Friday, April 30, 2010

The chairs cost money. Seriously, they do...

So we decided we wanted to see "The 39 Steps" last night (which was a GOOD choice, BTW) so we went up to the Criterion Theater at Picadilly Circus, which, in spite of the name is NOT an actual circus :( We got our tickets for 15pp each and sat towards the back of the orchestra, which was AWESOME. More on that later though.

So we decided we would explore around Piccadilly Circus area and see what was going on. We ended up finding St. James Park, which is this beautiful park sitting in between the Thames, Piccadilly Circus, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. It was really cool!
We wandered around for hours looking at the beautiful grounds and enjoying the gorgeous weather. We found this one lawn with a bunch of green and white striped lawn chairs and we all thought "How cool! They set out free lawn chairs for you to sit on! Yay for London!" Just kidding though, apparently the chairs are NOT free as would be perceived.
At one point we wanted to take a break and sit down so we all went and sat down and not more the 3 minutes into sitting some nice Indian man came over and told us we had to PAY to use them. I thought he was joking at first, but no joke it cost 1.50pp to use the chairs!! We were so mad! Apparently healthcare can be free in Europe, but sitting costs you 1.50. We basically haggled the guy and ended up only paying 3.00pp for the 9 chairs we used because we agreed to leave right away, but we were still mad.

Anyways, between going to the non-existent circus and getting charged to sit down we wandered across the park to Buckingham Palace. Yes, THE Buckingham Palace. It was crazy! We were AT Buckingham Palace. It was kind of surreal. It was a neat little palace with a huge monument out front dedicated to Queen Victoria. I've come the realization that Brits LOVE Queen Victoria. Like LOVE her. Her statue is EVERYWHERE!
We can't quite figure out exactly WHAT she did other than be alive for a REALLY long time, but then again I think that's all British royalty has done since they signed the Magna Carta. :) So yeah, Buckingham Palace was cool. The queen was home (the flag was flying) I kept trying to go see here but they have all these pesky fences and these guards with HUGE guns! Like no joke, they had assault rifles. It was neat.
I took all together too many pictures, but hey, its a digital camera and it's friggin' Buckingham Palace right?

So after the many hours of excursion an exploration we toured all over the West End, saw a bunch of theaters with shows we can't afford to see and then at 8:00 went to "The 39 Steps". Can I just say, this play was HILARIOUS! It was laugh out loud, roll on the ground funny.
It's a farce of the Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps", but it pokes fun at all the Hitchcock films. There are 4 actors who play over 50 characters and it is a riot! I loved every second. And we had totally killer seats at the back of the orchestra for way cheap. We were exhausted the whole time because of jet lag and from walking everywhere, but it was totally worth it.

Man this is a cool city. Miriam and I were discussing how it's JUST like New York (not meaning to view it only through the context of American narrative, but there you go) except with different architecture and everyone drives on the other side of the road. Hahaha! I'm loving my time so far. On the agenda for the rest of the week, we have "11 & 12" by Peter Brook tonight at the Rose Theater, then tomorrow we are groundlings for "Macbeth" at the Globe and then tomorrow night a small group of us, including Rodger, is going to see "bash: latter-day plays" by Neil Labute. I'm SUPER excited for all of them (except maybe having to stand up for over 3 hours at "Macbeth", but whatever). I'll keep trying to post on time and let everyone know about what's going on! If you have questions or suggestions for stuff to do in London comment on here! Toodles, all!

Over and out.


  1. So I think you got scammed. About the chairs. Did the guy have any official looking uniform? Did you ask other English people if the chairs were free? Were there signs? When we were in Spain and Italy, locals were always trying to rip us off on stuff cause we were obviously tourists. But I'm so jealous that your in London even if you possibly just got scammed.

  2. This blog makes my life happy.

  3. It was legit Summer. There actually was a sign, it was just tiny and not well marked. It's so stupid.

  4. I loved 39 steps! Very funny. But I have to disagree that London is just like New York.. I didn't realize how different they are until I came home from living in London and stopped by NYC for a day, but they are completely opposite in a lot of ways.