Theatre in England
Comments from Professor Peck:
Although all students saw at least 22 plays (a few saw as many as 28), they were involved also in a host of other activities. Foremost, perhaps, is the fact that everyone got to know London well. We did a lot of walking during the day and often at night would walk back to the hotel after plays, past the British Museum and Bloomsbury Square. Everyone went to several museums to see special exhibits as well as permanent collections: for example, the exhibits on The Great Court, Agatha Christie and Archaeology, the Unknown Amazon at the British Museum (though mainly people simply wandered through the vast number of permanent holdings); the map, bookbinding, and Beethoven manuscript exhibits at the new British Library; exhibits on Turner, the PreRaphaelites, and the Victorian nude, as well as the splendid 19th and 20th century holdings in general at the Tate Britain; exhibits on international modern art, modern architecture, machinery, and Juan Munoz at the new Tate Modern; the Pisanello exhibit as well as the fabulous permanent collections of Western European paintings in the National Gallery; The Mirror Mirror exhibit and the John Kobal Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery; the brilliant Spectatular Bodies exhibit at the Hayward; the Dali Universe at the County Hall, South Bank; the Hermitage Rooms, the Gilbert Collection, and French drawings and paints from Poussin to Picasso at Somerset House; the permanent collection of impressionist and post-impressionist painting and the Early Renaissance Gallery of Flemish and Italian Art at the Courtauld Institute; the Imperial War Museum, with its exhibit on the Spanish Civil War (Picasso, Dali, and Magritte. plus documentary photographs, etc.); the Churchill Cabinet Rooms, which are preserved as Churchill and his staff left them at the end of World War II; The Floating World (Japanese) exhibit at the Royal Academy of Art; Close Encounters of the Art Kind, Radical Fashion, and Out of Japan exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museums; the London Theatre Museum; The Wilde Years at the Barbican; exhibits at the Public Record Office; the Roman Technology and the London's Music Halls as well as the history of London exhibits at the London Museum; the London Transport Museum with its exhibits of posters on the colors of winter and the glamour of London's night life; and the Predators exhibit at the always exciting Natural History Museum.
Students also visited famous places in London, such as The Tower with its special exhibit on the execution of the Earl of Essex, Parliament and Big Ben, St. Paul's Cathedral, St. Bartholomew's Church, the restored Globe Theater and museum, the excavation site of Shakespeare's Rose Theatre, Hampstead Heath, Kew Gardens, Hyde Park and the Speaker's Corner, Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard, Westminster Abbey and the poet's corner, Dickens House with its "Bright Faces" exhibit based on Nicholas Nickleby, Abbey Road, Kenwood House with its superb Vermeer collection, Covent Garden, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, the Wimbleton Tennis Museum, and Harrods, as well as famous pubs like the Sherlock Holmes, John Dryden's favorite pub The Lamb and the Staff, and the King's Head Pub where actors of the Royal Shakespeare Company gather after plays. In Stratford students visited Shakespeare's birthplace, his grammar school, and Holy Trinity Church, where he is buried. In London some rode the spectacular London Eye (the giant ferris wheel built for the millenium that now graces the south bank of the Thames C a marvel of architectural beauty comparable to the Eiffel Tower in Paris). Students also went to music events such as evensong at St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. And a few went to Stonehenge and Windsor Castle.