Saturday, May 1, 2010

Two Shows in One Day

First off, here is a picture for my mother so that she knows that I am still alive and well.

And here is a picture of me at Buckingham Palace gates! It is a beautiful place.

Today was really crazy. My roommates and I woke up late and I got ready in a record 5 minutes. I was pretty proud of myself but I felt pretty gross the whole rest of the day. Anyway we had to get up because we were going on a walking tour with our group. We saw a bunch of crazy things like places that are used in books, the monument built after the great fire, and the replica of Sir Frances Dake's ship. But the best part was seeing the original place where the Globe theater was built and going to the borough market. The market was so much fun. There were food stalls everywhere and I had the most amazing bratwurst ever.

After that we went and saw Macbeth at the New Globe Theater. It was really amazing, but very very bloody. Every death that happens in the play happened on stage even though in the script they all happen of stage and the audience just gets told about it. They also had this thing for the groundlings (the people in the audience that have to stand around the stage during the show). It was a big stretchy black cloth with holes in it for everyone's heads. It was supposed to be like we were heads in hell (picture below)because all you could see was a sea of heads poking out of the cloth. There designated spots in the cloth where actors would come and pop out of the holes and be people in hell. They stood on stools so that they stuck out to their waist and everyone could see them. It was really creepy. The first time I noticed it was when a man came crawling by my feet right before the play started. He was all in black and at first I thought he was trying to steal my bag. Don't worry, he wasn't. He went to a closed off spot in the crowd and was crouched down. So I knew that he was going to pop out of the hole at some point but I wasn't expecting him to look the way he did. There were about 4 of them in the audience and every one of them was covered in blood from the top of their heads to their waist. I mean really covered. They all writhed and moaned as if dying and it was really creeping. The one guy was literally right by us. He almost hit Christian a few times. He was just there for the opening but every once in a while a new person would come crawling through and it was usually either one of the witches (who were scary beyond all belief so it was really creepy to have them push by your legs) or it was a man covered in either blood or dirt or both. I managed to get fake blood on my butt and make-up and dirt on my back from people that would brush past me on their way to the spot. I loved telling everyone that one of the bloody guys (and let me tell you they were really really covered in blood. Like no clean spot left on them) got a little fresh. So anyway the show was really amazing, the acting was really good and they even found a way to sneak a little humor into one of Shakespeare's darkest plays. The part of the porter was played by a rather heavy man who was disgusting and hilarious. The only down side to the show was standing for three hours. I wasn't a fan of being a grounling by the end.

The other cool thing about the show was that about 20 minutes before it ended it started to rain really hard and there were huge pieces of hail. We all got soaked because the globe is an open theater. The funny thing was that it gave Macduff's line where he comes in and says "Hail, Hail, Hail to the King" a whole new meaning. He came out through the audience and pointed his sword to the sky while shouting "hail". The whole audience just died laughing as we got pelted with falling ice. There was also the fact that at this point Macbeth and the three witches were all squatting on the ground next to us laughing because they couldn't get the blood to stay on Macbeth very well because of all the rain and then Macbeth almost came up from the whole before he was supposed to. It was amazing! Especially because the man playing Macbeth was really good looking and didn't have his shirt on at this point. Needless to say I wasn't looking at the stage as much as under the black cloth at this point. The only problem was that near the very end the rain got really hard and it kind of got hard to concentrate on the show because you were so wet and the water was running down your face. This was in the afternoon and I had another play planed for the evening and no time to go home in between. So I spent the rest of the day damp.

There was a talk back with two of the actors after and that was really fun. One was Lady Macbeth and one was the porter. It was really funny to see them all clean and in normal clothes. The porter, who was so disgusting on stage was actually a very nice and well kept man. Who knew!?

The show that I went to after that really wasn't all that great so I won't tell you about it. I will just say that it was Antigone done by a fringe theater (like off Broadway for the West end). It was full of people that were over acting the whole time. There was no emotional arch to the show. At soon as the show started they were yelling with passion and it didn't end until curtain call. But at least I got to sit for that show!

Now after a day of endless walking, standing, and being wet and cold, and seeing two very dramatic shows with lots of death I am very happy to be back in my warm flat in dry clothes. I am ready for a good nights sleep and a nice relaxing Sunday tomorrow.

P.S. Here is a picture of what Christian has been looking like for a good part of the trip. But I'm not complaining because I have been making him take lots of pictures on me!

1 comment:

  1. When Chris and I were in London we saw a Macbeth done in a 20's gangster theme--the guys in zoot suits and their molls in flapper gear--they fought with guns instead of swords. It sounds weird to tell about, but it worked.