NPAC with Mid-Pac at the Globe Theatre
by Susan Bowyer
Day four was the most free time in London we’ve had thus far. For the first time in three days we we’re able to sleep in. After eating a delicious breakfast in the cafeteria there was free time for groups to walk the surrounding area. Brandon, Chelsea, Chanel and I set off on the hunt for an ATM. We decided that it couldn’t be too far away so we just walked up the street passing other NPACers scrounging for Wi-Fi outside of the nearby café LEONs. We kept saying it must be just around the corner but to no avail. Adding to the frustration it was raining and cold so for once London began looking like what we imagined it would.
Stopping at M&S, the 711 equivalent of London, for directions we were told to go to the London Bridge. Small walks in London are like hikes in Hawaii. Once we got back to Bankside house we asked our trusty AHSTF friends and they pointed us across the street towards the cash machine. Lesson learned, ask for directions first in a foreign country.
We caught up with the rest of the cast outside and headed toward Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre just a few streets from Bankside. Many of the other schools were already waiting and we finally got to see our fellow Hawaii peeps from Midpac.
Our guide took us on tour and we actually got to sit in on a play being rehearsed in the Globe. She let us know that though this was only a replica of the original Globe the builder took great care in making sure it was as close to the original as possible. So there are no metal nails of any sort in the theatre; the entire structure is made of wood and long wooden pins. After watching the somewhat gruesome rehearsal we moved on down the street to begin our Shakespeare workshop. We shared the space with another school from Montana and spread our Aloha Spirit as far as it could go.
Beginning with a game of splat that sent laughter’s ringing throughout the room with moments like Brandon’s “Sister” there wasn’t a frown in the building. Quickly the game passed and a winner was crowned not surprising our NPAC alumnus, Tali was the chosen one. The next activity proved to be the most enjoyable and informative. We were given a speech from Hamlet and partnered up talking back and forth. At first it was just reciting, then more elements were added such as emphasis, emotion, body movement.
I have never seen Shakespeare taught this way and it helped to engage even the few in the group who were less than thrilled about coming in the first place. The partner activity helped us to better understand what the speech actually meant and was easier than most would think. Next in groups we were assigned lines and created pictures out of them. Lets just say that they were all creative and fun to watch. That was the end of our Shakespeare journey and we all came out more informed and open.
We walked back to the Globe and joined the bombardment of students in the gift shop. With so many things to buy, students came back with a range of things all the way from a gold masquerade mask, to a Macbeth pen.
With the help of alumnus, Tali and new additions to the NPAC family/cameramen Roy Kimura and Glenn Yamamoto, we caught the bus to Kings Cross Station. A lot of us were anticipating this because of it’s significance to the Harry Potter series where Harry and other magical students run in to the wall between platforms 9 and 10 or 9 ¾ as it is more famously known to get onto the Hogwarts express. We pushed through the crowd and one by one took our spots in front of the cart. Shay really looked as if she was off to Hogwarts with her coat and Wand at hand. I don’t think I can explain how incredible it is to stand in front of something you grew up reading and watching. Along with many other sites in London the feeling will stay with many of us forever.
We got on the bus again and were off to favorite landmark for Mr. Kitsu, Roy and Glenn. After a few buses, we arrived at Abbey Road, with its famous crosswalk that graced the cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road. So with traffic stalled, a barefoot Mr. Kitsu a.k.a. Paul McCartney, with alumni Christian, Brandon, and Tali crossed the road fulfilling a lifelong dream for Mr. Kitsu. Funny enough as more students were crossing a car sped through and yelled wrong one but we we’re not deterred and continued crossing.
Once everyone got their moment we walked up the street to catch cabs. Catching a cab is kind of grab bag, you don’t know when they will come, if the driver is unkind or reckless as a driver and if there going to drive around just so you can pay more fair. We we’re on our way to Piccadilly Circus the smaller British version of Time’s Square. Once there, we all could tell by the pain in our stomachs that food was calling. We pilled into a restaurant called Adams Ribs where we were fortunate enough for Mr. Kitsu to pay for most our meal. After lots of food and laughter all of us we’re anxious to get some shopping done and poured into the nearest souvenir shop. It’s quiet’s funny to be on the other side of things, in Hawaii we’re so used to watching tourist shop and here we are buying everything with the English flag in site.
Once the cast gathered we walked down to the Prince Albert Theatre where we were to watch the musical Jersey Boys based on the story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Everyone was really anxious and excited especially our very on Jersey Boys, Brandon, Christian, Shannon, and Andrew. As we walked into the theatre I immediately bought a program and quickly made my way in to avoid further spending. At first glance I could tell this theatre was different compared to Wicked; its design was much more classic and was much bigger than Blood Brothers.
Once we were settled and realized we had prime seats only about seven rows from the front. I don’t know if I can properly explain the feeling you get from Jersey Boys, it’s a great story, with familiar and amazing music that just makes you want to get up and dance. The whole time I’m thinking my dad, originally from Jersey, needs to see this, heck everyone should see this it’s just a good time.
Then just when we thought the show was over, Mr. surprises our Jersey Boys while taking a picture, and tells them that they were going to perform their Jersey Boys Medley outside of the theatre. Even though they were nervous the boys pulled off a great performance with droves of people around watching, singing and clapping.
Mr. Kitsu shared that one of his dreams was to have the NPAC Jersey Boys perform in front of the theatre of the show . . . and we realized just how far we had come. The day wrapped up with cabs back to Bankside and preparing for the earlier morning trip to Scotland where another adventure begins.