Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Don't Want Realism, I Want Magic

Last night I took the Hubs on a much-anticipated hot date. We met up at one of my favourite bars, Detroit. My favourite bar criteria is pretty simple:
1. Extensive list of strong, tasty cocktails at a reasonable price;
2. Hot bartenders. For some reason Detroit specialises in the Japanese and Korean variety;
3. Great music, unobtrusive;
4. Non-annoying crowd.

We were going to the Donmar Warehouse, one of my favourite theatres. Even when there's a sell out show, as with last night, it feels very personal. I think this is because of the way the seats go right up to the stage, so that at times you can reach out and touch the cast from the front role (not advised). It's size means that directors can consider the off-stage ambiance. Last night, for example, there was the sound of crickets and a gentle mist was sprayed to add humidity. The play was set in New Orleans and there were references to heat and sweat, so it was a great effect. The Donmar Warehouse is also very cheap compared to other theatres, with top seats at £25.

We saw A Streetcar Named Desire, with Rachel Weisz as Blanche and Elliot Cowan in for Stanley. The play wasn't the most light hearted out there, but it was well executed, and even the painful-to-watch scenes flowed and added to the power of the story. Elliot Cowan did an excellent job as Stanley. Rachel Weisz was a good Blanche, and I'd never thought of her as a stage actress before. I've always thought of her as a curvacious and vivacious actress, quite luminous. I was a little dissapointed by how gaunt she appeared, though she was very pretty and she still carried the role with strength.

At the intermission I was a little embarassed to have had this conversation with the man next to me:
SF: I'm sure I know you from some... oh.
Bill Nighy: Don't worry, it happens all the time
SF: You do look a little like that squid though...

After the play we nipped round the corner for a romantic meal for two at Clos Maggoire. Now that I'm part of the mortgage-paying masses, I favour restaurant deals. Clos Maggoire do a two course + glass of prosecco for £25 menu. When I got there I was dissapointed by the choice of three mains, nothing really grabbed me. When the food arrived though, everything was excellent. The only hiccup was ordering the Qupe Marsanne 2007 (about £34), nipping to the loo, and coming back to see an open bottle of the Qupe Syrah 2003 (about £89). Argh! First time in my life we'd sent a bottle back. They were nice enough to give us two glasses of wine and a cheese plate comp, though I just really wanted to try the Syrah. We ended up drinking with the maitre'd till the early hours (until the Hubs got sick, but that's a different tale).

What a great date night!

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