Posted by: vikingsinspace | January 31, 2011

I.4.01.1.20.05. See a Shakespeare Play in the Globe Theatre

Date Accomplished: 15 Sept. 2010

Globe Theatre

I’ve always enjoyed Shakespeare plays, but I find them easier to follow when I’ve seen them performed than just reading the scripts.  I’ve seen a couple of plays in person before, most notably a performance of A Comedy of Errors performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford in 2000, but I was always interested in how these plays were performed in their original setting of a 17th century playhouse.  Well, the Globe Theatre on the south bank of London provides theatre goers with that opportunity, and I intended to take advantage of that while I was living in England.

Globe Stage

On several occasions I had visited London and attempted to go to the Globe, but it was always either during the winter when no plays were on, the plays I went to see were sold out (aside from standing in the yard which my girlfriend didn’t want to do), or the weather was horrible for the occasion (something to keep in mind since the Globe is essentially an outdoor theatre).  Nearing the end of my time in England, my girlfriend and I made an effort to see a play, and we were lucky to get relatively cheap tickets to see The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Merry Wives of Windsor Program

The performance was excellent, and like I said earlier, easier to follow by watching than by reading.  The play is one of Shakespeare’s comedies, and concerns the character of Sir John Falstaff who attempts to seduce two married women of Windsor.  Rumor has it that Elizabeth I wanted Shakespeare to write this play because she wanted to see Falstaff (who appears in Henry IV 1 and 2 – also playing at the Globe at the time) in love.  My view was slightly obstructed by one of the columns holding up the balcony, but this meant a cheaper ticket (a plus at this point in my life!) and the obstruction wasn’t too bad – I could move my head to the left or right and see just fine.  I think there are two aspects I found to be the most interesting about how the play was performed.  Firstly, some of the scenes took part either in the yard or on a raised platform that went through the yard, thus putting the actors amongst the audience.  Secondly, the producers added songs to the play and included incidental music performed on period instruments (though not something that would have been done in Shakespeare’s time).  While not part of the original, it certainly added to the atmosphere of the play, and I found it to be enjoyable nonetheless.

Merry Wives of Windsor Ticket
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  1. […] I.4.01.1.20.05. __ See a Shakespeare play in the Globe Theatre […]


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