September 26, 2014
Without seeking out these by myself, I have stumbled upon many experiences that remind me of my childhood. From seeing the props from the His Dark Materials show at the National to going to the Harry Potter Studios, I have been transported back to past delights. The concept of living in another country can be frightening, but so far, ignoring the occasional bouts of fear and worry, I have been enjoying my time. I believe that part of the reason is finding comfort in these items from my childhood.
Last Friday, IES took us to the Harry Potter Studios. I was amazed by how huge the studio was and by the quality of the work. The sets were elaborate with every last detail meticulously selected. However, more importantly, I felt like a kid experiencing magic. What could be better?
The next day, we went to Cambridge. It was beautiful and almost like a continuation of the Harry Potter experience. The quiet feeling of the place combined with the beauty of the water and old buildings brought me into a different world. Too bad it was cold or the day would have been perfect.
In addition to the Philip Pullman and JK Rowling novels, I also grew up with Jane Austen and William Shakespeare. This may not be a traditional mix of authors, but I love them all. I was introduced to the works of William Shakespeare when I was seven years old and Jane Austen when I was eleven. Both have stayed with me since.
Yesterday (Thursday, September 25), I was exposed to Shakespeare and, indirectly, to Austen in London. (This is ignoring the fact that I am taking a Shakespeare class here.) In the afternoon, I went to see Julius Caesar at the Globe. As a groundling, I was able to lean right on the stage and watch a powerful production. The very idea of it made me so happy, the fact that it was a good version was icing on the cake.
That night, through my theatre classes, I went to see a show called Wolf from the Door. It was a weirdly funny show involving nudity, anarchy and laughter. It was here that I indirectly got a glimpse of Jane Austen in England. Starring in the show was Anna Chancellor, who played Miss Bingley in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. Though she was playing a very different character in a very different story, she was brilliant (and so were her fellow actors).
I came home last night thrilled by what I had seen and experienced. It means a lot to see childhood books brought to life in different ways in the country of their origin. Tomorrow, I head to Bath. I hope to experience more Jane Austen while I’m there!