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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: September ::
Another Report on the Globe
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0903.  Monday, 8 September 1997.

From:           Stephen Orgel <
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Date:           Friday, 5 Sep 1997 11:11:11 -0700
Subject:        Another Report on the Globe

I found the Globe a very mixed bag. I hated, and indeed walked out on,
The Maid's Tragedy, in which the company seemed to be doing everything
it could to defeat the theater, including preposterously covering the
back facade, Christo-like, with a black cloth, presumably so it wouldn't
be a distraction. Acoustics are a serious problem, especially when they
play as they did in The Maid's Tragedy, halfway back, as if it were a
proscenium stage. Since our tickets (comps, so maybe I shouldn't be
complaining) were on the side, much of the action was also hidden behind
the stage pillar-these were not claimed to be obstructed view seats:
people shelling out 22 pounds should be warned! The audience, moreover,
was impossible, determined to find everything, including Aspasia's
tragic speeches, hilarious. I really felt for the actors, who were quite
creditable. The next day A Chaste Maid in Cheapside was much better, and
I began to see the possibilities of the place: most of the action was
played as far forward as possible, all entrances were made along the
outer edge of the stage and around the pillars, which were also used as
props, and there was lots of climbing up and down and around: it will
obviously take a long time for directors to learn how to use the
theater. The seating, on narrow backless benches, is terminally
uncomfortable, even if you rent a cushion-directors will have to learn
very fast why cutting was so essential to the theater of Shakespeare's
age.

Cheers,
Stephen Orgel
 

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