Last week I was back down in London with work. I had a consultancy assignment on the Wednesday so traveled down Tuesday afternoon. Rather than spend the night in my budget hotel room I decided to see if I could get a ticket for the theatre. I’d never been to the reconstructed Globe on the South Bank and managed to get a seat for the production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Getting a seat was important for me. As a reconstruction of an Elizabethan theatre, most of the patrons have to stand in the area before the stage, just like the Elizabethan “groundlings”. But at my age I didn’t fancy standing for over 2 hours.
The play is a comedy – a rather bawdy farce, in fact. The main character, Sir John Falstaff, was played by an actor from Salford, Pearce Quigley , who I’ve seen many times on TV and who played the father in Mike Leigh’s film, Peterloo.
The structure and layout of the Globe means that it’s easy for the actors to interact with the audience. And they certainly did during this play. I wouldn’t have liked to have been stood too close to the left hand of the stage last Tuesday!
Although, being a too serious type of person (according to my family!) I usually would plumb for a tragedy rather than a comedy, but I enjoyed the production. The cast were very good, The production was light-hearted and there were plenty of laughs. Pearce Quigly was excellent in the role of Falstaff and his comic timing was pretty much perfect. For parts of the play I could have been watching Monty Python as Richard Katz, in his role as the French Doctor Caius, with a comical accent could quite easily have been mistaken for one of the French knights from Monty Python’s Holy Grail.
After the play, leaving the theatre, I had a good view over the City of London.
It was a balmy evening so I walked back to my hotel, clocking up a few more miles towards my 1000 mile challenge target.
All in all a good evening and certainly better than sitting working or watcjing the TV in my hotel room