Angoel (angoel) wrote,

The stages are worlds, and the world is a galaxy

Wednesday saw me heading into London, not for my usual gaming session, but for a pleasant meal at Le Pain Quotidien[1] with my mother, sister and her boyfriend, and then meeting up with an old school friend for a trip to the Globe to see 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'.

The play followed the trend set by my previous outings to this venue by being very well thought out and acted, well judged pacing and convincing characters, even if they struggled somewhat to make the fairy-strewn ending seem like a convincing denouement rather than an excuse to use the fairy-costumes that Shakespeare's company had just bought, that I have suspicions it was written as. They also followed the trend of adding extra bits of stage jutting into the groundling pit - in this case, an oval racetrack affair with a cunning flip-over bit of stage in the middle of it.

I'm not really sure I approve of these, I'm afraid to admit. I can see why they're done - they add a bit of spectacle to the play, give the groundlings more stage-edge to lean on, allow steps into the crowd to let actors mingle with the audience. All good things, I grant you. But there's a bit inside me which rebels against the concept - part of the joy of the Globe is seeing things acted in an environment free of technological gimmickry, of scenes set with a flicker of the hand and the placement of an occasional table. Not with pop-up logs and gardens. Seeing things acted out as they would have been in times gone by on the standard square stage, not with stage augmentations building past the constraints which set the character of the theatre. I do hope that my visit to Timon is going to be somewhat less exuberant in this matter.

But it was joyous, nonetheless; even now I can hear some of the melody being played. See the wives as they plot (although I don't quite see why they didn't just write a letter back saying 'no thank you'; I grant it would make a less interesting plot, though). Witness the actors taking their final bows in the dusklight. Good times.

[1] A venue which I'm choosing to describe as a bread bar[2]; good bread being their unique selling point. I am currently working my way through a fine loaf I purchased there, smothered with French jam.
[2] The thought has struck me that there really should be a chocolate bar somewhere out there. I do hope there is.
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