I wrote yesterday about a lovely visit I had to the theatre. It was lovely for a number of reasons. It was lovely because I went with a friend and also met some new friends. It was lovely because the theatre was in Bath, a city I love, and it was a theatre I hadn’t been to, the Theatre Royal which was built in 1805 and is a Grade II* listed building. It was a lovely day because all the travel arrangements went well, picked up, driven, parked, bus into town waiting for us, free travel because I have a bus pass, the bus deposited us almost outside the theatre. It was a lovely day because we went to a very nice tapas bar, and selected seven tapas for four of us which was just right, the service was impeccable and the food delicious. It was a lovely day because the theatre was splendid, the play was interesting and enjoyable, the acting was excellent, the seats comfortable and with a perfect view of the stage. it was a lovely day because the bus back to the car was waiting for us and we had a drive home with the sun low over the Somerset countryside casting a wonderful glow over the scenery.
So thank you to the friend who picked me up, the new friends I met, the bus drivers, the people in the taps bar, the theatre staff, the actors and production team.
Now what else made it a lovely day? We had arrived in plenty of time and taken our seats. The overture began, the lights went down and the curtain went up, and the play began. We were about ten minutes into it when there was a polite kerfuffle at the end of the row… late comers. A couple, loaded down with bags came puffing and panting in, squeezing in front of us and collapsing into their seats, relieved to have arrived not too late. They had murmured their thanks as the came past and sunk into their chairs, bags still on their knees, coats and scarves still on, obviously not wanting disturb anyone more than they already had. In fact the beginning of the play is a little slow, scene-setting mainly so it didn’t mater and definitively didn’t spoil my enjoyment.
At the end of the first act when the curtain came down briefly for a scene change, they put their bags on the floor and quickly took off their coats. At the interval, the people at the other end of the row all left to go for ice-creams or a comfort break, and the late comers left their seats beside me and went off too. Everyone returned for the second half and the play continued. The final scene enacted, the last lines spoken, mighty applause, curtain down curtain up and more applause, curtain finally down.
As i got ready to leave, waiting while the crowd cleared, the couple tapped my arm. They then offered the most heart-felt apologies for disturbing me at the beginning… they were so sorry, their bus was delayed, they had run across town, they were just so sorry, it must have been so annoying for me, how sorry they were…
I’d actually forgotten all about it! I reassured them, sympathised with them, hoped they had enjoyed the play, reassured them again, thanked them for their apologies which were appreciated but unnecessary, thanked them again, said cheerio and wished them a smoother journey home.
Well, how very nice of them! The interruption had been tiny, a few minutes at the most, it hadn’t spoiled my enjoyment, and how considerate of them to both apologise! Thank you, unknown people, thank you for your words, it made a lovely day even lovelier, to know there are pleasant, polite, considerate people all around us!
The tapas bar:
- albóndigas – meatballs in spicy tomato
- gambas al ajillo – prawns cooked in olive oil with garlic & chilli
- beetroot, blue cheese and walnuts
- smoked salmon
- cured sardines with potatoes and salad
- cheese and dates wrapped in ham