The first of two successive week-long London Theatre Tours is underway! We hope you’ll follow our adventures through the Chester Theatre Company blog.
One of the themes of the start of our trip was the gradual gathering of the full group. Many of us began–old friends and new–as we gathered on Saturday afternoon to take our comfortable private bus to Logan Airport. There, we met more of our tour-goers for the flight over to Heathrow. At Heathrow, we met more travelers, who had come on other flights, and took another private bus ride to our home for the week: the Lancaster London Hotel, directly across from Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Then, at breakfast, we came across even more tour-goers who had come from so many places, including New York, Rhode Island, Florida, California, Idaho, and Germany.
Sunday offered the usual range of London weather in March: some clouds, some rain, a little sun, and even about two minutes of inconsequential snow. Prior to our banquet that evening, some travelers took walks in Hyde Park, while others headed out to different parts of the city. Some went to St. Paul’s to see Sunday services there. Others went to the Wallace Collection–an historic London town house filled with works by Rembrandt, Titian, Canaletto, and others, along with collections of armor and much more.
In the evening, the full group finally gathered in the Park Room at the hotel for wine and snacks. After a brief welcome from Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer, we enjoyed each other’s company during a wonderful multi-course dinner. At the end of dinner–and following long-distance remarks from Board chair Gail Perlman (delivered by former Artistic Director Byam Stevens), each member of the group introduced herself or himself. So many told stories of how they came to know Chester Theatre Company, of how they had first been brought to the theatre (or on the London Tour) by friends, and how they had since brought friends themselves. We had a lovely night, and all look forward to our talk tomorrow morning from London theatre critic Matt Wolf, and our first play tomorrow evening–Nell Gwynn.