The Broken Heart, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare's Globe, London. March 2015.**Preview Disclaimer**
After a relaxed morning book browsing our way around London we came to the last play of the weekend and The Broken Heart by John Ford having decided on the spur of the moment to see this after finding 'Tis Pity She's a Whore so good in December.
This time we were seated in the Pit (yes we have now tried every area except the musician's gallery) and sadly the discomfort of the seats here nearly outweighed the brilliance of the play. You are certainly closest to the action here, and can see every area that the performers use but you really do pay for it in comfort.
Anyhow the play...another triumph for the Playhouse. What could so easily be an over the top nonsense of a play had real heart and charm with characters that you really believed in. At the interval Rebecca and I were trying to predict what would come next and while we knew it was a tragedy and that lots of the characters would die we didn't guess the correct ones or the correct means of death which just shows how good it was.
The cast really did work together as a group in this play, and the spectacle and shock were well handled - this might also be the least gory play I've seen at the Globe (except Farinelli) in about a year and as there was still quite a lot of blood this is saying something!
When watching plays by writers who were contemporary with or came just after Shakespeare I really do notice the difference in language and I can see why so much of his work has survived and how he has become the national poet, however I do like the work by these other writers and am so glad that we can now see them in a venue very much like where they intended their plays to be seen.
This was again a performance of a production in preview, I think it was the third or fourth performance, but again as an audience member you really wouldn't have known. It all ran smoothly and there were no noticeable line/cue/prop stumbles.
This was my last trip to the Sam Wanamaker Theatre this winter season, in fact my Globe season starts in about 6 weeks, and after being unsure of the venue this time last year I know now that I will be awaiting the winter 15/16 season. I will also only be going if I can get certain seats in the lower gallery! I do hope that next winter there is some late Shakespeare performed here - I'd love to see A Winter's Tale or Cymbeline here.