This is why London is so wonderful:
On Sunday I got a call from my friend Imogen asking if I wanted to go to a play that afternoon as they had an extra ticket. I wasn't doing anything and had, in fact, decided that my big project for the day would be laundry- so it was an easy decision to say yes even though Imogen never told me what the play was.
I arrived, in the pouring rain, at Leicester Square only 10 minutes before the play began. We hustled into the theatre, at which point I realized that it was the theatre on the corner across from the station that has had Kenneth Branagh's face plastered on it for the last couple of months. The theatre is the Wyndham and there is a year long residency there currently of the Donmar theatre company which is a subsidized theatre which means basically that they do extraordinary work, but you can actually afford to go. Nice, huh? They're doing four plays at the Wyndham this year starting with Kenneth Branagh in Ivanov, then Twelfth Night with Derek Jacobi, Madame de Sade with Judi Dench, and Hamlet with Jude Law.
So Ivanov is by Chekhov, my first Chekhov play. I was, by turns, laughing uproariously, gasping in shock, and tearing up. It is a much funnier play than it has any right to be considering it is about an incredibly depressed man and his dying wife. I was engaged and on the edge of my seat the whole time. The edge of my seat bit may have been a bit encouraged by the fact that we were at the very top of the theatre, but the actors did a good job of looking up from time to time so that we didn't just have to look at their hair. Gina McKee was also in the play (she was the dying wife) and oh my god she is an extraordinary actress. I spent the whole first half watching her and knowing that I recognized her voice but not being able to place it, which is why I bought a programme during the intermission.
So basically London is awesome because I can, randomly on a Sunday, go to the theatre and see extraordinary people and then go eat tasty Korean food in the smallest Chinatown ever and spend a total of £25.