Entering Week 2

Weekend was PACKED–went to Wales and Bath, but the “wifi” (which involved an ethernet cable) was so spotty that I didn’t get on the computer much. Didn’t have time to write about it as I went, but you can find the entries here: Friday Saturday Sunday.

Yesterday, we spent the morning taking a tour of the Royal National Theatre. Fun facts: the Olivier theatre is based on the Greek theatre Epidaurus; the seats are purple to mimic the heather in the fields around the amphitheatre, and the seats in the Lyttleton theatre are brown to mimic the muddy river that flows nearby; the seats in the Olivier are also arranged in a 118-degree semicircle because that’s the typical range of human peripheral vision. An actor can stand onstage and see every seat without moving her eyes. Also, a tortoise prop from 1993 has its own Twitter feed.

Afterwards, we had free time so I went to the National Gallery with some classmates (I’m a sucker for Van Gogh) and after a study break in a park, I went with a classmate to the original Twinings tea shop on the Strand. I got carried away and smelled their sampler leaves until I started hyperventilating and thought I would pass out.  It was glorious. It was also right across from the Old Bank of England pub, where our class was meeting for pies and a (literary/historic) pub crawl. The weekend’s traveling and the day’s sightseeing had tired me out, so it was the most I could do to keep my hundred-yard-stare from transitioning into a nap. We ended the night on a lively note, though–the George had a roomful of live music, fiddle players, flutists, accordionists and all.

This morning I’ve been catching up on class write-ups, and re-reading Hamlet. We’ll be discussing it in today’s class session, and tomorrow morning (at an unholy hour) we’ll be taking the train out to Stratford to see a Royal Shakespeare Company production. To read about that, click here.