Friday, October 21, 2011

Don't know about the world, but the Globe--yeah, that's a stage.

After classes ended the next day, Friday, we were sent to Borough Market for lunch.  Never been to/heard of Borough Market?  Let me tell you something.  FOOD PARADISE.  Seriously.  They've got breads, rolls, tarts, all sorts of baked goods, sweets, nuts, an abundance of fruits and vegetables, food from all over the world, meats, cheeses, oils and vinegars, chutneys, dips and sauces--you get the general idea.  It was overwhelming.  People everywhere, of course, but hey, great food!  And there are quite a few samples.  I picked up some seafood paella, which is some of the best stuff I've eaten in a good while, added a pippin apple to that, and a bit of Belgian chocolate tart to round it all off.  May I just say...yum.  Incredible.  The paella was from a curry stand where they also had a seafood curry and another dish that wasn't familiar cooking beside the paella in three huge metal pans over some burners.  I didn't go to/see the exotic meat section, but some people apparently got some (either zebra or ostrich) burgers there.

Deliciousness obtained, it was a quick jaunt by the Thames to the Globe Theatre.  This is, of course, the re-built theatre, and on the far side of the river from its original location.  All the same, though...I was at the GLOBE THEATRE watching a performance of Much Ado About Nothing!  

We showed our tickets to get in the gate, then they checked them again before letting us in the theatre.  We were groundlings, of course, and what better seats in the house?  The stage came up to just below my chin--yes, I was in the front row.  Well, to be perfectly honest, I was in the first-and-a-half and then squeezed between my friends to be up next to it.  Incredible play.  Wow.  Memorable things: 
Claudio (on learning they'd be staying and he'd be able to see Hero):  *throws both arms in the air* YES!  *Arms back down, looks slightly embarrassed*  (Repeated/imitated/mocked several times throughout the play and by us after.)
Benedick and Beatrice fighting--they got some real zingers off on each other, and the reactions of the actors were superb
Before the play started, some musicians came out to entertain us and the oboe player and the...I don't know what it was called, but it had a tuba pitch and was shaped like two stacked S's--anyway, the two of them had a bit of a showing-off competition, which they also kept up a good bit
Who can forget the two hecklers hearing professions of the other's love from their friends?  Benedick was in the orchard, waiting for a servant to bring him his book, and on overhearing something of the conversation, picked up a rake and a straw hat to inconspicuously draw nearer, darted around pillars, and eventually ended up in a tree (pillar in costume) and was still there when the gardeners took the ladder away, dangling halfway out of the tree holding a pulley.  Beatrice was told the two in the garden hanging laundry were talking about her, and they pretended not to notice as their sheet moved up and down the line following them.  Or avoiding, as necessary.  And both of them utterly astonished, and suddenly full of passion for each other as opposed to against.  (Oh, and after Benedick managed to get out of the tree, and told the audience what a wonderful thing love is and how he'd never scorn Beatrice again, she came out to fetch him to dinner, rang a bell excessively in his ear and said "I am sent to tell you to come eat or there won't be any."  He responded in a somewhat sweet manner which earned him an odd look as she left somewhat hurriedly, and he said "Look how she tries to hide it!  Ah, alas for the poor maid" or something along those lines.  [Hey, I don't have the text and I'm not looking it up for you.  You can do that yourself.])
Along the same lines, they seized papers of the other's affection at the end after they'd quarreled again, ran after each other trying to get them back, finally shoved the fact that they had the papers in each other's faces, read them on opposite sides of the stage, laughed at the writing, then finally looked up with puppy-dog eyes at each other.  Good times, good times.
The rest of the staging was excellent, as well.  They did make use of walking through the audience, notably as Hero came to get married and they threw small circles of paper from the top balcony that drifted down for a good while.  Also, Beatrice spoke of love to two of my friends because they happened to be front and center.  And called one of the guys nearby either ugly or fat, I don't remember which.  

Overall, I give the experience 5 of 5 stars.  Highly recommended.

Oh, forgive me, I forgot to tell of Dogberry the constable whose every misspoken sentence, malaprop, and comedic flub was accompanied by a strange pause of speech accompanied by a ridiculous motion.  His friend the very tall fellow was very fond of his lantern and both of them vied for the bigger lamp.  The clown and comedic relief in a comedy.  

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