A couple of weeks ago I finally managed to get to see a performance at The Globe Theatre and, boy, was it good.
The play – ‘King Lear’ with Kevin McNally in the title role.
I had visited to The Globe many years ago when I had taken a Y9 group of pupils to a ‘Macbeth’ workshop in preparation for the then SATS examinations. I was amazed at how small the theatre was – my expectation has been for a much larger space. Nevetheless, I loved the whole day, walking on the stage, going backstage and seeing some of the props. A bit of name-dropping here, but the workshop for the pupils was run by the actress Yolanda Vazquez who I recognised instantly from ‘Notting Hill’ – a film that my Y9s hadn’t seen and so, sadly, her ‘fame’ was lost on them and they didn’t appreciate the fact that they were being instructed by a real life actress.
Anyway – back to the present day. On my return to The Globe, I found that it hadn’t lost any of its magic. What I had percieved as small when I visited all those years ago, I now embraced as intimate. The closeness to the stage, even sitting in the Middle Gallery where we were, was special. Being in a theatre with no roof is different and the constant buzzing of a police helicopter was annoying, but it did not detract from the performance. The play was amazing. Kevin McNally brings humanity to Lear, in my opinion. He made me feel sympathy for him in a way Simon Russell Beale never did when I saw his Lear.
‘King Lear’ might not be one of my favourite plays, but it was one of my favourite experiences.