Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre

Posted on: 29th Oct

Following a recent Year 13 Trip to the Globe Theatre in London, student Isabel Carr submitted her review of the performance:

“Othello at the Globe has to be the most comical tragedy I have ever seen. Through the lewd jokes punctuated by a surprising number of hip-thrusts, the large wheeled boats attempting to force their way through the standing crowds, and the final dance number after the numerous stabbings and deaths, I was laughing heartily.

“Lago was certainly the most vibrant character. In comparison to the calculating persona we have studied in class, Mark Rylance’s incarnation was inappropriately ‘laddish’, erratic in his feverish pacing of the stage, and had a terrible case of ‘dad dancing’. He was infectiously sympathetic, causing me to enjoy his revenge perhaps too much. That is the only failing grace of the piece: I was relishing the humour so much I forgot to feel pity for Othello. But it did allow us to see the latent humour of Iago’s language that we had perhaps skimmed over in looking for meaning in the text.

“Othello himself was performed spectacularly, if slightly over-zealous in his affection towards his wife in the former half of the play (the kissing was a tad too believable). It was interesting that they undercut the racial tension of the play by the casting of Cassio and Emilia as black like the Moor himself. This has provoked much discussion in class about race relations that we had not yet explored. The performance has given us a new perspective of Shakespeare’s words and more possible interpretations to explore.

“The experience was in equal measures entertaining and useful. It had us dancing, cheering, laughing and tearing; it was emotional and hilarious. Truly, it was worth sitting on the hard, wooden benches of the Globe for a few hours and will entertain us for many more hours in our lessons on Shakespeare’s play.”

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