Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Spirit of the Bard

We saw a raucous little play about Anne Boleyn tonight at the Globe Theatre.  It was a beautiful evening along the Thames and a great treat to be watching a performance in a stunning reproduction of the original Globe.  We had it all - wooden benches, a thatched roof, groundlings, a bit of audience interaction, and the open night sky.  The play itself was excellent.  The ghost of Anne introduces the story of her rise and fall to the audience.  Next, we enter the England of King James.  James was portrayed as highly intelligent and curious, but also uncouth in many ways.  Then finally we witness the romance and tragedy of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.  Through Anne's demise, we are connected with the story of King James and his ideals on religious reformation.  A great evening and a great atmosphere!   

After seeing a musical, a concert, and a play in London, I've realized what seems so strange and different to me...standing seats.  I can't speak for big theatres in New York and Chicago, but in my experience, everyone who buys a ticket has a seat.  Even on the floor at a concert, you have a seat, even if you don't use it.  I'm not sure how popular a standing seat would be for an average venue in the States.  Usually the standing seats are sold the day of the show and they are much cheaper, but I'm not sure it's worth it.  So, when I bought a ticket to see Wicked today, I made sure that it came with a seat!

We took a few night photos on our way back from the theatre.  The lights along the Thames make for a great show, especially looking east to the Tower Bridge.  The shot below was taken from the Millennium Bridge looking toward St. Paul's Cathedral.

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