This post is for Friday, July 15.
Today, we spent a good deal of time at the Globe Theatre. The class assembled early and went down for class at the theatre. We take the tube down to St. Paul’s transferring lines along the way. That brings us up by St. Paul’s Cathedral. We paused for a quick look round outside and a photo op.
The church was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. It always is a beautiful stop on the way across the Thames.
As we turn and head over the bridge, you can see the Tate Modern one of the most impressive collections of modern art in the world. The building is an excellent example of how Britain re purpose buildings without tearing them down.
At the Globe we held class and then were able to explore a bit before getting in line for the play. A number of students want to stand by the stage so, it is important to be in line early for those coveted position in the yard. The position I covet is near the back where I can see more clearly and lean against a post.
Once inside the theatre fills quickly. You never know quite what to expect in a show at the Globe and this one did not disappoint.
The production was created by the new artistic director of the theatre. The setting is London and the fairy world pays respect or homage to the east Indian culture of London. It wasn’t slavish to any one thing although the fairy world pay homage to the Elizabethan time period with hints and sometimes blatant costumes of that time. In some instances the wording of the language was updated (doublets were not referred to). The casting of Helena with a man and changing the sex of the character brings to light the issues of same sex relationships as well the ill-treatment of women in this play specifically Hermia, Titania and Hippolyta as well as Helena/Helenus. In doing so, the director takes the audience on a journey that is a feast for the eyes and ears. In the end, I wept with joy as it was very empowering for me seeing the relationship between Helenus and Demetrius succeed.
The following picture were pulled from the web and not shot during the performance.
In the end, I felt this was one of the best theatrical experiences I have had in many, many years.
We left the Globe for dinner. Tonight was the group dinner and we had reserved a table at one of the restaurants at the Tate Modern. The students enjoyed themselves after the great performance we saw and we walked across the river to catch the tube home.