It’s always a treat to send word back from our theatre tours. We arrived in London on Sunday, and after some hearty walks (& equally hearty naps after our flight), and a few museum trips by some of our hardiest travelers, we gathered Sunday evening for a lovely welcome dinner.
We have a wonderful mix of returning and new travelers, and dinner was a terrific chance to catch up with old friends and make new friends. Board member Gail Perlman brought us greetings from our Board Chair, Wendy Davis. We also have our newest board member, Karen Schader, on the trip, along with former board member Bob Tutnauer.
Before dessert, we all introduced ourselves to the group. Returning travelers shared what brings them back, and new travelers shared their excitement about the week ahead.
The next morning, we gathered to hear from Matt Wolf, the London theatre critic for the International New York Times. (Some of us had read his review this weekend of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which we’ll be seeing on Wednesday. It’s a rave.) Matt’s knowledge of the London theatre scene is encyclopedic, and his enthusiasm is infectious. We left our morning looking forward to our week of plays more than ever.
The weather here is beautiful. (And we’re okay missing the impending snow storm back home.) Many travelers took advantage of the sun and warm temperatures to walk. And walk. And walk. Others went to a range of exhibits, including the Wildlife Photographer of the Year show at the National History Museum (about a 10 minute walk from our hotel).
Some folks gathered for dinner, and then we all met up at the Old Vic Theatre, to see our first play of the week: Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Interestingly enough, the Old Vic was the site of the original London performance of the play–50 years ago, believe it or not! The production is pretty much sold out, in part due to the presence of Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame.
Tomorrow morning we’ll gather for our first Talkback–to share what we saw and thought. Tomorrow evening, we’ll have our dine-around–a great chance to get to know each other better early in the week, then head to the Royal Court for The Kid Stays in the Picture.