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

Program Number: 19399RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/23/2014 - 7/2/2014;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: England, UK:England
Price starting at: $2,935.00 - 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.

Date Specific Information


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.
Meals and Lodgings
   The Clarendon Hotel
  London, England, UK:England 9 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 at 12:30pm on arrival day. Welcome 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. Breakfast ends at 10:00am and check-out is by 11:00am. You will be staying at The Clarendon Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
No parking.
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, June 23)
 In Transit: Overnight flights to London.

Day 2:
(Tuesday, June 24)
 Arrive To: London.
 Morning: Transfers to the hotel by car or MPV from London Heathrow only.
 Lunch: A light lunch is served in the hotel at 12:30pm.
 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/Tower of London/ Highlights of London.
(Wednesday, June 25)
 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 an expert led 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, successivemonarchs 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. Your London specialist will note famous landmarks on a Highlights of London coach trip en route.
 Dinner: Pre-theatre dinner in cental London.
 Evening: Jeeves and Wooster at the Duke of York’s Theatre 7:30pm A NEW PLAY FROM THE WORKS OF P.G. WODEHOUSE BY THE GOODALE BROTHERS DIRECTED BY SEAN FOLEY Comedy stars Mark Heap and Robert Webb will are heading to the Duke of York’s Theatre to play the roles of Jeeves and Wooster, taking over from Stephen Mangan and Matthew Macfadyen from 7 April 2014. Mark Hadfield will continue in the role of Seppings alongside Heap and Webb 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: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Skills of Storytelling workshops. Theatre performance.
(Thursday, June 26)
 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 at The Theatare Royal Drury Lane, the oldest theatre in London. THROUGH THE STAGE DOOR is the UK's first Interactive Theatre Tour at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Directed by Andrea Brooks with three professional actors, the history of The Theatre Royal Drury Lane is brought to vivid life as key characters, writers and actors from the theatre's 300 year old past take you back through time as you look around this famous theatre.Since its construction in 1663 the theatre has triumphed over tragedy, fire, bankruptcy and even murder! participants will meet characters such as the playwright Richard Sheridan, the great clown Grimaldi, the celebrated actress/mistress Nell Gwynne and many others who played an important role in the theatre's history.
 Dinner: Pre-theatre dinner.
 Evening: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Gielgud Theatre. 7:30pm. The play is based on the novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens Directed by: Marianne Elliott Produced by: National Theatre Christopher, fifteen years old, stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog. It has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in a book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington. He has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Greenwich.
(Friday, June 27)
 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: 39 Steps.
(Saturday, June 28)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Separate workshops at Age Exchange focusing on how to dramatise and perform memories.
 Lunch: At Age Exchange.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon. The coach will take you to central London.
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre. 8:00pm. From the novel by John Buchan. Original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon. 4 actors play a minimum of 139 roles. Scenes include the chase of the Flying Scotsman, escape on the Forth Bridge, the bi-plane crash and the finale in the London Palladium. Hilarious and spectacular. Contains strobe lighting and gunshots. Winner of the Best Comedy Awards.
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Improvisation for grandchilden. Wigmore Hall concert for grandparents.
(Sunday, June 29)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Grandchildren enjoy an improvisation workshop in the hotel. Grandparents go to historic Wigmore Hall for a concert late morning. 11:30am. Melvyn Tan fortepiano Programme Beethoven Piano Sonata in C Op. 2 No. 3 Müthel Sonata in F, published 1770 (from the Montagu Music Collection) Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 18 in Eb Op. 31 No. 3 About this concert Melvyn Tan has developed his lyrical artistry and musical refinement on the modern concert piano and its ancestor, the fortepiano, offering audiences the chance to experience the latter’s unique tonal range. His Coffee Concert revolves around the Sonata in F by Johann Gottfried Müthel, perhaps the first composer ever to publish works specifically for the fashionable new fortepiano.
 Lunch: Grandchildren take lunch in the hotel. Grandparents take a late lunch in Wigmore hall 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 on Shakespeare in preparation for tomorrow's performance.Grandchildren may join the lecture or enjoy free time.
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Shakespeare at the Globe. the London Eye.
(Monday, June 30)
 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.
 Lunch: In Age Exchange.
 Afternoon: Travel by boat up the River Thames from Greenwich to Westminster. Look across at Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament for photo opportunities. See London from another perspective-a bird's eye view-during a "ride" on the London Eye.
 Dinner: Pre-performance dinner near to the Globe.
 Evening: A performance of a Shakespearean play at the reconstructed Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on Bankside. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare The Globe 7:30pm Directed by Dominic Dromgoole Keep Friends close, enemies closer When Caesar returns to Rome from the wars a virtual dictator, Brutus and his republican friends resolve that his ambition must be curbed – which in Rome can mean only one thing: the great general must be assassinated. But once the deed is done, the idealistic conspirators must reckon with the forces of a new power bloc, led by Mark Antony and Caesar’s nephew Octavius. When their armies close at Philippi, will Caesar’s ghost be avenged? Opposing dictatorship and republicanism, private virtue and mob violence, Shakespeare’s tense drama of high politics reveals the emotional currents that flow between men in power. This production will employ Renaissance costumes and staging.
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Final performance and DVD recording.
(Tuesday, July 1)
 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. A DVD is recorded in the weeks following the programme and will be mailed to Road Schaolr in Boston for distribution to participants.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Grandchildren improvisation presentation. Followed by farewells.
Accommodations: The Clarendon Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10:
(Wednesday, July 2)
 Depart From: London.
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
Accommodations: The Clarendon 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.

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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