For our August Cog Night, we headed to Shakespeare’s Globe to watch The Tempest. Having never seen or read The Tempest before, I had no preconceptions or other productions to compare it to. I’m not sure whether that was a blessing or a curse.
The Tempest at Shakespeare’s Globe
In true British fashion, it started to rain as we were on our way to the open-air theatre. But it didn’t dampen our spirits and, despite the grey clouds looming over us, it had cleared up by the time we made it to the ‘Yard’ where we’d be watching the show.
Standing for three hours is not the most pleasant of experiences, but when it’s in a venue like the Globe it’s well worth it.
The venue itself is truly unique. Although I’ve been before, it continues to impress every time I visit. Standing for three hours is not the most pleasant of experiences, but when it’s in a venue like the Globe it’s worth it. It’s all about the atmosphere, which is incomparable to any other theatre I’ve visited.
It’s not a story I’m familiar with, so I was a little worried I wouldn’t follow. At first, I’ll admit, the Elizabethan English took a little getting used to (as is always the case with Shakespeare), but that didn’t prove a problem for long.
Unfortunately, one of the main stars of the show, Colin Morgan (aka BBC’s Merlin) was ill and couldn’t make the performance. There was a stand in and, although I wouldn’t fault his acting abilities, it was a little off-putting that he was reading from a script. Drunkards Trinculo and Staphano got plenty of laughs, and the play was peppered with plenty of other funny moments. The accompanying music was quite enchanting, and as it turned dark the venue became increasingly atmospheric.
Although I appreciate the brilliance of Shakespeare, I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to read his work. For me, visiting Shakespeare’s Globe is less about the story and more about the setting. And at only a fiver for a standing ticket, you can’t really go wrong (unless of course it’s raining).