Cold, wet, rainy. A world away. Or midway through Trinity. I’m sure everybody told me that my first Trinity would be full of sun, smiles, and Pimm’s. And plays out in the warm summer rays. But just as those unlucky saps who’ve been induced to row by promises of gleaming tans and buffed muscles are beginning to see the error of their ways, so I discovered that the only plays worth seeing are those safely indoors.
I cannot stress enough how much I enjoy the experience of going to the theatre, most importantly when the rain is splashing so hard against the roof you are hit by the back-spary. Safely inside, I had the chance to grab some food. Not quite strawberries and cream in a dreamy college garden, I admit. But popcorn, no matter how egregiously overpriced, pushes all the right buttons.
All my friends, huddled up together, crammed in a couple of rows back, began the rituals of pre-theatre chit-chat. Subtly commenting on the audience (the obligatory older man giving a leggy usher the meat stare), grabbing handfuls of each others’ food, and trying to decide whether any of us had ever read the play before.
Despite one of my friend’s protestations, we decided that in fact none of us had. It was, after all, a new piece of writing. When we told Sarah this she backed down. Eventaully. The play, Spring Quartets, turned out be incredibly good actually. It was beautifully choreographed, and the use of a large muslin guaze was absolutely stunning. There was an almost palpable feeling of excitment in the air too.
I guess it was the fact that this was a new piece of writing, that it was an new showing. I cannot help but think, hopeless romantic though I may be, that a similar buzz must have been present at the premiers of so many of my favourite plays. I’m not saying this could be the next Shakespeare, but, well, you never know.
About half way through though, Sarah began to shove me in the side. Obviously I put my hand over my nearly finished box of popcorn. This didn’t deter her.
‘Bugger off’, I snarled.
She poked me again.
She stopped bugging me eventually, and the rest of the play passed without so much as a whisper from her.
By the time we trailed outside, the rain had stopped. Blessedly. We all gathered together, and wandered slowly down the road, until the the prospect of a warm cafe seduced us all inside.
Sarah sat down next to me. We began to discuss the play, the pros and cons, the good and the bad.
‘No, guys. really. I’m sure I’ve read it before’ she said.