Now's the Time to Discover London Adventures
by Leo A. Zabinski, CTC, MCC, DS
I have recently returned from London where I attended the 30th Annual World Travel Mart. It's a show for travel professionals and it's the largest in the English speaking world. Picture twenty football fields and you'll get an idea of the display space.
But I did have some free time. The London Jazz Festival was on and I attended the opening session of the ten day event - "Jazz Voice." Eight vocalists (the best known were Natalie Merchant and Kurt Elling) joined the 50 piece Festival Orchestra to celebrate a "Century of Song."
Another night featured multi-grammy winner Bela Fleck, and the legendary Chick Corea with Stanley Clark and Lonny White.
My last evening was spent with Bradford Marsalis who has worked with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Sting. He spent an hour talking about growing up in a musical family and his career to several dozens of us. Then his quartet played in a concert featuring everything from traditional New Orleans Blues to the most contemporary modern sounds in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
I also had time for three plays. The first, " Pains of Youth," at the National Theatre was an effective play, but with a depressing story line. But the next night I attended the new Alan Bennett play at the National Theatre. Throughout his illustrious career Alan Bennett has always been a big name playwright, but after his last effort "The History Boys" won best play in London and on Broadway, he's in peak form.
The new play, "The Habit of Art," is about an imaginary meeting between the poet W. H. Arden and the contemporary classical composer Benjamin Britten. With Richard Griffiths (who also won best actor for the "History Boys" on Broadway and in London) as Arden and the veteran leading actor Alex Jennings (best known to Americans as the Prince of Wales in the movie "The Queen") sparks were flying.
Over at the Old Vic Theatre, I finished by seeing Kevin Spacey in a new production of "Inherit the Wind." As good as Spacey is in the movies, he's better on the stage. Tickets to the three jazz concerts and three plays totaled about $150.
There are always things to do in London at a reasonable price. This summer (2011) I'll be leading another tour to London. Tours are limited to 8 people so if you're interested call me at Classic Travel at 815 -9228. Cheers!
(843) 705-8080 110 Traders Cross, Okatie SC 29909
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