Brentwood Meets Big Ben
“Taste that London air. It tastes like history… and cigarettes” observed Michael G, Privett ’17.
London, England has been a must-see hotspot for centuries and during February Midterm, 16 students were lucky enough to attend a theatre tour. With chaperones Mrs. Widenmaier, Mr. Armitage, and Mrs. Blake, students would spend six days in the famous city: shopping, sight-seeing, selfie-taking, and watching professional musicals.
After squirming through Heathrow Airport after a nine hour flight, students were greeted by charming accents, over-priced coffee, and foreign traffic laws- not only did they drive on the opposite side of the road, but pedestrians soon learned that nobody obeys the cross-walk signals, even in heavy, fast-paced traffic.
Arriving at the Corus Hotel, adjacent to the stunning, animal-friendly Hyde Park, students were given a tour of major landmarks, their Underground passes, and a slight push from the nest, like baby birds. “This city is like art, and just being here for a couple days, I know that one day I want to come back. Everything is loud, and beautiful, and busy, and noisy in the best of ways,” said Victoria R, Hope ’15 while holding a Nutella crêpe in Covent Garden.
Students were able to take in a variety of landmarks and museums during their stay. This included Royal Hampton Court Palace, the past home of Henry the VIII, which had a room especially for making hot chocolate; it was in that very room that students realized the sad truth from Lorde’s hit song, that we’d never be royals - although one could easily find several juxtaposing, modern gift shops selling hot cocoa within the building. The Tate Modern, the Tate Britain, the Victoria and Albert, the National History Museum, the London Bridge Experience, St. Paul’s Cathedral, several white poodles outside a café, Fleet Street, M&M World, Harrods, Selfridges, and Hamley’s, the world’s largest toy store, were all acmes on this trip.
After taking student suggestions at the beginning of the school year, a variety of theatre performances were selected based on interest and availability. Brentwood attended four pieces: Wicked, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, War Horse, and Matilda. Acclaimed actors - one of which the group met and took pictures with, the delightful Albert of War Horse - were top-notch and the set design and productions were mesmerizing for each of these.
It was a fantastic experience for first-time and long-time travellers that catered to the wishes of the group – it is highly recommended for students interested in the arts, history, or just wanting to go to England now that spring is here. The only problem is that students wished they could’ve stayed longer.
Kimmi G, Hope ‘15