24 July Hampton Court Fun Home

This morning there was no class officially. We went to Hampton Court, one of my favorite places to visit. This will be my third trek out so, I am hoping to find some new things so as not to bore anyone reading this with the same old same old.

We met up early and took the Northern Line down to Waterloo in order to catch the train to Hampton Court. Christina and I bought the tickets yesterday, so we just had to get down and catch the 9:06 train. Of course, it was delayed. It’s a busy time of day at this station. Not too much however. We were headed down by 9:20 or thereabouts. It’s about a 30-40-minute train ride to the castle. We arrived, and Christina and I bought the admission tickets and turned everyone (including ourselves) loose. Christina was accompanied by her family and they had invited Adam and his girls down so Marlena might have a companion. They quickly bonded and headed out to look for the maze. I went in search of coffee and breakfast since we did not have time before leaving. I enjoyed a quick breakfast in the Queen’s Privy Kitchen before beginning my explorations.

Since I have been in the apartments several times, I planned to spend some time in the gardens but, first there was the Cumberland Art Gallery. I spent some time there as well as going through the chapel, always a great look. You can’t photograph in it so I found a picture on the web (see below). After that, I headed outside to explore the gardens. The palace is really two parts: the Tudor half (of which not a lot of the original is left) and the Baroque half (the half created by Christopher Wren and the Stuarts). The style is more Baroque. I first went to the gardens on the Tudor half most of which you can’t really walk through the Pond Gardens. These are sunken gardens recreated as they think might have existed during the Tudor period. From there I moved onto The Privy Garden which was re-created by William III during the Baroque period. It gave me the feeling of Versailles although not as large.

Below is a link to maps of the palace and the gardens, so you can get an idea:

The Gardens


The Palace


We stayed until early afternoon and then traveled back to London. I wanted to take a break before the evening show.

This evening we saw Fun Home at the Young Vic. Terry saw this show in Washington and said he loved it so I’m hopeful. Christina and I went down early to get the tickets and I had dinner at a burger place across the street named Byron. It was very good. They had a “light” burger with mushrooms mixed into the meat to cut down on the amount of meat. I enjoyed it very much. We browsed through the theater bookstore two doors down. I am trying to find some plays for Rhoda but, I haven’t’ had a lot of luck on this trip. This bookstore did not yield anything either. Crossing the street, we met the students, passed out the tickets and headed into to a sold out house for this production.

Fun Home is a musical and it premiered on Broadway in 2013 and was adapted from a graphic memoir first released in 2006. It is unique in that the protagonist is a lesbian and her story involved her growing up with gay father and the struggles they encounter prior to his suicide when she was in college. It is a moving piece and I loved the production. I could relate on a very ‘extraordinary. It was very moving for the entire audience I thought. There was a lesbian couple sitting next to us and they cried (as did we all). It was obvious how much they were moved to see their story on stage. I feel this production reinforces how important it is that we tell everyone’s stories because we learn what it feels like to be in someone else’s shoes and that makes us all better humans. Of course, I’m being selfish here because this play is partly my story.

This is the class this year. ready to head out from Waterloo Station. We are short a couple in this photo.

The Fountain court yard at Hampton Court. This is from the Baroque period.

The Clock Courtyard from the Tudor Period.

The chapel. I found this image on the web since I couldn’t photograph in the chapel. It is a working worship space. They were having a service that day at 12:30.

from the Cumberland Gallery. Reigning Queens, Queen Elizabeth II by Andy Warhol, 1985.

from the Cumberland Gallery. I had never seen this (well I probably saw last year and just forgot). Thomas Gainsborough, Diana and Actaeon, 1785-8.

from the Cumberland Gallery. Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, Margaret of Austria, Queen Consort of Philip III of Spain, c. 1606-11. I include a detail of part of the gown of which I was most interested.

Detail of the previous painting. This bow detail is great.

Another detail. The ruff at the bottom of the cuff and the turn back of the over sleeve.

from the Cumberland Gallery. Another of my favorite painters. Caravaggio, a Boy Peeling Fruit, c. 1592-3

from another area not the gallery. workshops of Hans Holbein the Younger, Henry VIII, 1542. Hard to take this. Everything was reflecting in the glass. That includes the windows on either side of his head.

from another part of the palace. the British School, Elizabeth II, c. 1580-9.

Moving out into the gardens. This building housed an incredible series by a Renaissance artist depicting Caesar’s entrance into Rome. The detail was spectacular. this picture is because I like the contrasting architectural style. You can also see the beautiful chimneys of the Tudor era palace.

A detail from one of the sunken gardens.

Christina and I had to have our traditional selfie here.

The palace from the far end of the Privy Garden.

Returning back to London, just one more shot of the front Gate House.

The Young Vic theater.

A production photo from Fun Home. I DIDN’T TAKE THIS DURING THE PERFORMANCE. Found on the web. Young Alison with her Dad and the older Alison remembering the scene.

A production photo from Fun Home. I DIDN’T TAKE THIS DURING THE PERFORMANCE. Found on the web. Young Alison with her Dad, Mom and younger brothers. “The perfect family.”

A production photo from Fun Home. I DIDN’T TAKE THIS DURING THE PERFORMANCE. Found on the web. Medium Alison and Joan.