Portobello Road, a Bohemian Rhapsody, and Heathers the musical making kids lose their lunch.

Our last couple days in London were filled with more magic. We found some real gems at the Portabello Road market, including every band T sixteen-year-old Eric could want. It was kind of funny walking around Notting Hill with everyone dressed like they’re in the movie Notting Hill — we’re talking Bakers hats Bucket hats galore, tube tops, low-rise flares, dickeys utility pants, bug eye glasses — it was like everyone just discovered what TRL was and dressed like it. 2000’s are back with a vengeance ya’ll and it is hilarious. Now I know what Chris was laughing about thirteen years ago when he said, “I hated the style in my high school years and I hate it now when it’s come back.” We found the best brunch we’ve ever had at a place called When Abby Met Claud, complete with this huge neon Britney sign (you thought I was over selling the 2000s thing didn’t you?) and servers dressed like they have to run home and check their AOL inbox for a love letter from Tom Hanks. 

We saw Trouble in Butetown at The Donmar, which was a theater recommended to me from my good pal and Chris Clark protege Alex Ungerman. The setting and premise of this show was intriguing. I just wish that the execution would have lived up to it. We both really enjoyed the space though and agreed we’d see whatever else they are putting on next time we’re in town. 

Our last show of our trip was the musical Heathers, which was a real treat until a nice young lady in her best Heather C. outfit vomited all over the middle rows of the theater. We were all evacuated and the audience was pretty damn pleasant about it I have to say. We figured that American audiences would have Karen’d their way to refunds and tantrum snacks, but this nice audience just all kind of gathered outside in the cold and waited. And waited. And waited. But it was worth it! It was an absolute party. I love shows that create that kind of atmosphere. One of my first jobs in LA was a Post Production Assistant gig for a show created by Kevin Murphy, co-writer of the musical Heathers. He put me up to interview for the Writers Production Assistant job on Altered Carbon, which kicked things off for me as a writer, so I’ll always owe him for that. It was great seeing your show in all it’s West End glory Kevin! 

The real treat was as we were walking home through Covent Gardens, a street performer was acoustically shredding on Bohemian Rhapsody, and a crowd had begun to gather. By the end, we were all belting along with him, “so you think you can love me and leave me to die! Oh Baby! Can’t do this to me baby!” While it was happening, I was thinking about this art installation we saw earlier that day at The Tate Modern. It was a huge tower structure, composed of different technologies involved in disseminating information and misinformation, starting from the oldest of technologies on the bottom, going to the top. It reminded me of the tower of babel, the tower representing to me how technology can be used to divide us all up. I thought of it as all hundred or so of us, passionately jumped up and down singing along under the midnight full moon with this guy who had an instrument of just wood and string, as if we were all both celebrating life and rebuking our individual and collective oppressors (you know the song). It was a beautiful shared moment as all of us strangers looked around this circle at each other, singing and dancing wildly. 

I got this feeling we all had, simultaneously, no care in the world and every care in the world. Or maybe that was just me.