Tudor Chronicles, Acts One, Two, and Three

Our first few days in London have been a whirlwind of castles, parades, tombs, cathedrals, galleries and (to crown it all) the great Globe itself!

It all began with an exploration of London’s Big Three historical attractions: Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the doom-filled Tower of London, where so many of the great and good met untimely, grisly ends… along with a menagerie of creatures (including the legendary ravens whose croaks resounded through the chilly January air…). To crown our day’s treasury of splendid sights, we made our pilgrimage to St Paul’s Cathedral, where we were given VIP treatment seated right next to the choir, who obligingly sang us a hymn by the Elizabethan composer William Byrd!

Tudor Times in Trafalgar Square!

Still digesting the rich delights of the previous day, we took things easy on Day 2 with a wide-eyed wander around the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert museum, perusing Tudor portraits, tapestries, and the Great Bed of Ware (which proved almost irresistible to our group of globe-trotting travelers!)

Speaking of Globes, our third act found us transported back in time to Shakespeare’s London, where we were treated to a masterclass in Macbeth by a professional actor, who introduced us to the bodily resonances of iambic pentameter; shown how to get dressed like the lovely Lady Ophelia; and escorted through the bear-baiting pits and bawdy “stews” of Southwark, culminating in a refreshing English-style cream tea. Our band of merry Lutes then made our way to the Barbican to enjoy the Royal Shakespeare Company’s modern take on the grisly Scottish Play… brought expertly to life by the brooding, blood-stained Time Lord, Christopher Eccleston. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…. we know not what awaits!

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