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cultural vandal | 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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