Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mind the Gap 7 (London & England Trip)

Today was Shakespeare Saturday -- sort of. Took the "coach" from Reading back to London to attend the Globe Theatre's production of Anne Boleyn, a contemporary play (with many Shakespearean features) set in the time of Henry VIII. Sat on the second tier of the replica Globe, which is almost like Shakespeare's, and in almost exactly the same place, but slightly smaller and with an extension out from the main stage into the "groundlings" (standing room only) area to allow for more flexibility with actor's entrances and exits. The play, although not strictly historically accurate, was excellent, as was the acting. No matter where you sit (or stand) in this theater-in-the-round setting, you're never far from the stage, and the actors could be heard fine without any micing. There was live 16th-century-style musical accompaniment from a small band, too. Unfortunately, it was raining, but the main stage is covered and the sky cleared about half-way through the play. This experience was kind of a dream come true for a certain blogging English major....

Afterward, walked through the nearby Boroughs Market, a farmer's market type thing, which was closing, but there were still food samples out to try at many of the stalls. Then, ate at a pub with a downstairs eating area arranged as brick "cells" (alcoves) with bars on the windows between each "cell". Excellent fish and chips, and a pint.

Then, took a short walk to the Tate Modern and toured the third-floor art galleries devoted to the Surrealists. Being crazy about the Surrealists, this was another peak experience for your correspondent.

After, walked over the Millennium Bridge towards St. Paul's Cathedral and the tube station, snapping many pictures along the way. Took the tube to Paddington and the train back to Reading. Feet: tired.

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