Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quite a lot of stuff

Sort of disappeared again there for a while (sorry mom. haha.). I was working on a post a couple of days ago but then my computer decided to get cranky and scare me by pretending to crash and when I got it back in working order I had lost my blogging motivation. Do not worry though, all is well with it now, and I am still love love loving it here. (With the exception of my bed perhaps. You can feel all the springs poking you when you lie or sit on it. It's excellent.)

Anyway, since I last wrote, I saw:
A. Cat on a hot tin roof

Which was freakin' fabulous. Such a stellar cast. Later that week we had a master class (question and answer session) with Phylicia Rashad (Yes, Momma Cosby!) and Joe Mydell (who I'm pretty sure was as impressed with Phylicia as the rest of us). That woman is a profit. Seriously. She is so full of wisdom. She should be a motivational speaker or something. You know... in her spare time when she's not busy acting on The West End or Broadway or TV...

"Life is like a classroom, and each of us makes our own lesson plan --
make yours a good one"


B. Every Good Boy Deserves Favour

A really cool Tom Stoppard play with a full orchestra on stage. Brilliantly executed. It was in the same theater that Nation was but this time we were in the front row! Yay day seats!

C. The Misanthrope

With none other than Ms. Kiera Knightly who I am sad to report was terrible. Kiera, I suppose it's not your fault they made you do an American accent (why oh why oh why???) which certainly did not aid in your performance, but you really should stick to film. Also, you should eat something. How about some of what I made for dinner tonight? It was really good. Especially the sweet potato. My flatmate was so impressed she had me take a picture. I did not object.

{homemade/improvised vegetarian chili (sort of.) - I was forced to attempt my own because I swear all chili in this country is con carne - with greek yog, guac, cheddar cheese, a baked sweet potato and nan (yes I do mix my ethnicities. So what? London knows how to do Indian food)}

Next time I should really make my own guac too. The waitrose (excellent supermarket which is conveniently about 10 feet from my door... though it's further than the nearest pub and betting parlor! haha) guac was ok but one thing London does not know how to do is Mexican food. They think tortilla chips and Doritos are the same thing. Legit. I don't think regular tortilla chips exist here. If you get nachos at a pub they are made with Doritos. And like, artificial cheese sauce. A lot of my friends think these are good. They are not.

Anyway, back to The Misanthrope. I think my dramatic criticism teacher (The fabulous Christopher Cook - wish I had class with this man more than once a week!) said it best: "The show literally sank under the weight of it's own conceptual cleverness." Yep. Pretty much. A shame really. It had so much potential to be good: a witty, modernized, self-referential script, a cool set and costumes, some talented actors, a big celebrity name. But alas: fail.

We also attempted to see Jerusalem this weekend, which is a new play and has gotten nothing but stellar reviews, but the guy on the phone lied to my roomie about what time we needed to get there to get day tickets so we shall have to try again soon. Day seats, btw, are usually 10GBP and can only be gotten on the day of the show. Kind of London's version of Broadway lottos and student rush. I do however have tickets to go see Waiting for Godot with Sir Ian McKellan next weekend! (How often do you get to see a show in which one of the actors has been knighted?) Makes me kind of not sad to have missed the Roundabout version with Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin. (Ok, so that would have been pretty cool too, but still).

Anyway, after that ticket fail we ended up getting fish and chips at a huge and crazy looking pub with a tree inside (ok not a real one... at least, I don't think so).

We then explored London's Chinatown for all of 5 minutes. Sorry London, New York has you hardcore beat on this one too. I love you, but your Chinatown sucks. Two of my friends then got solicited by some Swedish twins. Seriously, Europeans are so much more forward than Americans. On Thursday night I got drinks with two of my fellow Cornellians who are also in London and one of them got stopped on the street by a Londoner who told her she was just "too cute to pass by without saying something." We asked him for a recommendation of somewhere to get dinner and he told us to follow a street to an alleyway and then knock on a manhole cover and say "fi-fie-foe-fum" to get let in to a secret locale. We promptly parted ways and ended up at a creperie a few blocks away. haha.

Wow... this post is getting long... guess that's what I get (or you get?) for the long wait.

Anyway, in an effort to keep including a little fashion on this blog, and also in an effort (which I begun yesterday) to take pictures of people while I am here and not just buildings/things, here's what my friend Kate and I looked before going out last night. We're... uh... mirroring each other because we are cool theater people and because we matched. Completely unintentionally.

{Topshop versus Primark. The battle.}
(my dress from Topshop, Kate's from Primark)

Primark is this super huge, super cheap, crazy clothing store which seems like it's full of amazing things, but shopping there is a serious battle ('cause it is HOT and CROWDED) and nothing seems to fit/look right on me so all of my trips there have thus far been fails. There are some boots I'm thinking about going back for but they weren't actually that cheap so I have a feeling I could do better. Some of my friends have had great success there though..

Oh I also forgot to mention that I stopped by the British Museum last weekend after a welcome meeting at the Cornell-Brown-Penn UK Centre. I'll have to go back though since I didn't realize they closed early on Saturdays and ended up with only about an hour there. I did, however, see the Rosetta Stone, as well as The Enlightenment room, which was really kick-ass.

It was also really cool to be at the museum at closing. It made me feel like I was in "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler."

Ok, I think I'm pretty close to having covered all the important stuff. There has also been a lot of going out dancing (to clubs and pubs) and a pinkberry imitator called Snog. Good name, fro-yo not as good as pinkberry.

Oh yeah, and then there are my classes. I'm currently working on some Juliet (from Romeo and Juliet of course) in Shakespeare and Cecily from The Importance of Being Earnest in High Comedy. My teachers are totally full of wisdom too. Not only does Ian, the dean of BADA and my Shakespeare teacher, love my floral docs (haha), but he comes up with gems like "life is understood backwards but lived forwards" during class. Um... what? Amazing. My high comedy teacher, Madeleine, is also probably one of the most fabulous, crazy, flirtatious, and intelligent people I have ever met. I have learned so much from her already!

Ok. I've spent far too much time writing this. I should go memorize lines and read some Mother Courage. Oh Brecht. I must confess I don't really get you. You are pretty cool though. More involving than Chekov at least ;)

However, just in case this wasn't enough for you, some of my friends here are doing a hilarious mocumentary about their time in London/at BADA. They posted their Pilot and First Episode today and so far it is great. They're calling it "Real Life London."


Episode 1:

My friend from Cornell, X, who's studying at UCL has also posted a vlog, in which he discusses London's fail at Mexican food (salsa) and the creepy hollow spot in his wall:

I'm feeling like maybe I need to get up on this video thing too.

Alright, that is really all for now,

P.S. Sorry for a lack of blog reading/comment responding. Maybe I will bring my computer to school tomorrow and do some of that during the long break we have in the middle of the day. I also kind of want (need) to do work, and want to read my book and go in to Camden Town again... so we shall have to see ;) haha


  1. i love how you say "flat mate" - you're british already!!!

  2. interesting you hated keira in the play, I thought her review were mostly good

  3. I heart Kiera Knightly :)

    PS- You're adorable!!

  4. ahh nathalie i am so glad you posted this- it really brings back memories...i totally agree with you on primark too (way to hectic and to be honest i struggled too...could be because i don't have that kind of patience) but anyways seems like you are having an amazing time! i cannot wait to hear what you have to say about waiting for godot, we saw endgame when we were over there another beckett play and it was very very strange and very uncomfortable (but that could also be due to the director) also mother courage was by far my favorite play...we saw it at the national theatre and i fell in love with it