A Shakespearian Interlude

Shakespeare's Globe, London (rebuilt 1997)

Shakespeare’s Globe, London (rebuilt 1997) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


You know those competitions on Twitter that say “RT and follow to win”? Perhaps not, but anyway, they’re a thing. There was one from Mumsnet Towers a while ago to win a family day out at Shakespeare’s Globe, which sounded kind of fun. So I idly clicked retweet and thought little more of it. A few days later I got a message to say I was one of the winners! After the initial excitement at having won something came the slight air of panic as we worked out the logistics. It was the next weekend, in London, at 10am, and all our usual friends and relations to stay with in the Big Smoke were busy or away or already had guests or were having a new bathroom or something. Still, we arranged to make a family weekend of it with the in-laws about an hour outside London by train. There was a moment sitting in the usual traffic jam at the roadworks on the A11 with broken air-con on a blazing hot day when we started to question the wisdom of the idea, but that passed once we got moving again.

The pit and upper levels of the reconstruction...

The pit and upper levels of the reconstruction of the Globe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The next morning, the boys were tired – excitement and hot weather had kept them awake hours past bedtime – and there was a degree of confusion and kicking of bored heels once we arrived. Fils cadet immediately announced that he wanted to go home again. They were a little too young to really understand what it was all about, although we’d discussed Shakespeare and theatrical history a little bit with fils aîné, but the guide was very good and got them as involved as he could with the tour. We were able to have a good look around the theatre and learn a little more about the history and rebuilding etc. And then – the honour and general coolness of this sailed way over their heads – we got to go on the stage. On the actual stage, at Shakespeare’s Globe in London! There were lots of photo opportunities – the day was all about launching the Globe Playground part of the website you see. Then there was the part they’d really been looking forward to – art activities for fils aîné and computer games for fils cadet. Yes, all that fuss to go and play on computer games that we could have done at home…!


Lunch in the café next to the education rooms was vetoed by fils cadet as they didn’t have the wherewithal to make him a cheese sandwich. But we strolled on down the South Bank and had mezes in The Real Greek instead. Mari and I pretended we were on holiday, but the cold (yes, cold!) breeze howling in off the river slightly scuppered that. A little more strolling was in order, as was watching the street performers. Then we found a man making giant bubbles, which the boys chased madly until FC fell over and did his knee in. (Incidentally, many thanks to the kind German lady with the antiseptic spray!) That was the end of that, and signalled time to make our way back to the station.

Bubbles and tall buildings


But a wonderful time was had by all, in varying measures. Mari and I are fired up to make the trip down again and see a play – might not happen this summer, but it’s on our radar now for next. The games on the Globe Playground are definitely worth checking out, and some of FA‘s artwork will hopefully be on there to see soon too. So thanks to Mumsnet and the Globe. Maybe this will be the start of a new theatrical career. Or maybe not. But it was cool.


About forwardtranslations

I'm a freelance literary translator from German and French to English. The title of my blog comes from Mary Schmich's description of reading: it struck home with me, and seems especially apt for translated fiction. Here are some of my musings on what I'm reading, re-reading, reading to my children, and translating.
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