29 September 2016



It was a busy week.  After Ian and Darren gave a presentation on The National Theatre in the Theatre in London class, we went to the National for a backstage tour.  Unfortunately, we were not able to take pictures on the tour.  So here are a few photos of the students before we went backstage.  

That night at 7:30 we went to see a performance of Bertold Brecht's Three Penny Opera on the Olivier Stage.  It was the first show  where most students got to experience a Brecht-style show.  Reviews were mixed.  Some students loved it; others did not!

On the Saturday of following week we went back to the National Theatre to see three Chekhov plays all in one day!!!!  At 11:45 am we attended Platonov,  at 4:00 pm we saw Ivanov, and at 8:00 pm we went to a performance of The Seagull.  This was also in the Olivier Theatre.  The set was awesome.  An actual lake that they walked through was in all three plays.  We haven't discussed these shows yet.  Will do so in class on Monday.  We all passed the endurance test!!!! 

On the Wednesday before we went to the Chekov plays we went to see The Book of Mormon for our West End musical performance.  Great!  Lots of laughs and center seats in the stalls!!!!

We moved into the Wimbledon Studio theatre this past Monday.  This morning we started a cue to cue for lighting and sound before students went to their Art in London class.  We will finish the cue to cue tomorrow and then run the show.  We will add costumes on  Friday!  I am so excited! The show is going to be awesome and
 students are doing a fantastic job thus far!  Can't wait until we open next week!

Two weeks ago on Friday we went to Blenheim Palace.  The grounds for the Palace was given to the Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, by Queen Anne after he won the Battle of Blenheim in Germany and beat the French.  This has been a popular day trip.  What made it different this year was the fact that they had a modern art exhibit in most of the rooms of the palace so we had a mixture of old and new.  So I posted pictures of what the rooms looked like before the art pieces were installed.  I did this so both you and the students could see what the rooms really look like.  After a tour of the palace at 11 am, the students had free time to explore the grounds.  A lake, a rose garden, waterfalls, the Pleasure Garden the has a Maze, lawn board games, a butterfly house, and many more sights and activities.  We headed home a 3:45.  Nice enjoyable day.  

Photo in front of Palace.

This was the first piece of modern art we encountered outside the main entrance near the steps of the palace.

Diana is all excited about the armor and weapons in the entryway.

This is an old photo I had of the entrance hall.

Here is the art installation that is hanging in their now.  The infinity symbol which seemed to be a theme of the exhibit.  Lots of mirrors were also used throughout the palace as part of the installation.

Another old picture of the room with all the family portraits. The table below that is normally in this room was placed somewhere else and replaced with what you will see.

The current Duke and Dutchess of Marlborough.

This is what we walked into this year.  Overturned tables and chairs with mirrors on the bottom of them reflecting all the portraits.

This is an old photo of another state room.

This is the art piece in it now!

Blenheim Palace is know for its tapestries.  If there was ever a fire, there is a plan in place to get all these tapestries out of the building!  Velcro is holding them on the wall!!!!  All the tapestries depict the Battle of Blenheim and are in excellent condition.

Another art installation 

The French General surrendering to Duke of Marlborough

Consuelo Vanderbilt, an American, was married to one of the Dukes.  Their marriage did not last.

A replica of this French standard has to be given to the Royal family every year or the Duke could lose all the land.  It is part of the lease or property agreement.  They make sure this does happen!

King Louie XIV of France, England's enemy, hangs over one of the fireplaces.

All the animals in the tapestries are horses except for this dog.  However, look at his paws.  They are horses hooves.  A mistake no was was going to undo....hahhahaha.

This is the dining room table that can seat 40 people. Unfortunately, this was missing this year and replaced with an art installation piece.

The artist's table has chairs from a number of different countries around it.  Idea is we should all sit around the table and get along!

This room is a two dimensional painting painted to look 3-D

Here is the long library that was now full of mirrors.  This is what it looked like.

This is the view now.

The ceiling was even painted.  There was never a painting on this ceiling,

Statue of Queen Anne that was commissioned by The first Dutchess.  They were great friends that had a falling out, and Queen Anne died before they could reconcile.  Queen Anne in actuality was very short and wide.  She does not appear this way in the statue.  The Dutchess wanted her to look good! So she had her made taller and thinner.

At the far end of the Library is a massive organ.  We were lucky to have the gentleman that plays it there that day, and he demonstrated how it works and played music for us!  Right place at the right time.

This was Winston Churchill's favorite place.  His mother was visiting the palace when she gave birth to him. Below is the bed on which he was born.  He never lived here but visited often and proposed to his future wife at the gazebo on the property.  The other family that is associated with Blenheim are the Spencer's, as in Princess Diana's family.   Family names became Churchill-Spencer.

Even the Chapel as we exited the palace could not escape modern art!!!

Jake contemplating his life in the Chapel!!!!  Great lighting.

As I mentioned above there was plenty to explore on the property.

This was the first time Jake saw sheep up close.  He tried to catch one but to no avail!

The entrance to the Rose Garden.

The fountain in the back of the Palace.

Another part of the property is called The Pleasure Gardens.  You can walk there or take the Winston Churchill train for 50 pence each way.

Some views from the train.  Property has some really interesting trees.  Some of my older blogs show more of these.

Some of the lawn games. Hedge maze is in the background.

No Comment!  Under 12 yrs old, huh?

Not sure who won.

Part of the Pleasure Garden is another rose garden, a lavender garden, and butterfly house that has flowers, birds and butterflies in it.

A shed where things were stored and where the gardener lived.

A sundial 

Part of an exhibit showing the encampment of The Duke's soldiers and a model of the battle.  Gigi wearing one of the wigs!  I looked better in the one I wore!!!!

Wonder what these two are eating!

Wow!  And they didn't share it with me!!!! 

Someone got left behind!!!  Not really the train is heading towards him!  haha

Stay tuned for the next blog. It is going to be Lushious!