Thursday began with a taste of the UK commuter life: a 2 1/2 hr bus ride from Oxford to London at 7 a.m. Lara, Tim, Marlo, and I set off like true hardcore Shakespeare fans to get day-of tix to the new production of Hamlet playing in London's West End. And let me tell you, our fanatical early morning trek had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Jude Law was playing the title role. Nothing. Nada. Nope. Definitely not.
Tim & Marlo had the right idea with how to pass the time (see above). Once we arrived, the line had already started forming (freakish fans came at 5 a.m.), but we still secured some standing room tickets. These were no mere "groundling" spots, though--but more on that later.
After the ticket purchase, Tim & I headed to the library only to find that it was, like Wyndham's Theatre, apparently the place to be. The manuscript room was...how did they put it? Ah, yes. FULL. Um, what?! Full? As in no way to work after taking a 2.5 hour pukey morning commute into London full?! I had a silent hissy fit (it was a library after all), regrouped and contemplated defeat. But in true form, I devised a plan B: stalk the readers in a casual "I'm just walking around looking at random books until one of you slips and leaves your space undefended" way. Sooner or later my plan worked.
For dinner, Marlo had an awesome Indian restaurant picked out in Covent Garden. The whole place was decorated with hanging dolls (see left)--creepy or colorful? You decide. After dinner, we made our way to the play. Tickets have been sold out for ages, so we were thrilled to get standing tickets. Of course, I had my Jersey elbows ready to throw if anyone tried to take my spot on the railing. Luckily, no such threat was necessary and the performance was fabulous. Jude didn't disappoint, and there were some other memorable elements (stage design, Ophelia's insanity, doing yoga poses amidst the skull scene to keep my legs from going numb...). Luckily, the bus ride back was uneventful, owing large part to the fact that it took place between 11 p.m. and 1:15 a.m. Rebels that we are, we even had to enter the college through the clandestine "late gate".