Wouldn't you know it, the meeting was cancelled. Too late for me to go with the LEC anyway - and besides, I'd booked a ticket for the other. Well, I left in time to take the bus(es) - it would've take too long for a direct one, but I had a choice of two I could change with: and one came in perfect time. Crikey though, I was despairing of the next one! First the display wasn't working, so I couldn't tell when it was due.. then when one finally came, it stopped before the stop, and when I made to walk towards it, the driver made a sign with his hands to say they were full. Then the display started working again - and while I was checking it, my bus sailed by, empty! I think it may not have been in service though, because the one after it was packed again.
Happily, that was the very one I needed to catch - and I got there at the projected time. It's not on the blog, but I was at the Lyric once before, back when I lived out this direction, and, wanting to explore the locality, favoured stuff that was local. And you know, you can see the Lyric from a way in the distance - it peeks over the adjoining rooftops, and they've thoughtfully put the name near the roof. It's the tall, white building on King Street. Harder is finding the actual entrance, on Lyric Square - patience, have a little look, you'll see the name on the glass doors, to the right as you come off the street. Got my ticket from the box office, headed upstairs. A couple of Irish ladies asked me as I came in whether the stalls were up the next set of stairs - "I hope so!", I said. Well, "Main House" did point in that direction - as I say, I've only been here once before, and didn't remember the geography at all.
Yep, it's upstairs again (they do have lifts, BTW). And when I found my seat (in the back row of the stalls), weren't the Irish ladies right beside me! And we had great fun finding our little keypads - one per seat - and trying to figure out how the voting would go. Because, you see, this is a trial, in which the audience get to vote for the guilt or innocence of the defendant.
Originating in Germany, where it's set, it's a well-balanced piece, both arguments presented persuasively. The story goes as follows: the defendant is a fighter jet pilot, who has shot down a hijacked passenger plane that was en route to crash into a packed stadium, where people were watching a match. In doing so, he disobeyed orders, contravened the law as determined by the highest court in the land - and killed a planeload of people. His argument - he saved many, many more lives. Your verdict..?
The arguments on both sides are varied. The prosecution points out that this was the law, and why: brings on the anguished young widow of one of the passengers, and quotes Kant, yet! The defence has something to say about Kant, too.. Honestly, I made my decision early - for reasons I won't go into - but it was a fascinating exercise; as others have mentioned, the play is less about terror, and more about the idea of personal responsibility as opposed to following the dictats of the state.
After arguments were finished, we were let out to "deliberate" - which raised a laugh. My deliberation extended to the fact that the queue at the bar was too long, and I would love an ice cream. And they had mint chocolate chip! 15 minutes later, the bell rang for us to go back in, and it was explained to us that we should vote "1" for guilty, "2" for not. Oh, and not to fear if we made a mistake, or changed our minds - the last entry was the one that would be counted. We only had 30 seconds, though!
How did I vote? Same as the Irish beside me! How did we all vote? Mind your business!! How did the audience as a whole vote..?
195 to 95, actually.. but rounding off, that is what you get. Interestingly, there's a website that shows how this has been going; Japan is mentioned as somewhere where the poor chap got a guilty verdict!
Tomorrow, I'm back to Ireland for the weekend again! Not usual for me to go two weeks in a row.. more details below. On Monday, London Dramatic Arts is off to see The Mentor, at the Vaudeville Theatre. Expensively, as usual. I'm going as well - cheaply, courtesy of Amazon Tickets. Sat in the Grand Circle, I should be able to avoid them- well, they don't approve of members buying separate tickets!
On Tuesday, I cancelled more free comedy in Hammersmith (Free Comedy Nights in Hammersmith, Wimbledon and Greenwich, Random London, Hammersmith & Fulham Friends, London Live Comedy, and Discover LDN.UK) for another Funzing talk - The Psychology of Dreams. As advertised by London Speaks Sessions and LDN Talks @ Night. Cancellable, but I'm so far unlikely to do so. (As ever, WELLBEING30 was still giving 30% off most talks, last I looked.)
On Wednesday, back with the LEC, for a concert of Greek music at Sands Films. Looking forward to that - I love the venue, but haven't fancied the last couple of concerts they've had there.
Next Thursday, I was booked for free comedy in Hammersmith (!) with Free Comedy Nights in Hammersmith, Wimbledon and Greenwich, Random London, London Live Comedy, Hammersmith & Fulham Friends, and Discover LDN.UK. Did you think I'd actually go? ;-) Well, I'm not - but the reason is an unusual one. My new company is very nice indeed - and they have an annual volunteering day: gardening. I hate gardening. And it's that day. For the whole day, they're at it. And last Monday, the office manager kindly informed us that it was compulsory unless we were on holiday. Huh! Well now, I hate being told what to do. So I've suddenly decided to be on holiday that day - and as it's a Thursday, the next too.
Then comes a weekend I've been looking forward to for a while. Long-anticipated, the European leg of U2's 30th anniversary tour of The Joshua Tree kicks off in Twickenham on the 8th & 9th. 'Mare of a place to see them - after I saw them there in 2005, I swore - never again. Happily, I now know someone living down that direction! :-) Helen is also coming with me to the first concert, and I'm staying with her for the weekend (now starting on Thursday, as she kindly offered). Which sorts transport for the first night - she'll drive. The second night, I'll head back by bus - the train is an absolute nightmare. Anyway, this would have been a weekend in Ireland - hence the trips back two weekends in a row, preceding it.
On the 10th, nothing had been appealing - until I tried the app again on Saturday, and came across a Meetup group called, attractively, Let's Do This! Quite new - anyway, they have organised a trip to see La Voix Humaine, a 40-minute solo opera, performed in English by Opera Up Close. Unassigned seating, but with no booking fee I booked anyway - it's in King's Place, which I love. I'd already found it by the time the Man with the Hat took us there, but it was with him I went the last two times: so this'll be bittersweet. Now, I've booked on my own - and lordy if I didn't discover last night that it's co-run by another couple of the Man with the Hat's old members! I've applied for membership, which has yet to be approved. Great to see the Man with the Hat has left a classical legacy - there are very few Meetup groups doing this sort of thing.
The 11th started out with yet more free comedy in Hammersmith - the same five groups. But then Funzing (the same two groups) rocked up and saved me, with a talk on Blitzed - Drugs in Nazi Germany. Has to be better, frankly.
The 12th, I'm currently still looking at free comedy in Greenwich, with London Live Comedy, Free Comedy Nights in Hammersmith, Wimbledon and Greenwich, and Random London.
The 13th, more of the same - in Hammersmith - with the Famous Five (aforementioned) groups - Discover LDN.UK twice, as before. At least the headliner that night is John Hastings, who's guaranteed to be good - and it's a lovely, small venue to see him in. Then it's back to Ireland for the weekend.
On the 17th, more comedy - for £3.60, this time. Tez Ilyas is performing at the Pleasaunce, and I know he's good - saw him in Top Secret once, for free..
The 18th, the U2 tour continues - I fly to Barcelona that day, to see them that night! One of their crazy, one-night-only appearances, on what is a very limited tour.
I fly back on the 19th, and that night am - provisionally - booked for more free comedy (quelle surprise). Greenwich, the above three groups. There are some interesting Funzing talks that night, but I've already seen them.
The 20th, I booked another Funzing talk (the above two groups). This is a talk about serial killers, as given by a forensic psychologist that works with the police, and who also gives terrific talks about psychopaths. Highly recommended! She's a terrifically engaging speaker, and looks far too young to be working in such a murky area. Unfortunately, now I've had to cancel - turns out that the much-anticipated first Meetup of Love London for Less is happening that night, so of course I'm headed to that - we're going to the Icebar, where I've never been. Should be interesting. Just a pity the only other instance of that talk I'm missing is sold out - I've added myself to the watchlist.
Then I'm back to Ireland for a long weekend - first to Dublin (from London City airport, a first for me), for U2's (one-and-only!) concert there.. then down to see my mother for a couple of days, flying back on Tuesday. On the Wednesday.. and Thursday.. free comedy!! First Greenwich, then Hammersmith - the usual groups, on both occasions.