To The Globe last evening, to see Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost. Quite an experience! Our already excellent seats were upgraded even before we could sit in them because there was a dirty big camera in front of them, and so we found ourselves in the best seats, in the very middle of the lowest seated area, behind the groundlings. They in turn were not just in front of the stage, as I expected, but were actually enclosed by two ramps which angled round in front of the main apron and were used by the the actors for sudden appearances - and by the deer which wandered in and out and died under the arrows of the Queen and her ladies.
I have to admit that I didn't know this play, and I was fascinated to experience it for the first time as Shakespeare's audienced did. How hard they must have listened! Or were some of them like Polonius (I do know Hamlet!) - remember, he's for a jig or a tale of bawdry or he sleeps? L'sLL is a torrent of verbal humour, in this production combined with a great deal of slapstick that had the audience guffawing. It all felt very Elizabethan, right down to the rigours of sitting on a wooden bench, even if we had been supplied with hassock-like cushions. And people did drink beer, though I didn't see any sellers of sausages (I believe they replaced the ice-cream lady in Will's day). And at the end we all applauded in time to the final dance-music while the cast jigged wildly on the stage, overcoming the gloom produced by the message of the death of the queen's father.
A fascinating experience, then, culminating in a headlong dash over the cobbles of Will's Bankside as we headed for the speedy train home.