Posted by: 2girls2europe | June 22, 2011

The Globe Performance Blows My Young Mind

Dearest Readers,
I just had one of the best experiences in the world … or should I say the globe. Haha pun. Today we went to the London Globe to see my favorite Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing. (It’s my fave mostly because I want to have the wit of Beatrice, and if I were to be wooed by one fictional character, it would be the surly Benedick.)
Full disclosure: I am a Shakespeare fiend. I took Shakespeare’s Comedies as a class in college for fun. It didn’t fill any requirements. But I read every one and discussed them with freakish zeal. The interesting other part of this full disclosure is that Gina is not a Shakespeare fanatic. So I was worried that dragging her to a 3 hour play and 45 minute tour was kind of a form of cruel and unusual punishment. (But then again … is that against the law in the UK? Just kidding, I am sure it is.)

Me, professing my love for this play.
Anywhozle (made up word), the Globe is a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original theater made to seat 3,000, but it still has the thatched roof and wooden seats and round amphiteather stage that I recalled learning about in Theater History my sophomore year of high school. (My high school theater teacher loved talking about the Globe. I found it rather boring at the time, but today, I kept spewing random facts I remembered at Gina. Like a rapid-fire theater cannon.)
The small thrust stage smelled of sawdust and leaves (in case you didn’t know, it’s open on top, and the stage is in a courtyard-like-middle portion … we had shockingly good weather).
We stood for the entire 3-hour show. Enraptured. We stood, because the Globe is set up in 3 levels. Groundlings who stand, first floor-ers who sit, and the elite who sit along the top. We were groundlings fo’ sho’. We are on a budget here, and it cost a mere £5!

What a bargain!
The actors who portrayed Beatrice and Benedick blew my mind. They blew away every performance and film I’ve seen of the play. They had natural chemistry, and managed to interact with the audience while not losing their character. (At one point, Beatrice actually reached into the audience and hugged a surprised–but delighted–older woman. It was adorable.)
They also added little modern day quips. At one point I swore I saw Leonato mouth “F*** you” to the maid…the audience died. This was not the only audience interaction, flower petals were thrown on our heads, actors entered through the crowd, and we could see their emotions on stage so clearly (being 1 foot away…that must be unnerving seeing our facial expressions). But we could actually see when one actress cried. Phenomenol.
BONUS: Geoffrey, the butler from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, played Leonato. CELEBRITY SIGHTING!! He was remarkable by the way, and his face looked exactly the same.
Overall, the whole audience was caught up in this hands-on play. Spoiler alert: When Beatrice and Benedick actually kissed, the entire audience clapped. I, for one, was tearing up. And they ended the show by having them all dance using modern and olden times dance moves. Hilarious.
The show may be the best theater performance I have ever seen (and since I’m a theater nut I’ve seen a fair share). I just kept having to remind myself that I was at the Globe seeing my favorite Shakespeare play. How amazing is that? I am trying to relish in every moment of this journey … this journey across the globe (ok, that might have been a little too punny, but I’m leaving it in so you will at least leave this post with a pity giggle).

Outside the Globe!

—–
Jessie

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Responses

  1. I loved every word of this post….even though I never watched “Fresh Prince” and don’t know a whit about Shakespeare! And I can hear your voice in my head as I’m reading! One of the advantages of knowing you and Gina in person!!

  2. Like the made-up word…Laughed out loud…Could hear your voice ringing and see your arms flailing….

  3. Ado is my favorite Shakespeare too! I’m totally jealous!


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