Well, we’re down to our last two days in London. This experience has been amazing, and there’s still so much to try to see before we leave! On Thursday we had rehearsal in the morning, then went on to see the Tower of London. Yesterday we walked to the British Library and then to the site of the original Theater, and after rehearsal went to see The Woman in Black at The Fortune Theater (my favorite show to have seen in London so far). Early this morning a group of us stood in line for four hours to rush tickets for Richard II, and were successful in getting matinee tickets, and then we are also going to Comedy of Errors later this evening.

 

Here are some photos from the last few days:

Erin and Sarah in the Tower of London

Rebecca, Erin, Steve, and Sarah in front of the Tower of London

On Wednesday we went to London Tea with the entire Bradley group, and got to do a demonstration of the ladder of comedy to help introduce Noises Off, the play that everyone went to see that evening.

Sarah, Erin, Rebecca, and I at tea.

Steve, after being pied in the face for our comedy demonstration.

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Westminster Abbey

Yesterday, both the Tempest cast and the Introduction to Theatre students toured Westminster Abbey. While we saw it on the London bus tour on our second day in the city, Wednesday gave us the opportunity to explore it. I have no idea that there was so much history in the abbey. A good number of previous English monarchs – including Elizabeth I – were crowned at Westminster. There was a separate chapel just for the tombs of Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart. (This was especially weird to see; the night before we saw the play Mary Stuart at New Diorama Theatre.) Seeing the queen’s tomb was very surreal.

I could not believe how many famed artists, philosophers, and scientists are buried at Westminster Abbey. Some of the graves that stuck out to me included: Lewis Carroll, Laurence Olivier, Charles Darwin, Jane Austen, The Bronte Sisters, Ben Johnson, and Isaac Newton. And Brian found Aphra Behn’s grave. I was so bummed to miss this one because Aphra is the first female playwright in history – we read her play in Theatre History II.

PS As someone who loves to shop, the shops and market vendors at Covent Garden are GOD SENT. Sarah, Erin, and I did some epic shopping.

Two days at The Globe

The workshop at the Globe Theatre was a tremendous success and we are so grateful to all the folks at The Globe for making it a reality. With workshops in Voice, Movement, Text, History, and Performance including time on the Globe Stage to play and explore scenes from The Tempest, it was two days filled to the brim.

As my schedule is tight, I want to post these photos but I’ll be back to fill in the details.

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Week two

It seems like we have been here for weeks, but we are only starting week two today! We have already explored so much of the theatre in London, and we are seeing more shows this week. One of the highlights for me so far was the workshop at the Globe Theatre. I still can’t believe that I had the amazing opportunity to play on that stage!!!

I have to agree with Tyni and Morgan: seeing Disney’s The Lion King on our free day was SUCH a good decision, because the show was AMAZING!!! I was blown away by every aspect of the production, especially the movement/choreography and the scenic design. The show was engaging and full of soul from beginning to end. This week, I am pumped to see Women in Black and The Comedy of Errors. If I am lucky, I will also try to rush tickets for War Horse (which is the basis for the movie just made).

Sunday, Jan 8

Today was our first day off! So far we have (as you have seen) been all over the place, and seen so many things, met so many awesome people and have had so many wonderful opportunities. Last night a large group of us went to see the show One Servant Two Govnours. It was a farce that had audience interaction. There was a moment in the show where the character playing the Harlequin asked the audience for a sandwich. Not knowing this was a joke, Steve (sitting in the front row) offers him his left over sandwich from dinner. This made him literally break character. It was pretty hilarious!

Today: Morgan, Rebecca Kyle and I went to see Lion King the Musical. It was PHENOMENAL! We all got goosebumps (Literally) within the first couple of seconds of the show! If you have not seen The Lion King, you NEED to Immediately! It was so wonderful!

 

Sunday!

Oh I just cant wait to be King!! Today I saw Lion King for second time and it was amazing!!I have learned so much on this trip! From the Gworks to the historic sights it has been grand. I have learned so much about myself and others! Lion king was by far the best show I have seen since being here. Hopefully I can see Les Miserable if I have time.Tomorrow starts our blocking of the show.

3 Reasons Erin Is Not Going Back to the U.S.

Or, Why London is the Greatest
by Erin Kennedy

1. The History

This city has been around FOREVER, y’all. There are structures in this country from the dawn of man–the hills themselves seem to glow with the millions of lives they’ve seen.

That was poetic, yeah?

Anyway, one of the most phenomenal things about London is that no matter where you go, there is something to learn about its history. Our first few days here were spent learning about the kings, queens, and politicians of England’s past, as well as Shakespeare’s entire life story. Every street of London is rife with knowledge piled on knowledge–a scholar’s goldmine.

 

2. The Public Transport Sysem

It’s so smooth. So manageable.

I’m not talking about my hair, I’m talking about the London Underground. This extensive subway system stretches for miles and miles beneath the ground of the city, and you can literally get anywhere you want, easily and cheaply. Not once has there been a delay in the seven days I’ve been here.

The only downside is that it can get REALLY crowded during rush hour in the morning (which is around 9 or 10 here, as opposed to 7 or 8 in the States).

Also, nobody talks on the tube. Really. People avoid each other’s eyes and leave each other alone.I adore this. I prefer not to talk while I’m travelling, and I know that on the tube there is a low chance of someone trying to engage me in conversation.

 

3. The Diversity

I have heard accents from all over Europe. Greek. French. Spanish. Russian. Latvian. Italian. German.

And that was on the first day.

Diversity is something I’m drawn towards as a person. It makes me giddy and excited to be around people from so many walks of life–cultures mixing, pushing, and pulling at one another in such a huge city. So great!

 

Bonus: 4. Prince Harry

I don’t need to explain myself.

 

From Kyle

Our Thursday in London

This is our fifth day in London and the cast of “The Tempest” had a full day of exploring portraits, places, and ourselves.

– This morning, we traveled to the National Portrait Gallery, where we saw portraits of contemporary actors (Steve Coogan, Russell Brand, Kate Winslet, Simon Pegg, Judi Dench), leaders (Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria), playwrights (William Shakespeare), explorers (Sir Frances Drake, Walter Raleigh), and even the first actresses of London (Dorothy Jordan, Nell Gwyn). But there was so much to see that none of us had time to really look at all of them! Something tells me that some of us are going back to look at the rest of the portraits.

– This afternoon, we worked on how to achieve voice and movement for the actor. We were first given us great ways to stretch and soothe our bodies – it actually helped it me so much that I want to work on them every morning. Then, we worked on how to better physicalize our text by doing a line exercise, which gives us the freedom to express our emotions based on what word(s) were given by our teacher, Steve. These “words” included worried, hopeful, and startled realization. The line exercise helps me understand my character (as Ferdinand). “Why is this mood important?” “What is my character’s objective from the sentence I’m reading?”, and “Is one mood better than other, or do both work?” were some of questions that were flowing in my mind.

– This night, we visited the newly released Diorama Theatre and watched their version of “Twelfth Night”. The small audience and open/found space was not exactly the stage I was expecting, I enjoyed the physicality of the play and loved some of the male actors performing their roles (such as Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Feste).

As a result, today was a fantastic day to explore some new experiences that we hadn’t seen or done before. And soon, we will be going to one the famous theatres to explore our eyes and roles…in the Globe Theatre.

Friday at The Globe

Well, this is the sixth day of Bradley University’s time in London – and boy did we have an absolutely fantastic experience!

Today, we walked to the GLOBE THEATRE!

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After learning a long history of the Globe Theatre, the bear-bating stadium, the Hope Theatre, and the Rose Theatre, we were taught by some of the great theatre instructors. In one of the Globe center’s rooms, our first instructor used movement to help energize, take control of our bodies, coordinated similar movements with & without fellow cast members, and explore our senses as we better understood how to utilize these newly learned exercises for our roles in “The Tempest” and Theatre in general

One of these exercises included the four reflexes: the Spring reflex (Ex: Horse), the Inspired reflex, breathing cross-pattern (it helps with reading skills), and the startled pattern (which helps with fear or stage fright). Another exercise was to follow (and then try ourselves) on one of her ways of stretching, which goes in the order of earth, water, fire, and air. (Another included following the pattern of how an archer shoots an arrow.) The last exercise had four different ways of seeing the world and how it affects the character: these four were Sovereign, Magician, Warrior, and Lover – we became…emotionally bonded, so to speak. Our first instructor was so energetic, humorous, and caring that we all loved and thanked her for this blessed opportunity to be taught by her.

Our second instructor, Yolanda Vazquez, was as fantastic as our first instructor. Yolanda is an actress who has been involved in eleven different productions in the Globe and some films and TV shows as well. We were able to play some of her games and exercise (based on movement) and rehearse our blocking for “The Tempest” on the STAGE of the Globe Theatre!!! These movement exercises such as not breaking “The Plate”, “I’m Going To Stand Here”, and connecting our movements and texts towards the audiences to see, were also all great tools for giving an entirely new perspective on theatre and “The Tempest”. And even though today was literally the first day the cast was able to use a stage for this production, we strived to go farther than we originally thought. We are still growing as better theatre performers every day.

And all of this has happened today. Tomorrow, we will be continuing and finishing our wonderful experiences on our second day at the Globe Theatre!

A Few Photos in London

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Jan 4th

Today we went to Stratford upon Avon, the historic birthplace of William Shakespeare. the town is filled with so much history, one can’t help from feeling a sense of smallness when looking at documents from thousands of years old. Before i collapse from exhaustion in this internet cafe, let me tell you about so great sights we took in at Stratford.

  •   There was a monument that we saw toward the beginning of the tour of Shakespeare. he was pictured on a pedestal surrounded by some of his more famous characters including one of my personal favorites Lady Macbeth. The group got a picture up front that i’m sure will be up soon if not already.
  • We visited the grave of Shakespeare which is deceptively small, in my opinion. He is buried in the back of an old “weeping” church. very pretty

We also got a sweet tour of the RSC. a large two theater building. in the RSC’s Swan Theater we saw Measure for Measure. An ambitious production that brought a lot of humor into what i always thought was a humorless play. while the first half was a little slow, it really picked up after intermission. overall i enjoyed it.

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