O Brave New World
So the end of the first week of the Globe to Globe season has left me with the firm conviction that the world would be a happier, more peaceful place if we all did more theatre together. World Peace through Shakespeare…or something!
On a serious note, from the ebullient raffishness of Pericles and The Merry Wives of Windsor to the more formal approach by the National Theatre of China in Richard III the warmth of the welcome on both sides of the (metaphorical) footlights has been remarkable. It has been incredibly moving to watch actors so enraptured by just being on the Globe stage that they are moved, in the case of Zhang Dongyu to kiss the boards. It reminded me that sometimes we natives underestimate what Shakespeare and the Globe mean to theatre practitioners everywhere. After all, we live with Shakespeare, we love him, we put him on tea towels, but to these actors the Globe is hallowed ground and we would do well to echo that.
As a director it has been an enlightening glimpse into a different set of theatre traditions and a fertile source of new images and techniques to plunder for my own work. (All direction is essentially theft after all). It has also been a real reminder of our shared humanity and that there is just about nothing stronger than a theatre full of people. I can’t wait for the next five weeks!
I will respond more fully to the productions I have seen individually, but just wanted to share these initial thoughts