May 31, 2006, by Peter Kirwan

The Duck and the Swan

My girlfriend finished her exams today, so to celebrate I took her for dinner at the Dirty Duck, a pub which is as big a part of the Complete Works in my opinion as any of the plays.

It’s a pub opposite the Swan Theatre that serves gorgeous food, good wine and is beautifully decorated with quotes and RSC posters. If you’re in there at the right time, you’ll normally catch the cast and crews of the plays having lunch/dinner/drinks there too. I’m a big fan of the Duck, and as I spend so much time in Stratford at the moment it’s been getting quite a lot of my custom.

Afterwards, to the Swan to see ‘Much Ado’, which is her favourite play. It’s still amazing, and has now almost completely sold out its entire run, so obviously word of mouth has spread. I believe that one of the marks of a good comedy is that it’s still funny the second time, and this one certainly is.

I started trying to tally up today how much this Festival is costing me. Let’s see– seeing about 60 performances at between £5 and £30 each (mostly cheaper ones, thankfully). £4 return train fare each time, and £2 on the bus. £3.50 for a programme, £1.50 for an ice–cream, maybe £6 or so for dinner in town beforehand…… I dread to think. Well, as long as I only eat every other day, I’m sure I won’t go completely bankrupt!

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