We walked into the Roundhouse Theatre and as I entered I remarked about how odd it was that they were allowing someone to play music & panhandle inside the venue. He stood in “bum-like” clothing with his guitar and a cardboard sign reading “its not about the money”. As I walked up towards my seat I couldn’t get over how beautiful his voice was; the rendition of “the times they are a -changing” with his charming Irish accent hit me like few such covers can. Little did I know…it was a set up.
The incredible Royal Shakespeare Company had, if you will, set the mood.
Today, after two tragedies, we went to see As You Like It, one of Shakespeare’s comedies. Meaning - it ends in a wedding, its chockerbock full of double entendres worthy of “that’s what she said” giggles that’ll bring out ANYone’s inner Michael Scott, and it LIFTS your spirits. After the first half, we emerged from the theatre for intermission to find the entire lobby etc COVERED in posters with words like ‘fire’, ‘love’, ‘rosalind’ (the character in the main love story) and quotes from love sonnets and sheets of paper with love poems from all of literature.
They’d ended the half right after the “all the worlds a stage” speech by Jaques, the melancholy, and transformed what can be seen as a cynical part of shakespeare into this beautiful statement. The world of the Roundhouse had become a stage to this love story… The bob dylan guitarist…turns out, he was Orlando, the male counterpart to Rosalind. The seams of our world were melding with those of the play, and as we re-entered the theatre the world inside had been transformed with the same signs & verses of love. The costuming grew more and more modern (harkening more to a sixties hippy commune in the forest of arden than early 17th century England). I lost myself in the play - I cried for the final ten minutes, taken into the joy, hilarity, and absolute beauty of the piece. As the cast danced around onstage, kissing and singing, Orlando threw handfuls of love poems into the audience and we all joined into the wedding party - laughing, cheering, sighing…
I have never been so mentally dissolved into theatre.
After the show, I walked out of the theatre, in a state of bliss. Smiling at everyone I passed, and ventured on to the Camden Horse Stable Market. Lets just say, I’m going back tomorrow..
The narrow allies, only for pedestrians, are lined with antique shops, classic prints, old records, vintage clothing stores, and cheap (delicious) street food. Bob Dylan followed me around all day. I found these incredible prints from Mayfair hotel stationary of a lyric brainstorm for “it ain’t me babe”
I almost bought it (this print was dissolved into Dylan’s face…)
I also found a really cheap Blonde on Blonde a few doors down & got close to buying it
(3 pounds?!) Needless to say - I’m obsessed.
We wandered a bit and found this ABSURD shop called “Cyberdog” (google it) which was full of crazy raver alien stuff ( http://shop.cyberdog.net/product/4286/UFO_DRESS ) , all uber expensive. It was dark and neon and loud with techno. We kept going further and further underground in this store and found ourselves in the 18+ section, which was primarily a bondage alien themed sex toy shop. Its incredible to me how much mingling with “normal” (whatever that means) society the “sex” world is. Tonight, for instance, when out in Covent Garden/Picadilly, we randomly ended up in Soho, a neighborhood which is like a milder, smaller Amsterdam red light distict.
Its been a mind blowing week and theres about 10 billion stories… but thats all for the blog. Skype me.
Oh I guess - if you’re ever in London, try out the Clapham neighborhood south of the river; the bars are lively and its full of young folks. Mostly though, its cheap. In the Covent Garden area all clubs have cover charges and theres so many tourists & other sorts of foreigners. I love the international air of London, but its definitely nice to meet locals. (Talked to a ton of folks on Friday night).
Tomorrow back to Clapham…writing a paper and getting stoked for a week full of class (with the London touring class…!)