It’s Aimée’s birthday in the not too distant, and I’m taking her up to London. We’ve been to a few comedy gigs over the years: Bill Bailey in Bristol, Frankie Boyle also Bristol, Sue Perkins in Truro, Julian Clary in Exeter. All excellent and not too far away. We went to a live screening of ‘The Winter’s Tale’ starring Kenneth Branagh and (more importantly) Judi Dench in… Taunton, I seem to think. Amazing. I was smiling for months afterwards.
My mother saw Rudolph Nureyev on stage probably half a dozen times, and adored him. Completely. Seeing Nureyev on stage, in person, was something my mother kept talking about all the way through her life. I suspect I’ll be the same about seeing Judi Dench as Paulina. She was incredible, beyond description. She was transcendent.
But there’s something about the theatre. Something in the atmosphere. I’m sure it’s a lot deeper for an actor, but for a theatregoer, there’s a crackle in the air. Perhaps it’s that anything might happen. No two performances are going to be exactly the same. If unfamiliar with the work on stage, it’ll be an exciting new adventure. If able to recite every ounce of dialogue, it’s like going to see an old friend. Of course, people make an effort, they appear in all their finery, they flutter their programmes, and the buzz of conversation filters through from the Gods to the stage. It’s all very exciting.
I’m taking Aimée to London. This is the furthest we will have travelled for a not-a-dog-thing. And we’re going to see Gillian Anderson and Lily James in ‘All About Eve’.
I’ll say it: I am a great girlfriend.