Yesterday, I had the privilege to attend London’s Globe Theater, modeled after the very place where William Shakespeare’s plays were performed back when they were first written. This is truly an experience you have to have for yourself, as there is no perfect way to describe it. We were “groundlings”, patrons who would watch the show in a pit directly next to the stage, standing up. I was about a foot away from the actors on stage, able to see their every movement and the precise looks on their faces while delivering their lines. Although it is a hard task on one’s legs and feet to stand for a three hour production, I believe it is truly the only way to experience such a play in full. The actors who played Benedick and Don Jon were both out sick, and stand-ins had to read off the script in their place. Even with actors holding a script around the stage, I was still able to completely suspend my disbelief as the story came alive. The ambience of the theater and incredible talent and skill of the actors made it impossible to grow bored with the production, especially with audience engagement such as a sprinkler going off onto the front row (yes, I got wet) in the middle of Act 3. Shakespeare’s legacy lives on in this incredible place with an open roof, able to see the night’s sky and sunset as the night grew older. This experience was one of the ones I was most excited for when applying to study abroad, and I am grateful that it was an incredible show. I am tempted to go again and see another one of their productions, though it may be hard to convince one of my classmates to stand for that long with me again.
This weekend, I will be traveling to Canterbury, Kent for a historic boat ride and tour of the town. This is particularly exciting for me and my adoration of old British Literature, to consume the sites referenced in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. We hope for good weather as we set out on our train ride this upcoming Saturday. So far, each week in London has met me with a new favorite memory of my trip. As I get more comfortable with learning the city and getting my way around, the events and activities I get to do become more enjoyable. I am still averaging over 10 miles a day, and I am exceedingly glad to have brought good walking shoes. I look forward to my first trip further outside of London in the days that follow.