A glorious morning in London.
I began by taking the tube to Green Park where I walked through to…
I had my ticket for the Summer Opening of the State Rooms of the Palace. The tour took me through all of the main rooms used for State occasions. It’s quite a stunning set of interiors, but they don’t allow photography. Only two strange things – most of the grand fireplaces have been transformed into electric radiators, and the Queen has a penchant for terylene curtains.
This is where the Queen has all her Garden Parties. You then walk through the gardens to an exit out the back. For some reason there was a Channel 9 News camera crew from Australia just outside the exit gate. They asked for me to comment on the palace but I declined – you can’t be too sure of the context of these pieces…
In the afternoon I went to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on the south bank of the Thames.
I had lunch on the terrace of The Swan restaurant, which overlooks the piazza of The Globe. I drowned a wasp in my drink.
I had a ticket for Henry IV Part One. This was my view of the stage. I was in the middle level in Row A, so I could lean out and look at the groundlings – they’re the people who pay less for tickets and have to stand for the entire three hour performance. My two recommendations for visiting The Globe – pay the extra pound to rent a cushion for your bench seat (which I did) and bring a hat (did that too).
The play was very good – the character of Sir John Falstaff (Roger Allam) was the standout. I wondered how much people in the audience actually know about the play – the American couple behind me complained that they didn’t even understand the synopsis provided in the program (it is quite complex), and at the interval another man (yes, he was American too) asked the usher “Is that it now? Is that the end?”. He didn’t seem pleased when she told him it was only half way through.