There are two things that I am really grateful for:
1. Living in a temperate climate so I don’t have to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to run in order to “beat the heat.”
2. My flexible freelance schedule that allows me to sleep in and run in the early afternoon.
Yesterday I was on the tube around 8 a.m. and learned that there are actual people who get up and go places at 8 a.m. on a Saturday. There is this whole other London full of early risers that I will never be a part of, unless, of course, there’s a show I want to see. On Saturday it was Wicked. I have already seen Wicked three times back in Chicago, but it’s been a while, and as the girl at the front of the day seat queue who has seen the show 18 times could attest, one can never see Wicked too many times. I was a little worried about the day seat queue, as the Theatre Monkey called it “The most notorious day seat line in London. Battle the obsessive fans and you could get lucky.” But I also heard the demand is not as high now that the show has been there a while, so I decided to take my chances and arrive at 8:40. An hour and 20 minutes is about as long as I’m willing to wait for theatre tickets. There were about 15 people ahead of me and since there were two performances on Saturday, I knew I was in. The guy in front of me did not seem like a chatter, so I put on my headphones and played games on my phone. At around 9 a.m. the guy’s friend arrived and for a second I almost accused her of pulling Larry David’s infamous “chat and cut.” But before I went all Will from The Inbetweeners at Thorpe Park, I thought about it.
Every person in the queue is allowed to buy up to two tickets. So it didn’t matter whether the guy was by himself and bought two tickets, or he and his friend each bought one. So I let it slide. They ended up being entertaining Germans who would randomly break into a Book of Mormon song and then go back to speaking in Deutsch. Never a dull moment in a day seat queue.
10 a.m. finally rolled around, the box office opened, and I scored two front row center seats for the Wicked matinee, reminding me why I torture myself by waking up early to stand against a wall for over an hour — sweet, sweet cheap front row seats. It was my 17th West End show (I know my last post said I’ve seen 15, but I forgot about Charlie And The Chocolate Factory The Musical I saw in June last year). The performance was brilliant and I think my friend really enjoyed it, even though her bus got stuck in traffic. She arrived one whole minute late and the usher made her watch the beginning of the show on a tiny TV before seating her 25 minutes in. 2014 is the year of the bus in London, and while buses are cheaper than the tube and often more direct, they’re completely unreliable when you need to be somewhere by a specific time. That’s why I walked the three miles to the theatre. It took me an hour and I sweated out my nice dress, but I’ve been burned by buses too many times. (I also successfully ran home after buying the tickets without wiping out, a great victory!)