Saturday, 8 May 2010

Piratical Romp

I was in Belfast yesterday evening for a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance at the Grand Opera House.

I dined at Beatrice Kennedy's on University Road, opting for the Express Menu which offered a fair selection. I chose the smoked salmon salad for a starter; followed by slow roast shoulder of lamb with mash and some concoction of vegetables.

The meal was truly sumptuous. I had the most delicious lamb, mouth-wateringly tender, served in a sort of cylindrical roll similar in shape to a small cola can. There was plenty of it, too. I can honestly say that I have not had such a good meal for ages.

The bill, including a bottle of Italian sparkling water, came to £16.75 and I left a £2 tip - feeling generous! Thence I travelled along University Road and Shaftesbury Square to Great Victoria Street, where I managed to get a parking space opposite a Chinese establishment called the Red Panda.

The Europa Hotel
was busier on Friday night. There was a black tie function hosted by an institute of some sort. I went up to the counter and ordered a modest restorative, viz. a Bombay gin and tonic; took out the Mini 9 and I am presently writing this article in the Piano Bar.

I moved onwards to the opera house and found my seat, B2 which, though far from ideal owing to its position, had a fairly good prospect. This amateur production of The Pirates, by the New Lyric Operatic Company, was very well done indeed. I do not wish to single out any particular player because, on the whole, they all did very well. The "New Lyric's twenty-piece orchestra" was good, too.

There was some crackling and interference from the audio system at times! Other than that, I've no complaints at all. The costumes they hired were impressive, the pirates dressed in scarlet robes and coronets at the conclusion - barons, viscounts and earls!

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