Thoughts and ramblings of an ageing, music loving, Sci-Fi geek…

Dinosaurs and Shakespeare

While it might have been interesting (or just weird) if Shakespeare had written a play involving dinosaurs, I’m not going to explore the possibilities of such a mashup. Instead this is about two firsts for me, a late night visit to the Natural History Museum and my first visit to The Globe theatre in London.

I was recently invited to a friends birthday get together at the Natural History Museum in London on one of their late evening openings. I’d heard about these and although it’s not my favourite museum, not having been for a while it was a great opportunity to experience it in a different way and hang out with friends too.

These evenings are held on the last Friday of each month between 6pm and 10pm. There are bars and you can buy food and explore the museum in a much more relaxed way than a normal visit will often be.

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The famous Dippy in the main entrance hall

It was great catching up with friends over a drink in a very different environment and then having time to wander leisurely around the various galleries looking at the exhibits and getting a new perspective on it without having to fight your way through the crowds. In addition to the exhibits, the animatronic dinosaurs are very effective and it’s also just an amazing building.

The time passed all too quickly although I did learn some new things about taxidermy and fish thanks to one friend which may sound funny but was genuinely interesting. It was a great relaxed evening away from the normal crowds and we are already planning to do it again.

If you’re in London at the right time, I’d highly recommend going along.

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The building is also great architecture and looks great lit up at night

Coincidentally we would be back just a week later to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

I haven’t been to see this for a few years, don’t really know why, so after finding out some friends wanted to see it too we eventually found a date that worked for all of us and headed back into London on a sunny Saturday. Despite having to queue to actually get into the museum, a Saturday during school holidays maybe wasn’t the ideal choice, the exhibition itself wasn’t very busy so we could take our time wandering around and didn’t have to fight to get a good view of the works on display.

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Saturday morning queuing and it’s not even for a convention.

Once again there were some amazing photographs although obviously for copyright reasons I can’t reproduce any of them here but you can view them officially here. I’m not sure any of us were as impressed as we’d expected to be overall and thought some of the choices of winner was a bit strange but such things are very subjective. Some did really stand out and when you see the equipment people have used and the stories behind getting some of the images, you do start to question why you even own a camera.

Overall though it was very impressive and was great to be able to discuss all our different impressions and perspectives with my friends rather than just take it all in on my own. Hopefully we’ll do it again next year.

After this, and a quick trip across London I left my friends to go to Shakespeares’ Globe Theatre where I’d been invited to join other friends to see “As You Like It“. Oddly this was a play I actually been in at school but had never seen performed properly and was excited to see it in such a wonderful venue.

I walked across the Millennium Bridge for the first time and got a great view of the Theatre.

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It’s an amazing building and once inside I found a great spot to stand. Yes, I’d paid for the cheap ticket but it was only £5. Where can you see quality theatre for that in London? No worse than standing for a gig, I was very happy to experience it in this way.

Having asked a friend who’d been before about a good place to stand, I followed the instructions and although not in quite the place recommended, it was close and I had a great view of everything and could hear everything, apart from the times some very distracting helicopters were flying overhead.

The play itself was great, very funny, brilliantly performed in my opinion although I admit I’m no expert and I even remembered quite a lot of the words from school.

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The stage

Thankfully it was also a nice sunny day so no fear of getting wet and the time quickly passed. After this I joined the friends I’d previously left in a pub for a much needed drink and meal to round off an excellent day of good company and new experiences.

It certainly won’t be the last time I go to The Globe and I also intend to see a bit more of parts of London I know nothing about.

rockstar6662 / 23rd August 2015 / Museums, Photographs, Theatre, Travel

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