Today I went to see “The Duchess of Malfi” at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. The play started at 2.30 p.m., so after a pretty normal sort of Wednesday Lee Hoy and I + a few other 6ths and 7ths assembled down by L-block.
We traveled to Manchester in the minibus, about a dozen of us, with some people traveling in Bastow and Hirst’s cars. The journey was terrible, all packed together like sardines, being jolted about, and soon I began to feel queasy. I hung on until just after we’d stopped, about twenty yards beyond the minibus, where I threw up all along the pavement.
My breath must have reeked – I know my hands did, and the next couple of hours I spent carefully gauging my distance from people in case they caught a whiff of my infested breath.
The Theatre was strange. It consisted of a conglomeration of tubular steel pipes, boxes and doors set in the middle of a huge Northgate Market type Hall. Inside, the seats were arranged in seven, five deep sections all round the central stage, with small passages running between each segment to a door. Unlike conventional theatres, you had a good view of the stage (and the seats were set well apart thus allowing my legs in!). I sat next to Julie Crabtree – she kept making remarks, joking and grabbing hold of me when anything happened – it’s just her way.
I really enjoyed the play, exciting and lots of atmosphere, and Bob Hoskins was good.
On the way back, I sat in the front with Giles, and Crabtree (again!?), just in case I felt like spewing up again.
When I got back I was faced with a long English essay about the characters of the first three Chapters of “Persuasion.”
For the first time in months today I felt ill; my throat felt sore and burned everytime I coughed – winter must be near.
The papers are full of news about Gulf war between Iraq and Iran which began, undeclared, on Monday. It is over who owns the Shat-Al-Arab waterway near Abadan, and already there have been air-raids on refineries and towns by ‘planes from both sides.