Sunday afternoon at 3 PM, I saw Jude Law in Shakespeare's Hamlet.
The real interesting stuff, though, happened before.
I stayed up almost all night on Saturday, showered at 2:00 AM, and hopped on the 3:10 bus with friends to wait in line for tickets. We reached the Wyndham Theatre at 4:50 AM, and there were only 2 girls in front of us. While planning this trip, all we could think of was Jude - we didn't consider the hundreds of sketchy, sketchy men who would be wandering the London streets before dawn. Harrassments from old men, pigeons, and street-cleaners alike colored our morning, but we stayed upbeat! Our reward was the royal treatment. We got BOX SEATS for 25 pounds...not bad for a sold-out West End show, eh?
Although we had been in London for almost 7 hours already, the day was still very young. We took a trip to the National Portrait Gallery (and all of us, except night owl Hattie, slugged arond like zombies) and got tea at a sweet cafe in front of the theatre. The NPG had an incredible exhibition of modern portraits that blew me away; even when I put my face right next to some of the paintings, they still looked like photographs. There was also an original portrait of Jane Austen by her sister, Cassandra, which made me surprisingly emotional. Must have been the lack of sleep.
Then it came. The big show. As we waited, I noticed Colin Farrell was sitting in the audience. Aubrey saw Cameron Diaz, as well, and Sonia found Daniel Radcliffe. I was a little worried that it would be hard to focus with all the celebrity compounded in that room. But no. When the curtain went up, Jude Law was sitting pensively in the middle of the stage, his eyes gazing blankly into our box. He emanated distress, confusion, anger...from that first scene my heart was in my throat. Having only seen him in a few OK movies, I really wasn't sure if he would live up to the hype that his gorgeous eyes betow upon him. However, he blew us all out of the water. Jude seamlessly transitioned between emotions, making us laugh and cry and say "OH MY GOD!" under our breaths. The rest of the cast was equally stellar. I actually had a conversation with Claudius after the show (played by Kevin R McNally), and he was SO nice. Only after speaking with him did I realize where I knew him from...Mr. Gibbs! From Pirates of the Caribbean! I wish I had gotten an autograph or picture with him, but it always makes me feel so awkward. At least I'll have that conversation forever.
Hattie and I said goodbye to our peeps and headed over to St. Christopher's Orient Espresso, our hostel for the night. It was really nice; there is a Girls Only floor with fluffy pink towels and free soap, & a free breakfast! My friend Amy Carroll also came to visit, which was super nice. Having not slept in a while, I passed out when I finally went to bed. The bliss was short-lived, though, because I had to wake up and finish a paper due Monday at 6:00 PM. Somehow, some-miraculous-how, I had it e-mailed to my professor at 1:30 that afternoon. It's not my best, but considering the circumstances, not too shabby.
Finally. The last bit (yes, there's more!) of my great London adventure. I went to Parliament with Hattie, where we got a private tour from Marty's friend Liz Barker. Baroness Barker, to you. We even got to sit in on a session of the House of Lords! And have high tea on the terrace!! It was really interesting to hear stories about this building from the perspective of someone who works there. My favorite? Way back in the day, they wouldn't let women in Parliament. So, when they were passing some big legislation one day, a suffragette locked herself in the Parliament broom closet so they would have to say a woman was present. :)
Annnd after chasing down our bus (which I have officially done 3 times in London, now), we made it back here just in time for dinner. Then I passed out. And that's my story. The best 48 hours of my life.