Friday, June 5, 2009

Shakespeare's Globe

Recently the Globe had an open day to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday, and because it was free and we were penniless, we went along for a look.

The Globe is part museum, part theatre. It begins with a general history of the area, putting the original theatre in context with its surroundings and the cultural climate.

The Globe wasn't the first theatre Shakespeare was involved in, but after the first one was destroyed they set about building a dedicated one. He became a shareholder in it, along with four others. The rest is, as they say, history, and the Globe was built.

Inside the entrancey part they had some play sword-fighting with was kind of exciting. The two guys circled each other for a bit, occasionally darting in and trying to stab each other, until at the end one of them managed to 'stab' the other one and then finished him off by cutting his throat.

Inside the theatre itself there were a bunch of brave people standing on the stage delivering lines from Shakespeare. One guy was very impressive, and even managed to do a flip in front of everyone. After that they did some audience participation, and taught us how to fight like in the plays. We learnt how to punch, poke out eyes and pull hair. Very fun.

After the training we got to walk across the stage. The ceiling is rather nicely painted, and it is surprising just how small the theatre looks from up there; the current Globe fits about half the number of people it did originally.

We plan to go to actually see a play sometime soon. If you're willing to stand at the front (supposedly the best place to be), tickets are only £5.

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