Well… not quite … just a take on Shakespeare in Love since I was able to spend my last evening in England in Stratford-upon-Avon. I only had a couple of hours to do a brief self-guided tour around the town after arriving late in the afternoon. After I checked into my B&B and arranged to have a taxi pick up scheduled for 5:45am, I walked back into town.
My first goal was to find the theatre and pick up my ticket for The Winter’s Tale, the current production at the Royal Shakespeare Company. The original theatre is under renovation/expansion and I knew that the play was at the Courtyard Theatre. I just had no idea where that was. I stopped at the TI center to get directions, then headed past the Swan & the renovation work to the Courtyard Theatre, about 2 blocks further up the street. Tickets in hand, I checked out the gift shop. Wish they’d had shirts for The Winter’s Tale. I did buy a programme and a few other trinkets, then headed back into the main part of town, strolled along the River Avon, then decided to have dinner at the Bard’s restaurant at the Thistle Hotel. Delicious pork with potatoes and green beans & a glass of wine.
Off to the play. The doors opened at 7:00pm. I was seated about 7 rows back from the stage on the right side of the theatre (if you’re facing the stage). The view was just fine. I wasn’t familiar with the story but was able to follow along. Wonderful actors and actresses, including Sam Troughton from BBC’s Robin Hood. Interesting interpretation of the kingdom of Bohemia – I doubt it would have been performed in the same manner in Mr. Shakespeare’s time! Oh, and as a librarian, I must admit the destruction of the ‘library’ in the palace of Sicilia was quite disturbing! We have nightmares about book stacks tipping over – I wonder how many books were on the floor-to-ceiling shelves in the play? A thousand or more? Wish I could’ve taken a picture of that! Books and book pages flying all over the place and out into the audience. It was amazing to watch the crew partially clean up the mess during the intermission. All in all, a lovely evening. Had to take the long way back to the B&B after the play – I couldn’t find the shortcut in the dark and even if I had, I don’t recall seeing any lights along that path! I think I finally crawled into bed around 12:45am.