Part two of the recap, now with photo goodness at my flickr site. As before, spelling and weird grammar errors are what comes from the entry. I’m being a purist here.
16 October 2008
on train to Cardiff via Birmingham
Well, leg one has ended and now we’re on leg 2 – a couple hours until we arrive in Cardiff. I’ll miss Stratford – it was a lovely little town, so quiet at night yet bustling all day.
Love’s Labour’s Lost was extremely good last night. Our seats were directly below ours from last night – only 8 rows from the stage and an unobstructed aisle view straight to the stage.
We laughed most of the night – it’s amazing how modern (or perhaps… universal) the humour is in Shakespeare. Add to that the very flirtateous asides of David to the audience (and the screaming fan girls) and it was a good time had by all.
I’m not sure which play I liked better in respect to David’s performance. Both were so different that it’s honestly a bit tricky to compare. I think they provided a fantastic cross-section of his talents.
Unlike Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost had one set – a large tree with multi-coloured stringed glass hanging from the rafters to represent tree limbs. Lounging pillows and a swing that dropped from the ceiling added to different scenes. And there were a few instances where David was up in the tree.
So yes – no regrets. The shows were fantastic!
After the play last night, Maria and Erich and I went to the Dirty Duck, a pub known for post-production pints by crewhands and actors at the RSC. It’s a cozy llittle place – only a few tables. While we were there, a few of the actors came in – the actor playing the Spaniard, two fo the Ladies, and Zoe Thorn, who is the tinest woman! She was in 4″ heels and still barely could see over the bar! Last call was early – about 11:30. We walked Maria back to her B&B and then went back to our hotel, the Thistle.
We did some sightseeing whilst there. Before the play, we hopped the train to Warwick and went to Warwick Castle. It’s been kept up lovely – there were tours through the main living quarters, decorated in Victorian times – there were residents in teh castle until the twentieth century. Each room was wax-like fitures that honestly appeared too real. A bit creepy – almost as if they could turn to you at any moment.
Erich, Michelle and Maria did the ramparts and towers walk. I managed to get up to the first rampart, but had to turn back at the first tower. The stairs were so narrow and so tightly enclosed that I panicked. Full-on claustrophobia. So Erich helped me back down to firm Earth, and then continued the walk. Apparently I bailed out at the right time – the stairs and path grew more difficult later on. But Erich got pictures. SO I’ll still be able to enjoy them. And even without that, I got to go into a real castle! I’m not complaining!
This morning we headed over to Trinity Church to see where Shakespeare is buried. Unfortunately there was a funeral this morning, so we were unable to go inside. We wandered the church grounds, though – now nearly entirely a graveyard, very peaceful and quiet. The centuries have worn many engravings away, much as they have in New England.
We went back to check out, and then I popped over to a newsagent to get postcards and a Shakespearean bookmark for Matt. I found the cards, but no bookmark. So I decided to head back over to the Courtyard Theatre. I bought a couple bookmarks at the RSC and walked into the main foyer, where I find…
David Tennant! Having some water during a rehearsal break!
I shook his hand, complimenting him (and a couple of the other actors) on the plays, and then left him alone. Quiet, simple, but oh… squee!
Erich, Michelle, and Maria all hate me now, of course.
But such strange timing – to think that I was there only to find that bookmark. SO I suppose I have Matt and his desire for a Shakespeare bookmark to thank!
I’m a bit sad that we had to leave Stratford so soon – we might have needed another day or two. But hopefully we can go sometime again. Erich jokes that we’ll do that on the next Doctor Who hiatus, when David’s again on an RSC turn.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten to record some of the early stuff – I’ll write more later tonight once we’re at the Cardiff hotel.
So yes, that’s the rest of the Stratford recap, and yes – I got to meet the man under purely unusual circumstances… but was so stunned and shocked at it that I barely said anything. No photos (the camera was with Erich), no autographs (too shy to ask). Just a handshake, and my chance to compliment him.
And I didn’t even mention Doctor Who. Somehow, I bet he would have known anyway, given that there was a Yank at the RSC.