Independent Schools Cultural Alliance - ISCA – Summer Programs in the UK

Day Twelve – The Globe and St Paul’s Cathedral

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears!

Today’s ISCA adventure took us to the heart of London to explore a figure who dominates the British cultural landscape: William Shakespeare. The light London rain did not dampen students’ spirits as they made their way to the South Bank to the Globe Theatre, a modern reconstruction of Shakespeare’s famed playhouse and a center for the capital’s Shakespeare scene.

Students toured the theatre in small groups to learn about the structure of the building and how actors use the magic of Shakespeare’s words to draw the audience into their story. Students saw how the stage was decorated for the Henry history trilogies, several of the plays being performed at the Globe this season.

Next, students stayed in their small groups for an acting workshop. Students looked at the classic love story of “Romeo and Juliet” and participated in several exercises to think about how they could use movement, body language, eye contact, and their voice to communicate a line and bring the story to life.

After lunch, students crossed the Thames via the Millennium Bridge and ascended Ludgate Hill. Here, in the highest spot in all of London, rests the dome that dominates London’s spectacular skyline: Saint Paul’s Cathedral. The stage-set for momentous occasions like Prince Charles’s wedding to Princess Diana, the state funeral of Winston Churchill and Lord Horatio Nelson, and both Victoria’s and Elizabeth II’s jubilee services, Saint Paul was designed by architect Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of 1666. Students climbed the 528 steps to the Golden Gallery, listened to organ music, stood in amazement at the mosaic ceilings, and were reverent as they walked through the Wellington and Nelson chambers of the crypt.

Tonight, students will again take on the staff in a game of basketball.