Monday, 11 April 2011

Hip! Hip! Booooooooo!!! Gerroff the stage!!

The Hippodrome, Dartford Road, March
The Hippodrome is JD Wetherspoon’s new pub, in the former Hippodrome Cinema (hence the name).
Now, as any fule kno (especially if that fule has a good Classical education) a hippodrome is where the Ancient Greeks used to race horses, and especially chariots, although the word is now widely used as a name for a theatre, particularly one specialising in variety rather than ‘serious’ drama.
New pub, new sign. It looks like this:
It’s theatre. A Greek theatre, no less. In fact it looks to me extraordinarily like a daubed representation of the magnificent 4th-century BC theatre at Epidauros (been there, recited Sophocles in it – in the Greek, of course). What it most certainly is not, though, is a hippodrome. (Nor is it strictly speaking an amphitheatre, while I’m at it.)

To me this is as daft as calling a pub, say, Aintree, and putting a picture of Anfield or the Liverpool Empire on the sign. It annoys me so much that I am tempted to use Strong Language. But my Mom might read this one day, so I’d better not.
Or maybe I should just get a sense of proportion. . .

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