Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Summer Pastimes

Last week I went to see Julius Caesar at The Globe. As The Globe is one of my favourite places to spend a summer’s afternoon, it’s always a bit sad when the end of the season approaches, but I do have tickets for one more production. ‘Pitcairn’ is one of the plays by modern playwrights that The Globe puts on every year.

The Globe is Shakespeare’s ‘Wooden O’ – a new theatre which is a replica of the original theatre where Shakespeare’s plays were first performed. When you go to see a production at The Globe, there’s a real sense that the building itself is one of the characters in the play – Shakespeare wrote for a theatre like this and the plays make so much more sense there. It stands on the South Bank of the Thames, and is not one of the most comfortable theatres I’ve ever been in, but it’s definitely the most magical.

Over the years, I’ve been a regular attendee. When tickets go on sale in the spring, I choose the plays I want to see (mostly all of them), and send off for my tickets. That’s not as expensive an exercise as it sounds – although the seats are more costly, you can stand in the yard for £5, which is the equivalent of what ‘groundlings’ paid in Shakespeare’s time.

So I’m part of the rabble. Groundlings are likely to have water thrown at them, be moved out of the way by actors making their way to the stage, or asked to hold props which aren’t in use at the moment. We also clap and chant, wave our hands and stamp our feet. Actually the foot stamping is only carried out when strictly necessary – when you’re standing for three hours you learn to be economical with that kind of thing.

There’s a great view of the stage, and if you find that you can’t see over the person in front’s head, then you just move.  Spots around the edge of the yard, where you can lean against the barriers, are hotly contested but I prefer to stand closer to the stage.  When I went last week, the groundlings became part of the fickle Roman crowd. Processions wound through the yard and we were moved back by Roman soldiers.  We were encouraged to chant and cheer for Caesar and then for Brutus – and so when Mark Anthony said ‘Friends, Romans, Countrymen’ we really felt that he was talking to us, and trying to sway our opinions.

For me, summer wouldn’t really be summer without The Globe. What makes your summer?

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14 thoughts on “Summer Pastimes”

  1. Okay, next time we’re in London we MUST go to the globe.I say that every time and then it never happens :-/

    What makes my summer? Summer fruit – cherries, strawberries, watermelon, plums peaches etc and getting to wallow in the swimming pool again! And of course, for us, it’s also Christmas time!

    1. Definitely Amy! Nothing like being chased around the yard by a couple of gladiators to spice up your trip 🙂

      The best summer fruit I’ve ever tasted was in Australia – we went to a market in Melbourne and bought loads, including things I’d never seen before, then went home and tasted them all!

  2. What makes my summer is warm evenings spent eating on our patio, 8 pm walks with the dog, using the fan every night over our bed, breakfasts out on road trips–oh, how I love a good café breakfast!
    Your summers sound wonderful, Annie! Would love to experience a Globe event with you.

    1. Ah yes, the warm evenings are the best, Lynne. I just love it when it’s still warm after it gets dark. Your road-trip breakfasts sound great!

      Next time you’re in London, the Globe is definitely a date!

  3. What at a lovely tradition! My favorite summer thing is the week of summer vacation when my husband is off and can help with the kids. If we go somewhere, I try to sneak in some time in a hammock and maybe drink a gin and tonic. I do that all year truthfully, but they taste better on summer vacation!

  4. Oh goodness me- I was in London and I missed this? It sounds fab! I will do it next time!

    Our summer traditions? Camping with friends- we go to the same place every year for a week and just chill out. WOMAD festival- world music and sunshine. Eating outside. I LOVE eating outdoors 🙂

    1. I’m with you on eating outside, Louisa. We don’t do enough of it here, and it’s not always because of the weather – just a matter of habit most of the time. The WOMAD festival sounds brilliant, it’s firmly on my to-do list if and when I make New Zealand.

      Lovely to meet you at the AMBA lunch. Another highlight of the summer!

  5. Annie,
    I’m so jealous. I love Shakespeare. I’ve tried to go to The Globe a number of times but I’ve been in London at the wrong time of the year. The Globe is on my bucket list to do. I’d love to be a groundling with you sometime.

    The sign that it is the end of summer for me is when my college team plays its first football game. It is time to put away all things summer and pull on a sweater.

    1. Susan, sorry you’ve missed the Globe so far. There’s nothing better than standing with friends, and there’s a warm welcome waiting for you!

      What a great sign for the end of summer. Something to look forward to for the winter. Hope your team does well this year!

  6. Annie, now I really wish I’d gone to a show at the Globe when we ere there last year. I did go inside and wander around, but that obviously wasn’t enough.
    Summer for me is barbecues on our deck with friends and family, overlooking the sea and watching other people’s antics as they have fun.

    1. Sue, it’s a great place, isn’t it? I’m always struck by how tiny it is when I walk in – and then when the play starts it somehow expands…

      Your summers sound wonderful. I’ve been wholly jealous of your beautiful view of the sea since you showed it on your blog a couple of months back.

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