If you’re a theatre major, London is definitely the place to go if you plan on studying abroad. Learn about some of the theatre themed adventures you can go on from Miranda, theatre enthusiast and current CISabroad student author. Read more about Miranda’s awesome adventures here!
For those who know me, it can be very clear that I am a bit of a theatre nerd (and that would be considered a drastic understatement). For those who don’t know me, hi! I’m Miranda, a Theatre Performance and Arts Administration major from New York.
Naturally when I came to London, I was very adamant about submersing myself in the local theatre culture. The adventure that I want to tell you about did just this as it plunged me into the wonderful world of Shakespeare.
My week of Shakespeare began with a tour of The Globe, the geologic remains of The Rose and the site of the original Globe. We started this tour by walking through the exhibition within The Globe. From there, we walked over to the geologic remains of The Rose, and here things got interesting. Apparently, the coordinators of The Rose made a bit of a mistake; they had double booked the space for us as well as a rehearsal. As most of the space is rocky and unearthed, there only remains a small platform to use as a playing space. Since the rehearsal was using the playing space, our tour guide called the World Heritage Foundation and got a special license for us to tread upon the actual remains that were used to help with the reconstruction of The Globe. And wow, was it incredible! According to my professor, in her 10 years of doing this tour, she had never heard of this happening!
From The Rose we walked by the original site of The Globe, which is, wonderfully, now covered with apartment buildings. And then FINALLY, we got to go into the Globe! The architecture was absolutely incredible and beautiful. I just wanted to sit there for days and examine every inch of the building, but alas we had to leave eventually.
My Shakespeare adventure continued the following Saturday when I went to Stratford-Upon-Avon with CISabroad! We arrived in the little city and did a brief walking tour of Shakespeare’s grave, his retirement home, and a bit of the historic city. And then, we entered Shakespeare’s actual home. Like, literally, where he was born and where he lived. Basically, I spent the entire time either short of words or spewing monologues. I walked away feeling incredibly inspired with a need to dive into a new piece of work.
I ended my week with a trip to the Lyric Hammersmith to see their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Let’s just say it was the most un-Shakespearean Shakespeare I have ever seen in my life. And it was an incredible, attention grabbing performance. Their production really exemplified that Shakespeare can be brought into any time and is always relevant and evolving. I don’t want to give anything away (because if you can, definitely go see it), but I thoroughly enjoyed the food fight and the trap doors. I won’t say anything more, but it made me laugh harder than I had in a long time.
Overall, my week of Shakespeare just reinforced my love for his work and made me realize that I am going into an industry that I love. Seeing this city through Shakespearean glasses also fortified my adoration and awe of this city. Because I mean, when you’re living in a place with so much history, it’s pretty hard to feel like you won’t make history yourself.