Something I’d been wanting to do in London was go see a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
When we were planning our friends Amber and Justin’s visit from Baltimore, I suggested this as an option to them, and they said yes right away. Justin teaches English, so this was right up his alley, and we’ve all four gone to the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s summer outdoor performances several times over the years.
This was a lot less hot and had way fewer mosquitoes, but is still open-roof. The Globe is right on the south bank of the river, and it’s modeled after Shakespeare’s first London theatre.
“The reconstruction is as faithful to the original as modern scholarship and traditional craftsmanship can make it, but for the time being this Globe is—and is likely to remain—neither more nor less than the ‘best guess’ at Shakespeare’s theatre,” reads our programme.
You can buy tickets for seats, which are just hardwood benches (rent a cushion for a pound, it’s worth it; pro tip: buy tickets for seats in a back row of a section, then you won’t need to also rent a seatback, which cost £3), or you can pay just £5 to watch the play from the standing area, called “the yard,” in front of the stage. Those people looked very uncomfortable, shifting their weight from leg to leg for three hours. And it rained on them (the seats are all under cover).
We saw Much Ado About Nothing, which I’ve seen before, but the beautiful thing about Shakespeare’s plays is that directors set them in different times and places, so each production is very different from the ones you’ve seen elsewhere.
This one was set in the Mexican Revolution of 1910, which totally worked! I loved the way they used that time and place to set the play, and the music and dancing were enchanting.
Before the play, we went out to dinner at the Oxo Tower restaurant, and sat out on the deck overlooking the Thames and the city.
After the play, we walked along the river as lightning flashed over St. Paul’s Cathedral, turning the sky purple.
And we enjoyed this police boat’s little bit of humour, as well.