In the No-Longer Dodgy Part of Town

On the Southbank of London, called Southwark, stands the Globe theatre. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre it is often called, though Shakespeare never set foot in the one now standing (or has he??)

The current building is a faithful replica (down to using Tudor methods, like wooden nails & thatch) of what they think the Globe looked like in the 1600’s. It burnt down twice in the 1600’s, and after the second time, it didn’t get built again. The first time was during a production of Henry VIII, when a cannon was fired and a spark lit the thatch and whomph! The second time it was Cromwell and the Fun Police (Puritan) who burnt it down.

So, in 2001 (I think) an American called Sam Wannaemaker started a project to rebuild the Globe, and rebuild it they did. Sam died before it was completed, which is a bit sad, but I really admire the passion of this man for giving the public a reminder of what Shakespeare had to work with. They try with most of the plays to reproduce them as they would have been in Will’s time. Except for the lighting (electric) and using women instead of young boys. They even leave all the house lights on during a performance, because in Shakespeare’s time, plays were staged during the day, when the light was on whether you wanted it or not!

And I didn’t take any photos of the outside, possibly because I forgot, possibly because I was too eager to get inside.

And look what was inside in the exhibition inside! Yarn! Textiles were ‘in’ in a big way in Shakespeare’s time, and yarn hanging up like this would have been much more of a common sight than today. Plus, it’s good insulation, as many a yarn-aholic will tell you!

I’d love to go back to the Globe, this time for a performance. But I don’t really want to see what they were performing that evening. Can you guess? It is a Henry, yes, but Henry VIII, one of the most boring of the plays (so the guide told us). And the one that was responsible for the place burning down. I hope that doesn’t happen this time!

Henry IV Part I is playing too, a very entertaining history, cos of the character of Falstaff. I don’t know much about it, except that Henry IV was Henry V’s father and there’s some sort of fighting about roses or something.

I might go for groundling tickets – where you stand for the whole performance. On the ground. Although, these days absolute silence reigns when a play is performed – you could probably hear people struggling not the breath so as not to disturb the reverence! In Shakespeare’s time, there would of been 2000 odd people down there, gambling, selling stuff, talking, dog fighting etc. Or I may get a seat for a heaftier price. But it will be done I swear it.

What a way to honour somebody like William Shakespeare. The legacy of his writing is massive, the words he created an amazing feat. What would he make of today with our different venaculars & American english…?

About KTunravels

I live in the world, and intend to explore it.
This entry was posted in England, History, Shakespeare and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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