"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Monday, November 05, 2012
THE COURT BEGGAR
Not Dead at Shakespeare's Globe
the round, in the space at the top of the Sackler Studios, Bear
Gardens, a "slight piece of mirth" probably first heard at
the Cockpit, an indoor house, in 1640.
a satirical comedy, with plenty to say about theatre politics, court intrigue, financial scandals and
"projectors", as well as the role of women, though
Beeston's Boys – the probable troupe for the premiere – naturally
boasted no actresses in its numbers.
credit to Martin Hodgeson and his actors for making this often
obscure text so entertaining in this very enjoyable rehearsed
reading. Many familiar faces, as ever, with Ben Whitrow highly
amusing as Sir
Raphael, "an old Knight that talks much and would be thought wise", and
Michael Cronin masterly as the Beggar of the title, Sir Andrew
Mendicant. Shaun Prendergast made the most of the serving man
Gabriel, very at ease with the role, the space and the text. Globe
regulars included James Wallace as Sir Ferdinand, Daniel Abelson as a
boy constantly on the run, and James Thorne as Mr Dainty. And Frances
Marshall, memorable last year in Private Resistance, was a constant
delight as Lady Strangelove, "a humorous
that loved to be courted".
intriguing glimpse of theatre just after Shakespeare and just before
the theatres closed, to re-open practically unrecognisable at the
the sort of entertainment which would suit the new Indoor Jacobean
space, round the corner in New Globe Walk …