Worldcon Report 12: The Globe

by Brenda W. Clough

image You know what God could do, if He had money? He could fund a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and stage plays in it. Luckily a batch of jillionaires did this, and on the south bank of the Thames is this astonishing working theater. When it rains the groundlings get wet; in winter there are no shows, and the productions are disturbed by pigeons, passing jet airplanes, the occasional police siren, and other outside noises. And it is SO WONDERFUL! It is like a time machine, seeing a play as the author would have staged it, in a theater it would have appeared in.

image No modern innovations here. If you have a seat your bench is backless (and if you are prudent you pay a pound to rent a seat cushion). There are no stage lights, so the actors can see you as well as you can see them. We saw the current show, ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, which is not often staged and therefore hard to see. It was delightful. I’ll post a review of the actual production later on (my travel systems do not make it easy to post links) but in the meantime I have to burble about the wonderfulness of historical recreations like this.



About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.


Worldcon Report 12: The Globe — 5 Comments

  1. Hunh – Antony and Cleo not often staged, you say? You should probably add “in America”, because I thought for a moment you were merely joking. It’s very much in the repertoire in the UK; I’ve seen it as often as anything, and more than some. (And I can’t think why it wouldn’t be done regularly in the US?)

    • Nope, it is rarely staged in the US. Unlike JULIUS CAESAR, which shows up all the time. I don’t know whether it is the large number of scene changes in the latter acts, or what.

  2. There’s a small theater on Richard Garriott’s estate that is in the authentic style–they have Shakespeare out thee every year. We saw Merchant of Venice out there last year.

    You are having so much fun! Brenda for tour guide and cheerleader!

  3. I was so glad I went to the Globe–both to do the tour, and to see a play. And I saw Anthony and Cleopatra too, which was fabulous. We even had a short rain shower (A&C mentions rain and thunder a lot, so when it began to rain it felt like a special effect…unless you were a groundling, in which case maybe not so much).

    Wasn’t the woman who played Cleopatra stunning? I loved the whole cast, but se was amazing. And kept reminding me, physically and in terms of her gestures and postures, of BVC’s own Laura Anne Gilman.

  4. She was wonderful. In our show she actually kissed a groundling! Did you go to the after-show Q&A? That was fascinating. Apparently the biggest adjustment for an actor is actually getting to SEE the audience.