The London theater scene presents a diverse range of exciting and cutting edge theater, art and music. Theater students participating in a London study abroad program can engage with some of the highest levels of commercial theater in the world. Students can live and study in the heart of London just steps away from the city’s numerous theaters. Carly Neduscin, one of our student bloggers, shares the top five benefits that come from studying theater in London.
“There are so many things to be grateful for while in studying theater in London. Studying abroad is special enough, but being a theater major in this rich city makes me even luckier. In my three short months in London I have seen close to twenty shows, and there are more to come in my last month. I came here to learn and what better way to learn about theater than going and watching a show. There are so many different aspects that go into the production of a show, and the London theater scene is filled with such talent.
The London theater scene is wildly diverse in the types of shows they produce. You could see a feel-good-musical like Beautiful: Carole King Musical, or take a walk to the Thames and see a new version of Twelfth Night, two very different shows to satisfy every theater needs. Most of the shows I have seen over here have been organized by AIFS. I see shows every week, sometimes three nights in a row, and for some reason I am not sick of it yet.
Affordable theater tickets
London Theater can be easily accessible and affordable. If you know where to look, you can get great seats for a good price. There is an app called “Today Tix” which offers lower prices. There are even rush tickets for most shows. At 10.00am you can battle against other theater goers online for the leftover tickets for less than twenty pounds. For most shows you can go to the box office early in the morning and wait in line for tickets for that night’s performance.
Connecting with Shakespeare
Studying in London and taking part in a Shakespeare acting class has allowed me to learn so much about Shakespeare. I have read plenty of Shakespeare in my life and it takes a lot of patience and work for me to understand what is going on. My Shakespeare acting class has turned my fear of Shakespeare into love. Through AIFS, I went to Stratford Upon Avon. Visiting Shakespeare birth place was such a surreal experience. As a Shakespeare student, I felt so fortunate walking in his footsteps. I felt him there in the walls, in the floorboards, and I got chills when standing by his grave. He has given so much to the English language, and I could not believe how lucky I was to be visiting his hometown.
Later that night, we saw Julius Caesar which was phenomenal. I usually have a hard time following Shakespeare and spend a lot of time trying to figure out who is who. However, this was not the case during this performance. I had an amazing seat looking down onto the stage from the balcony seats. I found myself on the edge of my seat. The show was extremely captivating and I did not want to miss anything happening on stage.
Meeting influential people
Studying abroad in London has allowed me to both watch and meet incredibly talented people. For example, my classmates and I were lucky enough to run into Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber in his theater! He was grabbing a drink and chatting to some people nearby. As the night went on, he ended up coming over to our table. He asked about our opinions on the show, how we felt about living in London, and what our plans were for the future. Naturally, we ended the conversation with a group photo. We were so excited to meet Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber, the genius behind iconic musicals like Phantom of the Opera and Cats! He’s an icon in the theater community, so it was such an honor being in his presence for even the little time we had.
London Theater energizes and inspires
London theater is so exciting, and it is constantly changing. It is astounding to me to be able to watch so many shows in London in such a short time. However, most of the shows I have seen here were after long days in class. I would have class for eight hours nonstop, and then an hour break for dinner and would have to be at a show at 7 or 7:30. Sometimes when we were heading to shows we were exhausted; all we wanted to do was get home and crawl into bed! However, the theatre would end up leaving me feeling satisfied and awake!
For example, I felt incredibly energized and inspired after watching the five-time tony award winner Matilda after a long day in classes. The energy of the entire theater was high. Upon entering, you are greeted by the scrabble-like set, and the smell of cotton candy and slushies’ that is being sold in concessions. The show is impeccable from start to finish. It was amazing how these kids were so young and such amazing performers. The show makes you swell up with joy and even nostalgia for your own childhood. As we left the theatre, my mouth was moving non-stop, speaking words of awe and singing along to the songs. They inspired me to be a better artist. I was even proud to know that these kids had started so young. Knowing how much fun they are having onstage reflects onto the audience.
When I leave London, I will have ticket stubs and memories of the amazing talent that I have witnessed during my time studying abroad. I will look back on all the shows that I have seen and remember how I felt leaving the theater. Some left me joyous, while others left me thinking. Either way, London’s theater scene has created memories that will last forever.”
This content was contributed by Carly Neduscin one of our student bloggers. She is studying abroad this Spring on an AIFS Customized Faculty-Led program in London, England through Temple University.