STUDENT BLOGS: Theatre in London: Sites, Sounds, and Situations
Rain, Rain, Go Away
by Carrie Harris
And preferably we wouldn't have it come again another day after our experience with the downpour/hurricane/monsoon/tsunami/insert other name here. The walk and talk in question for the day was a lengthy journey that was to give us the experience of walking to "The Theatre" (London's very first permanent theatre) from inside the walls of London proper in the 1580s. The walk was described in the textbook as a walk recommended "for the most dedicated theatre buffs." With this in mind we started out on our journey to a performance in Shoreditch in the 1580s under extreme cloud cover and the beginnings of a lovely storm.
I came to London expecting cold and rain, so boy was I not surprised when on our first day without jetlag we got both. Freezing and being drenched didn't hold us back from the tour at the start and we began with full force at the Tower of London and journeyed onward into the land of Shoreditch, which is a hop, skip, and a jump, and a leap, and a marathon away from anything we were familiar with.
The tour consisted of many churches and gardens of interest, a griffin marking the edge of London, and a Starbucks that was home to nine very wet theatre students and their fearless leader, along with two broken umbrellas, and a London-purchased umbrella named Bessie. According to the book I believe this makes us all hardcore theatre buffs who might've survived the 1580s and the pursuit of art in the time. Yet, needless to say, we wouldn't have had Starbucks or Bessie as saving graces and we decided in our freezing, wet, miserable state to end our tour at this most historical marker and head out on our own for lunch.
The rain may have won out in the end, but we kept it positive and had fun along the way. We learned that getting to see theatre took a lot of work in the 1500s and this gave a new understanding of the art form we all love. We also got a good introduction to London weather at its worst. We survived the downpour, and the moral of the story: wear thick socks, carry an umbrella, be prepared for your umbrella to flip inside out, avoid the edge of sidewalks when buses go by, and just keep smiling through thick and thin, this is London for crying out loud!