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Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Theater, The Theater...

Classes... as usual, except that Professor Fielding let us out of classes 1 hour early so that we could go visit this really brilliant display that was at the Victoria and Albert Museum!  It was a theater display with about 25 costumes worn by many famous people, including Maggie Smith and Vivian Leigh!  They were extremely elaborate and lots of fun to look at!  They also had miniature scenic designs and... (this was really cool)  the original flying harness from Peter Pan!  Overall, a great exhibit!  Unfortunately, because we stayed quite a while at that exhibit, and had a fireside that night, there was little opportunity to go out and do something else, so I did laundry and went grocery shopping.  We had a really amazing Fireside for FHE from the former Stake President about the Blitz during WWII.  He had quite a few memories, and a lot of information about the kinds of things that had gone on.  It was quite remarkable to hear it first hand.  
I went for an amazing run in the morning, through Hyde Park and ran along the lake that is there.  I also ran past the riding coral and saw several people ride by on white horses.  It was incredibly lovely.  
 Later that morning, we went to a really amazing place called Middle Temple Hall.  It is a place where lawyers become lawyers.  It is a place of instruction and eating for barristers.  Anyway, several really cool things about it.  It is a great dining hall where the first performance of Twelfth Night took place.  It also has a priceless picture of Charles II and because Sir Walter Reighley was an honorary member, he brought back his hatch cover and the lantern from his ship The Golden Hind (after Circumnavigating the globe)  and were placed in this hall.  The hatch cover was made into a table and the lantern hangs in the foyer( it is actually a replacement lantern because a bomb hit the road outside of Middle Temple Hall during the war and blew apart much of the foyer of the hall and almost completely destroyed the lantern, except the crown.  So that was pretty amazing:)  
That afternoon, we went to a production of Twelfth Night.  It was a very interesting production.  The production was designed for children, which made it interesting all on its own, because a lot of the script was cut.  In addition, they only had 6 actors, so each actor had at least two roles, several had three.  If you are at all familiar with the story, Viola and Sebastian were played by the same person, and a man.  Very weird.  But well done. The set design was quite amazing and incorporated all the elements (earth, fire, water and fog/wind). 
I also made some bread later that night:)  a little Challah bread.  Unfortunately we don't have measuring cups, so I just did my best to measure correctly.   I also put the bread in the oven to rise without realizing that the oven was on 200 Celsius.  Whoops.  Needless to say, it didn't rise.  It baked, and only on the top, so I had to flip it over and cook the other side... Sort of like the pancake cooking principle.. Except not really.  Oh well.  It did taste pretty good though.  
Adventures all around!  Class in the morning, then 3 friends and I ran off to Kensington Palace.  It was SO cool!  I think I took a LOT of pictures!   Probably around a hundred.  They had an entire Princess Diana display with about 20 of her dresses, then they had a huge and very fun Debutante Display with a ton of fantastic dresses from that and some very interesting commentary from former debutantes. (In this exhibit, we also learned how to curtsy properly:) Then we walked through actual Palace decorated rooms that were so beautiful!  Lots of paintings and murals and tapestries, and beautiful views of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. 
We then had to run off to the National Theater for Time and the Conways.  We first went on a tour of the theater ( it is HUGE).  It has three full sized theaters in it. One that seats over a thousand, on with about 800 seats, and the last one with seats between 200 and 400 depending on the configuration.  It also has facilities to build sets, costumes, props and has rehearsal rooms that are the sizes of the two larger stages.  It was remarkable!  So then we went to the show.  WOW.  All I can say is WOW!  The cast, first of all, was quite incredible.  There are 10 characters 7 of them are mother and siblings.  The mother was played by the weird stepmother in Wives and Daughters (she is also the very rich lady in Cranford), Kay, the focal daughter, was played by Elinor from the newest Sense and Sensibility, and the love interest of one of the other sisters was played by Major Gordon in Cranford. A good way to start, however, it is a very powerful play about time and this family's story, through time.  It begins with the night of Kay's 21st birthday.  Then the second act flashes to when she turns 40 and then the third act has her at 21 again.  The interesting thing is, is that in the third act, you already know what has happened to the other characters and how their lives have played out, so seeing that, many of the lines are much more poignant as they talk about their future.  The staging was amazing!  Incredible use of lights, costume and stage space!  Very compelling actors, and a really incredible message.  I would have to describe it in person, but take it from me, that it was the best production I have ever seen.  
Pretty much, London Rocks!  

1 comment:

  1. Could you be having a better time? I doubt it!