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Two Random London Questions: Heathrow and the Threatre

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Mar 20th, 2012, 10:37 AM
  #1
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Two Random London Questions: Heathrow and the Threatre

Howdy All,
My week-long trip to London in almost a week away!! My flight back got changed (presuming non-"full" flight) from a noon flight to an 8:30 AM flight.
What time would you recommend arriving at Heathrow for an 8:30AM flight on a Fri. morning? (I'm not a nervous flyer, but I like to be early to make sure everything is A-okay!)

Second, I'm seeing Wicked (yea!!) on Wed.night at the Apollo Victoria. What kind of attire will be expected/ accepted? (I travel light and really don't want to pack dress clothes/shoes unless I must.)

Thanks all!
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Mar 20th, 2012, 10:43 AM
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If your travel is across the Atlantic or otherwise intercontinental, then the recommended time is 3 hours beforehand.

Theatres don't expect people to 'dress up' any more. Smart casual will do.
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Mar 20th, 2012, 11:04 AM
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Agreed, smart casual is perfectly fine. You will see people wearing suits and dresses, and tourists wearing jeans and sneakers. You will feel perfectly comfortable in smart casual.

As for Heathrow, you likely wont be able to get there in time using public transport. Check out www.justairports.com for a car transfer service if you cant make it by tube.
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Mar 20th, 2012, 11:07 AM
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Not sure what you mean by "dress clothes". If you mean tuxedo and gown you'rea bout 100 years out of date. If you mean business suit/dress - also not necessary.

For adults it's nice to wear something better than jeans and sneakers - but there's no Swiss Guard at the door.
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Mar 20th, 2012, 01:25 PM
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In London, theatre is about what's on stage. No one cares at all what one wears as long as you don't reek
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Mar 20th, 2012, 01:47 PM
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nytraveler - it's always nice to wear something better than jeans and sneakers.

How one presents oneself is fairly important, especially as a guest in their country.

I, honestly, can say that I've never taken jeans or sneakers to Europe, or Asia, or Central or South America.

It's not been snooty. It's more a matter of politeness. Living out of a 22" suitcase is difficult enough, without adding heavy jeans and sneakers to the lot.
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Mar 20th, 2012, 01:56 PM
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"It's not been snooty. It's more a matter of politeness."

And how, precisely, is insisting in a real city on following the etiquette of some grisly Midwestern suburb "politeness"?

Dress at a proper London play as if you were out for your annual brush with culture at the Carousel Dinner Theater in Moronsville, Iowa, and you'll look like a provincial hick.

What part of "we don't do dress codes here" do you not understand? Or do you believe it's your duty to educate us in how we ought to dress for the theatre?
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Mar 20th, 2012, 02:22 PM
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Dress as you would on a dinner date at a mid-level restaurant in the US ($15+ per entree). Rasta's notion that you have to present yourself in a certain fashion as a "guest" in someone else's country is off-base. Rasta has repeatedly banged a drum on this board to the tune of "no T-shirts, no shorts, no jeans, not ever." That's nonsense - you'll stand out as overdressed during the day most of the time and you'll often be uncomfortable to boot (especially in hotter climates).

As long as you don't act the fool, no one will care - there are 8,000,000 people in London and none of them you interact with only momentarily will remember you for long after you're gone if you don't act like a horse's derriere. The fact that you asked the question means you won't fit such a paradigm.
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Mar 20th, 2012, 02:31 PM
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I think business causal is appropriate at the opera, ballet, proper plays, and that kind of thing. For somethings like Wicked, I'd probably expect most of the audience to be extremely casual if not rumpled.

There's also a happy medium between overdressing, and looking like a slob because no one cares what you look like.
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Mar 20th, 2012, 08:08 PM
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BigRuss, A few years ago I spent a week on business in Modena. Not a tourist area. Looking at the locals, I managed to see one person in jeans the entire week, actually the same person over and over. He was sort of the town je ne sais quoi, as he was the only one.

Yes, I beat the drum. And I walk away from American tourists who look like they are from Moronsville, Iowa. I'm here to learn about the culture and the people, not to advertize my ignorance of local culture and act like I'm in the European city of Moronsville, Iowa.
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Mar 21st, 2012, 12:20 AM
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"I'm here to learn about the culture and the people, not to advertize my ignorance of local culture and act like I'm in the European city of Moronsville, Iowa."

that is silly. really. And I don't believe you about not seeing a single 'normal' person wearing jeans -- unless you are just talking about folks at work. That is entirely different. But when those business people are off 'duty', they wear much less formal clothing.
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Mar 21st, 2012, 12:58 AM
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This whole thing about people who live in Europe as well as that island lying off the coast not wearing denim is so five minutes ago.
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Mar 21st, 2012, 02:37 AM
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What's wrong with blue jeans, t-shirt and sneakers when travelling. That's the way I travel all the time and have never been asked to leave (I do make sure my clothes are relatively clean and not full of holes). I even wear a baseball cap (athough not backwards but do take if off inside). This is the 21st century...(I'm fron New York and dress the same way when I go to the theater in NY)....and you know what I've found in locals? They dress that way too except when going to work!
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Mar 21st, 2012, 12:07 PM
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Dukey, here's your next 5 minutes.

Dressing for flying and the theatre....

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BAH01K1EK2.DTL

As xyzq123, and probably Big Russ would say "what's wrong with?..."
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:09 AM
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Sorry I started a firestorm! =-) My basic question was: do I need to pack slacks, a tie, and a jacket. Minus one, the answer seems to be, "no". Thanks all!
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 08:41 AM
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You can certainly do without a tie unless you're going to some posh and up-itself restaurant (who should be willing to lend you one if they insist on your wearing one). You will need some sort of outer layer (the weather's nice at the moment, but there can still be quite a nip in the evening breezes).
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 12:02 PM
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No tie, khakis are fine, or whatever you want. Given space limitations, I try to find pants that can be worn multiple days without looking like it got into a fight with a cat. Of course, the same for shirts. For underwear, there's Woolite and a heater or the sun.

If there are things you can't do without, but aren't going to lug a bunch around, try http://www.minimus.biz/ for one use items.
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Mar 24th, 2012, 07:38 AM
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theatres are very casual in UK, you'll see a few people dressing up a bit for evening performances, but that tends to be more 'fashion' dressing up to make it a date night out, rather than old fashioned formal dress, so still few shirts and ties/jackets for example.

As long as you don't have BO no one will care. There will be lots of jeans and trainers being worn - and NOT just by the tourists.
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Mar 24th, 2012, 08:55 AM
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Rather than worry about what to wear in a London theatre, prepare yourself for a surprise - and even partake - in something else that happens in London theatres that you'll rarely ever see in NA theatres: enjoy drinks (wine, beer and pop) at your seat during the intermission (and maybe possibly during the show - I can't recall).
Don't know if your theatre offers that, but the one where I saw 'Hairspray' in 2009 sure did. The crowd around us at the matinee even continued to drink (very civilly) through the beginning of second act. You'll also get ice cream, sold seat-side or at the bottom of the aisles. Enjoy it when you can !
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Mar 24th, 2012, 09:39 AM
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If you want a drink at the interval, go into one of the bars before you go to your seat and pre-order a drink. It will be waiting for you on a side table or shelf and you won't have to fight the scrum of everyone trying to get to the bar.
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