But this is Harding!!
Yes, I know, and I'm not condoning the consuption of alcohol. At all. Please don't misunderstand.
I'm just trying to present an accurate representation of what an evening at the Globe would have been like back when Will Shakespeare was living. And, actually, attending a performance at the Globe (which I cannot recommend HIGHLY ENOUGH) these days is not too far off from how it would have been back in Will's day, beer and all. Only, no glass bottles. Cans only, please.
Last Sunday afternoon, Molly, Victoria, and I toured the Globe theatre, and had a marvelous time. We learned a lot about how theatre would have been done back in the early 1600's.
- If you were of the working class, you'd pay one penny, and stand in the yard surrounding the stage. Sometimes, 1000+ people were packed into the yard. They didn't care about overcrowding.
-If you had a bit more to spend, you could pay 2 pennies and sit on the benches surrounding the space (these can be seen in on the right side of the picture above).
-If you were wealthier, you'd pay 3 pennies and sit in the galleries, looking down on the stinking 'groundlings,' as the lower classes standing in the yard were called. This is where they terms 'looking down' on someone, or 'he's above me' originated.
-the really rich/important folks would sit in the boxes on either sides of the stage, seen in the upper right corner of the above picture. These boxes are the ones with beautiful painted back walls. People sitting here had a good view of the action, and the masses of lower class audience member had a good view of them.
-the patrons of the theatre would sit with the musicians in the balcony above the stage, facing out toward the audience. Here, they had a terrible view of the action, but everyone in the theatre had a good view of them. You sat there so that you could be looked at.
-the Queen would have never come to the theatre, as she does in the film Shakespeare in Love. She would have ordered the actors come to the palace to perform if she was in the mood for some theatre.
A view of the galleries
We had a wonderful tour guide, Stephanie. She was an enthusiastic woman, very British, and she told us all about the Globe, and Shakespeare, and theatre in the early 1600's. She was a funny lady. She got to be an extra in Shakespeare in Love several years ago, and she told us all about that, and how some things in the movie were accurate, and how some things were definitely not. I liked her.
There was a 4 year old boy named Ian on the tour with us, and he recited some Shakespeare for us! I caught the tail end of his performance on tape. Here, he's reciting sonnet 116, Let me not to the marriage of true minds.
(The video begins with "or bends with the mover to remove")
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
It was precious! Kudos, Ian's Mom, for introducing him to Shakespeare at such a young age.
What a fun tour. It does cost a little bit to get in, but it's well worth it. Definitely check it out.