Monday, 30 May 2011

Theatrical Interlude 7

Much Ado About Nothing, The Globe Theatre, May 2011

There is much buzz about Much Ado as there are currently 2 versions playing in London. One in the heart of the West End starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate and one at The Globe. You can guess which one is attracting most press attention...

We saw the RSC version at the Globe and had a great time. It isn't a play I knew before hand. I'd read a little of it but hadn't managed to read the whole thing but I knew the main story points. I always (and erroneously) equate Shakespeare with school, exams and being serious but this was frequently laugh out loud funny and unlike in many plays I've seen the actors do bounce off the audience.

It took me quite a while to get my ear in to the language of the play. I know that it is English but I did find at times that the words were washing over me like a foreign film and I felt like subtitles would have helped. It didn't detract from the play at all just felt dream like to me at times - I don't think I missed anything as the acting clearly told the story.

It was a special feeling to see a play in the same conditions that it would have been seen originally, and the Globe is unlike any other theatre I've been to as it isn't dark in the auditorium, the audience moves around and you are sat on pretty uncomfortable benches rather than soft seats. You also don't get too make squeaks from the audience as pigeons swoop in at mainstream theatres...

We were lucky and the rain held off until just as the play finished but the stage crew were already striking the Much Ado set and rebuilding it for All's Well which was playing in the evening.

I'm going back to the Globe later in the year and I will make sure that I have watched/read/listened to more Shakespeare before hand so that my ear is in tune from the very beginning - the Bard's work hasn't survived by chance and now I know what to expect at the Globe I want to do it far more justice.

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