Around the Globe in Thirty Minutes
Thursday 19 July, London
We splurged and spent hideous amounts of money on the hotel for our last night, which still got us only a small room, but it was soooo much nicer than the hostel we'd stayed at before. The only slight problem with this place was that there was no soap holder in the showers, something we'd found often in England. Is this normal? Do English people not use soap?
We went to the BBC shop, but didn't joint the fifty-person queue to do the (rather expensive) tour of the station. Instead we went to the Clock Museum (OK, I'm weird) where John Harrison's H4 (of Longitude fame) was on display. I was very excited, but after half an hour getting there we found that it was shut for repairs, and I was suddenly a lot less excited.
Undaunted, we kept going to the reconstructed Globe (not the original, of course, that having burned down almost 400 years ago). They were rehearsing something so we couldn't tour the actual theatre, but we went through the Globe Centre next door.
It was brilliant. They had descriptions of how Sam Wannamaker got the project going, they showed the costumes, props and musical instruments were made then and now, they had models of the Globe and of a Japanese theatre of about the same period, they had everything.
They also had a 'virtual tour' via computer screen, of all kinds of bits of the reconstructed Globe, including places you can't see on the real tour like the heaven and hell areas. Kate and I, being theatre types, were in our own private paradise.
We stayed as long as we could, partly because there was nowhere we'd rather be, and partly because that was the last part of the last day of our holiday. When we ran out of time, we tubed back to our hotel to get our bags and then tubed to Heathrow, to find the plane that would take us home.