After 22 hours of airports and airplanes, we are finally in London. After two years of planning, our UK trip has finally begun. Needless to say, we are thrilled to be here.
Immediately upon clearing customs at the airport, we began our day with sightseeing. We saw classic locations like Big Ben and Royal Albert Hall. We then enjoyed a much needed meal at one of London’s few Kosher restaurants. After checking in at our hotel, we were given free time to explore the area. As Shabbat began, students joined together in a Kiddush.
This morning the company enjoyed what was one of the most thrilling tours I have ever been on: a private, backstage tour of the National Theater (NT). A mere 15 minute walk up the river from our hotel, we got to see the inner workings of the three theaters making up the NT complex. With an annual budget of over £54 million ($88 million USD) the NT has 3 shows running every single night, and even has the capability to transition one of their theaters between two shows over the course of 24 hours. Our entire company was in total awe of the NT.
I have now come to the conclusion that nobody should ever be bored while in London. After our NT tour ended, we didn’t have to walk more than about 100 meters to watch a rehearsal for an outdoor show consisting of 300 youth ranging in age from 13 to 21. With few lines said by the cast, the show revolved around the choreography and sounds put on by the 300 actors.
After watching the rehearsal, we walked 100 meters only to find another outdoor show going on. This time, it was a group of about 25 male teens doing stunts like various types of jumps.
As I write this blog entry, the cast is rehearsing for our Fringe Festival performance on the sidewalk outside of our hotel. With no set and no props (because it is Shabbat) this rehearsal is a challenge in it of itself, though the cast is more than ready for it. (photo left)
Tonight we will enjoy free time followed by a theater production, Women in Black. Who knew being a tourist could be so fun?!
The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.