2012 Spring External Programs Shannon Barter United Kingdom


One of the things I have grown to love most about London is how much of a cultural capital it truly is. From theatre to sports to movies and TV, London has such a wide variety and high level of importance in the culture we see in everyday life. One of the most fun ways I have experienced this cultural capital is through events and premiers! This past month I went to two major openings, the red carpet premiere for the Hunger Games movie as well as the red carpet opening of the Harry Potter Studio Tour outside of London! Both of these events were absolutely amazing – and truly make for an awesome experience! The Hunger Games premiere took place in the O2 Arena, which was one of the coolest parts! I was expecting the famous London O2 Arena to be a large stadium like any other, but it was like its own little town in itself! It has dozens of restaurants and bars, huge screen projectors, and shopping kiosks all over! The red carpet went from the side entrance to the main movie theater projection area, and it was amazing to see! There were thousands of fans all around the outside of the carpet, all waiting for the arrival of the stars and guests! Many of the stars were there, including the beautiful Liam Hemsworth! For all those who are wondering, he is just as beautiful in person! Since we didn’t get tickets to see the actual premiere, we just went home following the red carpet but it was still worth the trip! It is so cool to feel like you are a part of the hip and famous movie scene, even if its just as a live spectator!

The red carpet premieres did not end there, as just a few weeks later my friend Grace and I got to go to the red carpet opening of the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London! As an extreme Harry Potter fan, I had already heard all about the tour before I even left for England, but I had no idea there was going to be a red carpet opening, complete with the actors themselves! We heard about the event from an article in the Evening Standard, and immediately decided to go! We took to train out to Watford Junction, and got to stand right on the fence in front of the carpet! There was an announcer broadcasting live for all the viewers online, and we got to see and hear interviews with all the members of the cast that were there including the guys who play Ron and Draco as well as the girls who play Ginny and Luna! It was so much fun to hear about their favorite memories and experiences on the set, and what they are most excited for us to see! Apparently, the great hall is the most amazing set of all, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing it when I go on the official tour in May!  Here is a picture of Ginny Weasley on the Red Carpet!:

Ginny Weasley!

I am so happy I got to see both of these once in a lifetime events, and I cannot wait to continue to experience the vibrant cinematic culture in London more when I return! For now I am off on my spring break trip around Europe to Italy, Spain, France, and Hungary! I will try to blog from these places when I have a computer! Be back soon!

Also, a special thanks to Joan and Bill Grubb for an amazing care package!!! 🙂

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