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London, Day 2

We really packed a lot into day two, without actually planning on it. We wound up going to the Tower Bridge, the HMS Belfast, Big Ben/Parliament, seeing Oliver! in the West End, and Piccadilly Circus! Thanks to our daypasses for the Underground, we didn’t have to do a whole lot of walking, either.

The first thing we wanted to do was to see about getting theatre tickets for Oliver!, the production Burn Gorman is currently appearing in. Fortunately, there was a discount ticket booth right in the Covent Gardens tube station, and thanks to the person behind the counter calling the theatre, we scored high balcony seats for that evening’s performance. With tickets safely tucked into my camera case, we headed back onto the Tube to start our day.

Our day started with the trip to the Tower Bridge. I had discovered the Tower Bridge has a tour where you can walk along the top of it, and I really wanted to do it…and somehow I convinced Tim to go along with me! It was really neat learning about how the Tower Bridge was built and why, and then getting to walk across both sides of the upper bridge to take photos and video of London. We had a great time doing this, and fortunately, the Tower Bridge was a short walk away from our next stop. We decided against the Tower of London, since we both had already been there and I knew when I come back this fall with my mom, I’d be taking her there.

Just a short walk away from the Tower Bridge is the HMS Belfast. Again, I don’t know or remember much about it other than it is a 1930s warship. They were testing out a new route for their tour, so we got a little confused walking around and I kept feeling like we were places we shouldn’t be since there was no organized tour like with the HMS Victory. We did a lot of climbing up and down ladders, which I wasn’t a fan of, and had to squeeze past a lot of really tight locations to see it all. We learned all about how the sailors lived on the ship, as well as how the ship itself worked. We also stopped to eat on the HMS Belfast, and we purchased cups of tea to go along with the sandwiches we had packed.

From the HMS Belfast, it was another short walk to the London Bridge tube stop. When I saw we were going to be near Westminster, I asked Tim if we could stop to take photos of Big Ben and Parliament. I have photos from my first trip back in 1997, but there’s something about going to London and taking photos of all the important landmarks that appealed to me, so we stopped and after shooting short videos and taking photos, headed back onto the Tube to go back to our hotel to change for the play!

We stopped for dinner at a chippy around the corner from the hotel. I can’t rave about the food, because I really didn’t enjoy it all that much and ordered a hot drink when I wanted a cold drink, but it didn’t matter – we were off to Oliver!

Sadly, we didn’t get to see Jodie Prenger perform and saw Tamsin instead. I was disappointed, as I was really looking forward to seeing Jodie after watching I’d Do Anything. Tamsin didn’t impress me much. Her chemistry with Burn Gorman, who plays Bill Sikes, seemed non-existent to me. But Burn was amazing as Bill, and Rowan Atkinson gave a very hilarious performance as Fagin. Burn even managed to sing a bit of “My Name”. The character is so dark and cynical and I think Burn pulls it off well. The music cues when Bill comes on stage are sinister and dark, but it also takes a good actor to be able to take those music cues and actually make the audience fearful of him. Amazing performance, I loved it.

But perhaps the best part came after the show. I ran around the corner to the Stage Door, and got to catch Burn long enough to shake his hand and tell him who I was. It really made my evening! He was in a hurry to get home, but he still took the time to respond to my “Excuse me, Mr Gorman” and came over to say hello.

Needless to say, I was flying high after this and convinced Tim we should stop at Piccadilly Circus to take some photos before we headed back to the hotel for bed. We returned to the hotel, exhausted, but still flying high (at least for me!) after the performance.


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Previously posted video logs can be found here:
http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/2009/01/more-vlogs-from-london/
http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/2009/01/more-vlogs/

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