Just a quick note about a bit of local culture.... at the weekend we went to see Nabucco at the White Rock Theatre, put on by Opera South East. Heaven knows, I have been to enough operas, and in my experience, they often have a couple of dramatic moments and a few big songs punctuated by longeurs.... in this case, I loved every minute of it, and so did the Philosopher. Nabucco only has one big song - the chorus of the Hebrew slaves, and a ridiculous plot, but it made no difference to our enjoyment. I don't know what it was - a smaller and more intimate theatre than we were used to in the big city? A slightly less stuffy atmosphere? Or maybe the performance was just plain good. It was set in WW2 Holocaust Europe rather than ancient Babylon, which worked very well. Staging, minimalist, but very effective. Orchestra - excellent.
The guy that played Zaccaria, the high priest had a fabulously sonorous bass voice and very impressive dramatic impact - I read in the programme that he had been a Greek Orthodox priest in a previous life - his services must have been teeth rattling. Abigail, the villainess, was a cross between Miss Whiplash, Rosa Klebb and Mrs Thatcher - I was almost sorry she came to a bad end - poison, as usual. Nabucco himself could have been a bit madder we felt.
Anyway, the same lot are doing Orpheus in the Underworld in November - we will be there.