December 20th, Saturday
Never before I am sure has it been my lot to do three operas in one day! but I did it today. The kind Duke sent us two boxes and in the evening Susanna’s Secret and La Boheme were given whilst in the afternoon we had Boris Godounov. Mother and Ella Healey went in the afternoon and the Skippys who it was a great joy to see. We all met at the box and about half way through Poggy turned up. The children meanwhile were out with Aim at the Alhambra. Boris G is a Russian opera but as it was produced by Beecham it was in English which I must say at times sounds very crude! but the music is fine and at time very wild. I am sure if one heard it often enough it would appeal to one still more. We had tea at the box in great comfort as usual and after a great struggle managed to secure a taxi to come home in. They are so independent these days that if they don’t like your locality they simply wont drive you! Well we got home just in time to change, have some light food and taking with us the two elder children dashed forth again. It was a milestone in their lives as it was their first opera, and two more things which added value to the event were that La Boheme was given and it was Beecham’s last night of the season. We like Susanna’s Secret very much, it is light farce and very amusing, and of course Boheme is perfect, one cannot see it too often, perfect music and splendid voices. There is not one poor voice in all his company and it was a joy. I sat there at the finish and howled as I always do but I’m not at all ashamed . At the end the audience rose to a man and went mad, they cheered and shrieked and whistled making the performers come forward again and again and then yelled for Beecham. When this clever but conceited ass thought they’d shrieked enough he came forward with gracious bows and acceding to their oft repeated request made a long speech and practically the house remained full until he had finished. So ended a memorable day!
Its just lucky that Sunday comes round occasionally or we should all be dead! Today beyond going to church nearby at St Philips in Earls Court Road we stayed at home. I don’t care much for St Philips , the music is nothing special and the preacher very mediocre but it has the advantage of being near at hand, which is an advantage when you are indulging in late risings!
We spent the whole day from morn till evening shopping again, more rushing and scratching and fighting, more agitated and harassed assistants and further fruitless efforts to get what we wanted. We spent, H and I, a delightful evening dining and going to see “Home and Beauty” with my dear Blanche Gray. The play was excellent, entirely improper and most tut tut but Hawtrey was as good as ever and it was very pleasant rolling there and back in a lovely car with two men on the box!
H went off to Margate today to spend the night with Mary (his unmarried sister) poor old thing, she is very seedy. Pink went off at 10 to pick up Charles and do a day with him, while I took the two girls to the stores once more to do a little final shopping. We bought buns there and rushed off at 1 to stand for a Pit at Chu Chin Chow, arriving at His Majesty we found that it was closed until Boxing Day so we went on to the Coliseum but finding that de Bierre was on there and having seen him at Makselyne we thought we’d go to the Hippodrome so on we rushed and there in the centre of the front seats we found Pinkie and Charles and so after the performance we all went to the Corner House and had tea together. The performance lasted for hours beginning with a cinema and continued by being a Revue with Robey all through it. He is good and we all died with laughing. the whole house was packed and we were high up in the Upper Circle. I have such a stupid head that I couldn’t with comfort look down at the stalls. We crushed home in the Tube which is horrible these days, fighting and pushing for standing room and hanging on to the straps like so many hams in the larder. I was glad to get home.