Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday December 22, 2012 - London

Rain, Rain, More rain!

Off we went by bus to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Even though there is a bus stop within a block of our hotel, and even though the bus stop for the V&A is just a block away from the museum, we were soaked by the time we shed out coats in the cloakroom. Our purpose for the day was to visit a special exhibit on the Costumes of Hollywood.
John staring at statue
Fist, however, we passed some statues from the 19th century that were often found in British gardens. Here John is, thinking about whether this statue would be approved by the TimberCreek ARB (Architectural Review Board). At least that is what he said he was thinking about!

No pictures were allowed in the special collection of Hollywood costumes. There were at least 250 costumes from all types of films dating back to the black and white silent movies. The primary purposes of the exhibit were to explore the importance of costume designers in moviemaking, the links between the designers and directors, and the importance of costumes to telling the stories of the movies. Emphasis was also placed on the links between costumes and actresses and actors. Many of the actresses and actors were quoted, or said in video interviews we watched, how important the costumes were in helping them understand the people they were portraying in the film.
John reading Chariots of Fire program

After a light lunch in the V&A we took a bus to the Gielgud Theatre in Leister Square for the matinee performance of Chariots of Fire John read the program and mulled how a film focused on racing, could be converted to a stage performance.
Connie mulling mulled wine

Connie mulled instead over her mulled wine.

John soon found that the Gielgud had been converted into a theatre in the round. The Gielgud's first three rows had been incorporated into a stage with a large turntable. Running paths were behind and in front of the stage. Seats had been installed on the far side of the stage so that in Act II we were in the Olympic Stadium in Paris for the 1924 Olympics.

The play was excellent. Since we were in the second row beyond the running path we felt totally involved in the races. Runners recovered, breathing heavily, at the end of our row. The play was fun, exciting, and the actors were excellent (and much younger that Connie and I). I wouldn't have made many laps on even the short theatre track. Of course, it was uphill in parts. Maybe that excuse will be acceptable.
Tlari, our waitress

We completed our four days with the Stipettn family at their Trattoria Mondello. I had a perfectly cooked steak topped with the fantastic gorgonzola that captured my heart Thursday night. Connie had a wonderful chicken cacciatore. Here we see Ylari, our waitress,
Our waiter, name unknown

our waiter (whose name I did not get),
Filippo and the cooks

Filippo and the cooks,
Chef at the Mondello Restaurant

and the chef who stuck his head into the serving window so as not to be forgotten. We certainly won't forget this exceedingly friendly group. Nor will we forget their wonderful food.

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