Norwich’s rich cultural repertoire has Liam drooling like a rabid dog. He’s joined the club at the Theatre Royal and has planned an entire programme of cultural festivities to drag me along to. I daren’t admit that I’d rather catch Coronation Street as the cold nights approach. Our latest date was with Anna Karenina at Cinema City. The mini-multiplex is housed in the Suckling’s House and Stuart Hall, a Grade I listed complex spanning a 14th Century merchant’s house and an early twentieth century public hall. Much of the ground floor is occupied by a trendy bar with an ancient vaulted oak ceiling and a fancy restaurant extending into a medieval courtyard. It feels like a swanky café with a cinema attached rather than the other way round. We took our deep, comfy seats and witnessed a parade of boozy bacchanalian folk file past with bottles of white rattling away in their ice buckets. Anna was a lavish hostess – exquisitely staged, sumptuously filmed, superbly acted and evocatively scored. Loyalty, betrayal and suffocating social convention were magically set against the sweeping steppe. Keira Knightley’s impossibly long bedecked neck stole the show. Liam was mesmerised. I was strangely unmoved. As the end credits rolled, the audience tottered out. Many were clearly pie-eyed and not in control of their faculties. Who says the middle classes don’t have a drink problem?
You might also like: