So, for part of our joint birthday weekend celebrations, we decided to treat ourselves to an evening out in London, and a show! It actually stopped raining for a little while on Monday, hooray for bank holidays, so we booked tickets for Wicked and headed off into London! Somehow, despite public transport conspiring against us, we still managed to get up to Victoria with a couple of hours to spare. For some reason we didn't get travelcards, so we decided it was a good opportunity to go for a wander.
Westminster is just fantastic to walk around, it's a tourist's paradise! It's amazing how close all the landmarks are together if you walk between them, it's very impressive! First of all we stumbled across Westminster Cathedral..
We were pretty lucky actually, we managed to sneak in just before they closed for the day..
It's quite a grand cathedral, but we both had the same thought - with ceilings like that, they really ought to have hired someone to paint them up nicely! It just seems so incongruous with the rest of the cathedral to have plain black ceilings, topping such highly decorated walls and marble pillars! I'm pretty sure they were aiming for something along the lines of Siena Cathedral, but they must've either run out of money, or ladders. It's a shame we didn't get the chance to go up the campanile, that's something to go on the list for next time!
We carried on walking along Victoria Road, and next we came across Westminster Abbey! I did quite fancy paying a visit, but just as we wandered over to the entrance, they started locking up for the day! That serves us right for getting into town late on a Bank Holiday!
So, a little way further along the road we went, and there we saw..
Big Ben, the London Eye..
and the Houses of Parliament!
We did the touristy thing, and walked across the river to take some photos..
and then I badgered James into trying to find Downing Street too! We headed back over to the North Bank, and then cut through to Whitehall along Horse Guards Avenue. We did find Downing Street, and there were lots of police! We hurried past, so no photos!
Then, we noticed a nice shortcut through to St James' Park, by nipping down next to the Treasury..
and ducklings!! =D
From there, it wasn't far back to Victoria again. We turned down a street called 'Petty France', really London, it's like a competition to see how many times we can offend the French in one city!
It was really handy, the musical we chose to see was in the Apollo Victoria theatre, literally right outside Victoria station. Now that was extremely useful when we had to catch the train home!
Wicked was absolutely brilliant! All we really know about it before we went was that it was something to do with the Wizard of Oz. It turned out to be the life story of the Wicked Witch of the West, showing how she was indirectly responsible for the creation of the winged monkeys, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the timid lion and the squishing of her sister under a flying house, all because of her strong morals -she wouldn't help the wizard turn all the animals of Oz dumb; ultimately, it shows how she was misunderstood, just because she was born green, and had scary magical powers. She was a nice witch really! It's an interesting concept, I don't think many one dimensional baddies get given the opportunity for quite such an exciting back story. The musical is based on the novel 'The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West' by Gregory Maguire.
We were both looking up the cast when we got home, and it turns out two of the leads were in the Andrew Lloyd Webber competitions on TV - 'Any Dream Will Do' and 'I'd Do Anything', while another appeared on X factor. They were all amazing singers! It must be impossible for the judges to decide between people like that!
Anyway, it is thoroughly recommended - excellent story, excellent songs, excellent cast!
By the way, check out this umbrella they were selling in the foyer..