Okay, relax. I am not so far gone that I would let anyone supplant William Shakespeare as the master of language and creator of worlds.
Today it was time to pay homage to His Magnificence, so we started at St. Paul’s and headed across the Millennium Bridge to the re-created Globe Theatre, Globe III, to be exact.
It was a perfect day to join the hordes of school children taking in the magic of this building. Later today, there was a special abbreviated performance of “The Taming of the Shrew” just for them, which must have been fun. Nice to think this country considers it important to groom the next generation of fans. The building itself is magical. No one knows if it’s quite accurate, but it’s certainly close enough based on what is known to be incredibly evocative.
Later in the day, we were watching a play in the same complex, which was built by the determination of our fellow American, Sam Wanamaker, to restore Shakespeare to his place on the Thames. We had the great good fortune to see a production of “Othello” in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, which was an amazing experience.
The theatre was intended to be a representation of the the 16th century Blackfriars Theatre, used as a playhouse by Shakespeare’s company at one point. No remnants existed but theatre plans from 1660 were found in modern times and used, as they are thought to approximate what Blackfriars would have looked like.
There is no modern lighting, and all illumination is provided by cleverly raised and lowered chandeliers, as well as candle sconces and hand-held lamps. The effect was stunning, and the production was outstanding. Though the theatre is really quite small, the quality of the production made it seem immense.
There is also a large exhibit hall covering Shakespeare’s life and times, as well as a chronicle of the long journey of the Globe project.
Lots of stories bound together in this amazing space, thanks to Will and Sam.