Comments Removed by Moderators, presumably for the Weasel Arse and Buggeroff.
Yes ... I think you are right. In the early days I heard the argument that Shakespeare's Globe would become an 'Elizabethan theme park' admired by tourists alone. That was proved so very wrong as the Globe became a centre for scholarship into theatrical practice and culture at a time of massive transition in the 16th/17th and 20th/21st centuries. But it is ironic that now I really do feel this theatre is becoming the 'Elizabethan theme park' once dreaded - yes, we get the shell of the theatre only with an abandonment of cultural study.
And phew, I also feel sorry that, no matter what the range of questioning put to the Globe, the standard copy-and-paste response of 'experimentation' follows. Dear Globe, you were called *Shakespeare's* Globe for a reason - you're not called *The director's latest experiment which we're putting on at a reconstruction of the Globe*. Your argument of 'experimentation' does not address the questioning of what you are now there for.
I posted a similar comment ... with a critique similar to yours. My
comment has been removed by Shakespeare's Globe. Maybe your comment will
be allowed to stay?!
We have been Friends of Shakespeare's Globe for years. You were one
of the most original theatres in London. In every play we saw - and we
have seen many - we were rewarded with the knowledge that the cast had
spent rehearsal time wrenching every physical expression from the
The actors, without props of hi-tech support, presented
these characters to us stripped back and bare - so very little else on
stage, the presentation of Shakespeare's plays like this was borderline
folly. It was incredibly brave.
Shakespeare's Globe rightly
travelled about the world as a beacon of originality. And Shakespeare's
Globe pulled it off! The support of the beautiful crafted stage; natural
light; reconstructed costuming; an exploration of Elizabethan culture;
the supportive exhibition; the groundlings - it created a theatre of
The very first time I visited the Globe, ALL
my education and understanding about Shakespearean theatre was turned
upside down. I am indebted to both Rylance and Dromgoole. It was
thrilling. I slapped down my Friends money the same day, then set about
recommending Shakespeare's Globe widely. We brought children to you as
groundlings to see your startling new approach. Here was a theatre that
no-one else was attempting. I was delighted to support how Shakespeare's
Globe was helping to kick into being a new form of Shakespeare studies.
I find I'm relabelled and discarded as a 'purist' and 'traditionalist'
for mourning the loss of your original vision. But you need to tell
people honestly that under Rice your previous approach is gone. The
message you send around the World needs revision. In these performances,
to me it looks now - without that central unifying focus, purpose and
vision - as if you're searching for what you think must be popular -
you're grabbing at lights, sound, put on a song because all shows must
have a song, revise to the absurd, drown the words with sound, get to
the next set piece because integrity and coherence no longer matter -
Shakespeare's Globe is become just another London stage.
if you want cheap and accessible theatre, then Shakespeare's Globe still
great value. Yes, go if the RSC at Stratford is too far! Yes, go if you
like set-piece songs (thanks to Webber). Go if you like a
whizz-bang-pop that's there, well, just because. But if you need that
astonishing vision of authenticity, then I don't know where to
recommend. Sadly, it used to be Shakespeare's Globe. Now? I can no
longer recommend it.
And the message I sent to the Moderators:
HEY, SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE STAFF! It's looking to me as if you don't want
to hear my comments, especially if they're in any way critical! After
many years of study of Shakespeare, starting with a degree covering the
stuff, then I believe I have earned the right to an opinion. I have
praised the Globe around this world, and brought people over from Hong
Kong to be with us in this very special space, and now I'm not allowed
to comment?! Okay, then I will use other channels for sure.
Weasel Arse and Buggeroff.