Wednesday, December 23, 2009


at Shakespeare's Globe


It's ten years since I was at the Globe in the depths of winter. That was for the Millennium night, with fireworks and plenty to drink.

This year, for the first time ever, there's a Christmas season in Shakespeare's wooden O. Not a panto, nor yet a full-length piece from the canon. But Footsbarn's unique blend of mayhem and melancholy. A series of moments – Macbeth charades, a mock Nativity scene with a Shakespearean Twelve Days of Christmas, a girl on a tightrope playing a plaintive violin. Not forgetting the excellent mime Nola Rae as the Fool.

Footsbarn are now located in France, and the company is creatively multi-cultural. But I felt that the overall ambience of Patrick Hayter's production was very French, harking back to the work of Le Grand Magic Circus [et ses animaux tristes]. But despite the sadness and the slow moments, the effect was jolly and entertaining, in the tradition of the Mummers and the Lord of Misrule. And the final moments looked forward to the return of the sun and the summer ...

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