Thursday, March 30, 2017

London with Shakespeare, Chaucer and John Webster

Jet lag, I know your name. And your nights of 2.5 hours of sleep, when my body thought I was only napping. So we did the logical thing — pack the day with activities so that we'd be far too tired not to sleep at night... A theory that, when tested, works well... For 50% of the sample group.

During the day, we visited the monuments of Trafalgar Square and neaby:

We also savoured the quiet loviness of the Church of St Martins in the Fields (aka, we now know, "the church of the ever open toilet doors" — perhaps too open for some, as the Men's, opening straight onto the café, was handle-free...)

And Westminster Abbey.

I thought I could guess at what Westminster would be like, having seen other cathedrals and abbeys. But no — I was wrong. It was very different from my expectations. The vast open spaces are far away, high above the visitors, heads bent in prayer or towards their audio guides, high at the top of soaring, ornately carved ceilings. At walking level, on the other hand, the Abbey felt like a warren of small prayer and burial rooms, filled with reliquaries, effigies and art.

Overall, it's massive and massively impressive, and houses massive, multiple, beautiful tombs for British royalty and historical figures. Yes, I (Shelley) spent some time at Poets Corner, finding the memorials for Chaucer, Shakespeare, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and others -- including Handel, who was, I know was a composer of music... I missed Sir John A. Macdonald's plaque, but saw the stone for David Livingstone, I presume...

In the evening, we had dinner at The Swan, overlooking the Thames, then went through the connecting passage to Sheakespeare's Globe.  

We saw a candle-lit production of John Webster's White Devil. (By my count, 12 actors, 6 murders, 3 musicians — but I may have missed a strangling/poisoning/stabbing or two.)

We walked back to the Tube across the Millennium Bridge. 

It was a lovely mild, clear night, beautiful with lights sparkling on the river and the dome of St. Paul's glowing before us.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos., the night, the theatre, and St Ms in the Field. The weather sounds perfect.
    What did you eat at the Swan? Did you go to the mashed potato restaurant?