So the end of Stratford was pretty chill. The royal Shakespeare company (RSC) is the theatre company in Stratford and we saw two shows there. The first one was Love’s Labour’s Lost (or Much Ado About Nothing) which is a Shakespeare show. However the RSC contemporizes many of his plays so this one was jazzed up to post WWI. The music that Shakespeare wrote for the play was also jazzed up . I enjoyed this one very much. The stage was in the form of a thrust stage, which means the stage is essentially pulled out with the audience on both sides of the stage.
The second show we saw that day was entitled Oppenheimer, a show about J. Robert Oppenheimer and his creation of the atomic bomb. Since the setting is at Berkley College we got to hear English actors use American accents so that was cool!
We also got to see the home of Shakespeare and his grave which was neat.
During my free travel I decided to go to London early with a few girls. We explored the city, and got a head start on getting comfortable with the tube (subway). The first hostel was a little ratchet. My room had a 3-level bunk system.
The next hostel I am currently staying at is another youth hostel, right outside of St. Paul’s Cathedral. It’s quite amazing to wake up to the bells every morning at 7! St. Paul’s looks exactly like the Capitol building, so it gives me a feeling of home a little. The church is a Church of England church, which is Protestant. However it has very similar views to Catholicism. I went to an evensong service with the choir. The choir used boys instead of women for their soprano and alto voices. The acoustics were breathtaking. The organ or the choir would cut off, and the sound would resonate throughout the sanctuary for at least 6 seconds. It made me miss playing in band orchestra and singing in choir. I also went to the Ash Wednesday service where the bishop gave the sermon! It was pretty awesome. They also give up meat and reducing their energy during the Lent season, but welcome all baptized Christians to take communion. I will say though I am really missing a good contemporary service!…And some kids running around a church crawling on my legs.
Last Thursday night Erin and I went to see Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre. IT WAS SO GOOD. I enjoyed hearing a full pit orchestra, as when we saw Wicked in Minneapolis, there was unfortunately no full pit. So, ya know, seven strings and a bassoon playing the actual bassoon parts was a nice touch 🙂
London is pretty great. We have done a few tours and a few museums, done most of the touristy things, as can be seen in my Facebook album. It’s a struggle to want to do so much but your body won’t let you because it’s exhausted.
The exchange rate is currently eating me. If any of you come to the UK, be prepared. One dollar is equivalent to 1.66 pounds. So a meal may look like it costs £8 but it’s actually like $12. So I’m a little ready to go into euros now.
Everyone here is very fashion forward, especially now that it’s fashion week in London. Which can be cool! But ya know being a backpacker and one who won’t pay more than like $30 for a pair of jeans or more than $10 for a shirt, I don’t necessarily fit in. There is a store in Europe though called Primark which is like a Forever 21 except cheaper. Amazing right? It’s hard not to buy everything in the store because it wouldn’t fit into my backpack.
That’s really all I have for now. I’m doing a lot of city tours, history tours, tours, and more tours. But fear not, I still have class every once in a while.
Also I’m seeing Les Mis on Wednesday. 🙆