Jul. 11th, 2011

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Continuing in the Shakespeare theme of late I took Mum to see Hamlet on Saturday for her birthday. Her birthday was actually in May, but I wanted to take her to a show I know she knew, so we didn't go until now. Also given that my Grandma's funeral actually fell on Mum's birthday it was good to be able to celebrate again and properly.

Spent the day wandering round London on my own with my now fixed camera. Lots of fun and I felt very much the tourist. Visited Big Ben and the Houses of Parliment, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and St James Park. Got some pretty good photos too that I will share should my laptop stop being stupid and actually let me download them from my camera.

Met Mum outside the Globe and went for a posh dinner at the Swan (the resuarant attached to the Globe) very tasty and dessert was by far the biggest portion, as I think it always should be!

Our seats weren't great, but I knew Mum wouldn't want to stand for the performance and my budget would only stretch to the cheap seats. We were to the left of the stage, slightly angled behind the actors. Not too much of a problem, but it did mean that they were often hidden behind the pillars in the middle of the stage.

The performance itself was very well done, particularly Hamlet and Ophelia. I've never seen Hamlet on stage, only the BBC production on a few Christmases ago. This was different first in that it was in period dress, and that it felt a lot more dramatic. Not over acted, but Hamlet was played much more, I almost want to say loudly? While Tennants speeches felt like he was talking to himself, this was proclaimed for the world to hear. Which works beautifully in the Globe, especially with the audience standing below. It was also surprisingly funny for a tradegy, which I hadn't really realised before.

The Globe always makes Shakespeare feel more accessible (in fact that's exactly what Mum said to me as we were leaving), this production did so more than Macbeth which I saw there last year. Which is particularly surprising as I didn't know the story of Hamlet, while I studied Macbeth and generally consider it to be my favourite of Shakespeares plays. It was big on the physicality of it all, so even if you're not understanding all of the words (which I never do!), you can still understand. In fact we shared a booth with an American family with children who must have been no older than 12, and they seemed to grasp it just fine.


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August 2011

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