The show started at 19:30 so we decided to leave home around midday to enjoy some dinner before the show, we both had previously decided to visit Spittalsfield Market, oooh the culinary delights on offer are a foodie’s paradise and somewhere we have both visited several times before. On the train heading to the big smoke, I happened to mention to Jamie that I so wanted some childhood food in the form of Pie Mash and Liquor, after a bit of to and fro it was set, Pie Mash here we come (proper made up).
The search was now on during the train trip for a decent place to go as my place of choice “Manzes in Walthamstow” had been shut down a few years ago, tragic is all I can say about that. A place called Arments Pie & Mash in Walworth London was the place of choice and now this was all I could think of for the rest of the train journey.
After the main train journey, we got the underground to the Elephant & Castle, we had to catch a bus that was about 3 or 4 stops, I cannot tell you how much aggro it was to find the bloody bus stop and the walking about aimlessly we did to find it, I changed the search on the phone to walk to the place, low and behold we came upon the ruddy bus stop R we had been trying to find. We jumped on the bus and got off at the stop for a 300-yard walk, rounded the corner and there it was in all its glory, by this time I was STARVING.
I fell in that door to make my order, and not a thing existed except that plate of soul food, I quickly ordered my double pie and double mash complete with a couple of ladles of that delicious liquor, fair play Jamie went for a single of pie and single of mash.
I made my way to the table with my prize, lashings of vinegar along with pepper were added and I was smiling ear to ear at the sight of it, I just couldn’t hold back any longer. I made my first cut into the pie, a flaky top with a generous serving of steak mince meat and a soft pastry bottom, I swept this around the plate to catch as much of the liquor over it and loaded this fork of heaven into my mouth!
Instantly, I was transported back to being a child, I have to say I felt emotional at points of this feed as the sight of this food was memory lane to me and it filled me with warmth and memories of some I hold very dear, there will always be points in our lives that will trigger these, smells, food, music, and this was one of those times for me, happy warm ones. This plate of food was consumed in only a few minutes, which could not have been a pretty sight for anyone to witness, did I care, HELL NO!
Jamie just sat there, bemused by the affection I had for this food, as she missed out on not getting any liquor herself I felt it only right that she try some of mine, I spooned some on, and thrust it to her face “Try it I said”, she did, all I can say is her reaction wasn’t the same as mine, her face all screwed up “nope nope”, laughing away to myself as I knew she wasn’t going to be liking it before she tried it. To be fair Jamie approved of the pie & mash so much that she went for seconds, I’m not one for letting a person eat alone so I joined her with a single serving of pie & mash and of course liquor, Jamie paid for the second round and even treated me to 6 portions of liquor to take home, awwww soooo nice.
With a full belly, and I mean a very full belly we left around 16:00pm and made our way to the show, we wanted to be near the theatre so we didn’t have to rush about and I’m glad we did, we caught the number 12 bus that should have taken us all the way to Piccadilly Circus but the bus stopped at Westminster due to on-going protests. We found the underground and made the rest of the journey by tube to Picadilly Circus.
To rest and while the time away we found a familiar place I frequent on a daily basis, Starbucks. Yes, to say the coffee made at this branch was not the quality I am all too used to is an understatement, I took this back and they made me a fresh one, it was better this time but still not great. Time ticked away and eventually, we both made our way to the theatre, it was barely 5 minutes away and on turning the corner the place was all lit up and bustling with people.
Now it was Jamie’s turn for pleasure, she enjoys nothing more than a visit to a show and is very SMILEY, not a Jamie thing usually (laughing whilst writing this bit) but she does have her moments. We first had to get past the security to have our bags checked before gaining entry, let me tell you this much, if you ever intend to go to a show, DON’T EVER carry 6 pots of liquor with you. Trying to explain this was liquor you eat, and NOT drink, isn’t easy when it’s so noisy and the person is not obviously a Londoner or in the knowledge of what the traditional food eaten by a Londoner is. After what seemed forever, but only a few moments, he let me pass, much to the amusement of Jamie smiling and laughing at me whilst watching me trying to get past security (COW).
Now inside and making our way to our seats the the place was lit red, very in keeping with the theme of the show and what a cracking show it was, straight off the bat it was electric, the cast was amazing, and the outfits, ooooooh the outfits were amazing and very risque!
It’s a show we both wanted to see and I have to say the ticket prices were well out of our price range, we did keep a close on eye the prices and they always exceeded £100 each and this was for the upper heaven seats, anything nearer to the stage was in the hundreds. In any case, Jamie had been going on about trying to win some cheap tickets for us to go and see this show and it wasn’t the first time she had tried either, lady luck finally smiled on Jamie and she won a pair of tickets at a cost of £25 each, without this luck we wouldn’t have experienced which in my opinion is up there in my top 3 all-time shows I have seen now.
We were near the front on the balcony and spitting distance of the stage, the voice of the lead man Cristian was a standout act and stole the show for me, he was strong and clear and never faltered in every song he sang, the whole cast was well rehearsed and all complimented each other like a perfectly fitting suit. The storyline was well written with a vast array of songs sung by all. I particularly liked the ringmaster (Harold Zidler) and how he drew you into his character, he was loud and vibrant with a dark wit and charm about him. The whole of the cast can be seen in this link here, the costumes were amazing and burlesque for both men and women, and the stage build and lighting were very in keeping with the era of that time.
On the whole, the day was a total success, filled with great company, great food, and a sublime show that will stay with me in my memories forever. I can’t say anything but stop what you are currently doing and book this with haste, I was fortunate enough to have been a plus-one to see this show, I know how lucky I am (as Jamie reminded me of this fact as well!).