I woke up late, utterly destroying my plans to go do something constructive today. It's been awhile since I've opened my eyes with the knowledge that I have absolutely no pressing concerns to attend to so I decided to go with it.
I managed to haul my wobbly ass out of bed by 4 o'clock and I took the tube down to Southbank where I picked up my tickets for that evening's performance of Taming of the Shrew at the Globe Theatre. When I first concocted this whole London gambit the first thing I did was check out what was playing at the Globe in July. Taming of the Shrew has always been my favourite Shakespeare play - so needless to say I was utterly utterly excited - clearly, meant to be!
I got there early and curled up on the lawn outside the Tate Modern (in the shade - I don't make the same mistake twice - my sunburnt still hurts) with a copy of Psychology Today and enjoyed the balmy breeze and people watching.
The Globe by day:
By 7 o'clock I wandered over to the Globe where there was already a bit of a crowd. I was directed to Gate 4 - the entry for the riff raff and rabble, the groundlings who pay for the privilege of standing on the concrete floor for 3 hours while the gentry and the aristocracy peer snottily from the gallery. (obviously I was trying to get into character)
I was a little worried that perhaps I would be regretting my choice when back and ankle pain got the better of me - but I really needn't have worried - from the moment the minstrels struck up their first jolly Tudor tune I basically forgot about any discomfort.
I was tantalisingly close to the stage, and when the actors walked through the crowd I could basically reach out and touch them. The performance itself was not exactly refined - and some of the actors were at least ten years too old for their parts - but it was rowdy, funny, complete with bawdy tunes, male nudity, cross-dressing, hilarious puns galore and even a bit of Monty Python. Most theatre companies take Shakespeare to it's most elegant extreme - but this was just as I always thought Elizabethan theatre would be - just a little bit vulgar, but absolutely a laugh - with ruffs :)
I particularly liked this rather naughty tune called the Cuckoo's Nest.
As the sun set, and the night turned an inky cobalt (you see, I'm getting poetical - yikes) it seemed to add even more atmosphere to the theatre. After the happy ending - I walked towards the Millenium Bridge and once again had to take a little moment just to admire London by Night.
I think the view of St Pauls from the Millenium Bridge is by far the best view I have ever seen in London. My photos don't quite convey how beautiful it is. It's also utterly unexpected. You walk up the ramp to cross the bridge, and if you don't turn around at the right moment you will miss it.