Pressed creases and creased press night

Two reviews in brief

Last week our iron, the jazzy Breville Digital Colour Select (which lights up the water reservoir a different colour depending on the temperature chosen) decided to break. By break I mean that its thermostat failed to stop it continuing to heat up, even though it was sufficiently hot to cause the ironing board to smolder on contact. In fairness after a while the digital panel started flashing, in a way that suggested something was wrong, although still failed to shut the iron off. We had originally bought the iron because it had an auto-off feature (which was relatively rare at the time), which is somewhat ironic given that it failed to do that as it was left to heat up whilst I had a shave.

Our search for a replacement was based on identifying those with an auto shut-off feature, though we discovered that unlike pro-ceramic glide plates, this isn’t a widely advertised feature on either the shelf ticket or the box itself, requiring the googling of multiple irons in Currys. To cut an incredibly dull introduction to a blog post short, its replacement the relatively expensive Philips Azur 4890/02 is a very good iron, with the extra power (2.6kw vs 2kw for a lot of irons) is noticeable, as it seems able to maintain temperature for the duration of ironing, which our previous iron struggled with. The real test will come with some cotton bedding, but for now, not skimping on an iron was a very good purchasing decision.

My experience with the iron contrasts with last night’s theatre going, to see Bully Boy at the newly opened St James Theatre, spitting distance from the wall of Buckingham Palace. The writing was a bit laboured to try and make a political point about the horrors of war both during and after, the acting was a bit better but let down by the script, that basically cycled which of the two actors would shout/talk/breakdown in each scene. The biggest disappointment for me was the theatre itself. The theatre is purpose built and thus isn’t constrained by an existing space and has a decent size bar and a restaurant (which isn’t open yet, but doesn’t say so anywhere at the theatre, including on the menu outside).

Photo stolen for illustrative purposes
from the St James Theatre website

The auditorium is below ground and has a steep rake, making for excellent sightlines and felt like Trafalgar Studio 1. However, it was disappointing for me, as rather than having poor legroom, it had poor footroom! The gentle rake of most theatres means that as on planes and trains you can put your feet under the chair in front, even if your knees are banging the back of it. In the St James Theatre, the steep rake means that your feet are touching the back of the seat in front. As a result if you’re over 5’8″ and have size 9 or greater feet (or some function of the two), you might feel squashed, not a triumph of design. This may seem trivial, but I once spent a week hobbling from having to bend my toes sat in the Dress Circle slips at the Coliseum – telling colleagues you have a theatre induced injury is difficult to do and retain your professional air.

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