So the way this will work, is I will post as close to daily as I can, giving you the highlights of the day as it goes. Here was our first stop:
THE GLOBE THEATRE
Today, we had a chance to do some really cool stuff. We took part in an "Actor's workshop" which consisted of mostly an educational tour of the Globe theatre here in London, and then a short workshop that laid out some ideas about how the rehearsal process went for actors in the time Shakespeare put plays on. I discovered two things:
1) the logistics of rehearsal time were nothing like today - think about it, you now get to do a "read through" when you handed a play the very first day you have rehearsal. Think on that for a second. SOMEONE. MADE. A. COPY. FOR. YOU. - But in Shakespeare's day, a "player" had to write out his lines and the cue line before their line (so they know when to go on). I even asked about if there were ever stage directions in the plays - and nope, there were no parts included in scripts from back then - just like in poetry, when you have the line and the words to guide the reader to the emotion, to the meaning, an actor at that time, had to be very quick thinking, adaptive and have a sense of language to make the play and the role come off well. We had a chance to read single lines and figure out how would a person say those lines. What is the emphasis? Who is the line directed to? Where does the pause go? Is a physical response or action that provides for better understanding of the context or the content? We discussed all that. It was very neat.
2) Actors had to be highly sharp people - sharp as in, quick witted, light on their feet, and able to adjust to any space. Theatres like the Globe, were not all over the place - they had to perform in different space, in different configurations. They were the precursor to the modern acting troupe and gorilla theatre - where minimal sets and minimal props provide for a quicker development of the play as seen by the audience.
If you want to know more about the Globe Theatre, please, click HERE.
Then later on that night, we went back to the Globe theatre to see this play:
The play itself as told by the website at the Globe Theatre:
"TWO LOVERS ARE BLOWN APART BY LOVE AND WAR
Cleopatra, the alluring and fascinatingly ambiguous Queen of Egypt, has bewitched the great Mark Antony, soldier, campaigner and now one of the three rulers of the Roman Empire. When Antony quarrels with his fellow leaders and throws in his lot with Cleopatra, his infatuation threatens to split the Empire in two.
Virtue and vice, transcendent love combine in Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare’s greatest exploration of the conflicting claims of sex and power, all expressed in a tragic poetry of breathtaking beauty and magnificence."
It was an awesome experience- watching a play in such a replicated space that shows the world that old world art forms still are relevant. - The play played to the characteristics of the venue - there are high levels, all round and above the stage, so voices carry up and it is a magnificent view from every angle. It is an intimate setting and the changes between scenes didn't use lights - but the actors who are charged with changing up the sets as they go.
The "High" for the day -
As we were walking toward the Globe theatre to get there for the play - we were lost and as one Londoner said we "looked like a family of meer cats staring off". Both this young gentleman helped us get to a tube stop and then a second guy helped us figure out the line we needed to get (Jubilee line) . The Brits here were willing to speak, willing to help. It was a nice jester. I plan to pay that back when I get back to Houston to other tourist.
The "Low" for the day -
So, the only thing I didn't entirely enjoy on this outing, was the standing in the "pit" for audience members. The play was 3 hours, and thus, we had to stand and try to enjoy the play. Sadly, the second act of the play didn't hold my attention and I don't know if it was because it dragged on or because my feet hurt.
Over all, it was a great day. Below are some photos I took for the day. Some at St. Paul's Cathedral, some over the Millennium Bridge, some over the Thames , some of things and lines and textures that held my interest.
Check back tomorrow and you can see where we went to next!!!