Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Hurrah! End of Rice Rule at Shakespeare's Globe!

The best news I've had all year. Rice's tenure is coming to an end. Hopefully, the Globe will be restored to the original vision that Sam Wanamaker aspired to, yet never saw completed.

Shakespeare's Globe was an integrated brand, sent all around this world with the wonderful Hamlet. The whole lot cohered - the theatre, the exhibition, the message, the workshops, the education, the products, the shop. The whole worked beautifully.

And someone comes along and smashes it all up. Without respect for the ambitious vision that made this place possible; without respect for the talents who built Shakespeare's Globe to a global brand; without respect for the scripts or even for the audience, who were told they didn't really want all that inaccessible crap they'd grown to love and, if they said they wanted it, then they must either be pretending or stupid. So Rice went about on the grand mission to cover up the space, lose the unique acting force required on the Globe stage, erect barriers to the audience, put out sets cribbed from the National, turn the show to a musical, cut the language, and then belt out sound through a booming amplifier so that the last bit of nuance and delicacy of voice is smashed up and gone.

Thank you, to the Board of the Globe, for bringing the experiment to an end.

More than I can say, I'm looking forward to seeing the actors back on the simplest of wooden stages, stripped of props and lights and electronic noise, showing us great stories, ripping the heart from these lines with no more than their own voices, their physicalities, and their shared construction of great drama with the audience in front of them. That's Shakespeare's Globe. Nowhere else in the world can do that.

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