I am an unrepentant theatre addict. There are so many things about London theatre I love, to list them all would be exhausting, and a few things that simply must be endured, the impossibly small and improbably located ladies rooms’, for example. And the flimsy, but lip-slicing rimmed plastic cups one must suffer if one wishes to enjoy a glug or two of enamel-removing, warm white wine during the production, which, of course, I do. But London has now decided I deserve better. I went to the theatre two nights ago and was given the plonk in a REAL wine glass. Ok, it was plastic, but it was big, wine glass shaped, gentle edged plastic. I was amazed and delighted and of course I took it home! Last night I went to the theatre again, I am an addict after all, and the same thing happened!!! What, I demanded of the bar staff, was going on? The young girl shrugged and said, “dunno, Nimax theatre.” which enlightened me not one little bit. …a quick Google search later and I am ready to tell all. Nimax Theatres are a collection of 6 London theatres (Palace, Lyric, Vaudeville, Duchess, Apollo and Garrick) owned by Nica Burns (actress, producer, artistic director) and Max Weitzenhoffer (equally impressive resume from New York)….NiMax…get it? And clearly these two titans of the stage have decided to up the game with proper wine glasses, of the plastic variety. I could not be more pleased, and not just for the pleasure on the night. I did already confess that I took both glasses home. Because I need them. Wine glasses of the traditional material come into my home to break. All of them. Only took a few years to get through the 24 wedding gift Waterfords. The smaller collection of Baccarats went next. The slightly more affordable Williams Sonoma goblets managed to hang on for a while, then the John Lewis ones came and went…by last summer I was back down to a single wine glass. Fine as far as I was concerned, though guests sometimes looked surprised when offered a nice sauv blanc in a mug, but being English they never complained. At Christmas time, having invited the extended family, I picked up a few at Sainsburys, but they didn’t stick round long. I know it sounds like we host bacchanalian orgies where everyone smashes their glasses to the floor with triumphant hoots and hollers. In truth, the accidents happen in the boring washing up stage. The combination of hot water and porcelain just does them in. And now I have the answer!!! I am going to build up such a collection of beautiful plastic wine glasses from the theatre. What a genius plan. And the next time someone in the family says, “you are going to the theatre AGAIN,” I will respond, in a self-righteous tone, “yes, but I am doing it for the good of the home, for the wine glasses.” That should convince them!
This is made all the sweeter by an image of my future self I have carried in my head for years. Long ago, I read a funny piece about theatre lobbies being filled with women over 50, dressed like Catherine Deneuve, calling out “oh hello darling,” to men in capes. I realize that the author meant to mock, but I instantly saw it as the lifestyle choice of my dreams. The age is fast approaching, I do have some lovely clothes and certainly the shoes. I know cape wearing men, (no, I really do)…..and the final prop to this happy scene….my classy, plastic wine glass held aloft. Oh London, you do spoil me.