Parliament & The Globe

AIFS scheduled, as part of the "British Life and Culture" course which all consortium student take, trips to both Parliament and the reconstructed Globe Theatre.  Due to scheduling problems, we did both in the same day. A great day it was. One highlight was standing in the exact spot, with my hands on the same box, as Tony Blair during Prime Minister's Questions (however, we weren't allowed to sit down in either of the Houses).

Big Ben

The famous Tower clock, taken from the base. This is where we met before out tour through Parliament.


I liked the way the sun was shining on part of the building, while the rest was still in shadow. I have several picture of the exterior, as we were not allowed to take pictures, for the most part, inside.

Oliver Cromwell

Just living here has meant learning a great deal more about English history than I ever knew before. There is a great emphasis on history, possibly because they have so much of it! Cromwell, of course, was the Lord Protector for that short period of time when there was no monarch in England.

Great Westminster Hall

This is the oldest part of Parliament, and was the original House of Commons (in this building). William Wallace was tried and condemed on these steps. It is believed that Henry VIII played 'court tennis' in this room, and our guide said that tennis balls that may have been his were found in the eaves when the roof was being examined several years ago.

Thomas More

There are several plaques set in the floor where kings and queens have lain 'in state,' the most recent being the Queen Mum last year. I decided this picture best reflected Core values :)

The Saxon Kings

These statues appear on both sides of the Great Westminster Hall, near the roof. Our guide said that no one is sure of their names.

A Royal Carriage

Standing in the Hall is a royal carriage. In front of the carriage, the visiting professors from the University of Wyoming (teaching, left to right, Drama and Dance). They have two young sons who, like my own daughters, in school this day.

Leaving Parliament

This is the view as you exit the building. There is some distortion, as I was using a wide angle lens to get the shot. Note that it's nearly 12:00 noon; I got to hear Big Ben strike 12!

Civil Protest

Across the street from Parliament, these banners appeared, mostly protesting England possible involvemnt in George W.'s little engagement in Iraq. Note the statue of Churchill on the far right of the picture. In my experience so far, Churchill probably has the second highest number of memorials and statues, after Nelson.

The Anchor

This pub, although somewhat altered, is the same one that Shakespeare and his mates would visit between rehearsal and showtime. And it's not the oldest pub in London, either!

The Globe Theatre

The Globe was rebuilt, after a long period of time, by an American, Sam Wanamaker. Many building codes had to be reconsidered, and a few changes in the design made, to satify the fire marshal. The roof is thatch, for example, but does have a fire supression system that is not authentic (sprinklers).

The Mount at the Globe

Here are waiting for the Globe tour to start, with St. Paul's in the background, on the other side of the Thames. Britt, Andrew, Jackie, Jennifer, Loren, Mike... Hey, where's Julie?

The Globe Stage

The original stage, we learned, would have been used for every play without any additional scenery. The Globe holds quite a few more people than theatres today; around 3000 now, as many as 6000 in Shakespeare's day (no fire codes!)

On Stage at the Globe

Because our guide was also and actor and director at the Globe, we got to go on stage and backstage, something most do not get to do (none of the other three groups touring when we did got to go on stage!). And there's Julie, with some of her friends from the other consortium schools.

The View of the Audience from the Globe Stage

The is how the audience looks to the actors. They are much closer than in modern stages, on average. In fact, the back balcony seats are less than 60 feet from the front of the stage! Plays were always performed in natural daylight as well (the roof is only over the seats), which means you can see the audience at all times.Our guide, actor/director Nick Huchinson is in brown in the center.

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