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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

off to England again

I’m heading off to Stratford-upon-Avon again for a reprise of the trip I took this same time last year. I leave on Tuesday night, arrive Wednesday morning, and return back to New York on Sunday, October 4.

Last year’s trip was such a blast that my travel buddy Bonnie and I decided to do it again, replete with even more Shakespeare at the RSC — we’ll see As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale, and Julius Caesar. None of them star any big names, but some of them do feature some of the same wonderful actors we saw in the productions that drew us to Stratford last year: Hamlet and Love’s Labour’s Lost, both starring David Tennant.
As luck would have it, though, we recently learned of two shows in the West End in London that do feature a couple of names we would kill to see on stage. And fortunately we don’t have to kill: we were able to get tickets to see John Simm of proper Life on Mars in Speaking in Tongues and John Barrowman of Doctor Who and Torchwood in La Cage aux Folles. So we’re gonna run into London for a day and see Simm in a matinee and Barrowman in the evening. Which should be totally exhausting (it’s a round trip of about five hours from Stratford) but a lot of fun. (Tongues also stars Ian Hart, whom I love too; and Kerry Fox, who’s awesome in Bright Star; and Lucy Cohu, who was Alice Carter in Torchwood: Children of Earth — woo-hoo!)

We’re gonna hit Stonehenge again on a predawn appointment; English Heritage has given us the heads-up that what sounds like the same band of German neopagans who hogged the site on our visit last year will be back again, too.

Our new pals Janine and Rosie, whom we met in the pub the Dirty Duck in Stratford last year, will be joining us for some shenanigans and tomfoolery.

Everything else we’re playing by ear. We may go to Glastonbury Tor. We may go to Oxford. We may go to Bath. The only thing for sure is that much sitting in pubs will be accomplished.

Expect things to be pretty much business as usual here at FlickFilosopher.com while I’m gone — you’ll find all the usual features and some new reviews — plus likely some blogging from England. I’ll be microblogging the trip on Twitter and Facebook as well, and I promise to be as amusing and entertaining as possible there.

Now all that’s left to be done is laundry, packing, and cramming in as much work as possible in the next two days so I can limit how much work I’ll have to do while I’m there…

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  • bex

    why don’t you go to Avebury instead of Stonehenge ? it’s MUCH more interesting in my opinion. and you probably won’t be crowded out by rude people like often happens at Stonehenge.

  • MaryAnn

    We’ve got a special predawn appointment at Stonehenge, which will let us wander in the circle itself and is limited to about 30 people in all.

    But I should have mentioned: Avebury is on our agenda, too, and is one of the things we will almost certainly make a priority.

  • Joanne

    I second the Avebury vote. It’s a lovely place.

  • Althea

    Bex is right. Ain’t nobody giving blow-by-blows on Avebury to speak of, and I think there’s a pub in the middle of it anyway. (Avebury is a huge ring, and the village wasn’t built in it per se, but without reference to it, I think. At least it was built before any village existed and they overlap.)

  • Lisa

    jc is ok but I’m going to see twelfth night in Novemer which had the same director (Gregory Doran) as the three plays last year

    so jealous that you’re going to see speaking in tongues great cast i really want to see that it’s based on Lantana and I really like that movie also exactly look at that cast it’s going to be really good!

    hear John is really great in Le Cage too

    Have a brillaint time hope it’s not too cold for you

  • Mimi

    Fiercely jealous! And what a day in London! Oh, have fun, and give us travelogues. Sigh.

    I liked Avebury, too — maybe less visually striking than Stonehenge, but more freewheeling when I was there. Random drum circle hippies over in one part, sheep wandering in another, and you can walk right up and hug the stones (“can you feel the vibrations???” I was asked). No… I didn’t… but I was also warned they’re fertility inducers, so watch out for that… ha.

  • MaryAnn

    Oh, I’m familiar with Avebury (I saw it in Children of the Stones!)

    hope it’s not too cold for you

    It won’t be. I love cool crisp weather the best.

  • Leslie Carr

    What? No Anglo-Flick-Con?

  • Sonja

    Woohoo! Have fun there, and give us a detailed travelogue. I saw ‘As You Like It’ in June and thought it was wonderful (and I can’t wait for November to begin, because that’s when I’ll be seeing Mr. Barrowman in ‘La Cage’).

  • LaSargenta

    Have fun! Sounds like a great plan.

    I am going to London for a long weekend next Thursday, back here Tues…all to see a band play (I am Kloot) since they haven’t come to the US yet. Otherwise, I anticipate having dinner and ale at the French House and walking along Regents Canal with the friend I’m staying with.

    Must be something in the air for travelling right now. Cheap flights, perhaps? ;-)

  • KIm

    Cool crisp weather? You never know, you may be lucky – the weather actually hasn’t gotten too bad yet over here (I am English, obviously – colour, honour and etc) but you could end up with freezing drizzle at that time of year!

    Here’s a tip – if you go to Oxford you need to go a pub called the Duke of Cambridge (in Oxford, yes – it’s google-able) and have a Bloody Mary – they make the best BM’s I’ve ever had in my entire life!

  • @ Kim:

    “…they make the best BM’s I’ve ever had in my entire life!”

    OK, if that was deliberate, shame on you. If it was inadvertent–I’ll just sit here and quietly snigger.

  • Kim

    You’ll have to snigger, then, ’cause I’ve been sitting here thinking and I have no idea what you mean. Perhaps it’s an Americanism?

  • A quick Google tells me it’s an acronym for bowel movement.

  • NorthernStar

    Enjoy your trip Mary Ann!

    I’ve been back to see As you like it and Julius Ceasar because I enjoyed DT’s appearances so much.

    Julius Ceasar is an excellent production and stars Sam Troughton. He’s very good.

  • Kathryn Dowd

    I saw John Barrowman in La Cage friday night, so i can tell you that you’re in for a proper treat!

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