Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cleopatra, Shakespeare and Shepard

Wayne and the Bard

We've become very familiar with the Thames Path since it leads from our East End area to central London to where we've found ourselves bound almost daily.  The Path is 184 miles long beginning at the source in the Cotswolds and ending in Greenwich.  In London it is a wide stone path built along the embankment of the Thames.  On this walk we wanted to see the Cleopatra's Needle, one of three such obelisks erected in London, Paris and NYC.  The NYC obelisk in Central Park is the pair to London's.  It is flanked by two sphinx that beg sitting under.  Today was the first foggy day.  But, as we walked along the Thames, there were beautiful views of the bridges cast in gray silhouettes which reminded me of both Monet's and Whistler's paintings.  And, paintings were what we sought after at the National Portrait Gallery,  Among their collection is the Chandos Painting, which is long held to be the portrait of William Shakespeare from which the engraving for the first folio was taken.  It is the first work in the Portrait Gallery's collection. You can imagine Wayne's delight.  

We had dinner at Lotus, an Indian restaurant, near the National Portrait Gallery and Trafalgar Studio where we were attending a Sam Shepard play, The Buried Child.  London is famous for its wonderful Indian Food.  Lotus did not disappoint serving up a wonderful complexity of flavors, spices, breads and a memorial presentation.  Service was grand.  I recommend it highly.  The Buried Child, starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan was too minimalist for us. The director seemed to be as interested in the atmospheric conditions of a mid-western dysfunctional family as he was in Shepard's dialogue.  There were long periods of the actors contemplating each other, themselves, dripping water.  Interestingly, though, during intermission some Brits in back of us began discussing the state of world affairs, which inevitable led to Donald Trump.  One woman just kept repeating over and over, "Oh, the poor, poor Americans."  as the others signed in agreement.  It set the same tone as the play.  
Ed Harris in The Buried Child
More pics at flickr.