Day 3 of the Hachie Gal’s R&R plan included something London is best known for: its theatre (OK, you will notice that I have given up fighting my UK spell-checker).
A gorgeous day awaited the Budman and I as we set off by train to a local theatre in London, which is in the western part of the city known as Richmond. Actually, we looked at a few places to live in Richmond but sadly none of the prospects panned out. Apologies for my digression…back to the main point of my story….
Built in 1899 as the Theatre Royal and Opera House by the famous UK theatre architect, Frank Matcham, its first production was a performance of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Of the 24 Matcham designed theatres remaining, the Richmond Theatre is considered one of the finest examples of Victorian theatre architecture in existence today, having just undergone a significant refurbishment. Actors who have graced its stage have included Charlie Chaplin, Ana Pavlova, Ralph Richardson, Alec Guiness, John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench, Diana Rigg…just to name a few.
Saturday’s outing brought us face to face with THE woman…the one and only “lady of the house” Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced BOO-kay, not BUC-keht) and the savvy detective Hetty Wainthrop herself….Patricia Routledge.
The show was a very entertaining production of Royce Ryton’s, Crown Matrimonial, the story of the abdication of King Edward in order to marry Wallis Simpson, and the aftermath and effect on the monarchy…mainly seen through the eyes of the family matriarch, Queen Mary, mother of Kings Edward VII and George VI.
Theatre in London is truly an embarrassment of riches!