Thursday, September 01, 2011

Much Ado About Shakespeare

A group of friends had seats for the Globe Theatre to see Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. It was on my checklist of things to do while I was here in London so I jumped at the chance. Now, usually you can get £5 standing tickets the night of the performance. But, standing for three hours straight can be quite painful I've heard from the people that have done it.
The whole theater is a re-construction of what the theater looked like when Shakespeare was originally writing the plays; a protruding stage with three levels of seats that wrap around about 3/4 of the stage. The design means a lot of timber beams blocking part of everyone's view.To add to that the seats we had were at the very edge so we saw most of the acting of the people's backs. Add to this that we were sitting on wooden benches (I paid the extra £1 to rent/hire a cushion) and it felt very authentic.
Of course because it was Shakespeare I could only understand about every other word. Of course, I faired better then the Chinese friends but not quite as good as the British friends. It did make a difference that they were speaking in real British accents. I so much more enjoyed hearing it that way then the proper thespian accents.
While it may sound like I'm complaining, it was quite the contrary. I had a blast. It really felt like they sucked you back in time 500 years. At least they did until I heard the airplane flying over-head. I had read the synopsis of the play so at the end of each scene I could guess where we were in the play and there was a whole lot of physical humor. I would recommend going to anyone that hated Shakespeare in high school because it felt a lot more alive.

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