'the course of true love never did run smooth.' - william shakespeare
remember that chick flick movie of the year,'shakespeare in love' with gwyneth paltrow and joseph fiennes? remember the elizabethan theatre, the rose, which william shakespeare and thomas kent aka viola lessops acted out romeo and juliet for the whole of the village?
i love shakespeare's works. today's adventure took me to a performance of 'a midsummers nights dream', at the globe theater, located in london's bankside by the river thames and it looks exactly like the rose theater in the movie. it's an open air theatre, with only the stage and seating area being covered. every year, from may to september, plays are staged at the globe. this year's crop includes king lear, the merry wives of windsor, timons of athens and a midsummers night dream.
from the shakespeare globe theatre:
although there are seating tickets for the 3 tiers available to purchase, the standing room tickets in the circular yard for £5 is the coveted ticket. you're right in the pit, up close to the raised stage - first come, first served. the best spot in the house. the globe only sells 700 of the 'groundlings' tickets for each performance. and despite standing on your feet for 3 hours (except for the 20 minutes for intermission when everyone takes a rest and sits on the ground), it was worth it. i was just left of centre, and the equivalent of being in the second row. events like these, i find being just one person, i always get much more closer to the action. people can always make room for one person, especially since i take up nary that much space.
live theatre rocks! the acting, being of the stage, was of course, overly dramatic in sweeping gestures, ape-ish in posturing and gloria swanson-like in facial expressions, but had the crowd in stitches, exploding in raucous applause time and time again. props to live theatre - it truly takes talent and discipline to be able to get up on stage, perform in front of hundreds/thousands of people and pull it off splendidly. as for me, i don't know if i possess that ability, because i don't think i'd be able to let go of my self consciousness. be it musicals, dance, opera, plays or concerts, i give big kudos to all live performers.
the costumes and makep were colourful, the acrobatics jaunty and the dialogue entertaining. it was a fun production and inter-active as the ramps to both ends of the stage comes down into the circular yard. and this being an adventure of folly, with its motley cast of characters, there was alot of running up and down off the stage. and i never realize until tonight's rendition that midsummers can be quite bawdy and borderline pervy. very naughty tongue in cheek. at least the way this company interpreted it. or it could be high school lit class watered the play down and the teacher didn't emphasized or explain to the fullest extent of such cheekiness. i tell ya, the brits only seem buttoned up on the surface ;)
no wonder the naughty puck closes the show appropriately with:
if we shadows have offended,
think but this, and all is mended
that you have but slumber'd here
while these visions did appear
and this weak and idle theme
no more yielding but a dream
gentles, do not reprehend - william shakespeare