by Tyler Beames, Grade 11
After 16 hours of travelling, our group of 16 students lead by Mr. David Gauthier, Mrs. Jen Fletcher and Rev. Keven Fletcher arrived in London. As soon as we had checked into the Royal National Hotel, we all went for a walk around London’s downtown core, seeing famous sights such as Trafalgar Square, the Oxford Circus horses and Regent Street.
In the morning, we took the tubes to Covent Gardens, then to the Royal British Museum, before going to Westminster Abbey and to take part in evensong. Afterwards, we went for a ghost tour around old London and saw various famous buildings and the ghosts that accompany them.
The next day was busy: we took a riverboat cruise to Greenwich and beachcombed, and then we returned to Oxford Street for shopping. That evening we saw our first of seven West End productions, Love Never Dies, the much-anticipated sequel to Phantom of the Opera. Our next stop was the Tower of London, seeing the many sights there, such as the crown jewels, followed by a guided tour of the Globe Theatre that included watching school kids rehearse Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The show was saw that night was War Horse, a powerful play about horses in World War I.
The National Portrait Gallery, which had portraits from Elizabethan times through to present day, and the National Gallery, with works by the likes of Delaroche and Monet, consumed our next day. That evening, we took in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, featuring an all-black cast for the first time and James Earl Jones playing Big Daddy.
St. Paul’s Cathedral was the destination for the next morning, and we explored from the top of the dome to the subterranean crypts. That afternoon we took a tour of Westminster Abbey and saw the tombs of many of the ancient monarchs of Britain, such as Elizabeth I and Henry VII. After a day of touring, it was great to return to the theatre and see Billy Elliot, the passionate dance musical about a boy living during the mining strike in 1984.
We saw the Tate Modern, a gallery for modern art, and then some of the group shopped at King’s Road and some revisited Covent Gardens. That evening, we had the pleasure of seeing Enron, which has become one of the hottest shows on West End, depicting the rise and fall of the Enron Corporation. Portobello Market, an antique market sprawled along one long street, was our next destination, then some of the group saw Platform 9 ¾ and while other revisited the Royal British Museum. After resting, the group saw its penultimate and only Shakespearian show, Measure For Measure.
Our last day in London, we could visit either Harrod’s or the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street. Our final show was the matinee performance of Waiting For Godot, with Sir Ian McKellen and Roger Rees. That evening was spent as a group at a lovely Italian restaurant for our final dinner and the next day we departed for Canada.