Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Last Wednesday we spent the day in Stratford, birthplace of William Shakespeare.  Our class did not have any visits planned, but we had received some suggestions of places to see on our own.  We arrived around noon and had no obligations until 7:30.  Our whole group of several classes had evening tickets to see Cardenio at the Swan.  Several of us explored the specialty Shakespeare shops and considered what we wanted to do.  Four of us decided to visit the Shakespeare Library, located in the discovery/tourist information centre.  The visit was quite nice and the librarian was sweet (separate post to follow).  The physical building is not large enough to accommodate our whole class; though in the past visits had been arranged.  The few of us who wanted to visit made a point of doing so, the rest of the class was free to do as they pleased.  

We then walked out to Trinity Church, the church which Shakespeare attended and where he is buried.  His grave is inside the church, up in the front.  On the walk back to town we followed the river and decided to get cream tea in a specialty tea shop.  The shop sold loose leaf tea, and had a 4 for 3 sale going on, so a friend and I each got two teas.  We wandered in a few shops and finally decided to walk along the river down to the Swan Theatre.  We were still early for the performance but we decided to sit and relax.

The Swan Theatre and the RSC Theatre
The Swan Theatre has recently been renovated and is not what I was expecting.  The theatre is oval shaped, with ground seats and two galleries.  Our group was in the upper gallery.  We had to lean forward over the rail to see the actors; we were looking down on the tops of their heads when they stood on our side of the stage.  Regardless of the angle we had a good view, and I liked the unique perspective it provided.  I really enjoyed Cardenio once it got going.  I didn’t know anything about it, but I was curious to see a lost Shakespeare play recreated.  At intermission I ran down to the theatre store and bought a copy of the play.  When the play ended we all headed back to the bus for our ride back to London.  We were all tired but excited from the performance.  Most folks seemed to have enjoyed it.  It made for a late night back, but it was worth it.  I saw two very different Shakespeare plays back to back, and I enjoyed them both.


  1. The jealousy is oozing from my pores. Can't you smell it?

  2. Yes, I think I can pick up on the vibes you are sending between the blog and photo comments. I wish you could have been there.