It was as well that we'd had refreshments because on this day we lost the Virgin Trains "catering lottery" and found there was no coffee available, although we did get a cold drink and a snack. Arrival at Kings Cross was on time.
|The foyer and café restaurant at the Bridge Theatre|
The auditorium is built in the round, although rather elongated, and the stage is very flexible with sections that rose and sank according to what was needed for the various acts and scenes, and this Shakespearian play was delivered in modern dress and with some of the leading political figures (notably Cassius) played by by women as female characters - which worked very well and made this a modern play about modern politics rather than a medieval play about ancient politics. Thoroughly recommended but this is a travel blog not a theatre blog! The theatre is also recommended: if you are used to the lack of space at West End theatres, this one comes as a pleasant change, with the spaciousness associated with provincial theatres. The restaurant is worth visiting even if you are not attending a play, and many people do just use it as a café or restaurant.
After watching Julius Caesar we made our way back to Tower Hill Underground station and travelled to Hammersmith to visit the family and then, after time with them, made our way home via Kings Cross and Peterborough as usual. As it was a weekday we took advantage of the later travel time home that has been available since the timetable change a couple of years ago when the last train departure from Peterborough to Stamford was put back by seven minutes to allow a quick connection out of a train half an hour later out of London. We left London on time but somehow lost a few minutes on the way to Peterborough and when we had arrived and made our way over to platform 7 we got there just in time to see the doors closing and last train home leaving the platform. We remonstrated with the train dispatcher that he might have held it for just one minute for the advertised connection and he replied with the absurd observation that he could not see us from where he was and didn't know we were coming. Is he there to serve the traveller or to run empty trains on time, one might ask! There turned out to have been five people who were stranded by his indifference to the customers' needs, and Virgin Trains East Coast paid for taxis to get all of us to our destinations: two to Stamford, one to Melton Mowbray and some further away. Can that really have been cheaper than paying a fine for a one-minute delay, a delay that could probably have been made up by Stamford anyway and incur no penalty at all? So we arrived home by taxi; we left Peterborough at about the time we should have been arriving in Stamford, but actually reached home only about ten minutes late because the taxi was going through to Melton with the other passenger and dropped us off near our home. It did not spoil the day but it is hard to get over the stupid decision to let go a train which had been timed specifically to connect with one that had just arrived and from which passengers were already well on their way. We are comforted by the thought that his colleagues may well have had a word with him since ...
Do see Julius Caesar if you get the chance, and do find a reason to visit the Bridge Theatre. Actually, just finding any reason to visit London is worthwhile!