Forsooth, The Globe has a roof

New venue, new production

by Bernadette Fallon

Two treats at The Globe theatre this month: one is the opening of its new venue, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, complete with roof. And the second is the one-woman show currently running in this beautiful space, ‘Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins’, a wonderful insight into Shakespeare’s mind as he created his forceful female characters.

The new space has that essential ingredient of good theatre – a sprinkling of magic. Cosy, intimate, atmospheric, created from wood in the round and lit by flickering candlelight, this looks like ‘such stuff as dreams are made on’.

And the actress Eileen Atkins weaves a dream of a production, taking on the guise of the legendary Shakespearean actress in Victorian times, Ellen Terry, and drawing on her writings and lectures for insights into the women she played, woven through with famous speeches from the plays.

From the glorious romps of Rosalind in ‘As You Like It’ to the poignant laments of Desdemona in ‘Othello’, the monologue is by turns funny and tragic, but always thought-provoking and insightful, and ultimately spell-binding. She has us on the edge of our seats during Juliet’s last speeches, Cordelia’s reunion with her father and Ophelia’s final madness. But she knows just when to diffuse the tension with a well-timed quip.

It’s a remarkable piece of both acting and writing from Atkins. She presents us with fantastic food for thought on the position of women – both then and now – and for me, great insight into the Shakespeare’s strong, passionate, courageous, inspiring female characters, women that show feminism to be well and truly flourishing in the 16th century. And Eileen Atkins has paid the ultimate tribute to Shakespeare in this work, by surely sending her audience back to the plays with fresh eyes, new understanding.

If you love theatre, love Shakespeare, love fine acting, love women or just love the idea of being able to enjoy The Globe in the cold months of winter in comfort, go. Just go.

 

‘Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins’ runs until February 23; tickets £10 - £60; booking at 020 7401 9919 and www.shakespearesglobe.com

 

Photo credit: Pete Le May

 

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Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

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Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

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