As your first summer season at the Globe has come to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest thanks for what has been a perfect introduction to one of London’s most wonderful performance spaces.
As a longtime Shakespeare fan, it’s remarkable that it took me until this year to finally see a show at the Globe. Before I lived in London, I think I was less inclined to go for it as I wanted to stand but didn’t want to book too far in advance – if it were to be my first time, I really didn’t want to get soaked by the rain! I visited the Sam Wanamaker for a Read Not Dead within days of moving here in 2014, and had intended on seeing Much Ado About Nothing last year, but a certain other show got in the way of plan-making…
Along with Jess, I had pretty much settled on making A Midsummer Night’s Dream my first visit, as it’s a fun play – so the moment casting was announced it felt a little bit like fate. Whoever cast Ned in Dream… Thank you! That was the extra incentive we needed to book those first few tickets. And after we’d seen it once we had to keep seeing it again & again. Obviously the cast were super-talented and brought the play to life brilliantly, but it was your vision that put the first spark of magic into the production.
I hugely admire the fact that you were brave & determined enough to innovate from the very beginning. Whilst it would’ve been kind of cute to see a traditional production as my first in mostly authentic surroundings, the thrill I got from this Dream is irreplaceable. The fusion of cultures, costumes & music was a marriage made in heaven – and the sheer entertainment value was astounding.
And this goes for every single Shakespeare production that made its home in that auditorium this season. The Bard himself was an innovator (how else would he have brought us all those now common-place words & phrases?), so the theatre that bears his name should continue in that vein. It is a unique space in the centre of London, and the fact that you (& the other directors involved in the season) have used this to full advantage should be applauded. Imogen especially deserves a mention; I was absolutely blown away by the fresh feel & tremendous performances from everyone involved.
It was also a superb idea to have a limited run of a family show, and you couldn’t have chosen better than 946. I again need to thank whoever at Kneehigh was in charge of casting for this one! My year has had its ups & downs, but knowing I’d get to see Adam performing again brightened things considerably just when I needed it. (And it was also rather helpful him being around, quite by chance, when I joined the Globe’s fainting club.) Adding some other familiar faces from Dream into the mix was the cherry on the cake!
The joy I experienced (& still experience) from this show is immeasurable. Every audience I was a part of completely lapped it up, making it two-and-a-half hours of fun each time. That sort of reaction is enough to silence any critics that think the Globe’s non-Shakespearean productions shouldn’t be by modern writers. Where better to showcase new work to a large & eager crowd?
I could go on and on and on, but suffice to say that the Wonder Season well & truly lived up to its moniker. I hope to make it to some Wonder Noir over the winter, but aside from that I really cannot wait to see what you’ve got in store for us next year. You are the one true Theatre Queen!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.