Open Your Eyes

A friend of mine invited me to come and watch a production being staged by her friends theatre company, The Off-Off-Off Broadway Company. The show was a chilling tale, a-la Woman In Black, entitled Peaceful and was on the Etcetera Theatre in Camden.

Arriving a little earlier than the 9.30pm start I found my friend deep in conversation with two guys from a band called The Ancient Order. We were then introduced to the rest of the band and found out that they had just played a set at Wembley as part of David Ike’s ‘Live At Wembley’. They had come over from Canada and it was their first time in London so I was eager to find out their impressions of the City – so far so good (though they weren’t so sure about where they were staying in Elephant & Castle!). They were all fun characters and it was really nice to talk to some fellow creatives about the industry we call ‘entertainment’ and the highs and lows we all go through trying to make it “big”. They were heading off to the World’s End in Camden so no doubt they had an enjoyable night!

It was then time to watch the play, a three hander running at just under an hour in the cosy Etcetera Theatre. The play followed Ethel Charles, an old woman living in a large spooky mansion, hiding from a ghost she believes is haunting her. I won’t give too much more of the plot away but it’s safe to say that the company were very successful in creating a tense atmosphere and despite the lack of set, you could absolutely visualise the large rambling house with endless corridors and creaky floorboards through the subtle use lighting and sound.

It was a pleasure to see a Fringe show that was so tightly crafted and featured good writing and good acting and kept my attention the whole time. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for future shows by the company.

After the enjoyable show I was faced by a not so enjoyable tube journey home – oh the joys of the Northern line! However, at Moorgate three men got on the train brandishing…a drum, a trumpet and a violin! They then proceeded to play a lively rendition of ‘When The Saints Come Marching In’ – it was so cheerful and uplifting and I was so disappointed to see not one other person smiling, clapping along or putting any change in the hat they were passing around. I gave a couple of quid and clapped when they finished, I even found myself shouting ‘Is nobody else going to clap?!’ (I’d like to point out not a drop of alcohol had passed my lips that night!) and one other woman feebly clapped and gave a ‘wooooo!’.

Theatre and performance can be found everywhere in London, yet it is also a city where people regularly close themselves off to all the wonderful little bits of theatre going on around them. From the band at the bar, to the show above the pub to the singers on the train – it’s all there if you open your eyes a little bit, and when you do open your eyes it’s incredibly exciting!

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