I had the opportunity to seep myself in culture last night – by going to the ballet. How divinely refined a night at the ballet sounds, don’t you think?
I was driven there by someone who is a formula 1 contender of note, but that didn’t really make a difference because it turned out we were late. And you know they don’t really let you in once the show has started. Anyway, the staff at the theatre was very accommodating and ushered us into a little ante-room – a small space between the theatre door and a curtain and we waited for some applause to interrupt the audience’s rapt attention. Snaking inside to the sound of applause and cheers made me want to take a little bow, but I resisted. However, once inside, we discovered our seats were occupied by people who didn’t even have tickets. What kinds of monsters crash a ballet performance?
Three of our party were seated in single seats edging the aisle we were crowded on and the rest of us were hustled out again for serious discussion with the manager. It turns out that one of our party had been seated in an already occupied space (the owner of the seat had popped off to the loo), so she rushed out moments later looking largely embarrassed and giggling hopelessly.
Around 10 minutes before the first act ended, we managed to find seats in the topmost row, far from the stage. But, ballet being ballet, we quickly got the hang of the story. I was distinctly distracted, however, by the uniformity of the male dancer’s packages and spent the time wondering if there was a standard way they climbed into their tights – you know, to ensure that bits didn’t flap about unnecessarily.
Due to a whole lot of rushing around before the show, nobody had managed to eat dinner and so we were all starved. Three boxes of chocolates and an interval later, we were finally ensconced in our rightful seats and enjoyed the prancing of some very talented individuals. With intense applause and a lot of people shouting out ‘bravo’ (I’ve never heard anyone say bravo except in sarcasm – I seriously didn’t know people said it seriously), the show ended and we fell in with the tide of oh-so-cultured people making their exit.
Despite the large signs all around the parking area warning motorists to pay for their parking tokens before the show in order to avoid long queues at the end, it took us a good 15 minutes to get to our car, and a further 30 minutes to be back on the road again.
Notwithstanding the excruciatingly fearsome drive back home, it was a good evening out.
But, still starved and a little shaken, I arrived home to find an empty pantry and even emptier fridge. A less than full bottle of Tequila warmed me up while I made a bowl of custard (the only real food possibility on hand). Bravo!
So, all in all, a bit of ballet, a number of strange packages, not enough tequila and freshly made custard made for an interesting Friday night cultural quest.