5th Year Trip to London
Both Fifth Year classes went to London on the 30th of September to attend a performance of William Shakespeare’s Othello. Of course, since we were in London, we also went to visit other places of cultural interest. As we were only in London for one night, we had to pack a lot in and that meant getting up considerably early so that we could make our 6.45am flight from Shannon to London. Upon arrival, we immediately proceeded to the centre of London.
Our first stop was the Museum of Natural History, which was organised by the school’s Biology teacher, Dr Jake Keogh. He was clearly in his element here! Whist here, we were given the most intriguing presentation by David Attenborough (pre-recorded) on the “Origin of the Human Species”. After the presentation, we were given some free time to visit the various museums of Exhibition Road. Some stayed in the Museum of Natural History, while the others went to the Science Museum just around the corner.
After a brief stop at our hotel to check in and drop our bags, the Imperial War Museum was our next experience. This museum features an extensive exhibition on the Holocaust and both World Wars. I found this exhibition on “The Holocaust” to be a heart-wrenching experience and most informative. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is visiting London.
By this stage, everybody was hungry so we headed to Pizza Express. After here, nobody was hungry! After dinner, we had some time before the performance and so we spent a short period outside the theatre on the South Bank looking at the various stalls that were set out.
The performance was my favourite part of the trip and I think that was the general consensus among students. Directed by Nicholas Hytner and featuring Andrew Lester as “Othello” and Rory Kinnear as “Iago”, it really was an impressive performance. It was hard to find anything to criticise about the production. I say this both about the acting and the staging. The props were well thought out and the scenes moved effortlessly and with style. For those of you who don’t know this play, Othello is a Moor and a General in the Venetian Army during the Sixteenth century. Being a Moor in a predominantly Christian and white demographic area, he faced a certain amount of prejudice and stigma. The villain, Iago is jealous of Othello and hatches a plot to destroy him. The storyline itself was good, although I felt that it dragged at times. The acting was powerful, particularly Kinnear and Lester. I was really moved by Lester’s portrayal of Othello. His performance was utterly convincing.
The play ended rather late and everybody was exhausted so we went straight back to the hotel as we had another earlier start the next day. That morning, our first stop was the Globe Theatre where we went to an exhibition on Shakespeare and his society. After that, we were brought on a tour of the Theatre itself.
Our second day comprised of a visit to Tate Modern and some free time to spend around Trafalgar Square. It was a wonderful experience, especially Othello and I am glad that I went. The Fifth Years would like to thank all of the teachers involved in this trip.
Daniel Dennis (5th Year)