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All the World’s a Stage: Intergenerational Theater in London

Program Number: 19399RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/15/2013 - 7/24/2013; 6/27/2016 - 7/6/2016;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: England, UK:England
Price starting at: $2,871.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational; Theater
Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 21; 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Program intended for grandchildren from 14 - 17 years of age.

Take the London stage by storm! With your grandchild by your side, learn improvisation, storytelling skills, and engage in a joint performance under the leadership of Age Exchange, an organization whose theater workshops use fun to connect the past with the present and pass on a shared heritage between generations. Go on a privileged exploration backstage at the National Theater, and enjoy some of London’s finest theatrical offerings as you take in four shows, including a performance of Shakespeare at the Globe Theater.


• Experience historic London during field trips to the Tower of London and World Heritage Site, Greenwich.
• Take a river voyage up the Thames from Greenwich to Westminster, and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city via a ride on the London Eye.
• Perform in a final production with your grandchild that will be recorded and provided to you on DVD.

Activity Particulars

Walking and standing up to three hours at a time. Historic theaters may have stairs and no elevators.

Program is for grandchildren ages 14-17.

Date Specific Information

7-15-2013, 6-27-2016

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

Itinerary Summary

Arrival London, 8 nights; departure

Overnight flight from U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival London
8 nights

With theater experts from the Age Exchange, hone your improv skills during “reminiscence theater” workshops, a unique way of making theater based on the life history and personal reminiscences of the participants. Take in four of London’s finest performances, including a light play, a musical, a major West End production and Shakespeare at the Globe. Spend a day at UNESCO World Heritage Site Greenwich, seeing the National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the Tower of London as you visit the Yeoman Wardens, the Medieval Palace, and view the legendary Crown Jewels. Journey along the Thames on a boat excursion from Greenwich to Westminster, and take a ride on the London “Eye.” Go behind the scenes at the National Theater to access typically unseen areas and learn how productions go from ideas to the stage.


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.

Conveniently located historic hotel, overlooking Greenwich Park.

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

Malcolm Jones is a theater expert who has managed community theater projects throughout England. He has worked on Reminiscence Theatre projects with Age Exchange since 2000 and previously was on staff at the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden, where he organized theater workshops and interviewed many leading actors and directors. Malcolm has appeared on many television and radio programs to speak about theater and theater history, including BBC News.
David Savill

David Savill graduated from the London Drama Centre in 1988. He has many years' experience as a director, teacher and writer in the fields of theatre and reminiscence arts. David is responsible for intergenerational arts and education projects at Age Exchange, as well as developmental reminiscence arts projects in partnership with other organizations. He has lectured on his work at universities and drama schools around the country.
Meals and Lodgings
   The Clarendon Hotel
  London, England, UK:England 8 nights
 The Clarendon Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: In the eighteenth century when the Clarendon Hotel was built, Greenwich was one of the most powerful places in the world. The Clarendon is one of the finest Georgian hotels in South-East London, situated overlooking historic Blackheath and Greenwich Park. The hotel offers easy access to one of the world's most historic square miles with the National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory, Queen's House and Henry VIII's Royal Deer Park. The centre of London and the West End are only a 20 minute train ride away.
  Contact info: Montpelier Row
Blackheath Village
London,  SE3 ORW UK:England
phone: +44 020 8318 4321
  Room amenities: Terrestrial and satellite television, direct-dial telephone, coffee and tea making facilities, hairdryers and radios. Complimentary WiFi .
  Facility amenities: Meridian Restaurant and Chart Bar, Resident's Lounge. Room service.
  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 on arrival day. Welome meeting at 5:00pm before dinner . You will be staying at The Clarendon Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast on departure day. Some transfers may leave earlier. You will be staying at The Clarendon Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: As above.
To Start of Program
  Location:  London, England
  Nearest city or town:  London.
  Nearest airport:  London Heathrow and Gatwick.
  Transportation to site: Take the Heathrow Express to Paddington or the Gatwick Express to Victoria. Take a taxi to London Charing Cross where trains run to Blackheath. Blackheath train station is 5 minutes walk from the hotel. The nearest underground is North Greenwch 2 miles away.
  From End of Program
  Location: London, England
  Transportation from site: Reverse arrival instructions.
    (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:
(Monday, July 15)
 In Transit: Overnight flights to London.

Day 2:
(Tuesday, July 16)
 Arrive To: London.
 Morning: Transfers to the hotel.
 Lunch: In the hotel.
 Afternoon: Free time followed by a welcome meeting with your course director, group leader and student helpers.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: A fun and active drama workshop for the grandchildren. This workshop will be one of three during the course of the week that will specialize in training improvisation skills. Free time for the grandparents.
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Reminiscence theatre workshops. Highlights of London.
(Wednesday, July 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Separate workshops for grandchildren and grandparents at the specialist charity Age Exchange. Age exchange is a leading charity in the field of reminiscence theatre, and has 27 years of experience of working collaboratively and running successful projects across all age ranges. age exchange is committed to providing opportunities for learning between generations. intergenerational programmes focus on reminiscence work and are designed to promote learning, understanding and creativity between generations. reminiscence theatre is a unique way of making theatre based on the life history and personal reminiscences of the participants. the course will include background to Reminiscence theatre, participation in workshops exploring making theatre from memories, guest speakers, theatre trips and social excursions plus the opportunity to work with members of the age exchange theatre culminating in an intergenerational theatre presentation. The benefits of reminiscence: · it connects the past with the present · it brings people and communities together · it helps us to see the other person’s point of view · it passes on heritage between generations · it is a gift we can all give and receive · it gives us a strong sense of who we are · it helps to us look back and reflect on life · it helps us to recognize people as individuals · we can learn from other people’s experiences
 Lunch: Taken in Age Exchange.
 Afternoon: Take a guided coach trip around the Highlights of London, noting the famous landmarks. Then enjoy some free time in cental London.
 Dinner: Pre-theatre dinner out.
 Evening: Warhorse at the New London Theatre. A National Theatre production. Based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo. 7:30pm. 2 hours 40 minutes with an interval. The National Theatre's epic production is based on the celebrated novel by the Children's Laureate (2003-05) Michael Morpurgo. Actors working with magnificent, life-sized puppets by the internationally renowned Handspring Puppet Company lead us on a gripping journey through history.
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Skills of Storytelling workshops. Macbeth at the Globe.
(Thursday, July 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Separate workshops at Age Exchange for granchildren and grandparents on the Skills of Storytelling.
 Lunch: At Age Exchange.
 Afternoon: Coach into central London for a backstage tour followed by free time.
 Dinner: Pre-theatre dinner.
 Evening: Macbeth by William Shakespeare at the Globe. 7:30pm. 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair' When three witches tell Macbeth that he is destined to occupy the throne of Scotland, he and his wife choose to become the instruments of their fate and to kill the first man standing in their path, the virtuous King Duncan. But to maintain his position, Macbeth must keep on killing – first Banquo, his old comrade-in-arms; then, as the atmosphere of guilt and paranoia thickens, anyone who seems to threaten his tyrant’s crown. From its mesmerising first moments to the last fulfilment of the witches' prophecy, Shakespeare’s gripping account of the profoundest engagement with the forces of evil enthrals the imagination. This production will employ Renaissance costumes and staging. Directed by Eve Best Set design by Mike Britton Joseph Millson as Macbeth Samantha Spiro as Lady Macbeth Bette Bourne as Porter
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Greenwich.
(Friday, July 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Greenwich. Explore the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory and Greenwich Park.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Field trip continues to the Old Royal Naval College, the great baroque masterpiece of English architecture, set in landscaped grounds on the River Thames in the centre of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. View the world's last tea clipper, Cutty Sark.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: The grandchildren will go ten pin bowling with the youth leader at the AMF Lewisham Bowling Centre. Grandparents may spend time by themselves or go bowling!
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Tower of London.
(Saturday, July 20)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Separate workshops at Age Exchange focusing on how to dramatise and perform memories.
 Lunch: At Age Exchange.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the Tower of London. In the early 1080s, William the Conqueror began to build a massive stone tower at the centre of his London fortress. Nothing like it had ever been seen before. Through the centuries that followed, successive monarchs added to the fortifications. The Tower has been the seat of British government and the living quarters of monarchs, the site of political intrigue and the repository of the Crown Jewels. The imposing building has protected, housed, imprisoned many citizens. See the Tower's highlights: The White Tower, the Medieval Palace, the Yeoman Wardens, the East Wall Walk, Tower Green and, of course, the Crown Jewels and it's most famous inhabitants -the ravens. Followed by some free time in central London.
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre. 8:00pm. Running tome 2 hours with an interval. Experience 100 minutes of ingenious fun and thrilling action as 4 actors play 139 roles in this gripping whodunit. Rivahrd Hannay must solve 39 Steps to aquit himself of murder and save King and Country. Originally from the book by John Buchan adapted by Patrick Barlow. Memorably filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935, The 39 Steps has been brilliantly and hilariously recreated for the stage. Winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 2007
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Improvisation for grandchilden. Wigmore Hall concert for grandparents.
(Sunday, July 21)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Grandchildren enjoy an improvisation workshop in the hotel. Grandparents go to historic Wigmore Hall for a concert at 11:30am. Performers Talich Quartet Programme Mozart String Quartet in G K387 Dvorák String Quartet in F Op. 96 ‘American’ About this concert Since its foundation in 1964, the Talich Quartet has been internationally recognised as one of Europe’s finest chamber ensembles and, through a gradual and complete change in personnel during the 1990s, retained its status at the top as fresh insight met a wealth of performing experience. Renowned for its deep understanding and immersion in the great Czech musical tradition, the ensemble presents Dvorák’s ‘American’ string quartet alongside a work written by Mozart in Vienna and dedicated to Haydn. |This concert is 1 hour with no interval.
 Lunch: Grandchildren take lunch in the hotel. Grandparents take a late lunch in central London after the concert.
 Afternoon: Grandchildren continue the workshop after lunch and perhaps play on the heath with the youth leader. Grandparents return to the hotel. Followed by free time to explore the village atmosphere of Blackheath.
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: Evening lecture for the grandparents. A drama workshop on improvisation for the grandchildren.
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The London Eye.
(Monday, July 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Workshop for both groups at Age Exchange – combined. Grandparents and grandchildren will start to share what they have learned in the course of the week. Exchanging ideas and experiences. Travel by boat up the River Thames from Greenwich to Westminster. Look across at Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament for photo opportunities.
 Lunch: Packed Lunch by Age Exchange.
 Afternoon: See London from another perspective-a bird's eye view-during a "ride" on the London Eye.
 Dinner: Pre-performance dinner out.
 Evening: Performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. 7:30pm. Originally by Roald Dahl. The show tells the story of a young boy, Charlie, who wins a golden ticket to tour the eccentric Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory. With some spoilt, gluttonous, and mischievous co-winners in tow, Charlie’s lovable grandfather accompanies him on this adventure through a maze of candy-coated delights, from chocolate rooms to the inventing room, all presided over by Willy Wonka and his staff, the elfin Oompa Loompas. The book has been turned into a film on two occasions, the first being a musical starring Gene Wilder and renamed ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’, which featured songs such as “The Candy Man Can,” “I Want It Now,” “Pure Imagination,” and the unmistakable “Oompa Loompa.” The book then inspired the 2005 film adaptation directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Roald Dahl was famously displeased with the 1971 version, and his estate had full artistic control over this new movie, resulting in a darker tone more in keeping with the original book. This brand new production is expected to take a fresh look at the popular story, and excitement is already mounting about the designs for the show, in particular the Oompa Loompas. After a number of workshops on key design elements, the producers are extremely happy with the visuals that have been created, and the show is promised to be a treat for audiences in many ways. This new stage adaptation will feature an entirely new score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman. A-list Hollywood director Sam Mendes has been involved with the project since its inception. Douglas Hodge will take on the iconic role of Willy Wonka, after winning both Olivier and Tony Awards for his performance in La Cage aux Folles.
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Final performance and DVD recording.
(Tuesday, July 23)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: All day workshops at Age Exchange prepare everyone for the late afternoon performance of their show!
 Lunch: At Age Exchange.
 Afternoon: Workshops continue. The Grande Finale: The Performance of the Show by grandchildren and grandparents. DVD recorded for everyone to take home.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Grandchildren improvisation presentation. Followed by farewells.
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10:
(Wednesday, July 24)
 Depart From: London.
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
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.

Suggested Reading List

Year of the King

Author: Antony Sher

Description: Other early 'stand-out' roles came in the premieres of Caryl Churchill's Cloud Nine (1979) and Mike Leigh's Goose Pimples (1981). He was Malcolm Bradbury's History Man on TV (1981) before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982, where he has played a huge variety of leading role in modern plays such as David Edgar's Maydays (1983) and Peter Flannery's Singer (1989) but chiefly in Shakespeare. He was the Fool to Michael Gambon's Lear, a famous Richard III, Shylock, Malvolio, Leontes, Macbeth with Harriet Walter, and, currently, Iago. For the RSC he was also Cyrano and Tamburlaine and the Malcontent. Interspersed with these were appearances at the National Theatre - as Astrov to Ian McKellen's Uncle Vanya, as Stanley Spencer in Pam Gems's play and as Titus Andronicus, which he originated at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg. In October 2004 he will appear at the National again in his own play based on Primo Levi's This was a Man. Following his debut as a writer with Year of the King, he has written four novels - Middlepost, Indoor Boy, Cheap Lives and The Feast - as well as an autobiography, Beside Myself (2001), and a play, I.D. (premiered at the Almeida, 2003).

Being an Actor

Author: Simon Callow

Description: Few actors are more eloquent, honest or entertaining about their life and their profession than Simon Callow. Being an Actor traces his stage journey from the letter he wrote to Laurence Olivier that led him to his first job, to his triumph as Mozart in the original production of Amadeus. This new edition continues to tell the story of his past two decades onstage. Callow discusses his occasionally ambivalent yet always passionate feelings about both film and theatre, conflicting sentiments partially resolved by his acclaimed return to the stage with his solo performances in The Importance of Being Oscar and The Mystery of Charles Dickens, seen in the West End and on Broadway in 2002. Being an Actor is a guide not only to the profession but also to the intricacies of the art, told with wit, candour, and irrepressible verve by one if the great figures of the stage.


Author: William Shakespeare

In Search of Shakespeare

Author: Michael Wood

Description: There can be few more appropriate writers and TV presenters to go In Search of Shakespeare than Michael Wood. Having already gone In Search of England and pursued the history of the Conquistadors in his recent acclaimed series, Wood has now taken on The Bard in the book to accompany his latest TV series. This is well-trodden ground, but Wood tells the story with relish and an historian's eye for detail, dismissing Bardolatry in favour of a "tale of one man's life, lived through a time of revolution--a time when not only England, but the larger world beyond, would go through momentous changes."

Shakespeare and Co.

Author: Stanley Wells

Description: "With the passing of the years Shakespeare has too often been isolated from his fellows. He is the greatest of them, but he would not have been what he is without them." -- so says Stanley Wells at the conclusion of what is a wonderfully readable look at the theatrical scene of Shakespeare's day. Concentrating on the Bard's contemporaries rather than the man himself (more than adequately covered elsewhere), Shakespeare & Co is accessible rather than academic (though by no means lightweight), and an excellent introduction to those figures who hover on the edges of Shakespeare's biography, all too undeservingly like like bit-players in somebody else's drama. Individual chapters cover the theatrical scene (how plays were put together and presented, how they fit into the political mood of the time, and so on), and a brief look at some of the well-known actors of the day, before we get to the playwrights: Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher & Francis Beaumont and John Webster.

The Life of the Drama

Author: Eric Bentley

Description: Discusses the various aspects of a drama, from the plot and character to dialogue, thought and enactment. In addition, Eric Bentley describes different types of plays such as melodrama, farce, tragedy, comedy and tragi-comedy

The State of the Nation

Author: Michael Billington

Description: Michael Billington's new book looks at post-war Britain from a theatrical perspective. It examines the constant interplay between theatre and society from the resurgent optimism of the Attlee years to the satire boom of the Sixties and the growth of political theatre under Tony Blair in the post-Iraq period. Written by Britain's longest-serving theatre critic, the book also offers a passionate defence of the dramatist as the medium's key creative figure. Controversial, witty and informed, State of the Nation offers a fresh and challenging look at the vast upheavals that have taken place in Britain and its theatre in the course of sixty turbulent years.

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