The Old Vic On The Green


I made my usual journey by train to London Waterloo for a lunch date with Norman at Tas. Jackie drove me to New Milton for the outward trip, and collected me from Brockenhurst for the return.

On a very crowded train I sat with a mother and her three children. The eldest two had their own seats and a little girl sat on her mother’s lap. The woman decided to make room for one of the standing passengers. With great effort, and mild protestations from her small son, she placed the two youngest on her lap on the window seat, leaving the aisle one vacant. She then gesticulated to indicate that the seat was free. There were no takers. It was half an hour before the little girl slid off her mother’s knee into the seat.

I took the Millennium Green route to The Cut from Waterloo Station. This involves walking down steps to the street below.


Buddleias are known as the Butterfly plant because they attract those insects. I call them the Railway Line plant because they invade every aspect of our railways. Here they festoon the wall alongside the approach road.


My reward for choosing to walk through the green was meeting Caggie

The Old Vic signScaffolding 1

who was posting signs explaining the scaffolding that was going on.


Who’s that getting into shot? Ah! It’s Caggie.

Waterloo Millennium Green

Scaffolding 4

Scaffolding and London Eye 1

Normal life continued around the perimeter of the gardens,

Scaffolding 2

Scaffolding 3

while a team of strong young men set about erecting the frame for the temporary theatre.

Scaffolding and London Eye 2Scaffolding and London Eye 3

I wondered whether passengers on The London Eye would be able to see this activity.

Scaffolding 5

Caggie was certainly keeping a close eye on it.

Scaffoldin 6Scaffolding 7

The staff were positively bustling.

Scaffolding 8

There she is again,

Scaffolding 9

doing the tour.

This fun young woman gave me permission to photograph what I liked. Thank you, Caggie.

At Tas Turkish restaurant, Norman I enjoyed each other’s company as usual. My meal was haddock in a very tasty stew with salad, followed by a piquant cold rice pudding dish. We shared the house red wine, as is our custom.

I dozed away most of my return journey.


  1. What an interesting venture it sounds like. I used to love those kind of set-ups when I was in Geneva. Unfortunately Dubai is a bit more constrained on shows and what is allowable in terms even of set-ups of theatres so we only get to see what has been centrally organised and vetted.

  2. Well done, Old Vic! This sounds a wonderful idea – I hope it will be well-supported. That’s certainly a whole lot of scaffolding going up there! I love the way people are just casually continuing as normal in the midst of all this frenetic activity.

  3. I have an unsung thing about scaffolding so I thank you for these marvellous pictures …. The Old Vic triumphs again (and not because of the scaffolding) – bringing theatre to a different audience perhaps, which must be a good thing.

  4. This was such a great post, chock full of wonder and amazing things going on. I am impressed you were allowed on the “inside” of things, but you are a professional in my eyes! Derrick thanks for sharing and hope to see a follow up!

  5. Rosebay Willow Herb is very similar to Buddleia. Both plants were supposedly spread by the steam trains sucking the seeds along the sides of the track as they hurtled past.

    1. I’d never heard that intriguing explanation, though there must be other vectors in the mix, since buddleia appears frequently in cracks in chimney pots on roofs some distance railway lines, a feat (in height terms*) RbWH doesn’t seem able to match. Anywhere a bit of urban dust can lodge, buddleia seems to find it.
      * odd, really, considering the thistledown nature of its seeds.

  6. I’ve missed your posts, thinking you’re not allowed to blog anymore 🙂 In fact there must be something wrong with Reader or it is on strike. I will have to find out what I’d missed tomorrow.

  7. You’re always up to something fun, Derrick! Love to see all of that work going into the venue – there must be quite an arts program going on to support all of that. Excellent.

  8. I enjoy your posts Derrick, you introduce the reader into a part of your world, the pictures tell the story of your environment and locale, always diverse and interesting subjects.

  9. That’s fine set of scaffold pics, especially the contrast between the graceful Eye curve and the grid lattice of the temporary auditorium. 11 & 12 particularly good.

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