The Easter weekend is here. On Friday we have tickets to watch Beatrix Potter’s “Where is Peter Rabbit?” The Theatre Royal Haymarket is just near the Piccadilly Circus exit on the Central Line. Once again the city is buzzing. Street musicians serenade the crowd and everyone is enjoying the performance on this glorious sunny day. Unusually hot for an Easter weekend, it also reminds us that this unprecedented weather change is as a result of global warming.
We have a quick snack at a nearby cafe before joining the crowd of excited children and their parents as we take our seats in the theatre. Beatrix Potter arrives and with the help of Jemima Puddle-Duck embark on an adventure to find the unruly Peter Rabbit who has gone astray. Potter and the Puppeteers talk, sing and dance their way through the story lines and introduce us to the various characters in her stories until we find Peter Rabbit. I notice the children around me getting distracted and fidgety halfway through the show. Despite the colourful stage setting and vitality of the cast, the children are not quite as absorbed by the hour long show as the ‘Polar Bear’ one although Lakshmi insists later that she enjoyed ‘Peter Rabbit’ more.
After a lengthy lunch in Leicester Square we walk down to Trafalgar Square where Jesus Christ’s last days are being enacted in full period costume regalia. We watch Christ being interrogated by the guards. The evening sun is hot and carrying a heavy child and watching a show is not easy. We do not stay for long. Next day I read in the papers that the show has been staged at this venue for the past 8 years on Good Friday and lasts five hours.
Saturday dawns and I have one more surprise lined up for Lakshmi. A few weeks ago she asked me if I could take her to see a ballet show. And then last week I saw that the English National Ballet (ENB) are holding special shows for children aged 3 and above. ‘My first Ballet’ series is designed to introduce children to classical ballet. ‘Sleeping Beauty’ was being shown at the Peacock theatre in Holborn. Once again we join the crowd of excited children as we enter the theatre. A narrator comes on stage and introduces the story of Princess Aurora. He explains the storyline as the ballet dancers bounce and pirouette their way through the plot. In between even Puss in boots and Red Riding Hood make an appearance. Another hour long show, but this time we get an interval in the middle as the children start losing their concentration. It gives the little girl next to me, who had burst into tears as Aurora falls under the spell after pricking her finger, enough time to recover.
On the way home a classical sonata comes on the radio and Lakshmi says that it feels like the ballet. Once we reach home she treats us to a special ballet performance. I am apparently King Thistle or Pistle (I cant quite decipher) and she is Princess Davina, her words, and she choreographs a short stint. I think my work this week is complete.