Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Cheers, Mate!

Oh I have been remiss! There is so much that I've done in the last week and I really don't want to spend a lot of time blogging today.
Really quick recap:

Tuesday we (as a class) went on a guided Shakespeare walk through London. We started at Middle Temple Hall, where the very first production of Twelfth Night was performed (and the film site of Hogwarts' banquet hall):
Then we proceeded to go past the reconstructed and relocated Globe Theater, the original site of The Rose theater and The Globe, and several other interesting things as well.

Wednesday we went on another walk, this time lead by our very quintessentially British guest lecturer, David Brady.
He's an Arts and Architecture professor at Regent's so his walk was more to do with architecture. Very interesting. Lots of buildings. We went from White Hall to Somerset House through Trafalgar Square and Covent Gardens. After the walk I dallied at Somerset House a while. They had a really interesting sound installation - the artist placed microphones under the Thames. As you walked around this interesting little space, you could hear all the different noises of the river. It was very cool and very difficult to describe. Finally I wandered around The Courtauld Gallery. It's a small art gallery but it has some amazing paintings, including two Van Goughs. One of those two is THE self portrait. The other is just spectacular. All Van Gough painting are, and you have to see them in person. Just the depth and the texture of the paint. I could stare at a Van Gough painting the size of a post card for hours on end and stay completely enthralled.

Thursday we took the train to Stratford-Upon-Avon (!)(... that wasn't nearly enough parenthetical exclamation. This is better: !!!!!!!!!!). It was really nice to get out into the country for a little while. We did all the typical Shakespeare tourist stuff, of course. The highlight for me was Shakespeare's Grave:
I know it doesn't look like much, but as I stood there I had chills. I was just a few feet away from the corporeal remains of the greatest writer of all time! Just let that sink in. The greatness is indescribable. Of course, we also went to all the important places: Anne Hathaway's Cottage, the Birthplace, Hall's Croft (his brother in law's house), and we saw a production of Antony and Cleopatra. The play was actually a little disappointing.

Funny thing: Seven years ago, Make-A-Wish sent me and my family to London for a few days. It was a wonderful, but brief trip. My actual wish was to see a play at the reconstructed Globe Theater and the play we saw was Richard III. It was a spectacular production with an all female cast. Very unusual, very interesting, very good. The actress who portrayed Richard in that production actually played Cleopatra in the play we saw last week. She's brilliant, but I'm not sure it was the best casting choice.

On the way back from S-u-A on Friday a handful of us decided to jump off the train in Warwick and have a look at Warwick Castle:
It was gorgeous. Sadly my camera battery died in the Peacock Garden so I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked. C'est La Vie.

Saturday and Sunday I spent lazing about. My stomach rebelled and wouldn't let me eat anything so I spent most of my time in my room doing not much of any interest.

Yesterday I wrote a paper. In the evening we went to a play at The National Theater: London Assurance. It was fantastic! It's a farce, so of course it was funny. The cast was brilliant and star studded.

Today is my birthday so I am definitely going out tonight and having a fabulous time. I've got my eye on blues bar with a live band. Hopefully some dancing in is my future too. It will be grand! And, as per tradition on this blog, I have some some dancing creatures doing a birthday dance:

I like cats. Here's another one:

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