Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre

In the ten years that I have been in London there are still a few places I have not been to; Shakespeare’s Globe theatre on the Thames was one of those places I had yet to go to. I have walked past it many times when going to and from the Tate Modern. That changed this past Wednesday night.


I went with some ‘theatrical; friends; Ryan is an actor and Emily does stage lighting. The performance we saw was “Antony and Cleopatra”.

I was in the cheap seats – the standing area. It was only 5 quid; the play was 3 hours; it was a long time to be on one’s feet.

It was an evening performance and the weather was agreeable; it did sprinkle down with a bit of rain at times.

What a fantastic buiding the globe is; I imagined a bit what it would have been like to see a play in Shakespeare’s time. I would expect it would be bit a more rowdy in the standing area. Ryan pointed out in Shakespeare’s time all the roles were performed by men even Cleopatra; I am also told that people would socialize in the standing area; people would arrange to meet at the globe to chat as much as watch the plays.

As it is an open air theatre, there was must have been about 4 helicopters that flew overhead and at least one airplane. The actors must be used to it.

I must admit it was quite a challenge to follow the dailogue. It was like from one scene to a next I could just keep up with what is going on.

The staging was quite interesting; the actors wore clothing of the Jacobean era when the play would hace been orginally performed. there was to be a live snake in the play; there was signs ‘warning’ about it around the theatre but in the final act; I did not see any snake. Perhaps even snakes have off days and he did not have an understudy. The acting was very good. Frances Barber played Cleopatra and she was great.

It was a throroughly pleasant night out; we retired to a local pub on the river for last orders and had a good chat about theatre, performance and architecture.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre web-site

2 Comments so far

  1. andyp (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2006 @ 11:45 am

    It is very cool, and performances are often very different, too. It is worth seeing both comedies and tragedies; and trying out some of the seats and boxes for the different views and experiences you get. Each play uses the space in very different ways. Really must go and see Antony and Cleopatra myself this season; we saw Coriolanus and that was good, although bloody (they put a “roof” over the Globe for the first time, too)

  2. Manjit Bedi (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2006 @ 9:32 pm

    Yes, I definitely would like to see a comedy next.

    I don’t know the historical details behind the real events. I did wonder about the deceptions and suicides that took place in this particular play. What would a critic of the era have said about them.

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