While I am here for a short six week time period I am taking a Shakespeare class and the most surprising thing I have learned so far was that most of his pieces were not originals, but rather just his spin of generic commonplaces or popular stories of the time period. This course requires you to go to multiple theaters and by doing this I have gotten a real feel for the theater scene in London. There is no place better to learn Shakespeare than the epicenter of London where he wrote an abundance of his works. Last week our class visited the Globe Theater and it was an incredible experience to say the least. We saw a version of the Twelfth Night where the director Emma Rice really put a twist on the character roles. She assigned a couple females to play male roles in this version and also had a drag star actor play as Feste, the fool, who had an unbelievable singing voice. During Shakespeare’s time women actors were not allowed. Before this trip I was not very familiar with the theater or art scenes, but I have developed a great appreciation through this class. I am a huge fan of effort and I get to see through these performances how much time and effort these actors have put in for them to display this jaw dropping show.
Since the program is very condensed I am traveling with all the free time that I have. Last Friday I went on a tour to the famous Wimbledon, or the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Back home I watch the championships every year so it was an awesome feeling seeing this exclusive club in person. I got a great tour of the behind the scenes look at the interview and production rooms as well as a great view of center court, unfortunately we were not able to go on any of the grass courts. Television does not do justice on how extravagant this club is.
Saturday the school planned a trip for the students to tour Stonehenge and Bath. Stonehenge is basically in a random field in the middle of a country side, but when you get up close to the gigantic and intelligently placed stones it will give you a wow factor. I’m glad I got to see this incredible place, but I enjoyed touring Bath a lot more. Bath is still a tourist type city, but what I like most about it was that a lot of the old architecture could still be identified. The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul was a sight to see with its perpendicular form of Gothic architecture. Again a picture does not do justice on the detail that was put in during the creation of this building. Now what I didn’t realize about the famous Bath was that it is a natural hot spring that still flows to this day. Another great place to visit while you are in Europe and is my number one tourist attraction thus far.