Ready to go on

Friday, 25 February 2011

Tynemouth to Whitley Bay and back

Being a Friday it is day out day. At least that's the way it seems to be developing. It is my task to organise the day out for cast and crew but as the crew and the understudy cast were doing a full dress run at the theatre this afternoon and Bill was talking to the Friends of the RSC about Shakespear, a close personal friend of his, it was a rather depleted gang that set off from the Monument in Newcastle for a day out at the seaside.

Tynemouth had been recommended to us. Only about twenty minutes on the excellent metro service. A lovely seaside town with ruined castle and abbey and gorgeous views. I wonder who ruined it? Almost certainly the monastery hater, Henry VIII, in order to pay for the making of the television series where he never gets any older and all his wives are happy to be filmed in the buff.

Sam, Chris and I (the diehards) felt that a stroll before lunch was the thing to do. There is a coastal path that takes you up and down the cliffs so that you can walk across the beach at each bay. Really lovely. And three actors talking loudly about the joys of touring and the trials of performing fitted in perfectly amongst the families enjoying themselves in the mild weather on the beaches during half-term. Hardly anyone even noticed we were there, I'm sure?

As this photo shows.

Quite natural, I thought. Not at all theatrical in real life. Admit it though, I do look older than Sam. What a bastard! Maybe IMDB is right and I am sixty bloody five?

We walked for about three miles along the coast from Tynemouth to Whitley Bay where we found a large Italian restaurant called Sambucas. They were offering a three course lunch of minestrone soup, any pizza or pasta and an ice cream for £3.95. Yes, you sad Londoners; read it and weep. I actually went for the lamb shank with olive and garlic mash and a glass of house red (big glass, it turned out, about half a bottle!) for the bargain price of £9.90. Sam had the Stroganov and Chris had the Scrapeitovtheplate'n'putitinthebin. I can't remember what he had actually, but it looked nice.

Sam generously paid for lunch. That's lunch and a pair of walking socks I owe him. I did offer to buy him something called a 'Bowel Benefit Bar' in Holland & Barret. If you're interested have a look at www.healthybowels.com (I bet they were lucky to get that web address? The competition for it must have been intense. Still it's an easy address to remember. No effort at all involved. Hardly even a strain.). I'm not sure it's a good thing in the present financial climate for people to be on Healthy Bowel Benefit? What if they didn't deserve it and were benefit cheats? Does David Cameron know about this?!  may have discovered the solution to the national debt problem - oh no, silly me, it's getting the banks to pay their bloody taxes, isn't it?

Metro from Whitley Bay back to town and back to my digs for a rest before the show. I don't know how I do it, really I don't? Such stamina and dedication.

It has been such fun being in Newcastle. I'm looking forward to a night at home but I rather wish we could stay here a bit longer rather than move on to some other town. Still, two shows tomorrow and then it's Bath next week. They are going to have to really lay on the red carpet to match the welcome we've had here.

More soon xx




  1. Looks like a lovely day. They're lucky to have you to organise these things.

    I seem to remember seeing "Bill" play Puck at the RSC a billion years ago.

  2. Really glad to hear that everyone has felt so welcome in Newcastle! xx