It’s a terrible pun I know but Janey and I finally got to see King Lear at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre, four months after I booked the tickets and boy was it worth the wait. You know how when you watch a film and all you can think about by the end is how uncomfortable the seat is? The seats in the Minerva are not that comfy and Lear is three and a half hours long, but neither of us noticed. It was the best thing we’ve seen in theatre or film this year. I know David Warner, who played Lear so well, from early stuff like Tron and Time Bandits, but this just blew me away. Must get back into theatre again. I’d forgotten how powerful it can be. Makes up for the tripe in the cinemas this summer, that’s for certain.
It was Jane’s birthday this weekend and so we left Brum for the south coast which, if you don’t try and go round London, doesn’t actually take too long to get to. Our destination was Chichester, a old Roman town stuck between Portsmouth and Brighton. This is actually a posher, smaller version of Canterbury with its blessedly cool cathedral, old buildings down the main streets and the old property or two for over a million in the estate agent windows.
This weekend was the last of the Chichester Festivities fortnight and although we had originally planned to go and see David Warner play King Lear (Tron and Shakespeare in one go - what more do you want?), we ended up getting the last two tickets to see John Rutter conduct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bach Choir playing his own requiem and a couple of Mozart ditties in the cathedral. We were two of only a handful of under-40s in the place, but more fool the under 40s for listening to bad club music in the pubs the street over and missing the Pimms in the interval.
Yesterday, we made a dash to Bognor which turned out to be only seven miles away down the coast. This little town is famous mostly for the Butlins holiday camp which still exists and looks more like centre parks than I had expected. It has a classic wooden pier with slats in the floor so you can see the sea directly under you, mini golf, pebbles and sand on the beach and some poor sod in a full bunny outfit trying to rip off people on the promenade for a photo with him. Gosh the seaside is fun. All in all, an excellent weekend.