Two Gentlemen of Verona Review Shakespeare's Globe 1996

Sunday, 25 August, 1996
Review by: 
Darren Dalglish

It had been raining all day, but when I arrived at the theatre it stopped. This was a pity because I really wanted it to pour down so I could experience how the show progressed during a downpour and to see the 'groundlings' get soaked. The groundling area is in the open and standing room only, but the price is cheap, only 5 British pounds. The groundlings are what gives the theatre it's character and atmosphere. It must be marvellous standing so close to the stage and hissing and booing, but there is no way I was going to stand for over two hours, particularly with the chance of getting wet if it rained. The officials do provide raincoats quite cheaply, and if you are in the seating area they provide cushions for you to sit on for about one British Pound. I didn't bother but wished I had, the seats are very uncomfortable.

For some reason some of the seating was reserved and some was not, this caused confusion. I had unreserved seating and trying to find a place to sit was very frustrating. This was because the unreserved and reserved were mostly in the same area. The only way you could tell which was reserved was that the reserved seats had numbers and the unreserved did not. No one told you this however, I was just directed to an area, so I sat down in the nearest seat, only moments later did I realise I was sitting in a reserved one!

The facilities were awful. In the interval I had to walk a long, long way to the nearest toilet , and when I got there I had to queue. When I finally managed to get out of the toilet and back up to the galleries they had sold out of food.

The Globe is a little difficult to get to, there are no tubes or trains very close to the theatre. If you are not familiar with the area I suggest you give yourself enough time to get there. They do not let you in until 20 minutes before the start, so there are some queues. I'm sure when this great theatre opens in June next year, it is going to be very popular by young old alike, and hopefully all the facilities will be operational and better organised.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the play! The first thing you notice is that no one was in costume, which really came as a surprise considering they were trying to recreate the old look. But nevertheless it was entertaining with the star of the show, the dog, what a great performance!


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