Last night at midnight, Dh and I went to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. It doesn’t play at that time every night. It only does a midnight production a few times a year, so it was quite special.
This was what we saw as we were approaching via a water taxi. It’s quite captivating as you can see.
As we drew closer, the theatre and surrounding restaurant truly came into view.
Several people had already lined up to be let in, while others were milling about enjoying a cocktail or two. It was quite a festive atmosphere. It didn’t take long for the doors to open to reveal the stage and seating area. (Sorry that the seating area photo is slightly blurry. I tried to take my time and get the shot, but my hands were not cooperating. Sigh.)
Since the theatre dates back to Shakespeare’s time, the seats are wooden bench style. (ie hard on the tushy). They do rent you cushions and blankets, since this particular production went until 3:00am. I would HIGHLY recommend anyone attending a performance at the Globe to invest in a cushion. Those benches are HARD. The man in front of me was having a difficult time hanging throughout the production due to booty discomfort.
Several people stood during the production. I learned from Dh that it’s tradition to do so. It was actually kind of fun to see, though I wouldn’t have wanted to do it. There were picnics held in the audience with bottles of wine being passed around and period musical instruments were played throughout the production. It really was a lovely way to spend a night.
We’d watched the movie version of Midsummer Night’s Dream before we left for London. We wanted to make sure that we understood the story. It wasn’t necessary, but it did add to our enjoyment. This particular production starred JOHN LIGHT. He played Oberon and Theseus, the man with the beard. His performance was amazingly physical. At one point, he picked Puck up with one arm. He went on to climb ropes, do yoga poses, and jump around with ease. It was genuinely mesmerizing to watch. Pearce Quigley played his character, Bottom with sly delight and had everyone rolling in the aisles with laughter.
The whole cast was fabulous and kept everyone’s attention as the wee hours of the morning crept in. I’d been worried that I might fall asleep given the odd hours, but there was no way you could stop watching. The cast kept the energy up and made sure the audience stayed with them.
I believe the Guardian gave the show a three out of five stars, but perhaps the critic came on an off night. The absolute lowest rating I would give this production is a four, and I’d have to think hard why I would do that because for me the performance last night was easily five out of five stars. If you happen to be in London and can snag some tickets before the production ends, do so. You will not regret it.