Monday, January 28, 2008

the london top 10

my top 10 favorite things about london:

1. Abbey Road photoshoot
Two hours. One famous intersection. Approximately 5000 cars zooming past at various speeds. One camera. Two college students willing to risk their lives multiple times for a good picture. Sound like fun? Because it was. Immensely.

2. Wicked
It's so cliche to love Wicked, but I completely understand the fascination now. The show was impeccable. It would have been #3 on my list except for the song Defying Gravity; that moment was one of the most brilliant things I have ever seen happen on a stage. I had tears in my eyes. I don't even know how to describe it. If you have the chance to see this show, definitely go. The story is genius and I really want to read the book now. Not to mention everyone in our group who had seen the show in New York said that Kerry Ellis, who played Elphaba, was better than Idina Menzel.

3. Much Ado About Nothing
All my life I have struggled to pay attention to performances of Shakespeare's plays. I appreciate the man and I know he's a poetic genius, but to be quite frank, I have never been that enthralled by watching one of his plays. But after I saw this production of Much Ado at the National Theatre, I finally understand the fascination. The performances of the leads, Zoe Wanamaker and Simon Russell Beale, were absolutely fantastic. I was riveted; I can honestly say I have never seen better acting in my life.
(P.S. - look at this collage I just made by cutting pictures out of the program... I'm quite proud of it!)

4. Our slight brush with fame
The day after we saw the show, a group of us were in the lobby of the National waiting for our theatre tour to start, when someone noticed that Simon Russell Beale was outside smoking a cigarette. We watched him out the window, and then realized that he was walking in the door near us. Kelli makes a run for it and ends up right behind him as he's walking in, but he doesn't notice her. He weaves his way through about three clusters of Samford students, both he and Kelli power-walking all the way as she follows him, hoping he'll turn around. She's about six inches behind him the whole time, and pointing frantically while mouthing "he was in the show!" to all of the amused onlookers. She literally followed him all the way through the lobby to whatever door he went in, and he never turned around. I know it doesn't sound like a very good story, but it was one of the funniest moments of the entire trip.

5. British accents
They're everywhere. It's kind of fun how many different types there are, too. Some are really hard to understand, but a lot of them are completely beautiful. I'd like to take a dialects class at some point and learn to do a

6. Caffe Nero
Absolutely the best cappuccino I have ever had in my life. And they're on every corner.

7. Royalty
To my great dismay, I found out late in the trip that Prince William is REQUIRED to marry someone with royal ancestry. I really don't see how that's fair. So unless my royal blood is a deep family secret that will be revealed to me on my twenty-first birthday or something, this means my dreams of being queen are pretty much shattered. But... I still think the whole royalty thing is pretty cool. Also, from what I can tell, they get a lot of jewelry. And Faberge eggs, which are completely pointless but gorgeous. Check out this one... I'm pretty sure it's the one we saw at the Queen's Gallery that belonged to Victoria. (Kelli and I stared at it for about thirty minutes.)
8. Impressionism
Call me a heretic, but I don't exactly get excited to see stiff portraits of ancient royalty, or Renaissance paintings of mythical scenes. But give me a Monet any day and I can stare at it for a long time. The Courtauld Gallery and the National Gallery both had decent collections of Impressionist art and I fell in love with all of it.

9. The tube
Public transportation is amazing. You don't have to park your car anywhere, you automatically know how to get home from wherever you are, you don't have to end up at the same place you started... it's just so easy.

10. The Lover / The Collection
Kelli and I went to see these two back-to-back Harold Pinter plays with absolutely no idea what they would be like, but I loved them both. They were really confusing, and about an hour after the show, we were still discussing what was actually happening. I love stuff that makes you think like that! I think I'm going to order the plays so I can read them.

So that's it. My trip was amazing and I can't wait till I get an opportunity to go back again! My pictures should be up on Facebook in the next day or so... school started today so I've been a little bit busy. Cheerio!

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