Sorry for the lack of updates! I’ve been busy these past two weeks with various things, but here we are now with a moment to breathe!
Last week, Amanda came and spent a few days with me, since she’s already on her Easter break. It was super nice to have a roommate again, and things were exactly the same as they were in C Block or Caples. We had a good time, even if I didn’t get as much work done on my essay as I would have like. We hung out with Paige one night, which was fantastic. And we mostly spent our time just lounging around, eating good food, and watching a few good movie (10 Things I Hate About You, anyone?)
Wednesday there was a party for one of my flatmates’s birthdays, which was super fun, especially since my room was right there when I decided I was too tired to hang around anymore. Classes Thursday and Friday were good, especially Ovid, where I got my essay on Echo and Narcissus back. I’m not usually one to brag about grades, but when you’re in an entirely new system, it’s pretty exciting when you get an essay back and you’ve gotten a First (which is the equivalent of an A back at home). As a reward, but mostly just because the book was so good, I spent a few days last week doing some leisure reading (GASP!). Andrew was lovely enough to send me the Secret History (through Amanda), which I devoured. It had everything I love, Classics, alcohol, ridiculous upper class boys doing stupid things, and then some more Classics. So basically I’ve been obsessing over that since I finished it.
Saturday I did some minimal grocery shopping and then skyped Andrew that night, which was very fun. It looks like I’ll actually really get to see him over the summer, which is exciting! We’ll get to nerd out over Latin together in person. Sunday and Monday I worked on my essay and actually ended up getting it finished! Which meant that Monday night I had time to play some American drinking games with my flat and then go to Monkey’s which was fun! Then I FINALLY got my hair cut today, which I am VERY happy about! See below:
Only a few more days until my mom comes to London, which is going to be amazing!! I just have to get through my final presentation for set design first and then the break will begin! It’ll be nice to have my mom here for a little while, and then I’m off to Berlin to visit my good friend Iris, who I haven’t seen in years! The break is going to be so much fun!
First things first, I want to say that I probably would have gone to see this series of one acts even if Gethin Anthony wasn’t in one of them. I like the language of Tennessee Williams and have always enjoyed his plays, and to see a selection of his “hotel plays” performed in an actual hotel in actual hotel rooms is just a really cool opportunity anyway. THAT BEING SAID Gethin Anthony was definitely the only thing on my mind once I actually got into the shows, which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. So let’s dive into it then!
After eating a dinner of delicious Chipotle, I began the journey to the Langham Hotel for the show. I accidentally stumbled upon the BBC building and open audition for some show while trying to find the hotel and was tempted for a split second to just go for that instead. Eventually I found the Langham only I was positive that it couldn’t be the right place because it was ENORMOUS and probably one of the most gorgeous buildings I have ever seen. I literally ended up walking away to “find the real hotel” because it was that glorious, but I realized that the behemoth before me was the right place. So I went in, feeling super out of place and underdressed, but I didn’t even mind that much because it was just as gorgeous inside as it was outside. I wish I could have taken pictures, but I was quickly found by one of the show’s ushers and given a pink wrist band to denote which group I was in for the night.
Basically how it worked was an usher leads each group (3 per night) of about 20-25 audience members through the hotel to each of the suites the three one acts happen in. It was such a cool, immersive experience. The plays literally took place in hotel bedrooms, and you were literally less than a meter away from the actors much of the time. I also want to say that it was sooooo cool to see how even in site specific pieces you can still manipulate the environment to fit the show even better. The lighting was very interesting to see! And the additions to the rooms in terms of set just helped immerse you in the time of each of the plays.
So the first play was the Pink Room (and boy was that hotel room PINK). It was very good, although the actor who played Man was doing a VERY over exaggerated American accent which I think most people in the audience probably didn’t even notice (but I could tell, you know, being American and all). The woman was AMAZING, which is saying something because she only joined the show a week ago for the extended run since the previous actress had other commitments and couldn’t continue. It was definitely a very emotionally charged piece, and it was even more intense since we were so close to the actors.
The last play, Sunburst, was good in its own right, but definitely not nearly as strong as the other two. Maybe it was because of the difference in tone; it was much more lighthearted and had a totally different sort of ending. But it could have been the play itself. I feel like it could have been more effective if it was longer; the story needed more than just 25 minutes where the other two felt perfect. It was by no means a bad show though, but I think maybe it should have been in the middle of the one acts instead of the end. Green Eyes DEFINITELY should have been the finale.
Walking into the hotel room for Green Eyes felt like walking into a tacky, Southern hotel, which is saying something since the Langham is only the classiest English hotel ever. I made certain to get a seat in the front near the bathroom to have a good view of everything. I was trying to mentally prepare myself for seeing Gethin Anthony in person when I realized that he was already there, sprawled out on the hotel bed, asleep, wearing only boxers and a tank top. I will admit that I had a mini freakout. So superficially, Gethin is just really attractive in person, and his hair was lovely. He’s SO SHORT GUYS. Like maybe an inch taller than me, with tiny, little baby feet. And his dimples, WOW. There were times when he stood directly in front of me and I could count the freckles on his arms. He actually ended up accidentally spitting on me during one of his monologues, which I was strangely not mad about. Actual notes about the performance: both Gethin and the woman did VERY convincing Deep South accents (Gethin’s was very sexy oops?), and their chemistry was amazing! It was truly a pleasure to watch them act together. I think it was another one of those shoes where initially I was interested in the story but mostly an actor in the show (like Mojo), but ended up being BLOWN AWAY by the performances and how the story was presented. I was literally left speechless at the end of it. Gethin’s acting chops definitely hold up live, which makes me infinitely happy. Their choices and the blocking was so effective, and, even though the story fit perfectly into the 25 minutes, I wish that I could have seen more of them acting together. Green Eyes was definitely the best of the three, I’m going to be thinking about the show as I’m going to sleep tonight. I wish I could see it again!
In sum, the shows were all good, but Gethin Anthony was even better.
SO BASICALLY Cheyenne is in love with Gethin Anthony, but we already knew that.
The show is finally over! No more standing outside for three hours to open the door for Oberon, Robin, and the Mechanicals, no more cutting up figs to make them look like shrooms, no more putting down the white tile dance floor every night, and no more having amazing times with the cast in the makeshift green room while waiting for entrances. I won’t get into everything, but it was such a great experience, and I’m so glad that I had the chance to work with and become friends with a group of such amazing, talented people. It was so cool to see the differences of how shows are run here versus back home and to actually be a part of it. Everyone cared so much about what they were doing, which definitely came through in the production. The acting was ASTOUNDING and the production team was one of the most cohesive that I’ve ever be a part of. I’m kind of sad that I won’t get to experience the show anymore; it was hilarious and so much fun to watch every night!
Favorite moments include Oberon’s sexy as hell entrance, Quince’s complete done-ness with Bottom’s shenanigans, Jason Wall’s performance with the brick, Bottom’s “Do I hear sweet Thisby’s face?”, Robin’s super short shorts, the Mechanical’s dance, and Bottom’s improvised song that was different every night.
And the cast party was also really fun! There was plenty of drink and pizza, which is always nice. They do this really sweet thing here at cast parties where the director gives little speeches about every person who worked on the show. She gave me this super sweet note, and Alex, the producer who I worked under, gave me this amazing box of chocolates! The cast also wrote each of the production team members a note, and more chocolates! I definitely love this tradition ;)
Basically, everything about the experience was really lovely, and I’m gonna miss spending 4 hours a night with all of these people, although I will enjoy having my free time back!
Watching our Oberon get into character and seeing the change in him is a genuine pleasure. And Bottom and Titania are the same way. I’ve noticed that there’s something about English student actors here and maybe it’s because of the differences in education here, but it’s like watching an actual transformation every night. They don’t seem like the same people at all once they go through their respective warmups. Our Oberon will go from cracking everyone up being hilarious to this super professional guy who demands attention just walking into a room. And his performance is just brilliant every night and he’s only a first year! I just feel like there’s something different about how they do it here, although I can’t put my finger on it.
Basically I’m just really glad to be a part of this show and to get to witness such genuine talent. So here’s to another great show tonight!
Just wanted to give an explanation for my absence lately. I had two papers due on friday and I’m also in the middle of tech week for the show I’m working on (opening night is tomorrow!!) We had all of today and yesterday, which I am probably going to be sore from for like a week, but the show is looking SO GOOD so I’m very excited about it! It’s nice to be able to be a part of such a close knit group even though I’m only here for a few months. It’s also a nice taste of home, only it’s been a bit different since I haven’t had to organize anything, which has been a good break.
I did end up getting to celebrate Pancake Day (Mardi Gras to everyone back home) with my flatmates, which was so fun! And I helped Paige with a party for our friend Ed since it was his 21st birthday. The party was a success to say the very least!!
ANYWAY once the show ends hopefully I’ll be able to get back into the habit of going into London once a week, and maybe finally make it to Cardiff for a day. Until then though, you can find me wearing all black making sure the actors actually make their entrances, which I had somehow forgotten how hard it is ;)