Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Theatrical Interlude 14

A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Globe, London. June 2013

This past weekend Mr Norfolkbookworm and I had one of our periodic London weekend splurges - two plays, and exhibition and a night in a hotel.  We're home again and shattered but had a great time.

It was a nice leisurely weekend with lots of time to explore new areas of London and to revisit other places without a rush.  Lunch at The George Inn was lovely and the experience of time travel started early as we were entertained by sword dancers while sitting the yard.

Our run of good weather whilst at the Globe broke this time but as we were tucked up at the back of the top gallery we stayed totally dry - unlike the poor actors and Groundlings! Mind you the rain came down so hard at one point that it was rushing off the thatch so fast it was like watching the stage from behind a waterfall! Jokes about the day being more suited to The Tempest abounded!

Despite the rain the performance was, as ever, fantastic.  I was a little wary of this one way back in January when I booked - there are so many staging of this play every year could the Globe do something different?

From start to finish the play lived for me, the miming of Theseus' conquering of the Amazonian queen was a delight and set the tone - light hearted and fun but with just a little edge.  This is magical mischief rather than malevolence and was great fun with all characters having funny lines/mimes/actions not just the mechanicals and Bottom.  It was the play within a play towards the end that really made the play for me - to perform Shakespeare in such a slapstick and funny way without losing the words or rhythm is an achievement.

As with most Globe productions I found this to be a full ensemble piece with all of the cast being equally good although occasionally I couldn't here all of Oberon/Theseus' speeches but as it was so wet this may have been the reason. From reading the programme afterwards I found out that this was the first time a lot of the actors have performed in the space and so congratulations to all of them in such conditions!
Spotting actors from previous productions is always fun and Bottom was played by the scene stealing Grumio from last year's Taming - his acting with the asses head has to be seen to be believed.

Another great play reinforcing how much I love seeing them performed as they would have been at the time.

The quartet of lovers fighting under the influence of the fairies (from The Times)

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