The £50 theatre challenge


 I’m going on a mission to see as much theatre in London for £50. 

As is typical of anyone that lives in London, I get that familiar nagging feeling I should do more. You know, see more sights, go on the Eye, meet the Queen. Stuff Londoners are supposed to do.

Thing is, you’re always at risk of letting living in London pass you by. It doesn’t take long for your eyes to glaze over as your bus rolls past Big Ben, for the thrill of jumping through the slamming doors of a tube carriage to wear off. You forget that the rest of the country doesn’t have access to a near unlimited choice of restaurants, that no one else is paying by debit card for a bus journey, that you’re living in a city literally bursting with stuff to see and do and eat. Instead, you put your head down and earphones in.

To combat this weird pseudo-guilt, I’m dedicating £50 of this month’s paycheck to theatre. I’m gonna see as much of it as I can physically (and financially) can fit in. And it’s going to be awesome.

Why theatre? Why £50?

I DO WHAT I WANT THAT’S WHY. Also because I love going to the theatre, and I just haven’t been able to find the time or money to get tickets this last year. There is so much of it in London, and it’s not all £90 tickets for West End musicals. I want to dig out the freebies, the am-dram gems, the Shakespeare and the weird stuff too. I’ve picked £50 because that’s enough to keep it interesting without breaking the bank or restricting myself too much. I’m going to prove that theatre is accessible in London, and that it can be cheap as chips if you know where to go.

The rules:

  1. I have exactly £50 reserved- not a penny more.
  2. I want to see as many shows as possible- I’m not blowing it all on one ticket to see a Jacko impersonator.
  3. If I see a show for free, I will donate £2 to Mousetrap (a children’s theatre charity). This means a maximum possibility of 25 shows.
  4. It has to be a play. This excludes stand-up and cabaret, for instance, but includes musicals, improv and that stuff.
  5. There is no time limit, because sod that.
  6. I can get a ticket from wherever I want, including YPlan, Entry Pass, begging, and winning them at a poker game.
  7. I’mma review every show on the basis of how good it was, whether it was worth the dollar and on whether I’d pay full price for a ticket if it was discounted or free. Also if there were any hot cast members.

The plan

So I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to see upwards of five shows. I’m gonna call it now and say I’ll see 8, though more would be fantastic. The aim is to see at least one West End musical, because they’re the notoriously expensive ones, and for the rest to be as varied as possible.

I’ll try and restrict the ways I find cheap tickets to one per avenue, if that makes sense. I won’t just overdose on YPlan, or only use my under-25 discount five times, because that would be boring and I wouldn’t want to exclude the oldies reading. I’m aiming for one show a week until my funds run out, but don’t hold me to that.

So, there’s nothing more to say now until I actually, well, see a show. So I’ll shut up now and keep you posted. Here’s to the cheap seats!


PS: If you want to come with me, please do! I mean, as long as you are in London and don’t plan on stealing all my snacks or feeling me up at the interval, you’re more than welcome to join me. Just let me know and make sure I’ve got you on Facebook/mobile no, and when I find tickets I’ll message out to see if you fancy whatever show I’ve dregded up. 


Croatia in blue: Split and Braç

I may have only visited a small corner of Croatia, but I can tell you it’s beautiful. Split and Braç (a calmer, lesser known island than Hvar) have a really soft charm, like you’re looking at everything through an Instagram filter. In August, the sun glare gives a slight haze over the coast, and there are a hundred shades of gorgeous, deep blues around you. Naturally, this being a beach holiday, every waking moment was spent on the coastline with a book, a bottle of ice cold lemon beer and a pair of sunnies, gazing out to sea like a lazy sailor. Well, when you weren’t jumping off cliffs, anyway.



Split beach- find a cliff point, jump off, splash land. Rinse and repeat.



This is Supetar marina, on the island Braç . That’s the Croatian mainland looming in the background.



Above is the Split harbour just after sunset. I’m not too great at night-photography, so this photo doesn’t quite capture the purpley-marbled sky, but you definitely get the idea!



I know this kid looks pretty cool, earnestly staring out to sea like a navy-wife, but he was actually a bossy little so and so, ordering his minion friends around in the water below him. Still, who doesn’t love a silhouette!



Split marina, where every bit of cliffside is a sun-worshipping opportunity.



This corker of a church is inside the famous cemetery overlooking Supetar bay.


I loved Croatia- and have so much more to say about it, so keep an eye on the blog for my next post :)


The Lads’ Holiday: My Travelling Guilty Pleasure

I have plenty of what you would call ‘guilty pleasures’. I’m not even remotely shamed by them- bring me your worst 2003 pop, your Harry Potter fanfic, your early B-side Swiftie- and watch me embrace the pleasure with none of the guilt. I am all kinds of enthusiastic where embarrassingly enjoying myself is concerned.

Now, I am big on travelling. I am big on learning the cultural impact of the Venetian empire’s decline. I am big on finding the island’s freshest fish. I am very big on seeing what the locals see, eating what the locals eat, and going where the locals go. All very serious travel blogger lark. Quite.

(This is a very longwinded way of saying that I went on a #Lads’ Holiday, and it was my travelling guilty pleasure.)

We spent all day dozing on sunloungers listening to (who’da thunk it) Taylor Swift, then perked up in time to play vicious drinking games (with the guys helping me cheat so they didn’t have to carry me home later that night), then onto the Strip, where we went to the same club six nights in a row to listen to bad remixes of Calvin Harris songs and chug watered down cocktails. Rinse and repeat.


Of course, I exerted my Only-Woman-Here power to strongarm them into visiting tiny, silent villages to visit Cuban churches and hike up mini-mountains, but they were willing enough as long as we had a pint-break at some point. Fair’s fair.

We skinny dipped on the first night, giddy from sickly shots and our alcohol-induced increased body confidence. We befriended a guy who had a pet vulture. We requested Beyonce at every bar we were in, and obnoxiously sang football chants as we got lost on our way home.

The guys spent a good deal of time finding creative ways to injure themselves (black eye = playfight, sunburn = too drunk to put suncream on, sprained wrist = rugby tackle into the sea, bruised rib = pretty sure Danny just threw himself on the floor for this one), though nobody threw up which is pretty impressive.

All in all, it wasn’t a classy week. That does not mean, however, it wasn’t one the best experiences I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s all in my head, or maybe it’s the volume of travel blogs I read, but I’ve noticed a distancing between ”travelling” and “holidays”. You know, where one includes yoga  and underground bars , and the other includes copious amount of Pitbull (Mr Worldwide) and Full Englishes.

I’d like to submit the idea that travelling, whether to experience culture and to come back grounded, or to experience loud music and come back hungover, is wonderful in all forms. Our location might have been interchangeable with any old Costa Del Sol, but sometimes you need a week long, drunk reunion instead of breaking the spine of a LP guidebook.

And anyway, who would turn down a week with this boyband?





Sirmione, Lake Garda.

The last time I looked at visiting Lake Garda, having seen brochures filled with stunning vistas, and jaw dropping price tags, I nearly choked on my Ribena and decided to park that idea for a time where I was earning approximately three times as much as I am now. I would have to wait a long time before I could afford a trip like that…

And then my lovely boyfriend and I set off for Verona. I’d read somewhere that Lake Garda was spitting distance from the Veronese centre, so I made it our collective mission to see this place- and on a tight budget.

Deciding which town surrounding the enormous lake to visit was our first task. After deliberating over the pros of each location, we couldn’t decide and ended up dip-dip-do-ing our way to Sirmione. A small town on the end of a peninsula, it seemed as good a place as any to get to know the lago, so first thing in the morning we hopped on a bus and sped on over.

The bus dropped us off at the very bottom of the town, leaving us with a twenty minute walk before we actually saw any sign of the lake. The streets before the tip of the peninsula are your bog-standard gated-hotel affair, which, only on reflection, made arriving at the Sirmione drawbridge all the quainter.


To enter the town, you must cross a hand-pulled drawbridge. This means there are no cars- just concessional obligatory Italian Vespa, whipping round the cobbled streets. The town is guarded by the Rocca Scaligera, which for the low low price of 2 euros, will give you a stunning overview of the Sirmione town’s rooftops, complete with world famous mountain/lake combo backdrop for added jaw-drops. If you’re in Sirmione, go up it. That’s an order.

We poked around Grotte di Calutto, the gorgeous Roman ruins named after a local poet, which was pretty cheap and gave amazing views of the Garda mountains. We spent a good portion of the day slowly wandering around and trying to guess what all the room ruins would have been once and resisting the temptation to make poppy-daisy-chains. We nosed out the best gelato in the area (seriously, I think about the pistachio cone every couple of days still), and spent the majority of the day at the bottom of the Sirmione cliff paddling about in the water.

I’d read that restaurants tended to be pricey, so we packed a picnic to save on costs here. I’d strongly recommend this- there are loads of beautiful places to eat alfresco in Sirmione. We had ours on the marbled rocks on the lake edge- picking through olives and tearing up bits of cured ham. I’m sure the restaurants are fantastic, but this was a budget day out and nothing beats having your lunch while dipping your tootsies into one of the most famous lakes in the world…


The most noticeable and beautiful thing about Sirmione (and Italy all over, really) is the colour. Little splashes of orange and rose pinks in the flowers and on the houses, the glaring blue of the lake, and, of course, the deep red of the glasses of Bardolino to bring it all together (well, it wouldn’t be Italy without the wine). I loved Sirmione, and the whole day had barely cost anything. Mission accomplished.