London Downtown Walk, Henry V Lecture by Tim Slover, Henry V at the Globe

Woke up a little too late today for breakfast, but not too late for adventure. The morning began with pans for seeing the heart of London – a walk from Trafalgar Square, a monument to England’s defeat of Spain in 1805 and England’s blossoming as a nation, to Westminster, (possibly) a symbol of England’s desperate attempts to dig up the cadaver of its historic greatness. The bridge from Westminster to the London Eye on the Southbank offers a view of the whole majestic stretch, but I couldn’t tell you what the view was because I didn’t go. Buzzkill. But I did take a brilliant tour by boat from the London Eye to the London Tower. Our guide pointed out the good, the bad, and the ugly of London Architecture, un-Architecture, the former being what London is has kept or is currently building, the second being what London wished it never built in the first place (*cough* *cough* National Theater…) A boat tour, a parliament, and a belgian waffle later, our group landed back at the London Center for a lecture on Shakespeare’s Henry V by a certain Tim Slover. Tim Slover is a Theater professor at that other school (the one that starts with ‘U’ and ends with ‘niversity of Utah’) and, wearing a collared, loose, black, long-sleeved shirt and a turquoise-bead bracelet (manly wrist-wrap?) explained to us the beauty of Shakespeare’s punniness and the background of Shakespeare’s history tetralogy. We also talked about the origin of jokes about Will’s last name, but that was more than I could shake a spear at. Or prepositionally end a sentence with. Talking about the play quickly turned to watching the play in the Globe Theater on the South Bank, and before I knew it Henry V was slaying traitors and kicking French butt on stage in front of me. Henry V’s handsome face stole the play and the whole French Princess / English King romance thing overpowered violent warfare faster than you can say “war rape pillage marriage romance happiness forever”.

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