Day Twenty Three
London Travel Blog› entry 23 of 34 › view all entries
Woke up early (I'm sensing a pattern here) and got some work done. Mom helped me revise my travel writing paper and I think it's pretty decent. But who knows what the professor will think. After that I did some research on Othello, looking at what other critics had to say about the production I saw. I still don't know what to write because the reviews were all over the place. One guy would say Othello was great, another would say he sucked. Not looking forward to writing this one.
On the tube this morning I was sitting across from two very interesting guys. For most of the ride I was across from a couple and their 2 year old girl. The woman just seemed normal, early 30s. The man looked like Mr. Clean. White, bald shiny head, big big big muscles.
Then when they got off another white bald man got on (Two in a row... I'm on a roll). Not as muscular or big as the other guy, but still kinda tough looking. He stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled out what looked like a tiny tube map. But it wasn't. It was a small paper accordian fan with teddy bears on it. So great.
I was taking the tube this morning/afternooon to the V+A museum. Because I saw how huge the place was last time I gave myself plenty of time to explore it all. I wound up spending over 3 hours there.
I think I must have a little Catholic in me because I kept feeling guilty the entire time I was at the museum. I'm a little neurotic about going to museums. When it comes to reading the paper or going to a museum if I'm going to do it, I do it all the way through. When I read the paper I read every single word of every single article.
So, anyway, moral of the story is I saw lots and lots and lots of art. Some of it I liked: sculptures, stained glass, Chinese art. Some other things felt pretty overwhelming. For example, this was a long hallway just filled with things made of silver.
And I have to say, in all honesty, after all the time I spent there I realized a lot of the stuff just wasn't my style. I think when it comes to museums I'm more of a traditionalist. I'd rather see an oil painting or a drawing than a rug. And I like my museums a little more compact because this museum was just way way too big to do in one day.
It was absolutely POURING while I was in the museum. Great, I thought to myself, the one day I plan on going to a park it's raining. But by the time I left the rain had let and it was pretty nice outside. So after the V+A closed I headed to Hyde Park, which wasn't too far away. It was pretty amazing.
So I went to Hyde Park for a bit and started to organize my Othello notes. People watched a bit. There was a really cute 4 year old girl running and jumping and being happy. At one point she said "Oh, dear" and it was the cutest thing ever. You would never hear an American kid so "Oh, dear." Loved it. I'm going to have to raise my kid British.
Where I was sitting in the park was across from Royal Albert Hall and I noticed a lot of people outside/going indoors.
The show itself was... unique. I'll start from the beginning. The first half was just orchestra and singing. The orchestra was amazing. They were definitely more into it than the LSO. Their whole bodies moved to the music and all their bows were perfectly aligned. I can't decide if the LSO were a little sloppier because 1. it was performing a free, outdoors concert 2. the audience was so relaxed so they relaxed 3. they were performing lighter, Hollywood songs. I don't know. But anyway the orchestra tonight was really, really amazing. Some of the songs were so incredibly fast I cannot believe they were able to play so crisply and so sweetly while jumping all around.
But I wasn't able to enjoy the music as much as I would have liked because they had to ruin it with singing. When I listen to classical music (which is actually quite often) and I come to a song with singing I always skip it. I feel like the singers overpower the music, which is what they did tonight. You can't concentrate on the orchestra and on the singing at the same time. And the singers always win. So I wasn't really happy with the singing aspect. The singers were great, though, don't get me wrong. I just really don't like mixing the two. I like my opera separate from my classical music.
Second half... they introduced dance to the mix. At this point, there was already too much going on with the singing and the orchestra.
And the choreography was bizarre. First off, it didn't match up to the music. But besides that it was just weird and made absolutely no sense. At one point the dancers were wearing coats which have clothes hangers on them, hanging on a clothes rack. So they were basically hanging on a clothes rack.
If this wasn't bizarre enough, the "dancers" were 5 females and one male. If the male were the star and when they did things he was always in the center that would make sense. But nope, he was just one of the girls. There was a point in the amazing choreography where girls were lifting other girls (okay so maybe they did one little thing that required talent). You just don't do that. I don't understand why it wasn't 3 girls and 3 guys. Ugh... so not happy with it.
But then, things got interesting in a good way. A high school orchestra and high school dancers came out to perform. The musicians.
Then the school orchestra joined the professional orchestra and the school dancers joined the "professional" dancers.
The show had like 3 finales. Seriously. Everyone would applaud, the orchestra/singers/dancers would rise, people would think it's over. They would play another song. Repeat. Repeat. So my hands are a little tired from all that clapping. My roommate's hands, however, are not. She was sitting a few rows ahead of me and not once NOT ONE SINGLE time did she clap. Not during a regular song in the middle of the night when everyone else clapped. Not when the high school students perfomed. Not at the last bow.
Time for sleep. Is it August 4th yet?