In 1599, William Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, built and opened the first Globe Theatre. It burned to the ground in 1613. A second Globe was built in the same location in 1614 but was closed in 1642 by Puritan political pressure.
Like a phoenix, Shakespeare's Globe rose again in 1997 when a modern historical reconstruction of the old Globe opened it's doors. Built using traditional Tudor methods, it was the brain child of American actor, Sam Wannamaker, and took over twenty years to plan, fund and complete.
Mark Rylance, the multi-award winning actor, was the new Globe's first Artistic Director and returns this season to play the title role in Richard III. As you can see, Mark has many fans, including Andy and I.
Last night we were lucky enough to get tickets to the evening performance. Rylance was back in the Globe and in rare form. Critics and those in the know say this is THE hottest ticket in town.
For those of you who don't like Shakespeare, I say, give the Globe a chance to change your mind. It is Shakespeare as he would have it; an authentic setting, accurate costumes and brilliant actors who deliver the Bard's lines as understandable dialogue, witty, clever and moving.
And at the end of the play, you get a Tudor jig danced to Tudor music, played on period instruments. You will be clapping your hands and tapping your toes to tunes played on a sackbut. Yes, I said sackbut!
As for Mark Rylance's performance, it was brilliant as ever. He had us all spellbound. He has a curious tradition. At the end of each successful performance, he gives a series of leaps into the air. He wasn't the only one jumping with joy at the Globe last night!
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