Medea at the National

Yesterday, was a relatively quiet day since I blew my mind on the National and was feeling a strong case of museum fatigue. Christina and I had a nnumber of errands that required going from one end of the city to the other. It seemed a good day to take care of those.

In the morning the class heard from Samuel West, an old friend of Christina’s from her days as a student at LAMBDA. She had also appeared in a producion of Arcadia with him at the time. Mr. West is from an acting dynasty and today regularly appears in theatres around London as well as film and TV. He most recently played Bertie in Hyde Park on the Hudson and, I believe, regularly appears on the BBC/PBS series Mr. Selfridge. He is also very involved in politics and arts funding in the UK. His talk was very interesting to me particularly his discussion on the later topic.

Samuel West spoke to the class. Here with Christina.

Samuel West spoke to the class. Here with Christina.

We got on the road quickly after that and headed first to the Wallace Collection to have lunch and reserve space on the last day in London for tea. The walk over brought out a number of lovely surprises including Nelson House and Wimpole Street.

This Is Nelson House.

This Is Nelson House.

This is the full shot of Nelson House.  The flowers were beautiful.

This is the full shot of Nelson House. The flowers were beautiful.

This is the corner of Cavendish and Wimpole Streets.

This is the corner of Cavendish and Wimpole Streets.

I swear I didn't go looking for this. It was suddenly just there.

I swear I didn’t go looking for this. It was suddenly just there.

We also passed by this small church/cathedral.

St. James Church near Spanish Place. It just looked like a mini cathedral with flying buttresses.

St. James Church near Spanish Place. It just looked like a mini cathedral with flying buttresses.

The Wallace Collection proved to be a lovely structure housing a small collection of 18th century art. I resisted the temptation. After a very good lunch in the covered courtyard, we headed for Paddington Station via the tube to get tickets for ojr trip to Bath on Friday.  The line at the train station wasn’t long but we had to wait forever.

Leaving Paddington  journeyed south to Waterloo station to buy tickets for the class trip to Hampton Court on Monday. Acquiring those tickets we were now free to do a little sightseeing.  We went up to Charing Cross Rd to browse through the used book stores (something I definitely do not need). I am afraid I couldn’t find the book (s) on your list Rhoda.  After that we went over to Covent Garden and the Royal Opera thus completing our My Fair Lady tour of the day.

Covent Garden Market from the front.

Covent Garden Market from the front.

Another view of Covent Garden market.

Another view of Covent Garden market.

The Royal Opera House. I could not get back far enough to get the whole thing.  Must confess. I was a little, disappointed.  Thought it would be grander.

The Royal Opera House. I could not get back far enough to get the whole thing. Must confess. I was a little, disappointed. Thought it would be grander.

By that time we were ready to call it quits since we return to the National Theatre to see Medea with Helen McCrory. We went back to the hostel and I had a short lay down and we went back to south bank for the show. We took the tube to Charing Cross and walked across the bridge to south bank.  On the way I got some better pictures of Westminster and Big Ben.

Going across the bridge to the theatre, I was able to get a better shot of Westminister and Big Ben. Hope to get down there next week.

Going across the bridge to the theatre, I was able to get a better shot of Westminster and Big Ben. Hope to get down there next week.

The production in the Olivier Theatre of the National was stunning. Every element of the production was carefully chosen to create an intensity warranted for the ancient Greek drama. McCrory’s performance began at such a high level. I wondered how she could continue but, she did not disappoint. Her controlled and passionate portrayal was riveting. The design was intelligent with consistent nods to the ancient Greek traditions of performance and production. By the way, it was a contemporary production.

Program cover for Medea.

Program cover for Medea.