Brenton’s Study Abroad Report

I first want to thank you and Books&Wanderlust so much for allowing me to be able to have studied abroad this winter. It was truly an incredible experience that I feel so fortunate to have had.

While in London, we saw seven shows. The first being Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre, which was a horror play that talked about being haunted by your past, moving forward, and also how theatre works. It was a play within a play that had the audience jumping and screaming at moments. The second play was Ben Hur at the Tricycle Theatre. This was also a play within a play that parodized the story of Ben Hur in a Monty Python type of way. It was an active and interactive comedy- although some of the British humor flew over our heads. The third play was Jane Eyre in the Littleton Theatre at the National Theatre. It was unlike any expectation of how Jane Eyre would be on stage. It was beautifully told through ensemble, sound, lighting, and music. The fourth, and my favorite, was Linda at the Royal Court theatre. It was an incredible, entertaining and heartbreaking story, with a fitting modern set surrounded by water. It also starred the actress Noma as Linda, who will also be playing the adult Hermoine in the upcoming Harry Potter play. The fifth show was Cymbeline in the Sam Wanamaker theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe. It was the best Shakespeare play I’ve seen: it was hilarious, fast paced, and beautiful to watch. The whole theatre is lit by candlelight. It also starred Joseph Marcell, who played Geoffrey in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, as Cymbeline. The sixth show was Wendy and Peter Pan, which was at the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was an adaptation of the story of Peter Pan through Wendy’s perspective. The set was amazing, with a whole piece flipping up from the ground to reveal a whole other area, and a pirate ship that was actually driven (sailed). The final show we saw was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime a Gielgud Theatre. It used technology in ways unlike any show I’ve seen, and the story was captivating. I felt incredibly fortunate to have enjoyed every show we saw while there.

IMG_1638Seeing the shows was a part of the London Theatre class. In addition, we learned about the history of London and the role theatre has played, along with the histories of specific buildings, and the influence the changing culture has played. The other class, Acting for the Camera, allowed me to work on camera in multiple ways. We did monologues,improvisational scenes, mark work, comedy scenes and detective scenes. We didn’t just act in front of the camera, but were able to film, operate the boom mic, and be first assistant. I feel as though I learned a lot, and for sure want to keep working with film acting.

IMG_1567Outside of the classes, I was able to see a lot of the city. Of course I went on a double decker bus tour of the city, which included a boat tour as well. I went to Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, and Windsor Castle. I went to the Tate Modern and the Victoria and Albert Museum. I toured the Globe theatre, visited the Rose (and performed a small scene there), toured Parliament, went to the Harry Potter Studios, visited Shakespeare’s hometown: Stratford (toured his house, his daughter’s house, and the Holy Trinity Church with their graves).

I was also fortunate enough to travel to Paris for a long weekend. The city was so beautiful, I instantly loved it. I was able to go to the Louvre, and see as much as our bodies allowed us before feeling exhausted. We then went on the “Paris Eye” and watched the lights glimmer on the Eiffel Tower as the sun went down. We then walked to the tower and around the city. The next day we went up the tower. We also ate a lot of good food.IMG_1755_sm

Overall, the study abroad experience was great. I already miss being over there.



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