, it snowed. Which was a) pretty and b) no inconvenience at all, since we walked about a hundred yards in it. Hah!

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