If you’re familiar with this blog then you know that I’m a total theatre nerd. If you’re not, you’ll soon learn.
Just how big of a theatre nerd am I?
- Example 1: While studying in England one of my class objectives was to see 15 plays over 2 months and write reviews. I saw 21. It would have been more, but I lost 2 weeks due to illness and travel.
- Example 2: I once went to New York for 4 days and saw 6 plays. I would have seen more, but there are no matinees on Thursdays and Fridays.
Despite my inherent nerdiness, it took me 5 tries to see a show at Shakespeare’s Globe. My first trip to London was too short to do anything more than stand outside the gates. On my second trip I’d planned to do a tour (it was winter, so no shows), but it was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. On my third trip I actually got in to do a tour, but all the shows I wanted to see were sold out (I wanted my first show at the Globe to be Shakespeare – not a modern show). The fourth trip included a visit to the gift shop, but no tour or show (I think they were sold out again). But this trip – magic number five! – I finally got my ticket! (Bought in advance, of course).
We decided to see “As You Like It” instead of “The Merchant of Venice” (comedies are always a good time and, although I think Jonathan Pryce is amazing (he was playing Shylock), I’m not that big of a fan of “Merchant”). We did not regret our decision as the cast was fantastic, the direction was fabulous, and there was a dance number in the second act that practically brought the show to a stand-still with all the applause.
Here’s my Number One Tip for seeing a show at the Globe – go to an evening show. Trust me. It’ll be light when the show starts (and probably still light by intermission), but as the sky darkens something almost magical happens. It’s as if the outside world disappears and there’s only you and the audience and the actors. You’re watching a show beneath the twinkling night sky, and you feel as thought you’ve travelled back to Shakespearian times.
Then, when it’s all over and the audience is roaring with delight, the applause fills the theatre and spills out through the open roof and into the rest of the city.
Magic. It feels like magic.