By Ashley Ng
Here is the final article to end this series of our experiences in the UK (because I’d personally love to finish off this series with my love for theatre)~
Throughout the 4 days in London, we spent it exploring the Covent Garden, that houses many famous theatres all within the area.
Firstly, we visited the National Theatre, which from the outside seemed like a cold giant concrete block. However, during the tour, we learned so many secrets about this astonishing building. Did you know that every single board of concrete put in place was casted on a block of wood to create the wood grain texture? What is even more amazing is that no two wood grains are the same. We learnt more about the history of the theatre and even visited the props and costumes department where we saw all the people hard at work producing pieces of clothes and items for the play, Macbeth.
The National Theatre
Next, we had a backstage dramatized tour of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which was an incredible opportunity to explore the theatre and to learn more about the history and culture in this theatre, such as the ghost that will only appear during great shows. The tour guides were actually retired actors and they carried out the tour so brilliantly and hilariously. The use of facial expressions and pauses before they deliver their punchline really left us in hysterics.
Our backstage tour of the Theatre Royal
We also watched the musical, Matilda, at the Cambridge Theatre. Upon entering the theatre, the majestic set blew us away. The child-like innocence reflected in the way the big letters were put up along the wings was remarkable and so relevant. For those who have watched the movie, you may remember the Trunchbull pulling on Amanda Thripp’s pigtails and performing a Hammer Throw. With the flashing lights, amazing coordination and stunning sound effects, this scene was perfectly reenacted in the musical. I really enjoyed the songs that were written for this musical, especially “The School Song”, where the clever use of word soundings were put in use to create a song with alphabets. “So you think you’re Able to survive this mess by Being a prince or a princess you will soon C (see) there’s no escaping trage-D” By the end of the show, everyone exited the theatre singing the words to the song “Naughty” and “Miracle”. (Matilda will be coming to Singapore on 21st February to 3rd March, so if this is your kind of scene be sure not miss it!)
The set of Matilda
We also watched the play, “The Play That Goes Wrong” at the Duchess Theatre. It was a hilarious play that kept the audience in bolts of laughter throughout the whole show. We arrived at the theatre half an hour early to watch the pre-show, where the actors were interacting with the audience, in search of something. When the show began, we were awestruck by the clever use of words and pauses when reciting their lines. In addition, the set was an incredible one, with props being able to stay on the wall for a second and then falling off the walls at the next. The actors performed this play with so much gusto and their timings were amazing. We left the theatre reciting this very line, “Annie: Kiss me a thousand times – I’m yours!/Robert: Of Course, Florence, that’s what brothers are for.”
The Duchess Theatre
Overall, this trip has been a rollercoaster ride, but we are all very thankful to be given this opportunity and our sincere appreciation to our teachers, Mr Lionel Lye, Ms Ang Siew Ching and Mr Xie Zhi Zhong for such an amazing trip (and for tolerating us monkeys).