Thursday, 9 February 2012

Victoria Palace Theatre

For a powerful, evocative journey back to the 1980s go and see Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Not only does the show brilliantly conjure up the courage, conflicts and comradeship of the County Durham miners and their families during the 1984 strike, with Billy beautifully danced and movingly acted by one of 4 alternating kids but you'll be treated to a trip down memory lane, back to 1980s London as well. A London before Starbucks, before Costa, before Conran. Long before Nandos, Wagamamma, Carluccios or Pret appeared on every high street.  A London where sushi, tapas, olives, pistachios, nachos and noodles were nasty foreign foods only consumed by pretentious media types. Back to a time when tea was eaten at home, before going to the pub - and if you felt a bit peckish later you could grab a bag of dry roasted. Back to the days when you could stave off hunger during the long wait for the last train home provided you had correct change for the chocolate machine. London had the worst restaurant food in the world and our cuisine was the subject of ridicule throughout Europe.
Things have changed in thirty years. I can now get a cappuccino at the petrol station, enjoy a chilled prosecco and a smoked salmon sandwich before getting on a train, pick up a box of rainbow coloured macaroons on the way home, buy sushi in Tesco at midnight or order any exotic food or drink that takes my fancy online and have it delivered into my kitchen a few hours later. London is proud to have the best restaurants and food outlets of any capital city in the world.
We now assume that if we didn't have time to make an early supper, or we're held up at the office prior to, say, a visit to the theatre, then we'll be able to purchase something passable when we get there. If at any time you ever forget how spoilt we are now for choice when it comes to stylish, wholesome snacks  just pop in to the foyer of the Victoria Palace Theatre. After you've made it across the carpet to the bar you can chose from Chardonnay or... Chardonnay - it's the only white wine they sell by the glass - and for nibbles... a giant bag of Maynard's Wine Gums or a tub of Pringles. Bang. Straight back to 1984.
carefully chosen carpet camouflages trodden-in wine gums and Pringles.

Pre- theatre supper: Pringles and Wine Gums, washed down with Chardonnay

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