07 July 2009

Talent show on the box at the National

We're into Watch This Space season, the National Theatre's summer series of free daily outdoor entertainment (right).

Every evening on a tennis-court-sized area of astroturf by the river (the same place where Critical Mass rides assemble for their monthly rides), there'll be something quirky and international: Catalan street theatre, twenty-stone Elvis impersonators wiggling hula-hoops, Russian clowns in underwear, Macbeth in Polish, spoof Australian air hostesses doing trapeze acts with innuendo. It's like Britain's Got Talent, except it's the world, and they actually do have talent.

These events are perfect for visiting by bike. Mainly, because they're free and you can wander in and out as you please. But also because there's decent bike parking at the National (if often full; but you can improvise). Because you can bring a pannierful of picnic provisions for a free al fresco evening out. Because it's a good central place to meet up with friends. And because events finish around 7.30pm, from where you can trundle up or down alongside the river to further possibilities, or go home to complain there's nothing on the telly except stupid talent shows.

In fact, the drinks-vending bike at Watch This Space (above right) would be the perfect bike to bike to Watch This Space in. (Possibly even more perfect than my previous favourite bike.) It has an esky at the front with just enough space for beers for a party of four, and a basket at the back for fruit, in case of audience-participation juggling. I'm all for entertainment on the box.

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