Monday, July 16, 2007

Royal Pain in the Itch

Woke up and hurried to the PMC for another great class with Joseph Roach: we talked about Kean and St. Joan, and it was clear that everyone was using what they’d written in their reviews of either show – it all made for some very interesting discussion. After class we had a quick break for lunch (cheese and crackers, mmmm!), then met again at two for our Glasgow briefing: Viv and Sandy gave us an enticing look at what we could expect, and the itinerary features everything from the Glasgow School of Art to Culzean Castle – it should be lots of fun.

After class we meandered home to get ready to travel to Sloane Square for the Royal Court Theatre’s The Pain and the Itch. We somehow took the wrong subway three times, and only very eventually ended up at our destination. But it was well worth it: the Royal Court does a great thing by having the programs, sold for 2 pounds, consist of the script of these new and exciting plays. It was so great to purchase the play with the biographical information, and one leading actor had quite the biography – Matthew Macfadyen played Mr. Darcy in the recent film Pride and Prejudice. He was not quite so sweepingly romantic in this role, but he gave a brilliant performance. The play is American, and is a scathing satire on politics and prejudice and family infidelity, featuring an adorable and precocious five-year-old (the victim of the pain and the itch), a totally hilarious and strikingly beautiful “eurotrash piece of ass,” and a sarcastic plastic surgeon brother and it was just about perfect.

The Royal Court also features an incredible bar in the basement, open all day and conveniently after shows. Their “vegetable root chips with aioli” is one of the top 101 things in London according to one publication of note, and Cassie and I indulged – they were delicious. Matthew “Mr. Darcy” Macfadyan patronized the cafe for a half hour or so after the performance, and some of the girls in our group took a photo with him. The Royal Court CafĂ© serves high tea, and it seems like one of the best environments we’ve found so far in London, so we may return soon.

After the chips came the long, long walk home. Six of us walked all the way from the Royal Court past Buckingham Palace past Piccadilly Circus past the West End and all the way home. It was a nice walk until we all realized we’re supposed to meet at 6 AM tomorrow morning to take the tube to Heathrow. Delightful. On that note, they'll be no posting until Thursday night, at which time I hopefully will have a big and bad account of Glasgow, Scotland in all its glory. Bed now!

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