Saturday 5 January 2008

The Vintner, Stratford

Dad went a bit mad before Christmas. He booked the whole family in for a marathon Shakespeare experience. We spent the entire Saturday between Christmas and New Year sat in the theatre at Stratford watching:

Henry IV i
Henry IV ii
Henry V

Far from being exhausing we emerged at 11pm gagging for supper and buzzing with energy. The performances had been sensational. I'm always amazed that the English language could have been masterd four hundred years ago and has been going backwards ever since!

Henry V was utterly awesome. The 2 big speeches, "Stiffen up the sinews" and "We happy few. We band of brothers" were so powerful I was left shuddering. Gripped by the passion. Inspired to attack France! Geoffrey Streatfeild was terrific as Harry V. The quintessential protean King. The model of what it is to be English in contrast to the poncey French!

I found myself nodding along in agreement to the two reviews below. David Warner was wrong as Falstaff. I barely laughed when I should have been in stitches. And Geoffrey Streatfeild was brilliant and will be a star of the future as Hal/Harry V:

Henry IV in the Independent
Henry V in the Guardian

In the past we've eaten at the Mucky Duck after the theatre. But this time they were full. We were very lucky to get the last table at The Vintner before it closed. The staff were charming despite being in the twilight of their ten hour shifts. They kindly let us eat but insisted we only had one course because the chef was going home.

I chose their grilled lemon sole from a menu where you'd be delighted to eat all of it. My fish emerged looking plump and well cooked. It teased easily away from the bone and shimmered in the mouth after a squirt of lemon.

I was naughty and ordered some chips which were good along with some delicous roasted vegeatables. Suz had a massive burger and Cowie had a main coursed sized scallops with chorizo which looked great. It's just a shame I wasn't given a look in!

We guzzled some cold white wine and relaxed into our comfy seats eagerly discussing our thoughts about the day's drama. What a day. Really impressive alternative to the Mucky Duck if you're going to the theatre.

I can't wait for Henry VI i, ii and iii! Not to mention Richard III.

Nothing like a day sat in a seat watching Shakespeare to get your appetite up!

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