What is stereotypically quintessentially British?

What do I reckon people see when they think of Britain? Check out my list…

I might be living in Dubai at the moment but that doesn’t stop me loving my home country, England. From the ridiculously bipolar weather conditions to drinking a whole lot of tea – there are so many things that I think have become by default British traditions and stereotypes. Other Brits mights disagree, but I think around the world these things immediately come to mind when people think about Britain or should I perhaps say, London.  Let me know if you think of something different when you think of Britain, and be on the look out for my own list of what makes Britain, Britain to me.

1 A Full English Breakfast
Oh boy, where do I even start? A Full English is heaven on a chipped china plate. It’s ingredients apparently should be enjoyed together: (although I have reservations about the tomatoes, of all things)

Back bacon
Scrambled, fried or poached eggs
Grilled or friend tomatoes
Grilled mushroom
Toast or fried bread
Baked beans (Heinz)
Sausages
Black pudding
And, if you’re really like a bloody good hash brown
HP Brown Sauce or Heinz Tomato Ketchup if you’re not quite as sophisticated (like me).

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My mouth is just watering thinking about it, I can barely type.

2 Red buses, red telephone boxes, red letter boxes & Black Cabs.
We might as well have red cabs, our love of red just seems to be ongoing.

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I promise I’m sat on a Red Bus, 2011 was not a kind year for red sunglasses, pink scarves, grey gloves, and some strange winter combo.

3 London Underground
It smells of just about every disgusting thing under the sun, during rush hour it feels like the Sahara, people push and shove but it is definitely an experience and a half!

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4 Shakespeare, Fleming & Rowling
Of course these are just three names that stick out in British literature amongst many. From Fleming’s Bond, Shakespeare’s Othello and Rowling’s Potter I’ve just named so clear-cut protagonists who made history. British writing at it’s best.

5 An unhealthy obsession with the Royals & Big Ben
Good or bad, we talk about them. Do they take all tax payers money (no) and whether the Queen looked like a sunglower at Wills & Kate’s wedding (yes), we love to moan, print pictures and fill coloumn inches with our Royals. Do we need them? Probably not. Should we keep them? Hell yes! Also Big Ben is NOT the name of the building but a nickname for the bell that dongs, the actual building is called Elizabeth Tower (fun fact), but we are still obsessed by it.

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The Queen and her Corgi are made better just by being in Lego (from Hamleys)!

6 Liberty London, Harrods & Hamleys
I can’t even describe these shops, apart from using one word – yes.

7 Wimbledon, Cricket & Rugby
I should put football in there, but I simply can’t for my dislike of the sport. Tennis, cricket and rugby however. We just seem to love them. Wimbledon, as it happens leads me to my number 8…

8 Strawberries, cream, scones & cups of tea
Strawberries and cream whilst watching centre court at Wimbledon. Why of course. Scones and tea – the perfect remedy for just about anything and a daily ritual as far as I can tell.

9 Sarcasm and Irony, and the word ‘sorry’
Something we do only too well, and since I’ve lived in Dubai I’ve notice confuses practically every other nationality. We also seem to say: ‘sorry,’ a lot too. Sorry, I’m not sure why.

10 ££££
No one else has the pound, it’s ours – goodbye.

11 NHS
Typical Britain – underpaying and overworking valuable staff, complaining constantly about how the NHS is pure shite, and then demanding it treat us for free. I love it. It doesn’t always get it right but bloody hell the people who work there seem to do little else for tuppence, and I’m not talking just consultants, doctors, junior doctors, paramedics and nurses – I’m including everyone like; admin, management, caterers, janitors,porters, all of them.

12 BBC
Of course, it’s on the list. Rocked by scandal in the last few years but still in my opinion quintessentially British.

What do you think is considered stereotypically British, let me know in the comments below? Does your country have any traditions?

 

 

 

-H

 

The Book of Mormon, The Prince of Wales Theatre

Occasionally I’m left speechless by a performance. This is not the case with this show. In fact it is completely the opposite to how I’m feeling. It’s been two days now and I still can’t stop the occasional laugh that brews up within me when I think back to Tuesday night’s hilarious performance.

It was utterly fantastic.

I can’t explain to you how much I enjoyed this show, but heck I’m going to try. Here’s hoping the Latter Day Saints help me out a bit.

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The Prince of Wales Theatre is a stone’s throw away from Leicester Square as well as lovely restaurant Muriel’s Kitchen, which is a great place to stop off before the show. Check out my blog on it. It’s also opposite The Comedy Club, which I hope to check out soon!

The Book of Mormon is an ingenious production brought to us by the creators of South Park; Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. It’s a musical religious satire piece that features two newly graduated Mormon missionaries, one, Elder Price whom believes his calling is in the magical place of Orlando and the other, Elder Cunningham who is a compulsive liar. A fantastic mix, which results in them being dispatched to a remote village in Uganda which is being terrorised by the exceedingly frightening General Butt-Fucking-Naked. A truly despicable human being who wears some wonderful cowboys boots alongside two lots of machine gun bullets wrapped around his upper half. Robbed by the General and made fun of by the locals the two missionaries meet the other missionaries who explain the with the wonderful help of Elder McKinley that they need to: “squash,” their feelings. The song Turn It Off is fabulous display of singing skill, humorous acting, in beat tap dancing, and some very pink waistcoats.

As Elder Price makes it his mission to leave, he is caught in a spooky Mormon hell dream featuring Hitler, Genghis Khan, Jeffery Dahmer and Johnnie Cochran as well as some rather fantastic devil onesies. When he wakes he realises that he cannot leave his companion, Rule 72, and he rushes back to try and help Elder Cunningham. Only to discover Elder Cunningham has, through the medium of imagination, help from the Hobbits and compulsive lying baptised all the villagers without Price and is now the hotshot of the Mormon missionaries.

As the Mormon President comes to celebrate the villagers being baptised all the truth comes out, through a very entertaining reenactment of the Mormon history with Elder Cunningham’s very interesting embellishments. Of course, the realisation that it was all a lie leaves the Ugandan missionaries ex-communicated from the Mormon church, and pretty stuck in the mud. Until they realise the they don’t need the Mormons, they just need each other. As with traditional soppy ending theatre performances it all ends happily, but with this musical it also ends with you laughing your socks off, and tears falling in a good way.

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There are three cast members in particular who are just fantastic in their roles. Of course two of them are the main characters.

Nic Rouleau as Elder Price is simply the best arrogant Mormon ever. He has the facial expressions that just make you cripple with laughter, and a voice that is utterly awesome.

Brian Sears as Elder Cunningham, just thinking about him makes me laugh. There is so much political incorrectness with this character but it’s not offensive, it hugely funny and Brian is just one of kind in this role. The specialness of him is magic.

Stephen Ashfield as Elder McKinley, without a doubt is my favourite. I can’t get enough of his suppression of his feelings for men, whilst simultaneously being the campiest and most feminine character. He’s entertainment factor is stunning.

Another mention should go to Gabrielle Brooks who was Nabulungi in the performance I went to see, her voice is smooth like silk and she has a wonderful range although sometimes I felt that she wasn’t completely comfortable in the role BUT and it is a big but that was only every now and then. As an understudy she was still incredible, and secretly I hope she gets more chance to play this role so she can come into her own more and more.

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GO AND SEE THIS NOW! I’ve helpful attached the website here, so you can go and book your tickets.

For more information on The Prince of Wales Theatre click here.