Waterloo Bridge and the Thames from The Deck at the National Theatre 12:45 pm August 5 2012
This was a day that started wet and stormy and is ending with a warm benign mood to complement the extraordinary feeling of happiness which is infecting everyone in London these days. It is the Olympic Games of course, clearly superbly managed (pace Mitt Romney) and causing none of the chaos predicted by so many. But it is the astonishing series of gold medals for Team GB that is getting the smiles on peoples faces! It is very good indeed to be around all this.
I was at the National Theatre this afternoon for a 3pm performance of Timon of Athens. Before the performance I met up with Jane Glover on the roof of the NT where there was an excellent BBQ laid on by American Express. The view from there across the Thames to Waterloo Bridge was spectacular. Crowds had assembled all along the Embankment, as well as on the bridge itself, for the Women's Marathon. Thank you Apple for giving us the pocketable iPhone which can also do a reasonable job as a camera.
The BBQ lunch was accompanied by the TV relay of the Olympic sailing from Weymouth (Gold medal for GB's Ben Ainslie) and the beginnning of the Murray/Federer shoot out. Murray's victory for gold happened during the first five minutes of the intermission. What a happy audience as the news spread like wild fire!
Oh - and Timon? Well it was a magnificent production, with Simon Russell Beale in the title role, showing all the strengths of the National whose Director of course is Nick Hytner - a fine opera director who does too little on the opera house these days. Jane and I had seen the Chicago Shakes production with Ian McDiarmid. Two totally different performances, each equally valid....two fabulous actors so this is just as one might expect. Altogether an excellent afternoon, enhanced by gold of course!