12 13 July a museum, a show and free time

I’m behind and the days are not as full so, I am combining a couple of days in this post.

Victoria and Albert Museum

12 July

This morning we took the class to the Victoria and Albert Museum for class. This tends to be trek especially when you have the entire class in tow but, it’s certainly worth the trip. We picked up some snacks and coffee in the museum and set up in the courtyard. It was a beautiful morning and we had a great discussion.

After, everyone was dismissed to explore the museum. I went up to the theater exhibition but, didn’t remain long. I’ve seen this in the last two trips so, I visited a couple of galleries before getting lunch in the museum café.

I had intended to see the exhibition on Frieda Kahlo but it was sold out. Will have to try and return another day. I explored a number of other galleries trying to find things I had not seen before or new pieces. Of course, I went the fashion timeline. It hasn’t changed radically since my last visit.

We did not have show this evening so, I headed back to the dorm in late afternoon for tea at the Waterstone’s book store on the corner and spent the evening catching up this.

Class in the courtyard of the V&A

This is a detail from a tapestry (silk and wool). c. 1510-20. Esther and Ahasuerus. from the southern Netherlands.

Day Dress c. 1885. Printed Cotton.

Day Dress 1862. Silk and Cotton.

Shirt and waistcoat. c. 1845-50. Shirt: linen. Waistcoat: silk, cotton.

Stays (corset) 1780-90. Linen, leather, silk, whalebone. I thought the leather detail around the armhole was beautiful.

detail from the Troyes Altarpiece c. 1525. The contemporary clothing in this piece looks German style even though it is from France. Limestone-painted and gilded.

SHOES. Mostly leather and silk. Red shoe c. 1670-80. Green shoe c. 1710. White embroidered slipper (mule) c. 1660-80

Sifiso Matzubuko and Pity

13 July

In this morning’s class we had our first guest speaker, Sifiso Matzubuko. Sifiso is from South Africa. He attended Ohio State.  We meet with the group from that university and share some of the guest speakers. Two years ago, he spoke to the groups and at that time he was appearing as Marvin Gaye in Motown, the Musical. At present he is the stand-by for the roles of Hamilton, Burr and Jefferson/Lafayette in Hamilton. We had a lively conversation with him and our students presented him with some excellent questions.

After class, the leaders of the OSU group and Christina and I went for lunch with Sifiso at The Green Room restaurant behind the National Theater. It was leisurely so, we didn’t finish until almost 2 pm.

I had work to do so, I returned to the dorm and spent most of the afternoon getting caught up. After tea at Waterstone’s again, we headed down to the Royal Court for our next production. Pity is a new play by Rory Mullarkey. We did not have any information going into this production, since it is a new play. We saw the second preview performance. Press night is 18 July. The production was fascinating. It obviously needs some work and I think it might be interesting to see it after press night. Sure they will continue to tinker with it during these previews. I, personally liked the production. It is a little hard to take at times. The playwright is obviously making a statement about the current world conditions regarding politics, violence and where he sees things going. Must say, it’s pretty bleak picture. The absurdist style helps to convey much of his thinking and while it begins humorously it becomes very dark and the ending leaves you with a little hope. Unfortunately, for me, not enough. The transitional period in the play when it became more serious goes on too long I think but, I’m not clear as to how much you would cut. This part of the production is very tricky: cut too much and it wouldn’t have the time to transition to the seriousness of the situation. Overall, I appreciated the importance of the subject and the deftness the director and playwright  uses with the protagonist and his dilemma. I felt great empathy for the character (should say characters because his wife in all this goes through it as well but, she is a secondary element) and the situation in which he finds himself. Through it all he perseveres and I empathized with him throughout the journey.

There were some elements that seemed obvious but, not certain that was a problem in this absurd style. I will be curious to read reviews when they are published.

On the walk down to class this morning. We joined the class from OSU at a site near Waterloo station. This building is part of King’s College. built 1816.

Waterloo Station. on the South Bank of the Thames. We frequently go through this station when going to the south bank. to visit the National Theater.

Seems there is a lot of building going on in London. More than I ever remember.. This is next door to Waterloo Station.

Sifiso Matzubuko, our first guest speaker.

Lunch at the Green Room cafe behind the National Theater.

On the way to the tube stop for the show. Sorry, we were moving quickly and I didn’t get the name of this building. Pretty certain it is part of University College London. It is several blocks form the dormitory.

Outside the theater waiting for the show. Several of our students.

The Royal Court Theater. Note the balcony behind Royal Court.

Christina and I went up to the balcony on the front of the theater and waited for the show.

The view from the balcony. This is a fairly wealthy section of London. As we were standing there we saw a black-out window modern Rolls-Royce limo drive around the circle in front of the theater.

So, you don’t forget what I look like Mr. Lennie.

This is the primary marketing image from Pity with this verbiage: “Two bombs in one day is a foul coincidence” “Don’t forget the lightning strike” A normal day. A person stands in the market square watching the world go by. What happens next verges on the ridiculous. There’s ice cream. Sunshine. Shops. Some dogs. A wedding. Bombs. Candles. Blood. Lightning. Sandwiches. Snipers. Looting. Gunshots. Babies. Actors. Azaleas. Famine. Fountains. Statues. Atrocities. And tanks. (Probably).

Rehearsal image found on the web from Pity. The protagonist and his wife.

Another rehearsal shot found on the web. The ensemble. The production is so new there are no finished production photos to be found.