Thursday, July 21, 2011

rain and regents

Today was particularly rainy. I don't know what's going on in London this year, except that it's London and it's supposed to be rainy. But it's more rainy than usual. El Nino? Today was drizzly and then it was really wet and then it was drizzly again. I don't mind it, and some of the students love it, but I can't handle it longer than a few days. I got stuff to see, yo.

We met up with Mark Oram at Nando's Chicken Factory on Gloucester road. It's a restaurant, not an actual chicken factory. Mark is a former student who is now studying at my alma mater, Exeter. He's in London working with his theatre company, Grassroots Shakespeare UK. I'm proud of how much he's done and I'm impressed with his vision and ambition. He's coming back to Utah this Fall and I think he's going to be a great asset to our local theatre community. We broke bread together, or, in this case, broke chicken together. And we had a good talk.

Next we all went to see Being Shakespeare at the Trafalgar Theatre. This is a one man show that takes the famous "seven ages of men" speech from As You Like It, and breaks down Shakespeare's life into these seven ages. It's very clever. It's also a little pedantic, and tough to stay awake through if you're well fed and at a matinee. Simon Callow is amazing. My chief memory of him is his skinny dip in A Room with a View, but turns out he's been in more than that. He's an incredibly talented actor. As he moved through Shakespeare's life he also morphed in and out of several characters from Shakespeare's plays. It was really an impressive performance.

I know it's probably inappropriate to put pictures of other people's kids on the internet, but I walked behind this baby for about a half mile on my way to the theatre. And I want to eat it! I want to eat this baby!

I said a few furtive prayers that the rain would let up in time for us to have dinner in Regent's Park, and the Heavens obeyed. The rain stopped and everything in Regent's Park was green and moist. That's right, I said moist. I was going to say "lush," but who uses that word? Anyway. We all ate our sack dinners around the Triton Fountain and played our traditional game of Silent Football. Greg was the captain, and he was fair and judicial. He also pulled no punches, and I appreciate that in a captain. I tried to sabotage Daniel, but it didn't work. And Zoe almost lost for just being Zoe. In the end, Josh lost and had to ask a stranger how to get to Regent's Park, even though we were standing in the middle of it. Josh took his punishments.

Also, a madman with a wandering eye attacked me while I was having a nice conversation with Robbie.

And later we stumbed across....A MURDER!

We realized, just before entering the theatre, that we had tickets for Friday's performance at Regent's Park instead of Thursday, a small detail that I hadn't bother to check on the tickets. Whoops. Never done that before. So suddenly our evening was wide open. Our solution was to rent bikes near our flat and pedal through Hyde Park at dusk. Which turned out to be so much fun, and such an adventure, that I don't know why we've never done that before. There we were, a group of thirteen on flashing beach cruisers, dominating the bike paths and circling the lakes. We took a break at the Serpentine and told funny stories, and then finished a loop around the park just as it was getting dark. Really a fun and memorable night. Robbie said it reminded him of this.