Ventured up to London on Saturday as we had four tickets to the 4pm matinee performance of The Mousetrap. What we’d failed to remember was that this afternoon had been slated by the TUC for a full scale demonstration in Trafalgar Sqaure. Doh! Travelling into the city on the tube from Hillingdon and some soon-to-be demonstrators joined the train en-route; quite a normal mix of people and they caused no trouble whatsoever. In fact we wouldn’t have picked them out at all if they hadn’t been carrying banners etc.
Trafalgar Square is only a stone’s throw from St. Martins theatre giving us the chance to wander around the west end and Covent Garden to kill the hour before the performance; in fact it worked out really well as the majority of the roads had been cordoned off for the demo making it dead easy to walk around 🙂 We first noticed the noise of the obligatory helicopter circling, I hoped it was police rather than a TV crew.
The first time we brushed shoulders with the protestors was when we saw a group of riot-shield wielding police trolling past a bank, paint had been thrown all over it and windows smashed. I’m not sure really who I was more disappointed with; the demonstrators who had smashed the windows or the large wodge of general public stood in the street ghoulishly recording the moment for posterity with their camera phones!
Batted off to the Mousetrap performance which was excellent, lovely theatre. A shame that the sound of the chopper hovering directly over the theatre ALL afternoon could still be heard in the back of the theatre. The butler did it BTW (No! not really, their secret is safe with me). FYI This play is now in its 59th year no less!
After the performance we dropped into The Harp – recently voted CAMRA national pub of the year – for a swifty before heading home. The pubs in the area were fit-to-bursting, standing in the streets; general public (and a wedding party) drinking alongside the same demonstrator-types. I worked my way down my pint of Dark Star, Hophead (very welcome) … demonstrating must be thirsty work … bless!
Epilogue: The news coverage alone was enough to prompt my Mother to call me on Sunday morning to check we were ok.