Saturday, 9 September 2017

Bucket List visit - part 2 of 9: Theatre and Jack Horner ...




We were off to London town to see the musical “An American in Paris” … an amazing show; the story had been radically improved and I must say it was quite entrancing and magical …




First we needed a pub lunch and decided to get to the theatre retrieve our tickets … and then find somewhere to eat … if I’d had my wits about me (which I didn’t!) – we’d have gone into Fitzrovia …







… the historical bohemian home to writers as Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw and Arthur Rimbaud – just over the road and few lanes in … but we stuck to Tottenham Court Road.







This is the Inn of Court sign for the Fuller Pub near
Chancery Lane, Holborn - it was an old bailiff's office

And settled on the Jack Horner Ale and Pie pub – one in a chain of Fuller’s Brewery establishments – set up to take advantage of the former bank premises that are springing up around the country – which are then and now being converted into ‘eateries’ …



… it was a pub in the 1800s, was bombed and destroyed during the war – then became a bank – but then Fullers bought the building and turned it back into a pub … who says things don’t go round and round …




… we didn’t have a pie – too heavy to sit with as we watched the musical.  One of us had vino ... I had water!


I knew nothing about the story … but the show dazzled, Gershwin’s music enthralled, the set design and choreography were magnificent … and I was entranced. 


Craig Lucas delights us by creating, in 2014, this “book musical” whereby songs and dances are fully integrated into the story we see on stage …


Jane Asher

The two principal dancers came over from the New York show – Robert Fairchild from the New York City Ballet, while Leanne Cope is part of the Royal Ballet …


It’s had amazing write ups – and I link across to the Guardian’s review … which gives a flavour of the set design and costumes …


So we were lucky with such an excellent story, cast, music, dance … with the bonus of Jane Asher as a strait-laced, high bourgeois figure just longing to toe-tap her way into the dance.


It was a wonderful afternoon … and we came out enthralled by it all …

Little Jack Horner, sat in his corner,
eating his Christmas pie;
he put in his thumb, and pulled out a plum,
and said "What a good boy am I!"


Then we needed a drink … … quite unintentionally we found another Fullers on our way back to Victoria Station for the journey home – “The Admiralty” in Trafalgar Square: so as you can see Fuller’s Breweries have tapped into British culture in one way or another …


 … an ale and pie, or a refurbished bank (vaulted ceilings, ornate chandeliers, original features) and an appropriately named pub sign.






A dance sequence
We had a happy day … and I hope you can pop over and read the Guardian’s write up and see the wonderful photos of the show … I’ve seen a couple of other bloggers who’ve seen a show in the States … so it’s a well established musical – but this new particular extravaganza was just brilliant …


Another adventure in the next post …

The Guardian's review ... 5 star one ... 

The Guardian's review (Gene Kelly) ... more about the story line 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

40 comments:

Sue Bursztynski said...

You lucky lady! How wonderful! Did the show have Gene Kelly's original choreography, I wonder?

Final Day At The Writers Festival

Out on the prairie said...

It just opened over there this year didn't it? The music and dance are marvelous.The plot keeps one on the edge of their seat.

A Heron's View said...

What a splendid day out you had !

Linda said...

Sounds like a lovely time...and some good food. I love finding new, fun places to eat.

Carole Anne Carr said...

so very envious. Even with a disabled husband, and my own health problems, you inspire me to be more optimistic and keep living.

bazza said...

Fullers make a superb beer called London Pride. The plant of the same name used to grow defiantly in bomb-sites after the war and Noel Coward wrote a song during the war called London Pride ("London Pride has been handed down to us, London Pride is a flower that's free"). Fullers adopted that name for their beer in 1959. Interesting no?
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s uxorious Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

DMS said...

I don't really know anything about An American in Paris- though I have heard of it. I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed the show so much. The lunch and drink afterward also sound like they added to a wonderful day. :)
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sue - I know I was lucky ... the whole thing had been re-arranged and has been much praised - the second Guardian article tells you about how the story line was created ...

@ Steve - yes they brought it over and the run has been extended to April next year ... it's doing really well ... and I thoroughly enjoyed the story line ...

@ Mel - it was a lovely day, which we both enjoyed ...

@ Linda - it was a good time and we enjoyed ourselves ...

@ Carole - good to see you ... and yes I am lucky that I can get up and go ... just so glad I inspire you with some optimism ...

@ Bazza - yes ... you have given me some interesting information ... I didn't know that about the plant London Pride - what a great snippet - thank you!! I'll look into it further ... and add it into a post ...

@ Jess - thanks for coming by - I didn't know anything about the musical, or the new play which Lucas wrote ... but we had a fun day - and I've learnt a lot ... and enjoyed myself in the process.

Thanks so much to you all - if you get a chance to see the musical - please do so ... cheers Hilary

Liz A. said...

I've only ever seen the movie version. Haven't heard about the new stage version.

Everything old is new again. Funny how it's a pub again.

Rhodesia said...

Sounds like a great day out. I saw it in the 50's but I have pretty much forgotten what it was about now, would love to see it again.
Have a good Sunday and thanks for all your 'African' comments. Take care Diane

Botanist said...

Sounds like a wonderful outing. That's one thing I do miss - real British pubs and pub food. Pie & chips was a staple in my university days.

Suzanne Furness said...

I do so love a musical or show, going to the theatre is a real treat. When we were in London recently we stayed in Fitzrovia, many good eateries around for sure.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sounds like a lovely time. We have a lot of empty bank buildings around here also but usually another bank moves in. I'd rather have a pub.

Elephant's Child said...

It sounds absolutely wonderful - and as if it more than matched its reviews.
I am very, very happy for you and looking forward to the next adventure.

Marja said...

Oh the perfect night out. I love musicals I don't know this one but it is on mu bucket list to see a good one. My husband is a culture barbar so he won't come with me lol

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Liz - this stage version is a real update and has been highly praised ... so we were lucky to see it ... and I can see why it's so well thought of. Everything old is new again - and the pubs are finding new premises for their eateries.

@ Diane - it's got a fuller story now ... more in line with the War in France and its Parisian population ... this show is definitely worth seeing ... pleasure I've enjoyed the African reminiscences in Botswana, Chobe and the Zambezi ...

@ Ian - it certainly was a fun day ... we could have done with another day to enjoy pie and chips ... but our times having a glass of wine and some tonic water gave us a good ambience ...

@ Suzanne - I agree going to the theatre is a real treat ... I will get into Fitzrovia next time I'm up ... and check out the food outlets ... so thanks for letting me know it was where you stayed too ...

@ Susan - how interesting that your banks are being turned into a newer bank ... I agree I'd rather have a pub ...

@ EC - we were entranced by the show and the reviews are very positive. It was a good choice - made by my South African friend ... I just made the arrangements ... and we had more adventures ...

@ Marja - it was a perfect day out ... we weren't too tired as it was an afternoon show ... good musicals are excellent entertainment and this was particularly good. Pity about your hubby not joining you ... but the theatre was full of a lot of ladies!

Cheers everyone - thanks so much for the visits ... and I hope anyone in the path of, or with family and friends in the path of the likes of Irma can stay safe - take care - Hilary

Anabel Marsh said...

Sounds like a great day out.

Jo said...

Sounds fantastic Hilary. You really had a good day. Love the idea of the banks becoming pubs.

Jacqui Murray said...

What a fun time. Ah for how things used to be. As for your eatery, the English pubs are just something we don't do well here in America. I would love to go to one of yours.

Sandra Cox said...

Sounds wonderful. I'm so glad you got to do this and had such a great time.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Banks can be anywhere. I think it's great it was turned back into a pub.

Kay G. said...

Wish I could have been with you!
Guess what, Richard's Dad was from Holburn! We were able to walk there and we found the actual building where he lived! It was bombed in World War II and the family had to be re-housed. Richard's Dad was in the British Army during the war and he later died of cancer when Richard was only 3 years old. I really do need to do a post about Holburn!

Nick Wilford said...

Sounds like a great day out all round!

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! said...

Hi human, Hilary,

Oops and I'm beyond fashionably late! I'll backtrack and have a thorough skim of your other pawsts I didn't have a chance to check out.

Anyhow, what a pawesome time, a wonderful afternoon in London watching "An American in Paris." You'd have to have really good eyesight or a very pawerful set of binoculars to do that. Yes, I'm kidding. Delighted you enjoyed the play, my lovely human friend.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny 🐶

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Anabel - it was something on the South African's bucket list ... and it was a good choice ...

@ Jo - it was fantastic and the change from banks to pubs seems to be very successful ...

@ Jacqui- our pubs are changing rapidly ... but are still fairly unique - and I'm sure you'd enjoy taking in the character of our pubs ... thinking back to days of yore ...

@ Sandra - we had fun doing something on the bucket list ...

@ Diane - yes banks can be anywhere ... now they are 'fading away' as internet banking comes in - some of these premises are very impressive and make good dining experiences ...

@ Kay - I must say there's a lot to do here ... which you would know about. Holborn is pretty central London ... lots going on around there. Sad to read about Richard's father ... unfortunately bombed buildings in WW2 were rather numerous ...

@ Nick - yes we had fun and were hugely entertained by the Show ...

@ Penny - good to see you ... and thank you for thinking of going back to peruse my earlier posts. We had pretty good seats - so had a very good overall view of the stage and could hear and see it all .... it was a wonderful musical spectacle ...

Thanks so much everyone for visiting - lovely to have your comments - cheers Hilary

dolorah said...

So many small establishments are becoming part of a "chain" now days. I have to say its nice to see that a building that housed a closed business is not sitting abandoned. My little home town has so many buildings that have been built by chains, lasted 5 or less years, and are now an eye-sore when the big chain pulled out once the tax write off expired.

I'm not much into musicals; but sometimes I like watching for the dance and musical sequences. I lose track of the actual story. My failing; I just don't see real people breaking into song and dance at any moment, and I need a modicum of reality in every form of entertainment. Suspended belief is hard for me to accomplish.

Vallypee said...

Oh lucky you, Hilary! What a treat! That must have been a marvellous experience!

Keith's Ramblings said...

This is one show I fully intend seeing and your account has just pushed it further up my to-do list! Fullers is, of course, one of London's last remaining big brewers and their pubs are always a joy to visit.

DeeDee said...

Hi Hilary

I have nominated you guys for the Liebster award. (http://mrsdashsayss.blogspot.in/2017/09/liebster-award.html)

Hope you do accept it and link me back with the reply.

XOXO

Joanne said...

A truly happy day does involve theater, food, and a friend. Glad you saw the show. A friend and I caught it earlier in the year in Texas. The dancing is gorgeous, and the story was strong. Can't go wrong with Gershwin tunes. You come out humming.

Sandra Cox said...

I love plays and musicals but seldom get to indulge. This one looks like all sorts of fun.
Hope you're having a great day.

Sherry Ellis said...

An American in Paris is a good show. I love the music! Glad you got to see it.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Donna – yes small unique businesses are relatively far and few between – but to a degree some of these big businesses have kept the ethos of the place, though still part of a chain – yet another round the corner … Our town here is full of charity shops, big businesses and a few others – some smaller chains too – so understand your sentiments …

If one doesn’t know the story it can be difficult except the music and dance draws one very happily along … it was a delightful afternoon …

@ Val – we were lucky … as you say a marvellous experience …

@ Keith – well I can highly recommend the Show – and I’m sure you know a few hostelries in London you frequent … to prop yourself up before the Show begins – it is excellent … enjoy. I had a look at the history of Fullers and noted that it’s still going after 200 years – no mean feat.

@ DeeDee – thank you so much for the award … I’m afraid I don’t do them … but congratulations to all the others you’ve nominated … I’ve been past your blog!

@ Joanne – yes a good day out involves a lot of things usually – especially with an overseas friend – I’d spotted your review … but wasn’t sure if it was the same production … As you say – one can’t go wrong with dance, story and Gershwin tunes … magical …

@ Sandra – this was a treat – as I rarely go to London for a Show … so I was very happy to be involved …

@ Sherry – you are so right … and knowing you and your musical ability – I can quite understand your love of Gershwin … yes I’m glad I got to see it too

Cheers to you all – thanks for visiting … Hilary

Kim Blades said...

Hi Hilary. I really don't enjoy plays, especially musicals, but it sounds like you had a great time. KIM

Deborah Barker said...

You do get about Hilary! Sounds as though you had a lovely afternoon. It's a while since I saw a show of any kind but I always enjoy the experience when I make the effort. Afraid I am a bit lazy about travelling these days whereas once I'd be up for anything! Loved reading about your trip anyway :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kim - I go to way more cinema than I do Shows or musicals - but when there's an opportunity to take in a top theatre or show then I'm happy ... and I'm glad I've seen An American in Paris ...

@ Deborah - if I get a chance, then I'm off ... and as it was a special occasion with a friend over we decided we'd go - and it was really great fun - opened my eyes to a few things. Glad you enjoyed the read ...

Thanks for visiting - good to see you both ... cheers Hilary

Juliet Batten said...

So much history, and a happy day indeed. Good to see you enjoying yourself Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks so much Juliet ... it was a lovely break - cheers Hilary

Lynn said...

Wasn't that a perfectly wonderful play? My late father loved Gershwin, so of course I had to go.

Loving your bucket list! And so sorry to be so late reading - life has gotten in the way a bit.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - it was an amazingly fun time - see the creative abilities of the story, the set, the costumes, the dancing et al ... wonderful - and Gershwin - a special Show.

No worries - always delighted to see friends here and commenting - thanks and I understand there's been lots going on ... cheers Hilary