Two weeks ago I went to the Globe theatre for the first time. I’d wanted to go for a long time before that but it is pretty hard to get your hands on tickets; well for seats, that is. Of course you can stand but you need to remember that some Shakespeare plays can last well over 3 hours, there is no roof on the theatre, and last but not least, that the weather in English summertime is characterised by rain. Am I putting you off? Well, don’t be. I can honestly say it was well worth the wait!
The Globe Theatre on the Southbank was originally built in 1599 and lasted for 14 years until it burnt down when its straw roof caught fire during one of the plays. A second Globe theatre was then constructed (this time with a tiled roof) and survived until 1642 when the ruling Puritan administration decreed that all theatres should be closed. In 1644 it was demolished in order to build large flats, called tenements, which housed scores of families. Just over three centuries later, in 1949, an American actor, director and producer, Sam Wanamaker, came to London and decided to rebuild the Globe. It took years to set up the Shakespeare Globe Trust, raise enough money, research the design of the building and actually reconstruct it. Finally in 1997 today’s Globe Theatre was opened by the Queen.
But, enough about the history! Why am I writing this? Because I want to say that the Globe Theatre is well worth a visit. The polygonal construction itself is amazing and the seats are just benches, replicating how the original would have been. Despite my own personal loathing of standing for any serious amount of time, I have to admit that there is a pretty special atmosphere down in the stalls. Members of the audience can actually lean against the stage and the standing area sometimes hosts part of the play so you are right in the centre of the action. If you are a Shakespeare novice, I’d recommend going to see the current production of “The Taming of the Shrew”. It’s on now, it’s not too long and it’s seriously funny! The opening scene is just fantastic and acts as a great hook! Go! Enjoy! And let me know what you think.
pretty (adj.) - quite
to get your hands on sth. (exp.) – to obtain sth.
last but not least (exp.)– the last item in a list but still important
to put sb. off sth. (phr.v.)– to make sb. dislike sth.
straw (n.) – dried grass
tile (n.) – a piece of hard material used to make roofs, usually in squares
The Puritans (n.) - a group of people (in the 16th and 17th Centuries) who grew discontent in the Church of England and worked towards religious, moral and societal reforms.
to decree sth. (v.) – to state that sth. is now the law
to demolish a building (v.) – to destroy a building
scores of (n.) – a large number of
polygonal (adj.) – having many sides
to replicate sth. (v.) – to reproduce sth. accurately, to copy sth.
to loathe sth. (v.) – to hate sth.
a novice (n.) – a beginner
a hook (n.) – a way of catching people’s attention at the beginning of a book or play