As my senior friends back at Amherst deal with the horror of the inevitably approaching graduation day, I’m constantly reminded that my time in London is also coming to a close. Where did the four months fly by? With the warmer weather and my homesickness fading, I feel like I’ve just begun to get settled. I feel a sudden urge to spend every remaining day of this month soaking in as much of London as possible (while also attempting to revise for my four finals).
Thankfully, I got to do another London-must recently. Yesterday, my friends and I spontaneously got tickets to see Julius Caesar at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre. This month, the theatre is doing an amazing production festival called “Globe to Globe” that features 37 Shakespeare plays in 37 languages. Each company is world-renowned and celebrates Shakespeare in their own renditions and twists.
I saw Julius Caesar in Italian by the Termini Company (the first Italian company to play at the Globe). No, I don’t speak a word of Italian. I didn’t have to because the passion of the Italian language, dream-like quality of the modernized play, and amazing acting was well worth the 2.5 hours spent leaning against the wooden stage in the theatre’s Standing Yard. Just look at that standing ovation! The sparse stage, humble wooden floor, open air theatre, and packed crowd made me feel transported to another era – one in which art and theatre were available without the pedestal of elitism.
The most interesting aspect of this interpretation was that there was no Julius Caesar. The protagonist role was filled by a brilliant actor (sporting a very Italian mustache) playing Marcus Brutus, a character who falls prey to the envious manipulations of Cassius and Cascus. The play was tragic in that every character is murdered or commits suicide by the end (the characters died with red chalk to symbolize death), but there was quite a bit a humor as well! One scene involved a “duel” between Mark Antony/Caesar’s son and Cassius/Cascus that ended up being a slapping match. I can’t wait for Macbeth in Polish next week! It’s a shame I missed Midsummer Night’s Dream in Korean…
The three witches in Macbeth were drag queens. I saw a lot of package and bums.