A Journey Along South Bank

On Saturday 24th March (I hate to admit that the British way of noting the date makes a bit more sense in an OCD sort of way: day to month to year)  I took my show on the road for a day trip to London with some of my dear Drama students to see Comedy of Errors at the National Theatre starring Lenny Henry.  The play included the most impressive set, the wildest chase scene and the most gratuitous string of fart gags ever!

Before the play we toured the Globe and took a lovely stroll down London’s South Bank.

South Bank refers to the area along the southern side of the Thames River which winds through the city.  As my clever tour guide from The Globe Theatre pointed out, South Bank used to be a den of iniquity: home of bear baiting, whorehouses and that worst of all sin palaces the Theatre.

If you care anything about Shakespeare a visit to Sam Wannamaker’s reconstructed Globe Theatre is essential.

Iif you love Shakespeare as much as I do it is a religious experience of epic proportions.

This skate park along South Bank is generally packed with hooded dare devils, unless you happen to be touring it on a Saturday morning.  Free to explore the skate park more closely, I noticed some interesting graffiti art ranging from standard spray painted words and phrases to artistry such as this.

Tourists and sunny Saturdays inevitably bring out the street performers.  Along South Bank these can range from the yawn-worthy:

to the very odd:

to the interactive:

I can definitely think of worse ways to spend a Saturday than to stand in sunshine making giant bubbles for children to chase about.

Diversity can be hard to come by in London.  One of my first impressions of the city, coming from New York, was just how white London is.  These street performers were a welcome addition to the sites along South Bank.  Part dance, part acrobatics part contortionist act…they got my pound donation for ten minutes entertainment.

When it was first built the London Eye was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world.   It is still the tallest in Europe and a hugely popular attraction.  I am not a fan of heights or fairground rides, but I was forced to ride it on one occasion.  On a good day it can offer the best views of London.  On most days it offers a fabulous view of clouds.  It offered me stomach upset and vertigo.

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament stretch across a wide section of the opposite shore, making South  Bank an ideal spot from which to photograph them.  And of course we all know Big Ben is not actually the clock but the bell inside of it.

Yeah, I didn’t know either but damned if I am going to admit that to a clever student.

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3 thoughts on “A Journey Along South Bank

  1. Much better than our first walk along the south bank. It was drizzing. Constantly. But still fascinating. we’ll try it with Mom next year in good weather!

  2. I’d love to visit London again, only been there once, but I did enjoy a whirlwind day of Trafalgar square, st Paul’s cathedral, a walk across Westminster bridge and a cruise along the Thames with some random folk I met on the interwebs !

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