I kinda fell off the “blog every day” thing. Sorry about that…
Monday was Shakespeare overload. We started the day with a lovely tour of the Globe theatre. It’s not actually the original Globe…that one burned down in 1613, and then was rebuilt, and then burned again in the Great Fire of 1666. The current Globe wasn’t rebuilt until the 90s.
During our tour, the stage crew was disassembling from the previous production of The Tempest so they could build the set for the next show. Our guide then said the next show was a special production of The Taming of the Shrew by an out-of-town theatre company, and their production would be done by an all-female cast.
Um, yes please.
I read Taming of the Shrew in high school for a term paper assignment and loved it. The humor in it was fantastic and well-timed, as per usual Shakespeare. The all-female cast sounded pretty intriguing, as well, considering the play generally evokes discussions of female empowerment. I asked the guide where I could buy a ticket, and he said to check out the box office after our tour. A few of us went down and tried to buy tickets, but the man at the desk said it was sold out. We hung our heads in disappointment for a moment, but then the man said we could come back around 6:00 and queue up for returns or anything that might have opened up. I thought it would be a long shot, but a shot worth taking, so I made plans to come back later that evening and see what I could get.
I arrived back at the Globe around 5:45, and people were already lining up for returns. I wasn’t exactly sure where I should go, so I stood around and waited for someone to direct me elsewhere. After a couple minutes, a receptionist poked his head out and called for anyone who wanted groundling tickets to come inside.
Guess who got a groundling ticket for The Taming of the Shrew for only 5 pounds?
The show was nothing short of fantastic. The actress who played Katherine was spot-on. She had fiery and brash yet beautiful and irresistible down to a science. Her last soliloquy was delivered with the perfect combination of passion, tears and “I’m over it” toward Petruchio’s wildly unnecessary behaviors. This production also featured musical interludes between acts and important scenes, which gave us a nice break from the drama. But what was most interesting about this production was its setting. It was set in the 20th century with more modern costumes and instruments for the musical interludes. I’m not always a fan of modern or contemporary adaptions of plays, because sometimes it seems like too much of a juxtaposition with the language. But this one worked, and I loved it.
This is a bit of a shorter post, but I wanted to get it done so I could share the experience with y’all. I promise I’ve got more to tell from this week, but that will have to come tomorrow.
Until then, I’m off to a “Baroque Extravaganza” concert at St. Martins in the Fields at Trafalgar Square. Cheers!
For more information on the show I saw and what else is happening at the Globe this season, click here!