Wednesday, August 03, 2011

glorious summer by this son of york

Today we had the Globe tour, which is actually not the Globe tour, but technically the Rose tour. The Globe tour takes you through the Globe theatre and shows you rehearsal rooms and stuff like that. But since we've already seen two shows in the Globe and the rehearsal rooms are about as exciting as our rehearsal rooms at UVU, I prefer the Rose tour. In the Rose tour you walk through the streets of Southwark and see where things actually were: the bearbaiting, the original Globe, the ferryman...and the Rose Theatre itself, which was where Shakespeare first saw Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear performed. Some heavy hitters. And you can actually go inside a building and see the remains of the Rose foundation. It's pretty cool. Our tour guide was Kitty, and she was spunky and used lots of inflections. We liked her.

After this we all split up for lunch. I went with Heather, Dan, Zoe, Jaron, and Casey to Pizza Express, where we played a few rounds of "Old Peter." What's "Old Peter?" I will tell you. We were bored waiting for our food, and Pizza Express had these promotional cards for some American Idol-type contest they are doing. The cards have pictures of five different people playing musical instruments, and they gave their names and music preferences, etc. They looked like this:

We basically divided the cards up and used them like Old Maid. Except our Old Maid was Peter, an old dude who plays the trumpet. It was an exciting game and eventually our pizza showed up. And if our waiter is reading this, sorry again about all the credit cards.

After this we went to the Tate Modern for a bit. Stuff I liked included:

Lost Mine, by Peter Lanyon

Untitled (Bacchus), by Cy Twombly (a whole room of these - amazing!!!)

Meryon, by Franz Kline

And to pre-empt any possible comment on this art, no, your kid couldn't do that.

Despite a very sweaty tube (hot today! Well, London hot) we made it on time to see the matinee of Betrayal, a Harold Pinter play that unfolds backwards. I liked it a lot, even though the theatre was sweltering in afternoon heat. This play starred the wonderful Kristen Scott Thomas from the English Patient and Gosford Park, and Ben Miles, who was on the BBC show Coupling. I got to meet Ben afterwards, and he was friendly. He also wears giant earphones and doesn't apologize, so I felt great about that.

I also got to meet this gentleman, whose name I don't know and was too embarrassed to ask. He played the waiter, very briefly, in Betrayal. He is also an American, which came as a bit of a surprise. And he's done a lot of work in Utah, so we know many of the same people. He was really fun to talk to. He had nice things to say about Mormon audiences, and said Utah women are the best looking in the world, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

Josh and I, against all odds, rode bikes home during rush hour. This put us in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, where a bus driver swore at me and I narrowly avoided a collision with another bike because we were riding the wrong way. We rode past Buckingham Palace and six lanes of traffic, through Victoria, Chelsea, and finally home. It was fun. And hot, so we were sweaty. But it felt great to get some exercise. I've been a huge lump since I've been here.

And tonight we saw Kevin Spacey in Richard III. This is the hot ticket in London right now, and I can see why. He's mesmerizing. He captured the audience right from the start and nothing, and nobody, could pull focus away from him. The concept was very modern -they used projections and multimedia, and sometimes the direction was a little too flashy, but Spacey...oh, man. Spacey, along with Stanley Tucci and Ed Harris, is in my trifecta of actors. Seeing him on stage was electric.