Road Scholar : Home
Independent London Theatre at New Year’s

Program Number: 18167RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/28/2013 - 1/3/2014; 12/29/2015 - 1/4/2016; 12/28/2016 - 1/3/2017;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: England, UK:England
Price starting at: $2,995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Independent City Discoveries; Holidays
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Ring in the New Year in festive London by enjoying both contemporary and traditional theater, including the beloved Christmas Pantomime. Join Giles Ramsay, a director and producer of independent theater, to attend two of the top productions in the West End and join in the Yuletide custom known as “the Panto,” a rowdy, joyous show of song, dance, jokes, cross-dressing performers and audience participation. Take in a major art exhibition; enjoy afternoon tea with a leading critic at a London hotel and journey to Hampton Court Palace.


• Enjoy three theater performances: two of the top current productions and the traditional Christmas Pantomime.
• Intimate conversations and lectures with theater professionals and critics make for an in-depth experience of the performances and give you a chance to share your opinion.
• Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a gala dinner and a toast with your fellow participants.

Activity Particulars

Walking and standing for up to three hours on some field trips.

Included in the program-only price: Five nights hotel accommodations, all breakfasts, one lunch, five dinners, three theater performances, lectures by local experts, two self-guided excursions, substantial free time. Not included: Airport transfers.

Date Specific Information

12-28-2013, 12-29-2015, 12-28-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival London, 5 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night

Arrival London
5 nights

Your companion for this exploration of London theater is Giles Ramsay, a director and producer who helps you see the show behind the show. Meet with a leading critic to discuss the good and bad of contemporary theater. Take part in a great British tradition, the Christmas Panto, and learn how it grew out of the Commedia dell'Arte. Enjoy plenty of time to explore London on your own, enjoying the festive holiday decorations and attending a New Year’s Eve dinner. Plus a top journalist offers a discussion of today’s England and a field trip brings you to Hampton Court Palace, particularly spectacular at this time of year.


It was the seat of an empire on which the sun never set. It has been Merry, Dickensian and Victorian. It has given us common law, Shakespeare, tennis, the Rolls-Royce and the Beatles. England and its people have played an outsize role in shaping world history. It is a country whose past, politics, culture and characters never cease to captivate.

Historic four-star hotel.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Giles Ramsay

Giles Ramsay is an independent theatre director and producer who specializes in creating new work with artists in developing countries. He is the Founding Director of the charity Developing Artists, a Fellow of St. Chad’s College, Durham University and Course Leader in Theatre at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He has devised and instructed on Road's Scholar programs since the early 1990's and has run theatre projects in countries ranging from Kosovo to Zimbabwe.
Meals and Lodgings
   Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street
  London., UK:England 5 nights
 Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Recently completely refurbished and upgraded. Located in Bloomsbury , close to the West End and the British Museum. Nearest underground Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern lines)
  Contact info: 9 - 13 Bloomsbury Street
London,  WC1B 3QD UK:England
phone: +44 207 636 5601
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning. Direct dial telephone with personal phone numbers. Satellite TV, hairdryer, mini bar, in room safe, iron and trouser press, and tea and coffee making facilities. Complimentary wireless Internet access. US 110v sockets. Mobile phone hire.
  Facility amenities: Bloomsbury Street Restaurant and Bar. Fitness room.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBC For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: TBC For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
A light lunch is served in the hotel for those arriving in time. The afternoon is free until the welcome meeting at 5:30 pm in the hotel. You will be staying at Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast on departure day. You will be staying at Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Complete the Participant Information Form on-line. Or in the complete the form in the preparatory materials and return to Road Scholar in the UK Please include departure and arrival date, departure airport, airline, flight number, arrival airport, date and time. We recommend completing the form on-line as information will be kept for future programmes
  Parking availability:
Not available.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains and underground as on arrival available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  London.
  Nearest city or town:  London
  Nearest airport:  London Heathrow and Gatwick.
  Transportation to site: Trains, underground (nearest station Tottenham Court Road) available. take the Heathrow or Gatwick Express and a taxi from the train station. The Heathrow Express departs the airport every 15 minutes and takes 15 minutes add 6 minutes from T5.) to London Paddington. An Express single costs £16.50 (2010 prices), 1st Class is £26, return is £32. Paddington Station is situated in the west end of central London. It connects to the Bakerloo, District and Circle lines on the London Underground and is also a short walk to the Hammersmith and City line. The Gatwick Express departs the airport every 15 minutes and takes 30 minutes to London Victoria. It departs at these minutes past the hour 00 - 15 - 30 - 45. An Express single costs £16.90 (2010 prices), Express return is £28.70. With three London Underground stations - for the Victoria, District and Circle lines - getting around central London is easy and direct from London Victoria station. Victoria bus station is next door, and it’s only a short walk to the National Express coach station. The nearest underground is Tottenham Court Road or Holborn.
  From End of Program
  Location: London.
  Transportation from site: Trains and underground as on arrival available. Heathrow Express or Gatwick Express. As above from Paddington or Victoria.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1:
(Saturday, December 28)
 In Transit: Overnight flights from North America.

Day 2:
(Sunday, December 29)
 Morning: Independent transfers.
 Lunch: In the hotel.
 Afternoon: Free time until a welcome meeting and briefing before dinner.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: A top national journalist and a theatre critic talk today. Pantomime performance.
(Monday, December 30)
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Lectures in the hotel. "The State of the Nation" by a renowned journalist and political commentator followed by Giles Ramsay, course director, on "The plays: What to expect".
 Lunch: Snack lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Puss in Boots at the Hackney Empire 2:30pm. This year our award winning team present Puss in Boots, a brand new title to the Hackney Empire’s classic pantomime repertoire. Our hero, Puss in Boots arrives in the merry Kingdom of Hackneyonia E8, to gain wealth and power for his master. This cunning feline swashbuckler has it all; the looks, the walk, the talk and most importantly his magic boots. Expect laughs and sparks as our loveable rogue defeats all the odds and wins the day! In true Hackney style expect all of the usual show-stopping songs, dazzling dance routines, knockabout comedy and bags of audience participation. This is guaranteed to be yet another Hackney hit and the perfect treat for all the family. We are delighted to welcome the cast! Kat B as Puss in Boots, Sharon D Clarke as Queen Talulah the Hoo Ha, Josefina Gabrielle as evil witch Evilena, Stephen Matthews as Dame Nettie Knowall, Tony Timberlake as King Konkers the Bonkers, Matt Dempsey as Thomas, Amy Lennox as Princess Pertunia, Darren Hart as Amnesiah (and Bully Brother Bruno), Allyson Ava-Brown as Celestine the Good Sourceress, Tom Andrew Hargreaves as Prince Casper and finally Leon Sweeney as the Ogre!
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Jeeves and Wooster! New Year's Eve dinner post performance.
(Tuesday, December 31)
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to the V&A Museum for a guided tour of the Theatre Collections. Option to explore William Sickert and the Three Graces galleries.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: At leisure.
 Dinner: Special New Year's Eve dinner in the hotel post theatre performance. Toast in the New Year
 Evening: Theatre performance-Jeeves and Wooster at the Duke of York Theatre 7:30pm. Join Stephen Mangan as the effervescent, aristocratic fool Bertie Wooster and Matthew Macfadyen as his dutiful valet Jeeves in the world premiere of this new stage play, featuring P.G. Wodehouse’s iconic double act. When a perfectly delightful trip to the countryside takes a turn for the worse, Bertie Wooster is unwittingly called on to play matchmaker – reconciling the affections of his host’s drippy daughter Madeline Bassett with his newt-fancying acquaintance Gussie Fink-Nottle. If Bertie, ably assisted by the ever-dependable Jeeves, can’t pull off the wedding of the season, he’ll be forced to abandon his cherished bachelor status and marry the ghastly girl himself.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Hampton Court Palace.
(Wednesday, January 1)
 Breakfast: Full English and Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Free after last night's festivities. Followed by a late departure for a field trip to Hampton Court Palace. Explore Henry VIII's Hampton Court Palace. See Tudor cookery in the famous Great Kitchens, stroll through Henry's State Apartments, marvel at the magnificnet Chapel Royal. Learn how William III's palace was restored after fire. Visit the Queen's Apartment and the Georgian Rooms. Venture outside to William III's restored Privy Garden and acres of parkland.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: Field trip continues.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Afternoon tea with a theatre critic. Shakespeare's Henry V.
(Thursday, January 2)
 Breakfast: Full English and Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Free morning.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: 3:30pm Take afternoon tea in teh Phoenix Artists Club with a theatre critic and Giles Ramsay.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Theatre perfromance-Henry V by William Shakespeare at the Noel Coward Theatre. 7:30pm. Jude Law and Michael Grandage continue their collaboration that began with Hamlet in 2009. Can the King of England hold his nerve to embrace his duty, command his men and lead his country to victory in France? Shakespeare's great play of nationhood investigates the bloody horrors of war and the turbulence of a land in crisis.
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7:
(Friday, January 3)
 Breakfast: Full English and Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Independent transfers.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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