Or until the soprano is dying in this case. Not for one gent who I surprised this week by treating him to hear La Bohème at the Royal Albert Hall, and then surprised him again in the interval when I produced a couple of small mesh bags of electrical attachments to take to the gent’s loo. Bless, he had thought I had just bought us tickets for a treat, which indeed I had, but with me there is usually a little trick to the treat.
After the last time when we went to the theatre to see The Mistress Contract (sadly a mistress with a small ‘m’ rather than a capital one) and he fell asleep, I wondered how I could help him stay more awake and alert during performances. I am nothing if not helpfully solution-orientated. The answer was my ErosTek 232 with the dial set to audio. I was kind and set it to ‘Audio Loud’ rather than ‘Audio Soft’ or else he would have had a very difficult time keeping up with the performance on stage. I laid my pashmina over our laps to cover up the wire and the ErosTek box.
He arrived earlier that day with no idea what was going to happen, as is usually the case. I had only emailed him some weeks before telling him to keep the evening free of the somethingth March, which he duly and dutifully did.
Before heading to the Royal Albert Hall, I had booked us in for afternoon tea at The Dorchester, where I had gone only earlier this week to meet one of London’s Dommes (you’ll figure out who when I write next week’s post- it’s very special I can assure you). Alas, my plan to use the remote-controlled butt plug on him during our time there failed due to my spare batteries having shifted themselves into bizarre shapes in my absence. Like I told him: ‘Oh well, we have that to look forward to another time!’
After making it to the Royal Albert Hall just on time, we settled in to an amazing first act- roller skating waiters, a rich and complex market scene where one did not know where to look, so much was happening and scenes that varied from the amusing to the moving. Beyond being completely surprised, he seemed to be settling in and enjoying the performance. Oh, how little did he know what awaited him…
During the second act, he seemed far less relaxed. I had my shoulder gently pressed to him to gauge his responses beyond the small twitches and jerks he gave at the more forte and fortissimo moments. His breathing was quite rapid at the beginning, obviously the adrenaline was working its course but eventually he settled in to the experience. However, I did switch off my ErosTek and unplug him just before Mimi’s death scene, which I did for a number of reasons:
1. Out of respect for the scene itself. It is a serious scene and deserves full attention.
2. I wanted to pay full attention to the scene and not to have a major percentage of my brain keeping an eye on my gent, making sure my fingers were near the dial just in case I needed to dial it down at any point. All whilst making sure no-one else saw either the box or what was happening (especially the ‘Disgusted from Tunbridge Wells’ brigade behind us who didn’t see why the performance had to be so ‘racy’. Oh dear ladies, if only you knew…)
3.I am a bit of a softie at heart, even if I do have a bit of a sadistic streak and so I tend to get a little watery-eyed at such scenes; an emotional women at the helm of an electrical box is not a good idea!
Indeed, I’m sure that he was glad I had turned off the ErosTek before the final applause, my enthusiastic applause combined with my appreciative cries of ‘Bravo!’ and ‘Brava!’ as the lead cast took their bows may have been too much for him. I guess my benevolent Goddess was showing herself after my sadistic Goddess had come out to play.
As much as it served to keep my gent awake and alert, I fear that I needed two sets of attachments as the gent next to me was nodding off during the second act. I very much wished I had brought a spare set when he began chatting during Mimi’s death scene and I had to poke him in the arm telling him to shush, which did the trick, but the ErosTek would have been far more satisfying.
If you have the chance to hear La Bohème at The Royal Albert Hall, I highly recommend it, even if you don’t have an ErosTek to take along with you! Although one technically goes to hear an opera, not to see it, there was so much happening visually, a real feast for the eyes, that even those not into opera would be hard pressed not to enjoying watching the onstage action.
In other slightly random recommendations, if you can get a ticket (or two, if you’re lucky) to see Good People at the Hampstead Theatre, do go. I went last week and it’s a fantastic play- well written and beautifully executed by a strong cast and, of course, Imelda Staunton is amazing. Yes, I’ve been quite the social butterfly recently.