I remember the first time I was subjected to reading a Shakespeare play. At 13, I pretty much thought it was the most boring and irrelevant thing in the whole world ever. It wasn’t until a couple of years that I became a bit of a fan girl, even making the trip up to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit his old house.
The novelty of enjoying one of WS’s plays in its original home – the Globe theatre – has been a bucket list item since. We got a pair of tickets off Gumtree and found ourselves amongst the wooden pews on a rainy Thursday night.
(My teenage cousin’s reaction to my theatre-going plans: “Eugghhh Shakespeare!?! Why do you wanna see that? Booooring”. This made me feel very old.)
You have two ticket options: sitting or standing. Standing is for the diehards and the cheapskates. Tickets are five quid but you risk getting rained on (for the sitters, this provides additional entertainment) and having achy legs. If you get there early enough, you can lean against the stage but presumably that results in an achy neck, so I guess it’s a toss up.
Sitting is more comfortable, but it’s still Tudor. People were shorter back then. Leg room is not generous. I suppose this is all a part of the experience.
We saw Much Ado About Nothing. It was, as I expected, a pretty traditional interpretation of the play. That it was still entertaining 500 years on is credit to Mr. S and the performers.
Being in a reconstruction of the original Globe (Globe 1.0 was destroyed by a fire in 1613; Globe 2.0 closed in 1643) was certainly a refreshing novelty – interesting to think that WS plays are performed all across the world in a variety of spaces, but this was the original centre stage, if you like. The views over the City of London that we enjoyed in the interval were not bad either.
Would I return? Sure – but I’d stick to the shorter plays and either figure out which seats have the most leg room or consider standing (cheapskate not diehard). The Globe is a cool venue, but apparently I am getting old.