28 June 2013

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Unexpected

I was surprised how much I thoroughly enjoyed visiting
the Globe Theatre in London
(yep, even in the rain)

The theatre was exactly how I imagined
- in the round with an open-air thatched roof -

They are a little leery of thatched roofs in London
since much of the city burned down in 1666
due to those highly flammable sedge, straw or reed roofs
Therefore, the Globe has the only thatched roof in London today

The Globe is a modern reconstruction of the original theatre
which burned in 1613 due to a rogue ember
from a cannon used in the play 'Henry VIII'
Miraculously, no one died although the theatre was full

The current theatre opened in 1997

As the theatre is outdoors, performances run April through October
You can buy £5 standing tickets in the 'yard' or pricier seated ones
(standing tickets are uncovered)

We saw 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
and it was utterly fantastic!!
The actors were hilarious and talked so comfortably in Shakespeare's English
that I understood the majority of it

I now understand why they say Shakespeare should be seen rather than read

We toured the Shakespeare exhibit
which demonstrated typical Elizabethan clothes,
including the corset and 'bum roll' to make hips look attractively larger
- think exaggerated muffin top :) -

It was fascinating to learn more about the printing press of the time

When the printer guy miscalculated how many lines fit onto a page,
he omitted punctuation, letters, sentences, and stage instructions
to make the text fit the page

To think of the changes of meaning due to the printing process!

There also were some 'bootlegged' copies of Shakespeare's work
which cause scholarly dispute as to which versions are the originals

In the photo, see the wooden cases on the left holding the block letters?
Capitalized letters were held in the 'upper case'
Lower case letters were organized in the 'lower case'
That's how those terms came to be

Ink was made from a mixture of walnut oil, soot, and turpentine

Moving on, we also toured The Rose Theatre

This theatre also made a huge impression on me

Although it doesn't look like much,
it is an archaeological site

When it was partially excavated, 
they started to notice the wooden beams were starting to crack

So as excavation funds dried up,
they decided to flood the site with water to preserve it from more damage

The water is constantly monitored

The red lights are in the water and 
indicate where the structure walls are located
Otherwise, the room is black except for a few lit placards

Totally unexpected

Also unexpected,
my daughter wanted to pick up a few Shakespeare books
in the library

via Amazon

I love how literature is so kid-friendly here

My last 'Great Un-Expectations' was this guy singing
at low-tide on the River Thames
- I've never seen that before -

As there was no hat nearby to drop money,
I imagine he was just doing it because he could

He'd make an interesting Shakespearean character :)
Perhaps thou art a Romeo with thy modern lute?

- photos by me -

*Although the performances are seasonal, the tour/exhibition is available all year. If you visit during the performance season, take a tour in the morning so you can see the theatre. Tour tickets can be purchased at the door, but buy performance tickets well in advance. For more info: www.shakespearesglobe.com

(An unsponsored post)


Mrs Black the shoppe keeping cat said...

I love The Globe, it is a wonderful place that really takes you back in time. Your photos are splendid, and I love that guy singing at low tide, so funny!
Minerva ~

Pom Pom said...

How cool! I taught A Midsummer Night's Dream to my sixth grade honors students just this year. It was FUN! I love looking at The Globe! Thank you! I didn't know that about The Rose. Fascinating. Thank you, Laura!

ann said...

Do you know how much I love this post? I have been to the G.ope twice to see Macbeth and to see Titis andronticus, one of he worst plays in the revenge series. I neve dreaed that I would ever have such an experience. So glad that you took your children. I ha e goose pumps! Silly ole me. ( sorry for the typos-- I am not very good on the iPad.)

Jeanie said...

I don't think I hit send on my comment and then lost it! This is a terrific sounding place, certainly one to be on my "next time" list. I was a theatre major and got to know Will S. pretty well in my day -- much of that is gone, but the interest remains and to see a production in that theatre would be great -- as would the museum. Thanks for a nice post!

Privet and Holly said...

Fun "unexpected"
outing....And I
especially love the
last image of the
Romeo playing his
guitar on the banks
of the river : ) I guess
that unexpected days
can be really great!

xo Suzanne

Sissym Mascarenhas said...


What a great cultural opportunity!


Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

What a wonderful experience!!! fantastic photos:)
Mary x

Joy said...

Thank you from a homesick ex-pat. Joy

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

Visiting the Globe is one of my best London memory. They had dresses from the film "Elizabeth" on display when I visited it.

Emily said...

Laura, Thanks again for the delightful tour and photos! I am SOOOOOOOO very envious (in a good way). Here I teach about The Globe and Shakespeare (love, love him), and there you get to actually experience it! How wonderful! I'm tickled that your daughter wanted to pick up a few Shakespeare books! Wahoo!

Alison said...

Your right about Shakespeare needing to be seen, rather than just read. But thats the idea of plays, isn't it.

I understand you can go treasure hunting on the Thames mudflats. I do believe there are organized outings for it.


Pura Vida said...

now this is neat!

likeschocolate said...

I was o bummed that i ran out of time and the weather was miserable because i would have loved to have seen the globe! Happy 4th of July to you even you are in England.

debbie bailey said...

I think that should be, "Art Romeo". :)

I've recently found out that Edward de Vere was my 12th back grandfather. Many think he was the real writer of Shakespeare's works. I tend to agree after doing some research. Thanks for this tour of the Globe. Next time I'm in London, I'll have to see it.

I'd LOVE to be where that musician is in the Thames and look for treasure there. There must be all kinds of things in the sand from long ago.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Thanks, Debbie. Methink thou art correct - changing it now :)

Yes, with a permit you can collect what you find along the Thames. It's on my 'must do' list :)

thelittleroomofrachell said...

That singer must be reclining on his chair there lots because I recognise him and I wasn't there on 28th June!

Rose Fern said...

Been there and was one of the greatest experiences!I love it!

Lesley Harbron said...

We spent a few days in London and visited the Globe and loved it. We then had a lovely historic dinner and entertainment at the Medieval Banquet at St Katherine Quay, worth it too.