Friday, July 25, 2008
A trip to Shakespeare's Globe for play tickets is always enhanced when one runs into Bruce Young, the brother-in-law of Ben Blair, and a BYU Shakespeare professor. Bruce knows everything there is to know about Shakespeare, except possibly whether he actually wrote the plays. And you can't make a trip to the Globe without meandering further West along the river to see The Golden Hinde, The Clink, and Southwark Cathedral. The Cathedral is likely the one that Shakespeare attended when he lived in London, assuming that he went to church, which I don't. Not only does assuming make an ass of you and me, I just can't believe it when any theatrical type tells me they go to church.
While at the Cathedral we engaged in a delightful conversation with a volunteer named Nigel, who began by telling us the history of the church, and finished somehow giving us a lecture on John Harvard and Indian styles of education. Anyway, he was old and we liked him a lot. Later, at the Mansion House tube stop, a middle-aged Transit employee grabbed Jacob Squires by the arm and began singing to him in the manner of Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson. I promise this doesn't happen every day, and if it did it would be slightly less magical and creepy.
I have held off long enough, and finally broke down with a trip to the Kensington Creperie. As you recall, last year this Creperie was my vice. I went over my budget simply for that little joint alone, and swore I would be strong this year. And I have been! For four days. I had the Brittany today, which has goat cheese and bacon and fairy dust.
Following this? A trip to the Natural History Museum! Upon entering this building you are automatically plunged face to face with a T Rex, which manages to distract you from the magnificent architecture of the building. It's only 10 minutes or so into the museum that you realize how amazing the structure itself is, and how old. I looked at the rocks and minerals exhibit this year, spent some time with the birds, and then went through the Japanese Earthquake simulator twice! Mostly because it's exciting, but also because my feet hurt. It's this replica of a little Japanese grocery store, but then the earthquake hits and everything falls of the shelves, and they play recordings of people screaming! It's super fun to relive.
Tonight's adventure took us to Regent's Park, which is always a fantastic place to be on a Summer's night. We met as a group at the Baker Street tube stop, where several pictures were taken of the Sherlock Holmes statue, but mostly by Asians. Once we were all reunited, sweaty from the sardine-packed Circle Line, we took a breath of fresh air and roamed the park. We had a picnic beside this fountain, and played a high-stakes game of Silent Football. Silent Football, if you don't know the game, involves some kind of embarrassing punishment for the loser. Anna and Kelsey, co-losers, had to run around the fountain yelling "I love Captain Wet-Wet," which refers to something too long to explain here, and Kevin had to ask three British people where Regent's Park was in a Southern accent.
Finally we capped the evening by watching 12th Night at the Open Air Theatre in the park. If you've never been to London, this is something you have to put on your list. The setting is unbelievable, and everything, including the trees, is lit with little lights. The air feels clean and the seats are fantastic. Tonight's play was by far the best 12th Night I've ever seen, with each actor making their parts funny, clear, and memorable. Before the show started we played "Find that person," which is where you find a person who looks like someone you know. We found Scott Stringham, Terry Petrie, Bruce Campbell, and David Spade, who was actually a woman.