I love the long summer school holidays and enjoy hanging out with my children. However, the days can drift on and it is good to have a few outings planned to stave off boredom or brain death. The cost of amusing children and the lack of my summer earnings as I don't work in the holidays can take its toll on the family coffers. Therefore I  look out for cheap or even better, 'free' activities. There is a fabulous  initiative run  by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT). It is a not-for-profit organisation, providing a collective voice for theatre owners, producers and managers of  the major commercial and grant-aided theatres across London. A child aged 16 or under can go free to any participating show when accompanied by an adult paying full price. Parents can also purchase up to two extra children’s tickets at half price. Kids week began in 1998 and was originally just one week long. It has grown in popularity and now runs throughout the whole month of August.

This summer  I thought  I would make an early attempt to get free tickets for a London show. I had tried in previous years but my organisational skills were lacking so needless to say I failed. This year, I discussed which show would be popular and went online as soon as the promotion went live and managed to buy 2  adult tickets (as the second of my children is now over 18!) and therefore get two free children's tickets for Les Misérables.

Next week will be the last Friday before my 50th birthday and therefore my last  F word blog post.

It will be a final reflection on my life-affirming, F word, blogging journey and a final fond farewell.



London Theatre Week

Kids Go Free

Les Misérables at The Queen's Theatre, London

So last Monday evening we headed off into London on a family saver train ticket. We arrived in time for a pre-theatre drink (soft, of course) and then settled into our seats in the stalls. I caught sight of the price on one of our fellow theatre goers tickets. It was more than all four of ours put together. The atmosphere in the theatre was electric as it was a full house with lots of teenagers in the audience due to the Kids Week promoting.

Apart from my youngest we have all seen the film version and we all knew some of the songs well. It would be hard to have escaped hearing 'I Dreamed A Dream' since Susan Boyle smashed it on Britain's Got Talent. 

A few tears were inevitably shed, especially during another favourite and poignant song 'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables'.

There's a grief that can't be spoken
There's a pain goes on and on
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and

Here they talked of revolution
Here it was they lit the flame
Here they sang about tomorrow
And tomorrow never came.

From the table in the corner
They could see a world reborn
And they rose with voices ringing
And I can hear them now!
The very words that they had sung
Became their last communion
On the lonely barricade...
At dawn.

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me.

That I live and you are gone
There's a grief that can't be spoken
There's a pain goes on and on

Phantom faces at the window
Phantom shadows on the floor
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

Oh my friends, my friends, don't ask me
What your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will sing no more...

Les Misérables is a musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel set during the French Revolution.  The French Revolution has been deemed by historians as one of the most important events in human history which profoundly altered its course in modern times. It was responsible for triggering the decline of absolute monarchies and replacing them with republics and liberal democracies.  Whilst the subject matter is  heavy it is also peppered with the humour in  the  characters of the Thénardiers. We really enjoyed the evening and it was much more affordable thanks to the fantastic Kids Week free ticket promotion.

Week 1

Friday 25/08/2016