Saturday 4 July 2009
Highlights: The West End Show (Billy Elliot), Royal Pavilion
As Jeanne has a new posting starting soon she needs to find new accommodation so we all headed down to Brighton for the day. Jon insisted that I had to visit the Royal Pavilion. After some problems at Victoria station (no machines to pick up our train tickets) we were off for the resort town visit.
The Royal Pavilion is an opulent seaside home that was modelled in an Indian style by John Nash in the early 1800s for George, Prince Regent and later George IV and is like nothing else I’ve ever seen in England. Actually I’ve never seen anything like this other than on TV and even then this is more over the top. It seems George IV wanted to break away from his insane father George III and used this ‘palace’ to make that happen. It was clear from the audio tapes that George IV enjoyed life very much, his many different mistresses used to host parties here and he loved food and the finer things in life. Jon also thought the Brighton Pier was worth a visit and he again was correct. It seemed to be from a different era, maybe the 1930s but with some electronic games. I had seen similar places in England in the past but here people actually attended. Although the English taking there tops of (the guys only) on a 18 degree day (the coldest day I had seen this time in England) has tasteless to say the least.
We than met up with Jeanne who it seemed had found her most likely place once she moves down to the coast for her next 12 month hospital placement. After a quick dinner we strolled around the various market streets. From here it was off to a West End show -’Billy Elliot’ at the Victoria Palace. We had a quick dinner at a local pub, with Jon carefully watching the time and got to the show just before it was starting. I have to say i was blown away by the performance, I didn’t realise how political the story was. If I had known I would have watched the movie years ago. We all thoroughly enjoyed the performance. The dancing by the lead boy was amazing especially the back flip he had to do at one stage. I also enjoyed the crowd interaction after the intermission, very old style. A thoroughly enjoyable night.