Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 10

Holy Trinity Church in Stratford, burial place of William Shakespeare and his family.
It's Tuesday morning, and the students are taking their first exam. There was last-minute studying at the breakfast table. This afternoon's class will focus on governmental influence on trade. Today the students will also begin their work on team projects.

It's nice that class was scheduled to start a little later today, because we didn't return from Stratford-Upon-Avon until after Midnight. We arrived there around 15.15, giving us almost four hours before the play began. The weather was nice, so a few people spent time in the lovely park along the river. Most people walked around the town and saw the outside of some Shakespeare properties, such as the Bard's birthplace. Several people also visited the poet's grave in Holy Trinity Church. The site has been home to a church since 713, although the current building dates back only to 1210.

The RSC production of The Winter's Tale far exceeded everyone's expectations. The theatre itself, which is a temporary structure, was impressive with a thrust stage and two balconies.

RSC Courtyard TheatreWe had fantastic seats in the first three rows! The sets and costumes were amazing, and the director made good use of the fly space above the stage. The acting was remarkable. More than a group of people reciting iambic pentameter verse on a stage, these professionals embodied their characters and kept the audience thoroughly engaged with their emotional performances. I'm sure nobody will ever forget the 12 hairy dancing men, or the bear. The video from the bus ride home is a little dark, but here is Ben's reaction:

Tomorrow morning we leave early for another trip to London. This time we will visit WPP, the world leader in marketing communications services and their retail practice, The Store.

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