Arrivals at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane could not be dampened or deterred by the fire that broke out in the hotel building site located - RIGHT BETWEEN THE THEATRE AND THE PARTY VENUE, SOMERSET HOUSE.
Heads were in hands as the news of this unfolded earlier in the day, as you can imagine, but you can’t keep a good opening night down!
Our massive thanks to London Fire Brigade for putting the bugger out and making all well with the universe.
Turning a negative to a positive, it has to be said that having a cordoned off area surrounding the route from theatre to party venue made the whole occasion even more special if anything.
I’ve never seen The Strand so calm and tranquil, even if there was a feint whiff of burning building in the air.
When events wreak havoc with travel by car, people have to bite the bullet and walk – it’s good to see, especially when it can be done without fear of being knocked over by either a car, bus, motorcycle, bicycle or other pedestrian in the process; but the problem at times like last night, for some at any rate, is having to do it in heels.
There was the walk from office to theatre, then the walk up and down and up and down the (Shrektastic) green carpet, then the stairs (sometimes two flights sometimes three), then from theatre to party venue, then back, then more stairs, then back to party venue, then back and forth across cobbled courtyard but worst of all, the standing still, watching and waiting.
The feet were almost deformed with pain by this stage.
But it’s all worth it.
Seeing everyone making such a big sartorial effort for such a grand occasion reminded us that everyone loves to dress up really.
At a certain point in the evening I became so fixated by the pain in my feet I started checking out all the women in high heels, hoping to see traces of the same kind of pain on their immaculately made-up faces.
In fact it was probably only one in ten who showed any sign of this, given away by the fact that shoes has been removed completely, though this could have been for reasons of being incapable of walking in heels for entirely different reasons.
The party certainly had the wow factor - even the moon was on our side.
But as the evening drew to a close and we took that last painful step from green carpet to grey pavement with the sudden realisation that the roads had been opened and traffic was being permitted to flow again, it felt oddly apt that a theatre event happened right in the middle of all of this and took everyone to a different place and time for the night, and that now it was time for the fire engine to turn back into a pumpkin.
Clair Chamberlain, Director, The Corner Shop PR