Over eight days I was able to pack in five plays! Over the course of my time here in London thus far I have seen fourteen plays! Therefore I have come to the conclusion that one of the best ways to take in the culture of London is at the playhouses. Each playhouse is a glimpse into the past as they are all decorated in ornate styles, and have been pillars of the arts in London for centuries. Each actor performing works hard to bring each play come to life in modern, historic, or futuristic ways. Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed in a way that reflects the time in which they are done.
The first play of my ‘week of theatre’ was Les Miserables! I started out the day wanting to win front row tickets to The Book of Mormon, but did not happen to win. So a friend and I made our way through theatre row, in the West End of London, to see what we could find to fill our night. We went into Les Mis and were able to score standing tickets! So like true theatre lovers we stood for the entire breathtaking and amazing performance!
Next on the list was my favorite play—Wicked! I woke up early to make my way to the Victoria Apollo Theatre where I stood in line for three hours in order to receive me front row and centre seats! I have seen this play three times before, and this was the most amazing performance I had been so blessed to witness! There was nothing between the Emerald City and me! I still have the Wicked songs ringing about in my mind!
I decided to change it up a bit and see a dramatic thriller—Fatal Attraction. This is the adapted version from the famous movie with Michael Douglas about the man who has a one-night stand with a tempting woman who then begins to stalk him and his wife. I was excited to see this play because of Kristin Davis’ performance! As many of you know I love the Sex and the City series, and Kristin Davis plays my most relatable character, Charlotte. It was wonderful to see her on stage playing the cheater’s wife with similar mannerisms as her character from Sex and the City!
Next on my list was a little Shakespeare loving—Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits. This was a fun hour-long production by three lovers of Shakespeare. They chose their favorite plays and songs that related to them. It was wonderful to see a group of people who deeply enjoy and admire Shakespeare’s works! My fifth play would come in Stratford-Upon-Avon!
A wonderful end to my ‘week of theatre’ was the AHA London Centre trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace! When I was last in England, Stratford-Upon-Avon was my favorite part of my trip, so I more than excited to get back to this quaint, historic town.
We started the journey off by visiting Shakespeare’s grave. It was located in the church where he was baptized, possible married, and then where he was ultimately laid to rest. His wife and daughter’s grave surrounded Shakespeare. Stratford-Upon-Avon has become a place of pilgrimage for Shakespeare lovers. The entire town breathes Shakespeare.
We then visited Shakespeare’s school—the Henry VI Grammar School, which was a wonderful surprise as it not normally open to the public. This school was where little Will attended primary school, and laid the basis for his literary brilliance.
We also visited Shakespeare’s Birthplace and where he would live with his wife, Anne Hathaway, for the first few years of their marriage. Each of the buildings in Stratford-Upon-Avon look as if they popped out of a Shakespeare play, and are wonderfully historic.
After a few years of marriage and some success under his belt Shakespeare bought the largest most spectacular house in Stratford-Upon-Avon, The New House! We were also able to see Anne Hathaway’s cottage where she grew up, and where Hathaways have lived for over 400 years.
To finish off our trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon we were able to see a production of Henry IV, part one. This is one of Shakespeare’s historical plays that helped bring about much success for William. William knew that his audience loved history, so throughout his lifetime he created histories about many of the monarchs of England.
Stratford-Upon-Avon did not cease to live up to my wonderful memories. I was so glad to be back in this beautiful Shakespearean town!
Les Miserables- http://www.lesmis.com/uk/
Fatal Attraction- http://www.theatreroyalhaymarket.co.uk/Fatal-Attraction.html
Henry IV part one- http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/henry-iv-part-i/