Newsies in London

The trailers for this show kept popping up on my social media accounts and it grabbed my attention from the start. The high intensity dancing and acrobatics on show are just my kind of theatre entertainment! I suggested a trip down to see it and Patrick along with our friends Pete and Donna were all up for a London trip.

The day we left Hull was horrible weather, sleet and snow and freezing cold but after an hour or so on the train, the weather was improving and by the time we reached London it was cold but fine and sunny. Donna had found a Wowcher deal at the Corus hotel overlooking Hyde Park, bed and breakfast for two nights at £239 seemed a very good deal. The hotel had obviously once been rather grand and the foyer was lovely, our rooms though were tiny and a bit dingy. However it’s just somewhere to sleep and it was clean and the bed was comfortable. After a freshen up, we headed off to the tube station a few yards up the road to get to Wembley Park and the theatre.

The area around Wembley stadium has been built up with lots of food and leisure outlets, we hadn’t realised what a lot of choice there would be and so as planned, we headed straight for BoxPark, a huge food court type place with just about every cuisine you could wish for. Too much choice and we struggled to make up our minds and in the end, went for burgers from The Argentinian Grill. I’m sorry to say that I really didn’t enjoy it, the meat was tough and stringy and I didn’t finish mine. Patrick and Pete gamely struggled through but Donna’s ribs were also quite fatty and she didn’t quite manage to finish.

We left BoxPark on the search for a beer. Google told us that an old style London pub, the White Horse was nearby so that’s where we went. We thought it was going to be down a back street somewhere but no, it was within the complex and was all glass and steel outside with a fake old London pub interior, didn’t quite work really!

So onto the show. The Troubadour Theatre is another new building, rather warehouse looking and with a concrete floor and bare walls was very minimalist. The seated arena was comfortable though and we had great seats with an excellent view. The set was immersive in that the walls around us were painted and had props representing New York buildings and alleyways, it was very impressive. Just before the start, a stagehand came along, tucking in everyone’s coats from the edge of the aisle down to the stage and making sure no one had their feet sticking into the aisle, explaining that the dancers come running down. Well they sure did by foot and zipwire and at great speed! The show for me was amazing, the story based on the Newsie’s strikes of 1899 with a fair bit of artistic license chucked in, but the main attraction was the dancing. Absolutely fabulous with all dance skills on show from tap, to ballet, to street with everything in between. Those people are FIT and I loved it so much, the I want to go again before it finishes in July.

On Saturday, the weather was lovely so we got the bus to the Admiralty Arch and walked down the Mall, through Green Park, St James’ Park and onto Hyde Park back to the hotel. It was a flipping long walk! We were a bit tired so had a lie down before going out to the Thai restaurant that we had booked for the evening meal. Rosa’s Thai on Queensway. We can all say categorically that it was the worst restaurant experience and Thai food we’ve ever had. The service was appalling and they tried to add a £14 service charge to the bill which we refused to pay. I gather Rosa’s is a chain, I don’t think I’ll rush to try any of the other branches around the country

Sunday was, like I often find with our last day when we visit London, a day of killing time. We had a little mooch through Covent Garden, stopped off for a beer or two and then decided to go to the V&A again. We’ve been several times but it is so enormous that there is always a bit we haven’t yet seen. We had a nice day but were all feeling a bit tired and quite relieved when it was time to catch the train.

Our seats were in separate carriages on the journey home so we left Pete and Donna and got settled in our own seats. They kept making this announcement that this train was not the Hull Trains service and that if passengers were booked on Hull Trains then they needed to get off and catch the later train. This confused us completely because I had booked a return journey and as the outward journey was Hull Trains, I assumed the homeward one would be too. So we panicked and grabbed our suitcase and got off the train. Luckily the guard was just doing his checks on the platform and I rushed up to him to ask, he checked our ticket and confirmed that yes, this was the right train! So, on we got again, just as he blew his whistle and slammed shut the door! Walking through the almost deserted train (goodness knows why we couldn’t find seats together when booking) we spotted Pete and Donna and ended up sitting with them after all. Laughing about yet another train almost disaster. What is it with us and bloody trains home from London?!