Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Janelle, Audrey, Susan, Tim and I decided to see the Lion King so we ditched the group and ran off to get tickets this morning. The Lyceum Theatre is in the theatre district near Covent Garden. On the way there we turned a corner and saw this.


This bridge is designed by Jim Eyre and connects the Royal School of Ballet to an existing window in the Royal Opera House, with little impact on the historic architecture. I read an article on it a year ago and swore that one day I would see it. I even have an image of it saved on my computer in an inspiration file. And today I just stumbled across it! It’s even more beautiful in person, and very unexpected on a small side street.

After picking up tickets we explored the shops at Covent Garden and ate fish and chips in a pub. Then we finally got around to what we are supposed to do today and headed over to the Churchill Museum.

I know quite a bit about Winston Churchill and WWII. I also know a bit about design. That made it absolutely impossible for me to experience this museum with objectivity. This is, simply, great design. The space is underground and meant to recreate Churchill’s bunker and war rooms during the war. You wind your way through a series of rooms recreating the war rooms, until you find yourself in a contemporary space presenting Churchill’s life. I wish we were allowed to take pictures because the exhibit is brilliant. The technology draws you in, the spaceplan is intriguing and chaotic, and text is used continuously and with power. The entire space is interactive and allows you to take part in each phase of his life. You create your own the experience here. We spent all afternoon here exploring, but I found that the design actually overpowered the message. I was so enthralled with the presentation that I lost the information, but as I said it is impossible for me to be objective here. When you exit the exhibit you are back in the bunker and wind your way through several more before you find the exit. The transition from the present, to the past, to an exhibit that is so contemporary that it transcends time, then back to the past, and into the present is powerful. I highly recommend this museum.

The next stop was the British Museum for a half an hour before it closed.


There was just enough time to pass the Rosetta stone and the Assyrian exhibit to find the Elgin marbles from the Parthenon. I was enraptured to finally see them. I found myself engrossed by the details in the carvings.





I will come back soon and spend the day here.

There was just enough time at the flat to change before we were off to The Lion King. The tickets were expensive, but my seat was on the sixth row. The show is incredible, especially the costume and set design. It transcends the cartoon by expanding the story and adapting the music. The African heritage is much stronger and more poignant here.

1 comment:

Karen said...

okay... now I'm jealous!