31 July 2010

The Last Week of My Summer Visit - July 2010

The last week of my summer visit to London in July was busy! I saw a few shows: Enron was fantastic. It was directed by Rubert Goold who is becoming my favorite director here in London. It is ashame that the show did not last more than two weeks on Broadway. Wall Street wasn't going to support this piece! He is being considered run either the National Theatre or The Royal Shakespeare Company. Smokey Joe's Cafe at the Landor Theatre above the Landor Pub was a wonderful piece of theatre. The space is small but the staging was excellent. I remember many years ago seeing a great production of Into the Woods in that space. I also booked tickets for the Theatre in London class to see Closer Than Ever on Oct. 9th at the Landor. I heard that the night before I went Andrew Lloyd Webber attended a performance there and really wants to see the show go on. I know it was extended for another week. Tonight I went to see Wolfboy an 85 minute musical at the Trafalgar Studio. A bizarre piece to say the least. Different music and lots of blood! It closes tomorrow night! Mike, my landlord, did a super job with the lighting! He has just met with Kevin Spacey to light a show that will be done in the tunnels near Waterloo Station. Exciting! I also saw La Bete as I mentioned in the last blog. A poster for it is below.

St. Paul's Cathedral

I spent 30 pounds between the show ticket and popcorn and soda to see Inception at the Odeon in Leicester Square. Great movie not worth 30 pounds...hahaha. Never again!

I auditioned Shareen's friend, Shane, and casted him in God's Country. Just had a picture of Shareen and Shane here, and it got deleted. I will post them later. It is late Friday night, and I have to pack and leave in the morning for the States! Sorry guys!
On Sunday I was invited to a wonderful lunch over at Joyce Rae' s house. Joyce is an agent here in London and the wife of our former lighting designer, Roger Frith, who died unexpectedly last year. We miss him dearly. Also at the luncheon was Jonathan and Alise Kennedy. Jonathan is the Executive Director of Tara Arts where we are doing our play. His wife, Alise, does wardrobe for the Royal Ballet and just returned from a tour of China and Barcelona. The other two guests were Kate Williams and her daughter Kelly. Kelly is an agent and works with Joyce. Kate is an actress who has just finished filming her final episodes on the English soap opera, Eastenders. She is also well-know to the British public for her TV series Love Thy Neighbor which was the show that America's All in the Family was based on. She played the wife. We had a great discussion about how TV and film has changed both as far as writing the shows and the acting. Interesting topic! Pretty depressing actually....If you see me, I will explain more. Below is a picture of Kate, Joyce, and Jonathan.
I booked all the day trips this week and a few more shows for us to see in the fall. Looking forward to getting back to Winona to finish up the preparations for the London semester and to get ready to welcome 8 students from Rose Bruford College who will be spending a year at Saint Mary's studying theatre. I will keep you posted!

Kate Williams, Joyce Rae, and Johnathan Kennedy.

22 July 2010

First Blog of the 2010 Semester....July

Well here is the beginning of the 2010 London Blog. This semester we have 18 student from Saint Mary's University studying in London for the Fall Semester. We will be performing the play, God's Country by Steven Dietz at Tara Studio in Earlsfield October 19 -23. Fly over and catch the show!

I have been in London for almost two weeks getting things ready for the semester. I have rented the student flats, auditioned two British actors for the play, set up daytrips, and purchased tickets for a number of the plays we will be seeing.

The Globe Theatre is where we will be seeing The Merry Wives of Winsor and Henry IV, Part 1. At the National Theatre (Pictured above) we will be seeing Hamlet.

In the West End I have purchased a number of tickets. We will see War Horse another National Theatre production at The New London Theatre. This is a production we have gone to the past two years. I am really excited that it is still playing.
I heard that it is getting ready to go to Broadway! The West End musical we will see for Theatre in London class is Billy Elliot . For the Page to Stage class I booked Arthur Miller's All My Sons starring David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker. Also for the Page to Stage class I booked tickets for Deathtrap with Jonathan Groff from Spring Awakening and Glee.
Also purchased tickets for the Sondheim musical, Passion at the Donmar Warehouse and Athol Fugard, the South African playwright's play, Train Driver at the Hamstead Theatre. Fugard will also be directing this production. The last play I booked is a new play, entitled Tribes at the Royal Court Theatre. The rest of the shows we will see I will book after the semester begins. There are always new shows coming into London.
In addition to going to the theatre I have booked two theatre tours. The first is a theatrical tour of the Drury Lane Theatre, the oldest theatre in London. This has been a very popular tour with our students in the past. I also booked a private backstage tour of the National Theatre with Tim Blazdell a friend and Associate Designer at the National. We did this fantastic tour two years ago. I am really excited that we got to book it early.
The daytrips that I will book this week are to Cambridge, Blenheim Palace, Bath, and Canterbury. Our long weekend in Scotland will be booked during the semester.
While here for the three weeks I have auditioned two British actors to be part of our play, God's Country. One is a student who studied at Saint Mary's this past year, Laurence Greiner and the other is Shane Nippard. We welcome them to the cast! I have also been making arrangements to take our show to Dublin, Ireland at the end of the London semester and just before we do the two-week acting program at The Gaiety School of Acting.
While in London I managed to see the Broadway production of Hair, Sondheim's Assassins, La Bete, with one of my favorite actors, Mark Rylance, David Hyde-Pierce from Fraiser, and Joanna Lumley of the Ab Fab TV series. I plan on seeing Enron and Wolfboy, the lighting design is by my dear friend Mike Robertson who is also my landlord!
Well that is all for now. Weather here in London has been terrific! Subscribe to the blog if you haven't done so already and you will be notified everytime I post something new. I usually do a blog a week once the semester begins! Enjoy the rest of the summer!