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!