This week Traveller experienced what could possibly be her best day in London so far. Seriously. She could, in her excitement, even go so far as to say that it was the best day in her life so far - but that might be a little too much, considering she has experienced her own wedding and numerous other life-changing events prior to this wonderful day!
The day began with an alarm buzzing at 4:30am. T awoke, changed and ran out of the house with one of her flatties, to catch a red bus into Leicester Square. T usually loves the red buses. They are cheap, convenient and provide a lovely look at the city while you are on your way somewhere. However, at 4:30am they are a completely different experience! T and her flattie had to hold their breath the entire time they were on the bus out of concern that they might puke with the pure stench of the many intoxicated people...on a Tuesday morning!
They made it out alive and to their destination in record time. Destination = Wyndham Theatre. This was the theatre where Jude Law was currently playing Hamlet. T and her flatmates had been to the entire Wyndham season; they had seen Kenneth Branagh in Ivanov, Derek Jacobi in Twelfth Night and Judi Dench in Madame de Sade. You think with all of this experience they would have remembered to secure tickets to Jude early - however, before they knew it...they were all sold out! Thus, an early morning line-up was in order, as the Wyndham holds 30 standing tickets aside to sell on the day.
They arrived at Leicester Square at 5am on the dot and were met with two Americans from North Carolina, who were there to do the exact same thing. Will and Bill (T kids you not) were father and son from the southern states, and soon became fast friends. T and flattie chatted to Will and Bill and various other theatre enthusiasts as they joined the queue. It was quite astonishing how quickly five hours flew by and before we knew it - we were at the box office! (It is worth a quick mention, that T, flattie and our North Carolina friends had to assert authority a few times during our five hour wait, in order to fight off the various queue jumpers that came our way. Some pretended they didn't understand what we were saying, some sat down right in front of us and said they were there first and others just creeped closer and closer. But to no avail; T and her posse of Americans fought them off with all the kindness of spirit they could muster at that hour in the morning.)
As the clock struck ten, the doors opened and our American friends took their rightful place at the front of the queue. T and flattie hung close behind to see what type of standing room they were receiving, how much it cost, and if by some heavenly chance, there were any seats left. To their surprise they heard muffled words like, 'an under 26 evening sponsored by the company', 'free to you because you lined up,' and these fateful and beautiful words, 'and there is also this box in the grand circle which is yours for free'. Will, Bill and family gasped and stammered their way through the transaction and then said to the rest of us, 'Y'all..coffee is on us!' Flattie and I looked at each other and tried to be happy for our new friends, muttering kind phrases such as, 'they deserve it', and 'how fantastic'. We gulped and took a step towards the desk. T quickly stuttered in her quietest voice, 'I guess there aren't any seats left?' The lady looked at T, surprised, and said, 'Why yes, there are these two boxes just for you. For free!' T's knees started to knock, her voice shook and she did everything she could possibly do to stop herself yelling, 'Yahooooooo!!!!' She coolly nodded, spelt her name out, and then skipped over to her American friends as they all took photos of each other, in their unfathomable glee.
After sharing coffee, we and our queue friends went our separate ways and looked forward to seeing each other that evening. T and flattie promptly went home, shared their good news with the world wide web through facebook and then T had a three hour nap to prepare herself for Hamlet...and Jude!