Friday, July 20, 2012

While we lie tumbling in the hay

         I'm back from London and already have a project brewing. A few days ago I was informed that I am going to be playing the Shepherd clown in Winter's Tale! As you can glean from my blog title, I'm already a fan of this particular play, (it's my favorite one by far) so you can imagine how excited I am to start working on it.

         So at my callback, the director (Javen) and I got to talking about clowning in Shakespeare. Javen seemed to want a pretty specific type of character from this, and while I know I have that in me, I have alot of research to do! So I apologize if my blog gets a little rustic on you, but I'm spending some time in Bohemia, baby!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Calm Before the Storm

Here's what is playing in my ears today...

Shake It Off -The Do

It sort of feels like one of those days when I just want to see the world from a distance, so I popped in this song, cleaned the flat, and caught up on homework. About 3/4 of the group went out of the country for the weekend, so I am here enjoying the quiet before Jubilee day tomorrow.

Oh yeah, let me tell you about the Jubilee...

So it's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee tomorrow, a day where the whole of England celebrates the Queen's 60th year on the throne. Only one other monarch has lived long enough to celebrate this event, so this party is going to be HUGE.  
I've seen more urgent signs saying things like "Turn Back Now" or " Beware of Monarch".
I would avoid central London, but I sort of live here. Besides, this is going to be a big deal, right? I'm going to want to be in the middle of it. That's why I've been inside today. I need to get some me time before I moved through the sardine tin that will be London tomorrow. I'm also seeing a Lithuanian Hamlet at the Globe tomorrow, so here's hoping I can find a way to get across the river!

These guys still perform in spite of the Jubilee. The Queen in not amused...

Speaking of shows, let me tell you about the shows I've seen since last time...

First I saw Long Day's Journey Into Night at the Apollo Theatre. I was really nervous about this one since I loved the actors already, but had no clue about the content of the play itself. This could have been a really long night if it didn't go off well. Luckily it was one of the best pieces of theatre I have ever seen since Death of a Salesman by theatre MITU. 

Starring the wonderful David Suchet and Laurie Metcalf. Remember her from Rosanne? She tore this show apart!
So after the show, I got to meet David himself and talked for a good ten minutes with him about the show, about acting, and the deeper mysteries of life. You know, general chitchat actors have with each other.He was really cool, and had this super deep booming voice. It surprised me since I knew him as Inspector Poirot, who has a really sharp and nasally voice. It was cool to hear the difference.

Tuesday was for some reason the most tiring day on the trip. Don't ask me why, but we were zombies in class that day. The day picked up a bit though and even if it didn't we moved forward because we are in London after all, and you can sleep when you're dead! With that in mind we went to the Globe museum tour. Our tour guide David was pretty cool with his popped collar, and while we couldn't go out into the yard because of rehearsals for the globe to globe festival, he got us into the stalls to see a bit of a rehearsal for a Spanish version of Henry VIII. It looked pretty rockin'. He also told us he worked at the Rose Theatre just down the street, so I checked it out and on wednesday went and saw their production of Saint Joan which was great. 

Joan was surprisingly angst free in this production
The theatre was itty bitty, basically performed on the lookout deck to the actual theatre excavation site. Their production was a little bare bones too, but was great nonetheless. It actually reminded me alot of Grassroots and in fact had two of our London members in the cast! Basically the show was cast blind to gender, and starred a punk Joan decked out in black and a shirt that said J'adore Orleans. It was pretty fun. The energy was great, and all the actors made really great, specific choices. So far it was my second favorite production here. It really made me realize that good theatre just needs a great cast, and a great story in order to be good. The production I saw the night before could have learned a thing or two from them...

I just realized I skipped talking about the Tuesday night show. We saw Travelling Light at the National Theatre. Okay acting, great visuals, bad script. That's all you really need to know.


On Wednesday we went back to the freindly V&A for a tour of the theatre exhibit, which was  filled with all sorts of interesting stuff from posters of the Jerry Springer musical and Adam Ant's outfit, to decrees from Charles II and Richard Burton's Henry V costume.
Adam Ant costume...oooh

On Thursday we went to St. Paul's Cathedral. We walked all the way up to the top, which was a really long flight of stairs to scale! Here are some pics from the top.

 After that we traveled out of town for the first time and went to Brockly for some comedy by Chekhov. It was okay for community theatre. It sure made me wish our community was brave enough to do some more daring pieces. I mean the students do stuff, and Salt Lake does some neat things, but down in Utah Valley, it's a little too commercial sometimes. Anyways, that's a rant for another day.

He just wants to be funny guys.

That finally brings us to Friday, the only day missing in this slightly chronologically mixed up review of the week. The girls, as I mentioned before, were out of town so Topher, Nick, and I went out to Wagamama's  for lunch. It was the best noodles I've ever had at a not really Asian, Asian restaurant.

Nom nom The Gyoza was good too.

After that we went to the Tate Modern, where there was a really cool sculpture by Damien Hirst. I didn't know what was in the big black box where it was stored at first, but there was a really long line, so we just queued up and waited. Its made of platinum, crystals, and real human teeth! It was sort of cool to see it glimmering alone in the darkness.

Here are some of the other cool things I saw. It was the Late at the Tate that night, so we got to stay there late at night and look at art with all this cool live music going on. It sort of felt like the Marie Antoinette movie.

Wolfgang Tillmans

Deatho Knocko by George and Gilbert

Lisa and Topher in front of Graham Gussin's film Spill. You can watch it here: 
Lisa in front of Spill. It was a really creepy movie with all this fog spilling through abandoned buildings. The sound of the old school projector made it even more ominous.

I forget the name of this one. I liked it though. Especially surrounded by all the bright flowery paintings nearby it.

The Order of Release by John Everett Millais

So that's this week! It's been buckets of fun here and the weather started getting gloomy and cloudy, as it should be. Here's hoping it doesn't rain on the Queen!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Alright! Time to get back to blogging my friends. I haven't been on in a while, but now I want to, because guess what? I'm in London!!! That's right, London. So here are some pics and stories from the last week:

Day 1: The Flight

So there was really not much to say about the flight. It was WAAAY too long, but I did get to entertain myself reasonably.
I had this to listen to:

Woodkid's new single!!!

and these to read, which dealt unexpectedly with similar themes:

This is funny

This is not. Both are excellent though...

I also got to watch this:

I missed it in theatres, and while the back of an airline seat is not the best quality, the film was wonderful nonetheless.

So, one huge trip and a drunken highschooler spooning me later, I arrieved at the Heathrow Airport! We all got there in various states of emotional well being, and were warmly greeted by the Tube stations, which we have come to understand and love! It reminds me alot of the tubes in Montreal. In fact, getting to the flat was a cinch because of that very reason. It was like coming home again!

The Tube stop closest to our home. I love these signs!

 So it's super hot here right now as well. We brought record breaking heat here! It's done a number on a few of us, but still we keep calm and carry on. It's nice knowing that this is abnormal though. When it finally breaks, the weather will be a releif instead of a problem. We live in a beautiful flat next to Hyde Park during the hot days, this couch is the best seat in the flat. It has three windows facing the park and a wonderfully cool breeze makes its way through to us.

We got a chance to wander around town while we waited for others to get here as well, so our fearless tour guide Nick Grossaint took us around town. When we stopped at the Globe I decided to leave the group and watch a Japanese Coriolanus which was at the very least a rich cultural experience. I liked it alright, but have higher hopes for when I see Hamlet in Lithuanian.

The japanese apparently think that Romans wore alot of denim...

After everyone arrived, we went out for the day and enjoyed ourselves at Kensington Palace. A helicopter landed and we tried to see the royalty, but stopped once we realized we were too cool to meet royalty... well, that's what we told ourselves anyways...

It was about this point I realized the humidity would never relent and I gave into my curls.

A lovely statue of the Queen

Quaint gardens. All english gardens are quaint.
The next day we went to the Victoria & Albert museum and then saw our first show, Antigone. The museum was great and I have decided to go every sunday after church and really take my time enjoying it. The show was... well it was interesting. I liked it overall, it had some really cool design elements, and some really great scenes. The problem was that as a whole it wasn't as cool as the individual parts. Things all worked, but not in the same places.

This is the main entry. So pretty! All the ceilings are so interesting here.

Sculptures galore. They are so much more magnificent in person.

Speaking of magnificence. I got see some Alexander Mcqueen!

Next we spent the day at the Tower of London followed by a great performance of Ragtime at Regent's Park. I was not expecting a whole lot from the tower, nor did I have high hopes for Ragtime. I loved the first more than anything else I've seen here, and really quite enjoyed the performance. Here are some pics during our trip to the tower:
What? We're not tourists at all. This was the most camera of days. So much to snap pics of...I on the otherhand forgot my camera. Sorry folks!

I did get a pic earlier that day next to the Tardis though! Well, next to a police box anyways...

So, it started getting just too damn hot for me, so I improvised and took a scarf and soaked it in cold water before I wrapped it around my head. Yes, I look like a pirate, but I was so cool that day so anchors away!

Me and the always wonderful Topher in front of the tower.

We saw the crown jewels, but couldn't take pics, so instead you get a picture of the creepy wire animals they had everywhere.

The Queen busts a move...

So, as I was saying, Ragtime was awesome. We went to the park and enjoyed ourselves with a picnic and a visit from the Queen, and then went straight in to the theatre. It was an outdoor theatre and the wind was picking up enough to make everyone just a little chilly. It was perfect. The show is based on a framing concept where people from a destroyed futurisitc America, (that is apparently run by Obama) and is about the people telling this little boy about the story of ragtime. It was cool. It made the musical relevant by combining elements of the past, present, and future instead of making it just a fun history lesson. I approved. 

The set. It made me worried when I first saw it, for sure...

And that my friends, brings us to today. Nothing much happened. I did my laundry, went to church, and spent the rest of the day looking at exhibits in the V&A. I hope you enjoyed this little picture journey, and I hope it makes you want to comed here, because you should. It really is a great experience to travel abroad and one that I wouldn't give up for the world. Until next week!