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A Short Guide to the Tate Modern

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Tate Modern

Location – Bankside, London  SE1 9TG

Tate Modern is London’s premier Art Gallery for Modern Art, it houses works of International Modern and Contemporary Art from 1900 to the present day.

Since its opening in 2000 it has grown to be the most visited Modern Art Gallery in the world with almost 5 million visitors annually.

The Art Gallery is situated in the former Bankside Power Station which was originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and was built-in 1947 and closed in 1981. The unique setting of a disused power station has enable the Tate Modern to put on shows and exhibits on a scale not possible for most other galleries. Its Turbine Hall, which once housed the electricity generators is five storeys tall with 3,400 square metres of floorspace.

It is estimated that the building was built with over four million bricks and the Gallery incorporates the industrial theme into its interior spaces. Spread over seven floors the main galleries are on Floors 2,3,4, there is a number of themes and subjects which encourage the visitor to explore the various areas. There are works from a wide range of artists from Picasso, Mondrian, Klee to Pollack.

Composition C (No.III) with Red, Yellow and Blue 1935 by Piet Mondrian 1872-1944

Composition C (No.III) with Red, Yellow and Blue 1935 by Piet Mondrian 1872-1944 (Tate Modern)

Part of the success of the Tate Modern has been its ability to attract a wide range of visitors who are often bemused and bewildered by some of the exhibits. The often quick turnaround of some of the exhibits means there is always something new and interesting to see.

Swinging 1925 by Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944

Swinging 1925 by Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944 (Tate Modern)

The restaurant and café are also very popular with wonderful views of St Paul’s and the City of London.

The large Tate Modern bookshop is a wonderful place to pick up a book on Modern Art or find that quirky present amongst the wide range of gifts.

Quartered Meteor 1969, cast 1975 by Lynda Benglis born 1941

Quartered Meteor 1969, cast 1975 Lynda Benglis (Tate Modern)

Admission & opening times

Admission to Tate Modern is free, except for special exhibitions

Opening times

Sunday – Thursday, 10.00–18.00

Friday – Saturday, 10.00–22.00

For more information visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Review : Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Exhibition and Tour

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Shakespeare’s  Globe Theatre

Location – 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London, SE1 9DT

Shakespeare’s Globe is situated on the South Bank of the Thames in Southwark. It is a modern reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse  that was originally built-in 1599, destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt in 1614, and then finally demolished in 1644.

The modern Globe is situated around 700 ft from the site of the original theatre and was designed to recreate as near as possible the experience of watching a play in the time of Shakespeare. The modern Globe was created due to the initiative of American actor and director Sam Wanamaker and  is based on the original Globe of 1599, although there are no plans of the theatre, considerable academic research went into the design to make it as accurate as possible to the original.

The tour guides tend to be very knowledgeable and some are actors in their own right and entering the theatre offers a unique experience, walking  through the wooden doors you are transported into the days of Shakespeare.

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To the modern theatre goer, the facilities are a bit of a shock with the theatre open to the elements and the most rudimentary seating. There is no microphones or speakers, all music is played live and the audience can be seen by the actors as the plays are performed in daylight or lit by internal lighting.

One major difference between Shakespearian and Modern Theatre is that in the original Globe, the audience were not passive but part of the action. There tended to give feedback to the action, if the audience did not like the action they were not shy to let the actors know.

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In rebuilding the Globe, the organisation went to considerable lengths to be ‘authentic’ ,  It is built from materials available in 1600 (oak, lime plaster, and thatch) using construction methods of the period: the oak timbers are joined together with wooden pegs. Costumes are made from the textiles of 1600, such as linen, wool, leather, and silk, based on patterns and garments surviving from the early 17th Century.

Inside the theatre, it is necessary to understand how the Shakespearian Theatre worked. The stage thrusts out into the yard where up to  700 people can stand to watch a performance. These members of the audience often paid just a penny for the cheapest view and  were referred to as ‘groundlings’ or  by more derogatory names such as ‘penny stinks’.
If you had a little more money, you would be seated in the boxes and if you were very privileged in the Gentlemens’ Boxes/Rooms or Lords Rooms.

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The stage is covered by the Heavens, the roof painted with stars, moons, and signs of the zodiac. Beneath the stage is Hell, an area from where devils or witches might appear. Above the stage is the Attic where sound effects are created.

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After a tour of the theatre itself, visitors can explore the exhibition based under the Globe Theatre that explains in more depth, the life of Shakespeare, the London where he lived, and the theatre for which he wrote. It also provides some insight into the area surrounding the Globe which was once London’s most notorious entertainment district, surrounded by  taverns and bawdy-houses.

Since the theatre opened in 1997,  it has staged  a large number of acclaimed plays and events. Because it is open to the elements, performances are restricted to May through to October.

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In 2014 the Theatre opened a new Jacobean Theatre based on one that was located in Blackfrairs. It is known as the Sam Wanamaker Theatre and plays will be performed all year round.

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The Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition and Tour offers a interesting and entertaining  insight in  Elizabethan Theatre. The building of the theatre itself is a major achievement and the tour guides explain in detail how the vision of Sam Wanamaker came into being and has provided a wonderful monument to Shakespeare and English Theatre.

The Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition and Tour will appeal to a wide range of people and all ages, it is an opportunity to be transported back in time to understand the type of environment in which one of the world’s greatest playwrights learnt his trade. There is no doubt that Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is one of the more unique sights in London.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

The Shakespeare’s Globe has an Exhibition and Tours all the year round:

Exhibition & Tour Opening Hours and Tickets

Exhibition

Daily: 9.00am – 5.30pm

Globe Theatre Tours

Daily : 9.30am – 5.00pm

Tours depart every 30 minutes. First tour at 9.30am, last tour at 5pm.

Tours depart every half an hour between the times shown and the tour itself lasts  for around 40 minutes and you can explore the exhibition at your leisure.

Tickets

There is no need to pre-book for the Exhibition & Tour. Tickets can be bought on the admissions desk on the day, every day.

Exhibition and Globe Theatre Tour

Adult: £13.50
Senior (60+): £12.00
Student (with valid ID): £11.00
Children (5-15): £8.00
Children (under 5): Free
Family (up to 2 adults & 3 children): £36.00

For more information and tickets please visit the Globe website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

A Short History of the HMS Belfast

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HMS Belfast

Location –  The Queen’s Walk, London, SE1 2JH

HMS Belfast is a museum ship under the auspices of the Imperial War Museum, the ship is permanently moored in London on the River Thames near to Tower Bridge. Built by Messrs Harland & Wolff of Belfast in 1936,the ship was launched in 1938. At the ships launch the ship was one of the largest and most powerful light cruiser in the Royal Navy, initially used as part of a blockade against Germany in 1939, the ship hit a German mine and was out of service for the next three years.

For the rest of the War HMS Belfast took part in Artic Convoys to the Soviet Union, Battle of North Cape, the Normandy landings and went to the Far East to join the British Pacific Fleet. The ship saw further combat in the Korean War between 1950 – 1952 before undergoing a major refit at the end of the 1950s.

In 1967 the ship was due to be scrapped, to prevent this various agencies began the campaign to preserve her a museum ship. Eventually through the creation of the HMS Belfast Trust, the campaign was successful and the ship was moored as a museum for the first time in London in 1971. It became part of the Imperial War Museum in 1978.

On board is a number of exhibitions about different aspects of the ships career using the oral histories of veterans who served on her.

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Admission Prices

Adults £15.50

Child (under 16) Free

Concessions (Senior, Student, Disabled) £12.40

IWM Friends Free

For more information or book tickets click here

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Hay’s Galleria – Shops and Restaurants

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Hay’s Galleria

Location – 1 Battle Bridge Ln, London SE1 2HP

Hay’s Galleria is a Grade II listed building in Bankside which is a mixed use complex that includes restaurants, shops, offices and apartments.

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From the North side of the river

The Galleria has been developed using the warehouse and associated wharf (Hay’s Wharf) that was created in 1859. The wharf had an enclosed dock which in the 18th century was a major wharf for bringing Tea into London. Damaged by the Great Fire of Southwark in 1861 and by bombing in the Second World War it was often rebuilt, however it was the demise of the London Docks that led to Hay’s Wharf closing in 1970.

In the 1980s the area was developed by the St Martin’s Property Corporation and Hay’s Galleria was created by closing the dock gates, covering the dock and covering the entire space with a glass roof. The centrepiece of the Galleria is a 60ft moving sculpture of a ship called ‘The Navigators’ by David Kemp which was unveiled in 1987.

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The Navigators

One of the early developments on the South Bank in the 1980s, it still attracts many visitors who walk along the South side of the Thames.

For practical advice and special offers for your London visit go to visitinglondonguide.com

The Clink Prison Museum

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The Clink Museum

Location – 1 Clink St, London , SE1 9DG

The Clink Prison Museum is located on the site of one of the famous prison’s in London. In its various forms it served as a prison from the 12th century to 1780.

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The prison was owned by the Bishop of Winchester and built next to his Winchester Palace, it had separate Men’s and Women’s Prisons built in around 1144 which rank amongst some of the oldest in England.

The South Bank at this time was notorious site of Brothels, Taverns and other types of entertainment many which was owned or rented from the Bishop of Winchester himself.

At various times different types of prisoners were held here from general lawbreakers up to 16th century when it was then used for heretics and finally in the 18th century was used as a debtors prison.

In 1450 the Winchester Palace and the prison was attacked by rioters who released the prisoners before burning both buildings to the ground. They were rebuilt soon afterwards. By 1760 the Prison was almost a ruin but was still burnt down by Gordon rioters and was never rebuilt.

Although it did not exist after 1760, the name survived in the English Language as slang for ‘Prison’

The Clink Museum gives visitors ” the opportunity to view archaeological artefacts, handle torture devices, and to view and hear all about the tales of torment and many misfortunes of the inmates of the infamous Clink Prison.”

Ticket Prices

Adults £7.50

Children ( under 16 )  £5.50

Concession£5.50 Students,OAP,Disabled

Family £18.00 2 adults & 2 children under 16

Opening Times   Open all year around, 7 days a week ( Closed on Christmas Day )

Summer (July – September ) 10.00 – 21.00

Winter ( October – June )

Monday to Friday 10.00 – 18.00  Weekend10.00 – 19.30

( last admission 30 minutes before closing )

To find out more about the Museum click here

For practical advice and special offers for your London visit go to visitinglondonguide.com