The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0388  Monday, 4 October 2010

From:         Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         Monday, October 4, 2010
Subject:      Shakespeare's Globe Final Performances of Season 


This year's Shakespeare's Globe season ends this Saturday, 9 October. In the final 
week of the theatre season includes KINGS & ROGUES and Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 - 'one 
of this theatre's finest achievements' (Daily Telegraph).

For tickets, you may book online 
<http://shakespearesglobe.createsend5.com/t/r/l/qkltdt/krydlltih/r> or call the Box 
Office at 020 7401 9919.

Other shows this season were Macbeth - 'the strongest opener to a Globe season I 
have seen' (The Times), Henry VIII, Howard Brenton's hugely acclaimed Anne Boleyn, 
and Nell Leyshon's exuberant and crowd-pleasing Bedlam. There was also the return of 
the delightful The Merry Wives of Windsor, which will be touring this autumn, and 
two glorious national touring productions of The Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer 
Night's Dream. 

The only show that I was able to see this season was the Merry Wives, some of which 
I liked and some of which I had problems. My major objection was that the company 
seemed to be playing to the audience in front of them as if in a proscenium stage 
and not using the thrust stage as if it were similar to the modern theatre in the 
round. Thus, I found the performances somewhat static, sitting as I was to the far 
side of stage right. (This is what I get for not booking my tickets in advance and 
having to settle for choosing our four seats from among six or eight seats that had 
not been sold.) In the best productions, I have seen at the Globe, the actors were 
constantly moving, using the thrust stage to its advantage and not as if they were 
in a proscenium. I missed this style in the Merry Wives I saw. Overall, I found the 
company to be one of the most consistently strong I have seem at Shakespeare's 
Globe, in many ways far superior to the uneven company I saw this summer in the 
Courtyard Theatre in Stratford. 

I was terribly disappointed with the company at the RSC this summer. I did not find 
the troupe as a whole any where as impressive as the one that opened the 1,000-seat 
Courtyard Theatre in July 2006 with Michael Boyd's staging of the Henry VI trilogy, 
part of the RSC's Complete Works Festival. The plays of the Henry VI trilogy were 
three of the most stunning productions I have seen with the RSC. I like the 
Courtyard and will miss it. But I really miss The Other Place, where I saw one of 
the most memorable stagings of a Shakespeare play in my life, Sam West's Richard II 
in the summer of 2000: the stage was bare except for the sandbox where West 
delivered Richard's "For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground, / And tell sad 
stories of the death of kings." I get chills just thinking about this production and 
West's delivery of this speech -- one of the most stunning theatrical moments of my 
life. I see at the RSC web site that the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Swan will 
be reopening on 24 November: http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/nov-march-
2011/explore.aspx. I look forward to reports from visitors to these "transformed" 
spaces. The RSC web site is worth a visit with a new look and interesting materials, 
including a downloadable guide to upcoming events (I sure wish there were a way I 
could get to Stratford in January to see the Peter Brook staging of the Sonnets) and 
a terrific database of previous productions. 
Details of the 2011 Globe Theatre Season will be available on the Globe website in 

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions expressed 
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