May 27, 2016
Today, I woke at 9:30, about half an hour later than I have been getting up, and tried my hand at a full English breakfast. I had the toast, potatoes, and an egg. A very interesting egg it was indeed. I would have preferred it scrambled, but unfortunately I was not up early enough to get any. Oh well, maybe another day.
After breakfast, a group of us took the tube down to Leicester Square (pronounced Lester, by the way, because silent Cs are normal) to buy tickets for our evening shows of choice. A number of us decided to enter the lottery for several shows. Only one of us won, and that person was not me. But he did win front row seats! So that is pretty awesome, and I am excited to hear what he thought of the show.
From Leicester Square we departed for the Tower of London! Upon arrival at the tube station, we were able to see the oldest wall in London, built by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago! We took a short walk from our tube station to the Tower and checked in. The Tower of London is steeped in so much fascinating history! Several monarchs lived on these grounds, and each one built new structures on the complex, so there is an interesting mix of architecture, all of it equally beautiful. The first thing we did was see the crown jewels. If anyone is taking note, I would like some of these for my birthday. The royal scepter has a diamond that makes Tiffany’s look like the moon in comparison to Jupiter. It is 530 carats. Five hundred and thirty carats. Next, lunch. I had a cheese sandwich with chutney and ale, and for dessert, pound cake with jam and cream cheese. It was quite delicious. Then, I explored some of the outer towers of the complex, including the torture chamber, which is so prettily named Blood Tower. After all of this, my feet were thoroughly exhausted, and I saw it fit to return to the hotel. I spent a few hours blogging and purchased a last minute ticket to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.
I travelled down to Piccadilly Circus, near the location of my theater for the evening, and had lunch at a savory, yet affordable, rustic Italian restaurant. I had orzo with carrots, lima beans, and rabbit. I’d never had rabbit because, but I quite enjoyed it. It tastes very similar to chicken, just a little more tender. After this, it was only a quick jaunt over to the Gielgud Theater for the evening performance.
There are a few differences that I have noticed between the British and American theater-going experiences. First, playbills are not free. It was not until half way through Fantine’s I Dreamed a Dream two nights ago that I noticed that there was no program sitting in my lap. Programs can cost upwards of 5 pounds on top of the cost of your ticket. Second, every theater has a bar, or multiple bars, and you are encouraged to bring your drinks into the theater. Despite our American preconceived notions that the British are very standoffish people, I have not found this to be the case at all. They wish to make the theater experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
The show tonight was an excellent piece of theater that made a powerful statement about the minds of those living on the Autism spectrum. As a Psychology major, I greatly appreciated this show, and believe that we should have more like it. Awareness in the public is the first step to breaking down the walls of stigma. The set and lights were absolutely amazing. This was a very high end production and I would highly recommend it. Though the content was quite sad, I did recognize how well it was produced. I thought that the main actor playing Christopher, a 15 year old Autistic boy, played his role with accuracy and respect to those with this particular difficulty.
Tomorrow is a free day! I am unsure yet what I will be doing, but I’m sure it will be brilliant! Cheerio!