Now where was I? Oh yes, Monday.
I had a breakfast thing in London on Tuesday which gave me a great excuse to go up to town on Monday night and stay with one of my dearest pals.
We met in the early 1980s when we were both newly minted arrivals on London’s media scene. I can still remember the exact moment I met him – you know how that happens sometimes?
It was some party, a launch of some kind in a very crowded bar and this very tall handsome man introduced himself with enough twinkle in his blue eyes to light the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree. We’ve been great mates ever since.
He’s clever, funny, very successful, but one of the things I really value about him is his loyalty. A real friend for life guy.
As a lovely surprise he had tickets to a musical at the Donmar Warehouse called City of Angels, which has had rave reviews.
Set in the 1930s, it’s a very clever parallel story of a noir crime novelist moved to Hollywood to write the screenplay for one of his Raymond Chandler-esque novels.
The novelist’s story and the plotline of the book/film unfold simultaneously, with the same actors playing in both, with some very well observed examples of how a writer’s life influences their output. That made my chuckle to myself.
The distinction between the two stories was that the ‘real people’ were in colour and the characters in the ‘film’ were in black and white, so cleverly done with costumes and lighting.
In one scene a bed with a green satin headboard, became a bed with a grey satin headboard, just by changing the lights on – what I presume was – white satin.
The songs were great, the costumes were fabulous and the cast wonderfully energetic. It also had some great lines in the ‘she tried to sit on my lap while I was still standing up’ (which is actually from The Big Sleep) vein.
And it was great to see it in the intimate confines of the Donmar, with seats on three sides.
Trevor Nunn was in the audience. I enjoyed observing him in his natural habitat.
But most of all it was just heaven to go to the theatre, because living out of town as I do now that’s something I really miss. Like a big drink of a delicious complex cocktail for the brain.