Shakespeare at midnight with an American accent
Last night I went to see a performance at midnight of an extraction of Othello by a group of American teachers who’s been visiting and working away at the Globe the last couple of weeks as part of Teaching English Through Performance.
I made friends with one of them, Devon, during the course of her stay and I had to shamefully admit that as a Londoner*, I knew very little about the Globe.
It is quite simply, an amazing place. You have to visit it to really get the feeling that you’re in a city which is very old and has very strong and important historical ties. To think that Shakespeare himself walked around within a few feet of where I sat last night watching this performance is incredible.
The present Globe Theatre, located on the banks of the River Thames is a careful reconstruction of the original theatre of that name in and for which William Shakespeare wrote many of his plays. It looks and feels really old. The reconstruction of it was done with as close to as the original real materials that were available at the time, and the actual story behind the re-building of the Globe makes for fascinating reading. The students on this course were lucky enough to attend talks by key people involved in the re-building.
The Shakespeare Globe is now the only commercial building in London with a thatched roof.
Well worth a visit if you can. The cool thing about the Globe is that they’ve kept it all like it was in Shakespearean times; you can come late for a performance, or only attend one or two acts if you want, no problem. You can walk around, and even approach the stage during a performance, no problem. You can cheer along or do other similar not-done-in-English-society-today stuff. Very nice indeed.
*Yes anonymous, I’m a Londoner. I live here, eat here, pay council tax and send postcards to my London flat when I travel. London is home.