An evening at the theatre

Sep 25, 2008 by glennji

Indulged our thespian hearts with a trip to Shakespeare”s New Globe Theatre last night.

First: dinner at Harry”s Bar in the city. Named after a famous cocktail (coquetier! eggcup!) bar in Venezia, Italia (Venice, Italy ;-)), Harry”s of London shares, well, nothing with it”s Italian namesake: it”s a wine bar and restaurant, and the wine is Chilean, Australian and French rather than Italian. Nevertheless, the food was good: I had gnocchi (maybe Italiano!) with prawns; Dee tried the risotto (ooh, maybe it”s more Italian than I gave it credit for). We ate with a friend of Dee”s, her partner and two of her friends, and although we were both tired and didn”t really like the idea of meeting new people just then, the night turned out okay.

Apparently Harry”s in Venezia is really expensive; in London the bill was cut down to a more manageable size by a mid-week special: half price on the total bill if you have 2 courses. It was cheaper to have a main and dessert than to just have a main! Now that”s a savings plan I could get into. Guess there is some good in the credit-crunch — with all the bankers out of work, swanky places like Harry”s has to let rabble like me in!


]1 After dinner we wandered down towards the Thames and across one of the many bridges, the city beginning to sparkle as dusk mellowed to dark. Behind us, Wren”s St. Paul”s loomed ominously, whilst ahead the whitewashed walls and thatched roof of The Globe warmly invited us; it could”ve been the late 1600”s, with both Globe and the great church rebuilt after the Great Fire of London. Or so I imagined.

We handed over our little cardboard tokens and shuffled up the wooden stairs to the top gallery, whereby we were afforded a near-birds-eye view down upon the stage the the players. We sat upon hard wooden benches, eschewing the hired cushions that those of less-hardy temperament (and posterior fortitude) felt necessary. Shortly the strains of a light tune played on lutes and horns signalled for quiet; a hush fell upon the crowd.

The play”s the thing, you see, and the thing in this case was a jolly little tale, “The Merry Wives Of Windsor”. A comedy, although I could not say whether t”were the skill of the Bard or that of the players that made it so; t”was a genuine laugh-out-loud, raucous comedy. Ooh, look thee upon these words! T”is like the particular, peculiar method of Shakespeare”s own art hath soaked my brain; stewing in olde English forms of yore, it cannot help but express itself as I pen this journal!



So: perched upon hard benches (of birch or cedar) we watched a tale of clever wives, jealous husbands, bellicose doctors and rotund knights and laughed. Sooth: I could not decide whether Shakespeare so influenced English humour, or whether the comedic endeavours of Fawlty Towers and it”s ilk were the influence for the players of this tale; in either case, you”ve not seen impotent fury until you”ve seen a skinny English gent in a badly-fitted wig first tempting a knight to make advances upon his wife, then cursing that she, in appearances at least, entertains such carnal ideas with said knight.


(Comments in thy best rendition of olde English please.)

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