I always dreamt of becoming an actress. I think that is what led me into teaching.
Everyday, I get to step out onto a different kind of stage and my audience is always young and lively. I act out scenarios in several different genres and I get to create my own script. Teaching and acting are explicitly linked. Every school day is another live performance. I hoped that witnessing a Shakespearean play at The Globe Theatre would provide entertainment and education, and I was not disillusioned.
We arrived at the Globe Theatre at 6:15pm. The playlist for that evening was Timon of Athens, and it began at 7:00pm. Although it was not one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, the dark humour was right up my alley. In the play, Timon wastes all his money on false friends who forsake him when he goes into debt. He flees Athens to live as a hermit in the woods. When he stumbles upon gold in the wilderness, he gives it away in the hope that it will make his enemies miserable like him. The connection to modern day society would make the audience think that the play was recently written. I would have preferred to see Romeo & Juliet or King Lear, but just being inside the Globe Theatre was a big enough treat for me.
We were presented with a variety of seating options when we entered the Globe. Tickets ranged from £15 pounds to £33 per seat. There was also an option to stand in the courtyard for £5. Being the cheap person that I am, the £5 option fit me like an old glove.
The play opened with dark, mysterious vultures crawling on the net above our heads. As they hissed and clicked their tongues, I felt drawn into the surroundings and engrossed in the play. The characters were perched in rope netting and they occasionally tumbled to inches just above our heads. Their greed knew no limits and not even gravity could stop them.
Our standing position allowed us to be engulfed in the action of the play. We were first-hand spectators when one of the characters messily and bloodily had his throat cut, and we were splattered with water and chocolate coins as the actors gave the performance of a lifetime.
There were glimpses of humour embedded in the vicious and savage attack on the accumulation of wealth. The connection between wealth and corruption is made shockingly humourous when Timon’s gold is mixed with his own realistic excrement. When a main character struts proudly across the stage in his Birthday suit, the audience was consumed with fits of laughter and surprise.
I thought three hours of standing would make me feel weak and strained, but the endurance paid off. When the actors swung above my head or stood at the edge of the stage, I didn’t feel like part of the audience; I felt like I was an extra in the play. I was finally given the opportunity to be an actress.
The £5 option makes the Globe Theatre accessible to travellers on a budget. The price coupled with the audience involvement makes the courtyard the ideal choice. I did not envy the people that were seated. I honestly think they envied us.
I wished I had another night to spend in London after leaving the play. I wanted to experience every play that was offered at the Globe Theatre. My faith in teaching English was renewed though the vibrant acting at the playhouse. I would have gladly stood another three hours if another play was offered that evening. As we walked back to the train station that evening, I found a place in my heart for Shakespeare’s London.