I spent Saturday night in Melbourne with my boy and an interesting cast of characters.
Saturday began normally enough, sleep-in, breakfast, laundry. Eventually we headed into Melbourne for our big night out.
We found the car park and headed down Swanston St to check into the hotel. The entrance did not disappoint. There was Haighs, right were I expected it to be. With a window full of red, black, and silver packaging all ready for Valentine’s Day.
We walked (slowly) past and headed into reception. Slightly concerned about the noise from the construction works outside we checked in. Our room on floor 10 was lovely. Spacious, well-appointed with a great view of the city. There were a couple of spots in the bathroom that looked like a drunk home handyman had made some repairs, but apart from that the room was immaculate. An actual opening window allowed us to check the noise level outside and we were pleasantly surprised to discover that we could hear almost nothing with the window closed. In fact the noise from the apparent party in the next room was more disturbing.
We started out on the long walk from Swanston to Jeff’s Shed, realised Haighs was closed, stopped just up the street at ‘Dumplings Plus’ for dinner. We ordered way too much food: Chive and Shrimp dumplings, Pan Fried Dumplings, Steamed Vegetable Dumplings and Green Tea. Stuffed!!!
We rolled out of the restaurant and headed down the street, walked through Bourke St Mall, admired a few shop windows, turned down Elizabeth St towards the railway underpass. As we do every visit to Melbourne we paused at the Spanish Doughnut shop but continued onwards.
We headed across Flinders St to the underpass, over the bridge and onto Southbank.
This is where we start to realise there are a lot of Whovians in town.
Walking along the river down to the Plenary at the Exhibition Centre we spotted many Who inspired outfits.
After a quick stop for gelati (peppermint choc chip for me, cookies and cream for the boy) we were on the final stretch. The number of costumes rose sharply.
Once inside the theatre we were amazed by the number of people (and the number of fezzes).
We spotted at least 12 red fezzes, many tweed jackets, 2 Tardis dresses and at least one Dalek.
The show started with the Doctor Who opening music performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the accompanying choir. We were then introduced to the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Mark Sheppard – Mark played Canton Everett Delaware III in 2 episodes of the most recent Doctor Who series.
The evening consisted of 2 1/2 hours of orchestral music supported by 2 amazing vocalists and a choir.
I have to say I concentrated on the clips from the series so much I almost didn’t hear the orchestra at all.
The second last number which was the only one that did not have an accompanying clip made me realise how engrossed I had been. Usually when I see an orchestra I spend at least some time admiring the orchestra, checking out the instruments and the outfits.
The Spectacular was definitely that. It included guest stars (or costumes at least). Cybermen, Vampires, The Silence, an Ood, an Impossible Astronaut, a Judoon, Silurians and 4 Daleks. I could not believe how big the Daleks are in “person”. I will admit to being a little disappointed that the focus was so squarely on the Matt Smith series, but loved the score dedicated to the various regenerations of the Doctor.
It was the only clip that included Doctors other than Matt Smith, in fact it included all 11 Doctors.
The applause started loudly for Number 1, went up to Number 4 (Tom Baker), plateaued, peaked again with David Tennant (of course) and was almost as frantic for Matt Smith.
An excellent night. We wandered back to the hotel floating on the vast Whovian euphoria and crashed.