Richard III in Mandarin 理查三世 – The Globe Theatre

So much to do in London! So many Chinese and global events too. 

Eason Chan (Hong Kong singer) had a concert on 23rd April, but I couldn’t go since it was on a Monday at the O2 Arena (which is so far) but I had already gone to his concert two years ago at the Royal Albert Hall. Oh well. So in the end I decided to go to one of my favourite theatres in London during that week – The Globe Theatre.


I remembered when I was a teenager the new Globe Theatre (a bit further away from its original location back in the 1600’s – 230 metres away) had just opened, but I didn’t go to see any shows at that time. So in the past few years I try to go to at least one show a year!


I got a couple of brochures posted to me and a lot of e-Newsletters about an international event of Shakespearian plays being performed in 37 different languages… The Globe to Globe Festival. So obviously I went and booked for the Cantonese play first which is on Friday 4th May, but later on I decided I still needed to improve on my listening skills in Mandarin so I booked a ticket for the first showing of Richard III 理查三世 on Sartuday 28th April.


Inside the Globe Theatre

I left an hour early before the show started, but the bus was slow due to traffic (anyone going to London Bridge should get off the stop before – coming from the South side, and walk the rest of the way – traffic was murder!). I literally had half an hour before the show started – but it was also unfortunate that they’re doing pavement work along the sidewalk!! How annoying. It was like that a month ago!!!!! How long does it take to finish a pavement?

The Box Office area after the play


Anyway, cushion – check; programme – check; seat found – check; photos taken before the play started – check! Phew!

The mini leaflet about the play

At the start of the play the Globe Theatre’s Director came out to introduce the play and explain that the actor’s costumes had been shipped 7 weeks ago but hadn’t arrived yet, so they had to improvise.

It rained throughout the whole play 😦 but the show still carried on! 🙂 The play itself was brilliantly directed and translated. The actors played it like a true Shakespearian play with a Chinese twist, although Richard III was not depicted as a hunchback and didn’t have a squeaky voice. 
The Globe was even cool enough to add digital signs to help those who didn’t speak a word of Mandarin (and other languages) to tell us what was going on (I’m very grateful – as I haven’t read the play).

The digital screen display

The Throne during the interval

My favourite parts during the play were:
1. Richard III trying to get Lady Anne to marry him
2. The executioners – they were so funny – especially when they tried to kill Clarence (Richard’s brother)
3. Loved it when Richard said: “我爱我自己。” (I love myself) – so funny!
4. I think they kept to the play – keeping the character’s names and the places i.e Tower of London (this was mentioned a lot in the play!).

My least favourite part was Lady Anne’s Chinese opera. It was very high pitched. And sadly Chinese opera never agrees with my ears. But that’s one of the Chinese twists in the play!


Unlike the Shakespeare Company who would usually perform a dance right at the end of the play, they came out several times to bow to the audience. Heheheh. These group of actors are really cool.

The actors / actresses from the National Theatre of China at the end of the play 

Actor Zhang Dongyu 张东雨 who played Richard III 

Another round of applause with the Chinese Director Wang Xiaoying 王晓鹰 ^^ 

The End

One thing that The Globe should complain more often about is the noise from the airplanes and helicopters that fly past the theatre. It’s distracting and I couldn’t hear the actors. Plus one annoying thing was that I was sitting near the door, so I heard a lot of people coming in and out… 😦

I’m now in the mood for more Shakespeare! I can’t wait to see the Cantonese one!! ^_^


Website: http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/


p.s. I forgot to mention about the sound effects, the percussionist and the coin bag throwing attempt was brilliant too! I’m pretty sure the whole audience loved it very much!

Vauxhall City Farm – London Vauxhall

I never would have thought there would be a farm in the city heart of London. Well, there are farms on the outskirts of London like around Heathrow, but I have never seen a city farm before! 

My manager told me about the Vauxhall City Farm, as she went there with her grandson during the Easter break. So I thought I should have a look as I adore all things cute and adorable – and yes, Miss Pinky and Master H came along!

Front Entrance of the Farm
I was amazed that Vauxhall had such a secret farm so hidden away (and I don’t live far away from it either – although it’s been there for thirty odd years!!!!). This was probably better than going to a zoo where you would have to walk miles just to look at all the animals… But in Vauxhall City Farm, although there isn’t much walking to do their animals are so cute and amazing!

Here’s a lot of pictures of the animals we saw that day and t
hankfully it didn’t rain.

First off are the chickens, roosters and rabbits.

Those roosters are really loud!

So many cute rabbits ^^

We then went into the Ecology Park to look at some insects, but couldn’t see any, and didn’t see the frogs at the pond either.

The Ecology Garden

We saw one of their lovely horses with 2 different eye colours.

Horse with 2 eye colours – very rare to see! 

Here’s a couple of beautiful ponies with their brilliant hair styles ^^

My Little Ponies ^^

The pigs are so cuuuuute!! 🙂 I wanted to pet the big one, but it looked like he/she was happy being left alone with its partner in the sty… There were also a lot of other farm animals – a massive turkey, cows, a sheep, a ram, a few lambs and a duck pond.

Kawaii Pigs ^^

So many farm animals

The Duck Pond

A few lambs (and a pidgeon) having a rest

I thought this was a lama, but I was corrected… It’s actually an alpaca. Is it winking at me?
Wink for the camera!!

This is the wash area and a couple of horses were coming back from their riding lessons in the park…

Wash your hands before you leave
The Park. Can you name that building on the left hand side?  

And last but not least, their range of flowers and trees are awesome. They have a big area of home grown vegetation!


This is a must-go-to city farm!!!!! And I hope no city fox will try to get in 🙂


Geeky information:

Admission: Free (Donations accepted)

Location: Vauxhall
Address: 165 Tyers Street, London SE11 5HS
Tel: 0207 582 4204
Nearby stations: Vauxhall National Rail and Vauxhall Tube

April Showers!

It looks like April Showers have really kicked in this year! I don’t think we had any last year, but that kicked out in June!


After a very dry 3 or 4 months and posters on buses and bus stops to say “we’re in drought” (whatever). It has rained non-stop for the past 2-3 weeks weeks!! 😦

Every time the UK brings a hosepipe ban, rain falls like there’s never been rain before! 


We’ve had thunderstorms nearly everyday, but I it’s all worth it for the lawns, parks and dirty streets of London…


Look at how this patch of green has sprung up daisies and dandelions…


Let’s hope that these showers will bring out more pretty flowers… Apparently there is a saying about April Showers: “April showers bring May flowers”. ^^

The Apprentice – The Dimwits (Series 8, Ep 5)

Picture from the BBC’s website

I’ve been trying to hold myself back to write about the BBC’s The Apprentice for the past month… Argh!! 


Oh.My.God.

Are these people dimwits (I’m sure they’re not like that). 

But come on!! These people really need to think about their market and look at their finances. 

On the latest episode (Episode 5) the two teams needed to make a new fitness regime for gyms. And Team Phoenix decided to use costly equipment, hoola hoops etc, but the gyms wanted to know how they were going to store and bury this equipment in their gym! Well, as a non-gym user, I think I would’ve known about that… and how will they be replaced as they are used over the years… who will fund all of that!!

Anyway, on the other team, the video was TERRIBLE!! Fitness regime sounded good… But… hmmmmm… I think if they had time, they would’ve been able to improve it.

So which team won? Well, that’s for you to find out and for me to kip my lips sealed!

Did the right person go? Yeah, I think so. But in my honest opinion, I think the team leader on the winning team should’ve went!

The BBC really like to choose the dominant and cocky type to go on the show..!


Lord Sugar, please choose the right person that shines in this series!!

Arirang Korean Restaurant – London Poland Street

As a big fan of Korean dramas I watch a lot of the actors enjoying the food from preserved vegetables to soups to grilling your own meat! Argh! I so wanted to try it out since I have never been to a Korean restaurant before, so I asked Miss Pinky if she wanted to try out Korean food on Easter Monday, and she said yes… Yay!


I decided I wanted to try out traditional Korean style food, so I looked on the internet to see what kind of places there were  in London… and we ended up in 
Arirang, the very first Korean restaurant that opened in London in 1975! 😀

Outside Arirang

When we got there it was almost full on the ground floor and it was only 1pm (but there’s also a lower ground floor dining area). From looking at their website, I had already decided what I wanted to eat, however the prices on their menu seemed to have increased (they haven’t updated their website)…

The menu – prices are not the same as mentioned on the website 


I ordered one of the set menus – K1 – the Kimchi Chige (kimchi soup) and dumplings. Miss Pinky ordered a set menu too – K6 – Ojingo Dop Bap (squid with hot sweet sauce and rice). We also got Korean beer 🙂

Korean beer – hite – tastes a bit like the Chinese beer Tsing Tao beer 

Our side dishes came out first. I have to say, although they were a bit cold, which I’m sure they’re supposed to be – they were absolutely delicious! I liked the pickled cucumber and the seaweed 😀

Pickled side dishes and sauces – yummy!!! ^^

Next came Miss Pinky’s miso soup (which was warm, and not spicy to her liking). Then came her squid and rice… spicy and nice – but I’m afraid my friend said it was only warm. She was disappointed, but it did taste nice!

K6 – Ojingo Dop Bap (squid in hot sweet sauce and rice) 

Up next (after about 10 minutes or so) came my Kimchi Chigae and rice. Mine was piping hot. It came with 3 long pieces of tofu, kimchi and bits of pork – I enjoyed mine. (^.^)v

K1 – Kimchi Chigae – It was spicy and hot ^^

Kimchi Chige and Rice

The dumplings I’m afraid were a bit cold – but they were nice…

Pork Dumplings

Finally, the food that I was waiting for… the grilled meat! Wow! Miss Pinky decided to turn the meat over whilst the waiters were bustling about before they got cut up for eating…

Marinated Pork and Beef before they were grilled 
Grill Time (BBQ for Koreans!)

I think I could’ve have had more of this grilled meat 😀 Mouth watering still…

Beef done, now for the pork
I think I liked the beef more!

Then the final items were the oranges – it was actually half an orange and then cut into quarters. Smart way of a fruit display!

My free half orange ^^

Total cost came up to £59.30 – which included a compulsory £7 service charge! Wow, expensive!!

Well it was worth it – but I think I’ll only be going there once in a blue moon… 감사합니다 (gamsahapnida), that’s THANK YOU in Korean (I said that to the waitress who seemed a bit surprised), and then she said 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) which is “hello” in Korean – I think that was for the other guests that just arrived or maybe she said 안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghageseyo – meaning goodbye – she’s staying and I’m going), but I had replied back annyeonghaseyo… which I had meant to say 안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghigyeseyo – goodbye – I’m going she’s staying)! – Anyway, that’s a geeky Korean language lesson for you! ^^


My geeky rating: 4/5 (lost a mark because of some cold food and the service charge)


Good Points:

  • Grilled meat is done in front of you
  • Love the pickled side dishes
  • My kimchi chigae was nice and hot!

Bad Points:

  • Slow service – I know I went on a Bank Holiday, but I think they needed an extra hand with service
  • Some food was cold (dumplings, the squid dish and the miso soup)
  • Compulsory service charge
  • Website needs to be updated with their menu prices

Website: http://www.ariranglondon.co.uk/index.php

Address:
31-32 Poland Street, Soho, London W1F 8QT
Tel: 0207 437 6633

Imperial War Museum – London Kennington Park Road / Lambeth Road

Next stop! Imperial War Museum! In my whole entire life, this was the first time that I haven been to this museum. I live so close to it and I’ve just never been in there..


I really admire those big cannons outside the museum…

Outside the museum

But inside was amazing!

A lot of different tanks!

Wow! Planes and missile launchers!


There are a few exhibitions inside, but I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures.

Views from the upstairs

If you like wartime stuff, I recommend this museum!


Geeky information:
Admission: Free
Location: Kennington Park Road / Lambeth Road

Website: 
http://www.iwm.org.uk/

Victoria and Albert Museum – London South Kensington

So Miss Pinky and I wanted to do more over the Easter break, and so we ended up going to the Victoria and Albert Museum on Easter Saturday (and then later the Imperial War Museum – next post).

Front Entrance of the V&A Museum
Inside of the museum
Some great stuff on display ^^
Some of the Chinese display ^^
This is AMAZING!
Beautiful ^^
I think you could be there for a good few hours if you plan to go to see everything on display – but we were there for a good two hours and enjoying all the different displays…

For some of the exhibitions you have to pay for, there were long queues – so definitely plan ahead if you want to see them.



Geeky information:
Admission: Free
Location: Exhibition Road, South Kensington

Website: 
http://www.vam.ac.uk/

Super Star Restaurant 鴻星海鮮酒家 – London China Town

After a long afternoon at the museums, Miss Pinky, Master H and I decided to go to China Town to eat. We thought anywhere would do, so we ended up in a restaurant I have never been in before – Super Star 鴻星海鮮酒家 (literally means ‘Superstar Seafood Restaurant’). Why did we go in there? There was dim sum! And apparently they serve it until late – not like in some traditional dim sum restaurants where they only serve it from early morning ’til 5pm.

I finally remembered how to focus my viewfinder ^^

I think I was the indecisive person amongst the three of us, but we ended up getting the following dishes…


Starters – a selection of 5 pieces of dim sum for 2 people each, unfortunately although they all tasted good, the steamed dim sum were cold and the fried ones were hot.

A selection of dim sum

Miss Pinky had the scallops. There seems to be a lot of vermicelli and spring onions on top. I couldn’t see the scallop!

Scallops

Mains – The little brother had chicken chow mein. This wasn’t hot, only lukewarm, but he did enjoy it.

Chicken Chow Mein

This was my main – again it was lukewarm, and the prawn dumplings weren’t flavoured enough…

Prawn Dumplings and noodles in soup

Miss Pinky’s main – hers was also lukewarm, but she did enjoy the duck!

Roast duck and noodles in soup

At the end we got our free oranges – nice and sweet, no seeds!


Total cost came up to over £53.40… Not sure if it was entirely worth it…

My geeky rating:
 3.5 – although efficient service, they lose marks for the food being lukewarm


Good Points:

Loads of space between tables and don’t have to share
Dining upstairs is available
Efficient service and free oranges for dessert
Waiters spoke in Cantonese, English and Mandarin

Bad Points:
Food not hot enough with dim sum and main dishes

Address:

Super Star Restaurant, 17 Lisle Street, London WC2H 7BE
Tel: 0207 287 3822

Natural History Museum – London South Kensington

Following from the previous post we went to the Natural History Museum.


I love the Natural History Museum! It’s one of my favourite museums in London! Skeletons, dinosaurs, fossils and bugs interest me more than the mechanics of an engine.

If you plan to go there, try and get there early to avoid the queues and crowds. There are 2 entrances to the museum. The main entrance leads to the dinosaurs and the side entrance leads to the volcano and earthquake exhibition. We took the side entrance…

Big statues that greeted us at the side entrance

Escalator leading to the volcano and earthquake exhibition
Fossils and Skeletons and a stuffed ostrich
The Creepy Crawlies section
There was a long queue for the dinosaurs so we didn’t go in – but I was there 6 months ago, and it was awesome!

Dinosaur

The massive queue for the dinosaurs 
Geeky information:
Admission: Free
Location: Exhibition Road, South Kensington

Website: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/

Science Museum – London South Kensington

The Egg hunt was almost over 😦 so what to do over the bank holiday weekend?


Well the first obvious answer is to sleep all day long and the second answer is to go to museums! And that’s what I did on Good Friday… (I feel like I am a tourist in my own town at the moment!).


My travelling companion Miss Pinky and her little brother Master H wanted to go to the Science Museum first in South Kensington (this is the second time I have been to this museum in less than 6 months!).


This time I used my Olympus EPL-1 camera to take these shots (and I had forgotten how to focus my viewfinder, so I used the screen to take most of the pictures ¬_¬).

On the Ground Floor – big steam engines, cars and some planes… plus Lego! 

Stephen Hawking display on the Ground Floor

The First floor – Who Am I?

Second Floor

There’s a third floor with airplane parts, but we didn’t go up there.

The Science Museum is interesting, but to me it isn’t as interesting as the Natural History Museum, which is located next door. (More in the next post).

BUT If you like science, physics and mechanics – this museum is ideal for you!


Geeky information:

Admission: Free
Location: Exhibition Road, South Kensington

Website:
 http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/